SB 1.4 - The qualification to recite Bhāgavatam
Śaunaka Muni, who was the elderly and learned leader of all the sages engaged in the prolonged sacrificial ceremony, congratulated Sūta Gosvāmī and asked him to relate the pious message of Bhāgavatam, which was spoken by the great sage, Śukadeva Gosvāmī. It is interesting to note that Śaunaka, who was a great brāhmaṇa, eagerly inquired from Sūta, who was not a brāhmaṇa by birth. Sūta expressed his desire to present Śrīmad Bhāgavatam exactly as he heard it from Śukadeva Gosvāmī and as he realized it personally. Personal realization does not mean that one should, out of vanity, attempt to show one’s learning by trying to surpass the previous ācārya. Having full confidence in the previous ācārya and realizing the subject matter nicely, one should present the matter for the particular circumstances in a suitable manner. The original purpose of the text must be maintained. One should present the matter in an interesting manner without trying to screw out any obscure meaning. No learned man should be willing to hear from one who does not represent the original ācārya. So the speaker and the audience were bona fide in this meeting of sages, and this should be the standard of recitation of Bhāgavatam. Generally the so-called reciters of Bhāgavatam are either professional readers or learned impersonalists who cannot enter into the transcendental activities of the Supreme Person.