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SB 1.4 - Śukadeva's transcendental position

Śaunaka asked Sūta where, when and why was Śrīmad Bhāgavatam compiled and how Vyāsa got the inspiration to compile it. Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsa, was an equibalanced monist. He was realized in impersonal knowledge (nirvikalpakaḥ) and his attention ended in one point (ekānta-matiḥ). He was transcendental to mundane activities but appeared like an ignorant person. He remained always alert not to be trapped by the illusory energy being indifferent to matter, unlike the conditioned soul, who is always absorbed in matter.

While Vyāsa was following his son, young girls who were bathing naked covered their bodies with cloth, although Vyāsa himself was not naked. But they had not done so when his son had passed. When the sage inquired the girls about this, they replied that his son was purified and when looking at them made no distinction between male and female, but the sage made distinctions. A learned sage looks on equally a learned brāhmaṇa, a dog eater, a dog or a cow due to his spiritual vision. Śuka did not see a male or female but saw living entities in different dress. The girls could understand the innocent nature of Śuka by their special qualifications. Vyāsadeva was also in the transcendental stage, but because he was a householder he did not pretend to be a liberated soul as a matter of custom. A householder has to distinguish between a male and female. Thus the ladies reacted to the presence of Vyāsa according to social custom even though he was quite old. The young women, skilful in the arts, had the power to know the inner truth of men and women just by looking at their eyes.