bhagavān — Lord Brahmā; api — moreover; bhārata — O King Parīkṣit; tat — by them; upanīta — brought forward; arhaṇaḥ — worshipable paraphernalia; sūkta — according to Vedic etiquette; vākena — by language; atitarām — highly; udita — praised; guṇa-gaṇa — qualities; avatāra — because of the descent; su-jayaḥ — whose glories; priyavratam — unto Priyavrata; ādi-puruṣaḥ — the original person; tam — unto him; sa-daya — with compassion; hāsa — smiling; avalokaḥ — whose looking; iti — thus; ha — certainly; uvāca — said.
My dear King Parīkṣit, because Lord Brahmā had finally descended from Satyaloka to Bhūloka, Nārada Muni, Prince Priyavrata and Svāyambhuva Manu came forward to offer him objects of worship and to praise him in highly qualified language, according to Vedic etiquette. At that time, Lord Brahmā, the original person of this universe, felt compassion for Priyavrata and, looking upon him with a smiling face, spoke to him as follows.
That Lord Brahmā descended from Satyaloka to see Priyavrata indicates that the matter was very serious. Nārada Muni had come to advise Priyavrata about the value of spiritual life, knowledge, renunciation and bhakti, and Lord Brahmā knew that Nārada’s instructions were very impressive. Therefore unless Lord Brahmā personally went to Gandhamādana Hill to request Priyavrata, Lord Brahmā knew that Prince Priyavrata would not accept his father’s order. Brahmā’s purpose was to break Priyavrata’s determination. Therefore Brahmā first looked upon Priyavrata with compassion. His smile and compassionate features also indicated that although Brahmā would request Priyavrata to accept household life, Priyavrata would not be out of touch with devotional service. By the blessings of a Vaiṣṇava, everything is possible. This is described in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu as kṛpā-siddhi, or perfection attained simply by the blessings of a superior person. One usually becomes liberated and perfect by executing the regulative principles set down in the śāstras. Nonetheless, many persons have achieved perfection simply by the blessings of a spiritual master or superior.
Priyavrata was the grandson of Lord Brahmā, and as joking competition sometimes takes place between grandson and grandfather, in this case also Priyavrata was determined to remain in meditation, whereas Brahmā was determined that he rule the universe. Thus Lord Brahmā’s affectionate smile and glance meant, “My dear Priyavrata, you have decided not to accept household life, but I have decided to convince you that you must accept it.” Actually, Brahmā had come to praise Priyavrata for his high standard of renunciation, austerity, penance and devotion so that he would not be deviated from devotional service, even though he would accept household life.
In this verse, one important word is sūkta-vākena (by Vedic hymns). In the Vedas, there is the following prayer to Lord Brahmā: hiraṇyagarbhaḥ samavartatāgre bhūtasya jātaḥ patir eka āsīt. Brahmā was received with the appropriate Vedic hymns, and because he was welcomed according to the Vedic etiquette, he was very pleased.