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SB 1.5 - Mere Brahman realization cannot satisfy the soul

Nārada knowing well, the cause of Vyāsa’s disappointment, smiled and asked him if he was satisfied by identifying with the body or the mind as objects of self realization. Having had the privilege of a great parentage, Vyāsa should not have been despondent. Being a great son of a great father (Parāśara), Vyāsa should not have identified the self with the body or mind. One cannot be cheerful by nature unless one is factually seated in self realization, which is transcendental to the body and mind. Vyāsa had sufficient knowledge and had fully inquired about the Vedas, as a result of which he had compiled Mahābhārata, which is a full explanation of the Vedas. It was complete with all instructions on artha, dharma, kāma and mokṣa. The source of his dissatisfaction cannot thus be lack of scriptural knowledge. He had fully delineated the subject of impersonal Brahman, as well as the knowledge derived there from. The Vedānta-sūtra as is commonly understood is the full deliberation of the impersonal absolute feature. It covers the subject of eternity, and the methods are scholarly. Not only did Vyāsa inquire about Brahman, but had understood and realized Brahman. So why would Vyāsadeva still lament?

Jīva Gosvāmī says that mere Brahman realization cannot satisfy the soul. The soul’s true need is love, prīti. Direct perception of Bhagavān is the highest liberation. In that state the most exalted spiritual activities are known by names like bhakti and prīti.