निैमषे सूतमासीनिभवाद महामितम् ।
कथामृतरसासवादकुशलः शौनकोऽबवीत ॥३॥
Naimishe Soothamaaseenamabhivaadhya mahaamathim
Saunaka who was deeply interested in listening to the purely divine holy stories with utmost concentration prostrated and offered obeisance to divinely intelligent Sootha who was seated appropriately at Naimisaranya was asked or requested to clear out their confusions with the following questions.
Sreemad Bhagawatham was created by Veda Vyasa with the advices of Narada. Veda Vyasa Bhagawan then imparted in full to his son Suka Brahmarshi. Suka Brahmarshi then explained the whole story in seven days to King Pareekshit who was awaiting his death within seven days. Sootha was present in the same auditorium along with other great saints, gods, Saptharshis, Brahmadeva, Mahadeva and other divinities. When a group of great saints headed by Saunaka were going to conclude a great yenja or sacrifice which lasted for long twelve years at the most holiest sacrificial ground called Naimisaranya the great scholarly omniscient Sootha arrived there.
This is the occasion when Saunaka prostrated Sootha and asked his questions as mentioned above. The sequence of Sreemad Bhagawatham is that Vidura Mahashaya went away on a pilgrimage at the time of Kurukshethra war between Kauravas and Pandavas as he could not justify himself take part on either side. He visited many sacred and holy temples and other pilgrimage places. He returned after a long while via the famous holy place called Prabhasa. He met with Udhava nearby Prabhasa Theertha.
After exchanging divine and sacred greetings Vidhura asked Udhava that Pandvas would definitely have won the battle with the help of Lord Sri Krishna Bhagawan as he was on their side. And he hoped and prayed that Lord Sri Krishna Bhagawan and Pandavas are all doing extremely well with the grace of Lord Sri Krishna Bhagawan who is the provider of happiness to not only to the entire humanities but also even to all other species of the universe.
Udhava at this time was just returning from Lord Sri Krishna Bhagawan who was going to his original abode of Vaikunda after completely fulfilling all the responsibilities of eighth incarnation of the Desavatharas. Udhava was choked with emotions and with tears flowing from his both eyes and was unable to utter a syllable about Heavenly Master, Lord Sri Krishna Bhagawan, to Vidura. Udhava somehow managed to covey to Vidura to approach Maithreya in his monastery at Badarinath and he would be able to answer all his questions. This Sreemad Bhagawatham is the conversation between Vidura and Maithreya in questions answers style as Maithreya’s answers to Vidura’s questions. Then it is retold by Suka Brahmarshi to Pareekshith Maharaja as all the questions of Pareekshith had already been asked by Vidura and answered by Maithreya. Then Sootha retold the whole conversation of Suka Brahmarshi and Pareekshith Maharaja in Naimisharanya to a great audience of scholarly saints with Saunaka, the chief priest, as their spokesperson asking questions to Sootha on behalf of those elite and scholarly saints.