SB 1.2 - Sūta Gosvāmī 's decision to speak on Bhāgavatam
Sūta Gosvāmī thanked the sages for their six perfect questions, and attempted to reply them. He reflected that he would speak the essence of all the scriptures, the very substance. Even though some righteous persons would say that the intellect is pleased with Sāṅkhya, some would say the intellect is pleased with Mīmāṁsa, or with the Upaniṣads, or the Vedānta, which discern the conclusion of the Upaniṣads, all that cannot be admitted. Sūta thought that he should speak the scripture that remained steady without objections from anyone, since it gave pleasure to all the sages, after withstanding the tests of all the great luminaries, the greatest philosophers present in the assembly gathered around King Parīkṣit. So he decided he should speak the Bhāgavatam.
Sūta first offered his obeisances unto Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who left home without undergoing any of the reformatory ceremonies. When this happened, Śuka’s father, Vyāsa, cried out in separation, but only the trees, which were absorbed in the same feelings of separation, echoed in response. The reply was actually Kṛṣṇa Himself sounding thru the trees, who (the trees) loved Śuka for his purity.
Generally, a man is born as an ordinary being, and by the purificatory processes, he is born a second time. When he seeks direction for spiritual progress, he approaches a guru for instruction in the Vedas. The guru accepts only a sincere inquirer as his disciple, and gives him the sacred thread. Thus becoming a dvija (twice born), one may study the Vedas, and after becoming well versed in the Vedas one becomes a vipra. A vipra thus realizes the Absolute and makes further progress until he reaches the Vaiṣṇava stage, which is the postgraduate status of a brāhmaṇa.
The aim of varṇāśrama dharma is to make one a pure devotee of the Lord. Anyone who is accepted as a Vaiṣṇava by a first class devotee of the Lord is already a brāhmaṇa, regardless of his birth or past deeds. Śuka was a Vaiṣṇava from the very beginning, and thus had no need to undergo all the processes of the varṇāśrama institution. Lord Caitanya accepted this principle and recognized Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura as the ācārya of the holy name, although Haridāsa was born in a Mohammedan family.