[1.2.1] Suta was completely satisfied by their good questions. He offered them words of thanks and began the attempt to answer. He began by praising Sukadeva, his guru, whose teachings he decided would fully answer the questions of the sages.
“He instantly ran off to wander as a saint, without even bothering with the formalities of life. Vyāsa cried out after him in the pain of separation, ‘my son!’ The only reply was the trees echoing, ‘my son!’ as if feeling the same pain. To him, who enters the hearts of all living things, I offer my deep respect.
 “Without formal education, he understood the unified essence of all the branches of knowledge. Compassionately wanting to eradicate the deep darkness of humanity, his words created the transcendental torchlight of the most confidential spiritual book (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam). To him, Vyāsa’s son and the guru of sages, I offer my deep respect.
 “Respecting the Supreme Godhead Nārāyaṇa and the sages, topmost humans, who know Nārāyaṇa; respecting the Goddess of Learning, Sarasvatī, and the great deliverer of knowledge, Vyāsa; thereafter all that we speak with their blessings will be victorious.”
Now, Suta turned his attention directly to the sages and their questions.
 “You sages have asked me excellent questions, about topics truly beneficial to the world. To ask meaningful questions about Krishna is the way to fully delight one’s soul!”
Suta begins to answer their questions. They asked him to tell them the essence of all scriptures regarding what is the most beneficial thing for humanity. He says:
 “The most important and beneficial thing for a human being,” he said, “is certainly devotion to the Supreme Entity, without ulterior motive and without satiation. This completely delights the soul.”
Among the multitude of sages, many were dedicated to painstaking scientific and philosophical study (jñāna), many others to harsh nihilistic annihilation of material desires (vairāgya), others to the path of morally responsible duty (karma). Hearing that devotion to the Supreme was more important than any of their pursuits, naturally they raised their doubts. Suta now begins to address those doubts.
 “Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, is the object of devotional-yoga,” he explained. “Attaining him through devotion automatically and effortlessly produces all other fruits – like philosophical knowledge and detachment for materialism – as a mere side-effect.  As for duties and responsibilities,” he continued, “If performance of duty does not generate interest in hearing about Godhead, it is worth only its own sweat and tears, and nothing else!”
The idea Suta presents here is that duties and responsibilities are meant to purify the heart of selfishness. Why? Because selfishness is the antithesis of love. What is the real importance of love? Without it the human soul cannot become delighted and satisfied. What is the supreme satisfaction and delight that love can deliver? That would be known by one who loves to the Supreme Delightful Entity! How does one express and cultivate such love? By talking constantly about the beloved. Thus if duties and responsibilities do not make the heart more lovingly inclined towards people and their source, the Supreme, they are worthless.
Some may argue that there are other important benefits of religiosity, morality and responsibility. Suta addresses that argument now:
 “Religion and dutifulness is not meant for creating a paradise or going to enjoy heavenly delights. Nor is it truly meant for making our lives and societies more prosperous. The true purpose of religion is not any such permutation of sense gratification!”
But then, some will wonder, what is the point of prosperity and common pleasures? Our undeniable needs must be met, but such must not be the goal of our endeavors.
 “We should not dedicate ourselves merely to pleasing our senses,” Suta said. “Instead we should simply keep them satisfied, peaceful and healthy. This life is meant for discovery the life’s true essence, not for simply acquiring external things and pleasures!”
What is life’s true essence?
 “Those who know the essence of life say that it is an entity of pure and undivided awareness. It is understood in three stages: as brahman, all-pervading life-force; as paramātmā, the unifying soul within all things; and as bhagavān, the Supreme Lifeform.”
How does one come to understand such things for oneself?
 “A sincerely inquisitive and thoughtful person,” Suta explained, “who has good measure of learning and simplicity can see these truths of life within himself by practicing the yoga of Devotion (bhakti) under good guidance.”
Now Suta concludes:
 “So, if the typical religions of social and moral duties are to have any serious value at all, it is only in so far as they eventually lead one towards the only truly important thing: Devotion to the pleasure of Hari (the Supreme Entity).  Therefore, ignore what is frivolous in religion and concentrate exclusively on loving devotion for Godhead by constantly hearing about, speaking about, contemplating, and worshipping Hari, the protector of devotees.