Chapter One : The First Step in God Realization O my Lord, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, your question is glorious because it is very beneficial to all kinds of people. The answer to this question is the prime subject matter for hearing, and it is approved by all transcendentalists. Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, leave many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor. The lifetime of such an envious householder is passed at night either in sleeping or in sex indulgence, and in the daytime either in making money or maintaining family members. Persons devoid of atma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction. O descendant of King Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller and the savior from all miseries. The highest perfection of human life, achieved either by complete knowledge of matter and spirit, by practice of mystic powers, or by perfect discharge of occupational duty, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life. O King Pariksit, mainly the topmost transcendentalists, who are above the regulative principles and restrictions, take pleasure in describing the glories of the Lord. At the end of the Dvapara-yuga, I studied this great supplement of Vedic literature named Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is equal to all the Vedas, from my father, Srila Dvaipayana Vyasadeva. O saintly King, I was certainly situated perfectly in transcendence, yet I was still attracted by the delineation of the pastimes of the Lord, who is described by enlightened verses. That very Srimad-Bhagavatam I shall recite before you because you are the most sincere devotee of Lord Krishna. One who gives full attention and respect to hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam achieves unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord, the giver of salvation. O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge. What is the value of a prolonged life which is wasted, inexperienced by years in this world? Better a moment of full consciousness, because that gives one a start in searching after his supreme interest. The saintly King Khatvanga, after being informed that the duration of his life would be only a moment more, at once freed himself from all material activities and took shelter of the supreme safety, the Personality of Godhead. Maharaja Pariksit, now your duration of life is limited to seven more days, so during this time you can perform all those rituals which are needed for the best purpose of your next life. At the last stage of one's life, one should be bold enough not to be afraid of death. But one must cut off all attachment to the material body and everything pertaining to it and all desires thereof. One should leave home and practice self-control. In a sacred place he should bathe regularly and sit down in a lonely place duly sanctified. After sitting in the above manner, make the mind remember the three transcendental letters [a-u-m], and by regulating the breathing process, control the mind so as not to forget the transcendental seed. Gradually, as the mind becomes progressively spiritualized, withdraw it from sense activities, and by intelligence the senses will be controlled. The mind too absorbed in material activities can be engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead and become fixed in full transcendental consciousness. Thereafter, you should meditate upon the limbs of Vishnu, one after another, without being deviated from the conception of the complete body. Thus the mind becomes free from all sense objects. There should be no other thing to be thought upon. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, is the Ultimate Truth, the mind becomes completely reconciled in Him only. One's mind is always agitated by the passionate mode of material nature and bewildered by the ignorant mode of nature. But one can rectify such conceptions by the relation of Vishnu and thus become pacified by cleansing the dirty things created by them. O King, by this system of remembrance and by being fixed in the habit of seeing the all-good personal conception of the Lord, one can very soon attain devotional service to the Lord, under His direct shelter. The fortunate King Pariksit, inquiring further, said: O brahmana, please describe in full detail how and where the mind has to be applied and how the conception can be fixed so that the dirty things in a person's mind can be removed. Sukadeva Gosvami answered: One should control the sitting posture, regulate the breathing process by the yogic pranayama and thus control the mind and senses and with intelligence apply the mind to the gross potencies of the Lord [called the virat-rupa]. This gigantic manifestation of the phenomenal material world as a whole is the personal body of the Absolute Truth, wherein the universal resultant past, present and future of material time is experienced. The gigantic universal form of the Personality of Godhead, within the body of the universal shell, which is covered by sevenfold material elements, is the subject for the virat conception. Persons who have realized it have studied that the planets known as Patala constitute the bottoms of the feet of the universal Lord, and the heels and the toes are the Rasatala planets. The ankles are the Mahatala planets, and His shanks constitute the Talatala planets. The knees of the universal form are the planetary system of the name Sutala, and the two thighs are the Vitala and Atala planetary systems. The hips are Mahitala, and outer space is the depression of His navel. The chest of the Original Personality of the gigantic form is the luminary planetary system, His neck is the Mahar planets, His mouth is the Janas planets, and His forehead is the Tapas planetary system. The topmost planetary system, known as Satyaloka, is the head of He who has one thousand heads. His arms are the demigods headed by Indra, the ten directional sides are His ears, and physical sound is His sense of hearing. His nostrils are the two Asvini-kumaras, and material fragrance is His sense of smell. His mouth is the blazing fire. The sphere of outer space constitutes His eyepits, and the eyeball is the sun as the power of seeing. His eyelids are both the day and night, and in the movements of His eyebrows, the Brahma and similar supreme personalities reside. His palate is the director of water, Varuna, and the juice or essence of everything is His tongue. They say that the Vedic hymns are the cerebral passage of the Lord, and His jaws of teeth are Yama, god of death, who punishes the sinners. The art of affection is His set of teeth, and the most alluring illusory material energy is His smile. This great ocean of material creation is but the casting of His glance over us. Modesty is the upper portion of His lips, hankering is His chin, religion is the breast of the Lord, and irreligion is His back. Brahmaji, who generates all living beings in the material world, is His genitals, and the Mitra-varunas are His two testicles. The ocean is His waist, and the hills and mountains are the stacks of His bones. O King, the rivers are the veins of the gigantic body, the trees are the hairs of His body, and the omnipotent air is His breath. The passing ages are His movements, and His activities are the reactions of the three modes of material nature. O best amongst the Kurus, the clouds which carry water are the hairs on His head, the terminations of days or nights are His dress, and the supreme cause of material creation is His intelligence. His mind is the moon, the reservoir of all changes. The principle of matter [mahat-tattva] is the consciousness of the omnipresent Lord, as asserted by the experts, and Rudradeva is His ego. The horse, mule, camel and elephant are His nails, and wild animals and all quadrupeds are situated in the belt zone of the Lord. Varieties of birds are indications of His masterful artistic sense. Manu, the father of mankind, is the emblem of His standard intelligence, and humanity is His residence. The celestial species of human beings, like the Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, Caranas and angels, all represent His musical rhythm, and the demoniac soldiers are representations of His wonderful prowess. The virat-purusa's face is the brahmanas, His arms are the ksatriyas, His thighs are the vaisyas, and the sudras are under the protection of His feet. All the worshipable demigods are also overtaken by Him, and it is the duty of everyone to perform sacrifices with feasible goods to appease the Lord. I have thus explained to you the gross material gigantic conception of the Personality of Godhead. One who seriously desires liberation concentrates his mind on this form of the Lord, because there is nothing more than this in the material world. One should concentrate his mind upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who alone distributes Himself in so many manifestations just as ordinary persons create thousands of manifestations in dreams. One must concentrate the mind on Him, the only all-blissful Absolute Truth. Otherwise one will be misled and will cause his own degradation. Chapter Two : The Lord in the Heart Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: Formerly, prior to the manifestation of the cosmos, Lord Brahma, by meditating on the virat-rupa, regained his lost consciousness by appeasing the Lord. Thus he was able to rebuild the creation as it was before. The way of presentation of the Vedic sounds is so bewildering that it directs the intelligence of the people to meaningless things like the heavenly kingdoms. The conditioned souls hover in dreams of such heavenly illusory pleasures, but actually they do not relish any tangible happiness in such places. For this reason the enlightened person should endeavor only for the minimum necessities of life while in the world of names. He should be intelligently fixed and never endeavor for unwanted things, being competent to perceive practically that all such endeavors are merely hard labor for nothing. When there are ample earthly flats to lie on, what is the necessity of cots and beds? When one can use his own arms, what is the necessity of a pillow? When one can use the palms of his hands, what is the necessity of varieties of utensils? When there is ample covering, or the skins of trees, what is the necessity of clothing? Are there no torn clothes lying on the common road? Do the trees, which exist for maintaining others, no longer give alms in charity? Do the rivers, being dried up, no longer supply water to the thirsty? Are the caves of the mountains now closed, or, above all, does the Almighty Lord not protect the fully surrendered souls? Why then do the learned sages go to flatter those who are intoxicated by hard-earned wealth? Thus being fixed, one must render service unto the Supersoul situated in one's own heart by His omnipotency. Because He is the Almighty Personality of Godhead, eternal and unlimited, He is the ultimate goal of life, and by worshiping Him one can end the cause of the conditioned state of existence. Who else but the gross materialists will neglect such transcendental thought and take to the nonpermanent names only, seeing the mass of people fallen in the river of suffering as the consequence of accruing the result of their own work? Others conceive of the Personality of Godhead residing within the body in the region of the heart and measuring only eight inches, with four hands carrying a lotus, a wheel of a chariot, a conchshell and a club respectively. His mouth expresses His happiness. His eyes spread like the petals of a lotus, and His garments, yellowish like the saffron of a kadamba flower, are bedecked with valuable jewels. His ornaments are all made of gold, set with jewels, and He wears a glowing head dress and earrings. His lotus feet are placed over the whorls of the lotuslike hearts of great mystics. On His chest is the Kaustubha jewel, engraved with a beautiful calf, and there are other jewels on His shoulders. His complete torso is garlanded with fresh flowers. He is well decorated with an ornamental wreath about His waist and rings studded with valuable jewels on His fingers. His leglets, His bangles, His oiled hair, curling with a bluish tint, and His beautiful smiling face are all very pleasing. The Lord's magnanimous pastimes and the glowing glancing of His smiling face are all indications of His extensive benedictions. One must therefore concentrate on this transcendental form of the Lord, as long as the mind can be fixed on Him by meditation. The process of meditation should begin from the lotus feet of the Lord and progress to His smiling face. The meditation should be concentrated upon the lotus feet, then the calves, then the thighs, and in this way higher and higher. The more the mind becomes fixed upon the different parts of the limbs, one after another, the more the intelligence becomes purified. Unless the gross materialist develops a sense of loving service unto the Supreme Lord, the seer of both the transcendental and material worlds, he should remember or meditate upon the universal form of the Lord at the end of his prescribed duties. O King, whenever the yogi desires to leave this planet of human beings, he should not be perplexed about the proper time or place, but should comfortably sit without being disturbed and, regulating the life air, should control the senses by the mind. Thereafter, the yogi should merge his mind, by his unalloyed intelligence, into the living entity, and then merge the living entity into the Superself. And by doing this, the fully satisfied living entity becomes situated in the supreme stage of satisfaction, so that he ceases from all other activities. In that transcendental state of labdhopasanti, there is no supremacy of devastating time, which controls even the celestial demigods who are empowered to rule over mundane creatures. (And what to speak of the demigods themselves?) Nor is there the mode of material goodness, nor passion, nor ignorance, nor even the false ego, nor the material Causal Ocean, nor the material nature. The transcendentalists desire to avoid everything godless, for they know that supreme situation in which everything is related with the Supreme Lord Vishnu. Therefore a pure devotee who is in absolute harmony with the Lord does not create perplexities, but worships the lotus feet of the Lord at every moment, taking them into his heart. By the strength of scientific knowledge, one should be well situated in absolute realization and thus be able to extinguish all material desires. One should then give up the material body by blocking the air hole [through which stool is evacuated] with the heel of one's foot and by lifting the life air from one place to another in the six primary places. The meditative devotee should slowly push up the life air from the navel to the heart, from there to the chest and from there to the root of the palate. He should search out the proper places with intelligence. Thereafter the bhakti-yogi should push the life air up between the eyebrows, and then, blocking the seven outlets of the life air, he should maintain his aim for going back home, back to Godhead. If he is completely free from all desires for material enjoyment, he should then reach the cerebral hole and give up his material connections, having gone to the Supreme. However, O King, if a yogi maintains a desire for improved material enjoyments, like transference to the topmost planet, Brahmaloka, or the achievement of the eightfold perfections, travel in outer space with the Vaihayasas, or a situation in one of the millions of planets, then he has to take away with him the materially molded mind and senses. The transcendentalists are concerned with the spiritual body. As such, by the strength of their devotional service, austerities, mystic power and transcendental knowledge, their movements are unrestricted, within and beyond the material worlds. The fruitive workers, or the gross materialists, can never move in such an unrestricted manner. O King, when such a mystic passes over the Milky Way by the illuminating Susumna to reach the highest planet, Brahmaloka, he goes first to Vrisvanara, the planet of the deity of fire, wherein he becomes completely cleansed of all contaminations, and thereafter he still goes higher, to the circle of Sisumara, to relate with Lord Hari, the Personality of Godhead. This Sisumara is the pivot for the turning of the complete universe, and it is called the navel of Vishnu [Garbhodakasayi Vishnu]. The yogi alone goes beyond this circle of Sisumara and attains the planet [Maharloka] where purified saints like Bhrgu enjoy a duration of life of 4,300,000,0O0 solar years. This planet is worshipable even for the saints who are transcendentally situated. At the time of the final devastation of the complete universe [the end of the duration of Brahma's life], a flame of fire emanates from the mouth of Ananta [from the bottom of the universe]. The yogi sees all the planets of the universe burning to ashes, and thus he leaves for Satyaloka by airplanes used by the great purified souls. The duration of life in Satyaloka is calculated to be 15,480,000,000,000 years. In that planet of Satyaloka, there is neither bereavement, nor old age nor death. There is no pain of any kind, and therefore there are no anxieties, save that sometimes, due to consciousness, there is a feeling of compassion for those unaware of the process of devotional service, who are subjected to unsurpassable miseries in the material world. After reaching Satyaloka, the devotee is specifically able to be incorporated fearlessly by the subtle body in an identity similar to that of the gross body, and one after another he gradually attains stages of existence from earthly to watery, fiery, glowing and airy, until he reaches the ethereal stage. The devotee thus surpasses the subtle objects of different senses like aroma by smelling, the palate by tasting, vision by seeing forms, touch by contacting, the vibrations of the ear by ethereal identification, and the sense organs by material activities. The devotee, thus surpassing the gross and the subtle forms of coverings, enters the plane of egoism. And in that status he merges the material modes of nature [ignorance and passion] in this point of neutralization and thus reaches egoism in goodness. After this, all egoism is merged in the mahat-tattva, and he comes to the point of pure self-realization. Only the purified soul can attain the perfection of associating with the Personality of Godhead in complete bliss and satisfaction in his constitutional state. Whoever is able to renovate such devotional perfection is never again attracted by this material world, and he never returns. Your Majesty Maharaja Pariksit, know that all that I have described in reply to your proper inquiry is just according to the version of the Vedas, and it is eternal truth. This was described personally by Lord Krishna unto Brahma, with whom the Lord was satisfied upon being properly worshiped. For those who are wandering in the material universe, there is no more auspicious means of deliverance than what is aimed at in the direct devotional service of Lord Krishna. The great personality Brahma, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna is the highest perfection of religion. The Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna is in every living being along with the individual soul. And this fact is perceived and hypothesized in our acts of seeing and taking help from the intelligence. O King, it is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere. Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Krishna, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him [the Personality of Godhead]. Chapter Three : Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: Maharaja Pariksit, as you have inquired from me as to the duty of the intelligent man who is on the threshold of death, so I have answered you. One who desires to be absorbed in the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence should worship the master of the Vedas [Lord Brahma or Brhaspati, the learned priest], one who desires powerful sex should worship the heavenly King, Indra, and one who desires good progeny should worship the great progenitors called the Prajapatis. One who desires good fortune should worship Durgadevi, the superintendent of the material world. One desiring to be very powerful should worship fire, and one who aspires only after money should worship the Vasus. One should worship the Rudra incarnations of Lord Shiva if he wants to be a great hero. One who wants a large stock of grains should worship Aditi. One who desires to attain the heavenly planets should worship the sons of Aditi. One who desires a worldly kingdom should worship Visvadeva, and one who wants to be popular with the general mass of population should worship the Sadhya demigod. One who desires a long span of life should worship the demigods known as the Asvini-kumaras, and a person desiring a strongly built body should worship the earth. One who desires stability in his post should worship the horizon and the earth combined. One who desires to be beautiful should worship the beautiful residents of the Gandharva planet, and one who desires a good wife should worship the Apsaras and the Urvasi society girls of the heavenly kingdom. One who desires domination over others should worship Lord Brahma, the head of the universe. One who desires tangible fame should worship the Personality of Godhead, and one who desires a good bank balance should worship the demigod Varuna. If one desires to be a greatly learned man he should worship Lord Shiva, and if one desires a good marital relation he should worship the chaste goddess Uma, the wife of Lord Shiva. One should worship Lord Vishnu or His devotee for spiritual advancement in knowledge, and for protection of heredity and advancement of a dynasty one should worship the various demigods. One who desires domination over a kingdom or an empire should worship the Manus. One who desires victory over an enemy should worship the demons, and one who desires sense gratification should worship the moon. But one who desires nothing of material enjoyment should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead. All the different kinds of worshipers of multidemigods can attain the highest perfectional benediction, which is spontaneous attraction unflinchingly fixed upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by the association of the pure devotee of the Lord. Transcendental knowledge in relation with the Supreme Lord Hari is knowledge resulting in the complete suspension of the waves and whirlpools of the material modes. Such knowledge is self-satisfying due to its being free from material attachment, and being transcendental it is approved by authorities. Who could fail to be attracted? Saunaka said: The son of Vyasadeva, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, was a highly learned sage and was able to describe things in a poetic manner. What did Maharaja Pariksit again inquire from him after hearing all that he had said? O learned Suta Gosvami! Please continue to explain such topics to us because we are all eager to hear. Besides that, topics which result in the discussion of the Lord Hari should certainly be discussed in the assembly of devotees. Maharaja Pariksit, the grandson of the Pandavas, was from his very childhood a great devotee of the Lord. Even while playing with dolls, he used to worship Lord Krishna by imitating the worship of the family Deity. Sukadeva Gosvami, the son of Vyasadeva, was also full in transcendental knowledge and was a great devotee of Lord Krishna, son of Vasudeva. So there must have been discussion of Lord Krishna, who is glorified by great philosophers and in the company of great devotees. Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead. Do the trees not live? Do the bellows of the blacksmith not breathe? All around us, do the beasts not eat and discharge semen? Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna, the deliverer from evils. One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and marvelous acts of the Personality of Godhead and has not sung or chanted loudly the worthy songs about the Lord is to be considered to possess earholes like the holes of snakes and a tongue like the tongue of a frog. The upper portion of the body, though crowned with a silk turban, is only a heavy burden if not bowed down before the Personality of Godhead who can award mukti [freedom]. And the hands, though decorated with glittering bangles, are like those of a dead man if not engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead Hari. The eyes which do not look at the symbolic representations of the Personality of Godhead Vishnu [His forms, name, quality, etc.] are like those printed on the plumes of the peacock, and the legs which do not move to the holy places [where the Lord is remembered] are considered to be like tree trunks. The person who has not at any time received the dust of the feet of the Lord's pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body. And the person who has never experienced the aroma of the tulasi leaves from the lotus feet of the Lord is also a dead body, although breathing. Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and the hairs stand on end. O Suta Gosvami, your words are pleasing to our minds. Please therefore explain this to us as it was spoken by the great devotee Sukadeva Gosvami, who is very expert in transcendental knowledge, and who spoke to Maharaja Pariksit upon being asked. Chapter Four : The Process of Creation Suta Gosvami said: Maharaja Pariksit, the son of Uttara, after hearing the speeches of Sukadeva Gosvami, which were all about the truth of the self, applied his concentration faithfully upon Lord Krishna. Maharaja Pariksit, as a result of his wholehearted attraction for Lord Krishna, was able to give up all deep-rooted affection for his personal body, his wife, his children, his palace, his animals like horses and elephants, his treasury house, his friends and relatives, and his undisputed kingdom. O great sages, the great soul Maharaja Pariksit, constantly rapt in thought of Lord Krishna, knowing well of his imminent death, renounced all sorts of fruitive activities, namely acts of religion, economic development and sense gratification, and thus fixed himself firmly in his natural love for Krishna and asked all these questions, exactly as you are asking me. Maharaja Pariksit said: O learned brahmana, you know everything because you are without material contamination. Therefore whatever you have spoken to me appears perfectly right. Your speeches are gradually destroying the darkness of my ignorance, for you are narrating the topics of the Lord. I beg to know from you how the Personality of Godhead, by His personal energies, creates these phenomenal universes as they are, which are inconceivable even to the great demigods. Kindly describe how the Supreme Lord, who is all-powerful, engages His different energies and different expansions in maintaining and again winding up the phenomenal world in the sporting spirit of a player. O learned brahmana, the transcendental activities of the Lord are all wonderful, and they appear inconceivable because even great endeavors by many learned scholars have still proved insufficient for understanding them. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one, whether He alone acts with the modes of material nature, or simultaneously expands in many forms, or expands consecutively to direct the modes of nature. Kindly clear up all these doubtful inquiries, because you are not only vastly learned in the Vedic literatures and self-realized in transcendence, but are also a great devotee of the Lord and are therefore as good as the Personality of Godhead. Suta Gosvami said: When Sukadeva Gosvami was thus requested by the King to describe the creative energy of the Personality of Godhead, he then systematically remembered the master of the senses [Sri Krishna], and to reply properly he spoke thus. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead who, for the creation of the material world, accepts the three modes of nature. He is the complete whole residing within the body of everyone, and His ways are inconceivable. I again offer my respectful obeisances unto the form of complete existence and transcendence, who is the liberator of the pious devotees from all distresses and the destroyer of the further advances in atheistic temperament of the nondevotee-demons. For the transcendentalists who are situated in the topmost spiritual perfection, He grants their specific destinations. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto He who is the associate of the members of the Yadu dynasty and who is always a problem for the nondevotees. He is the supreme enjoyer of both the material and spiritual worlds, yet He enjoys His own abode in the spiritual sky. There is no one equal to Him because His transcendental opulence is immeasurable. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all-auspicious Lord Sri Krishna, about whom glorification, remembrances, audience, prayers, hearing and worship can at once cleanse the effects of all sins of the performer. Let me offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto the all-auspicious Lord Sri Krishna. The highly intellectual, simply by surrendering unto His lotus feet, are relieved of all attachments to present and future existences and without difficulty progress toward spiritual existence. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all-auspicious Lord Sri Krishna again and again because the great learned sages, the great performers of charity, the great workers of distinction, the great philosophers and mystics, the great chanters of the Vedic hymns and the great followers of Vedic principles cannot achieve any fruitful result without dedication of such great qualities to the service of the Lord. Kirata, Huna, Andhra, Pulinda, Pulkasa, Abhira, Sumbha, Yavana, members of the Khasa races and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him. He is the Supersoul and the Supreme Lord of all self-realized souls. He is the personification of the Vedas, religious scriptures and austerities. He is worshiped by Lord Brahma and Shiva and all those who are transcendental to all pretensions. Being so revered with awe and veneration, may that Supreme Absolute be pleased with me. May Lord Sri Krishna, who is the worshipable Lord of all devotees, the protector and glory of all the kings like Andhaka and Vrsni of the Yadu dynasty, the husband of all goddesses of fortune, the director of all sacrifices and therefore the leader of all living entities, the controller of all intelligence, the proprietor of all planets, spiritual and material, and the supreme incarnation on the earth (the supreme all in all), be merciful upon me. It is the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna who gives liberation. By thinking of His lotus feet at every second, following in the footsteps of authorities, the devotee in trance can see the Absolute Truth. The learned mental speculators, however, think of Him according to their whims. May the Lord be pleased with me. May the Lord, who in the beginning of the creation amplified the potent knowledge of Brahma from within his heart and inspired him with full knowledge of creation and of His own Self, and who appeared to be generated from the mouth of Brahma, be pleased with me. May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who enlivens the materially created bodies of the elements by lying down within the universe, and who in His purusa incarnation causes the living being to be subjected to the sixteen divisions of material modes which are his generator, be pleased to decorate my statements. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of Vasudeva who compiled the Vedic scriptures. The pure devotees drink up the nectarean transcendental knowledge dropping from the lotuslike mouth of the Lord. My dear King, Brahma, the firstborn, on being questioned by Narada, exactly apprised him on this subject, as it was directly spoken by the Lord to His own son, who was impregnated with Vedic knowledge from his very birth. Chapter Five : The Cause of All Causes Sri Narada Muni asked Brahmaji: O chief amongst the demigods, O firstborn living entity, I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Please tell me that transcendental knowledge which specifically directs one to the truth of the individual soul and the Supersoul. My dear father, please describe factually the symptoms of this manifest world. What is its background? How is it created? How is it conserved? And under whose control is all this being done? My dear father, all this is known to you scientifically because whatever was created in the past, whatever will be created in the future, or whatever is being created at present, as well as everything within the universe, is within your grip, just like a walnut. My dear father, what is the source of your knowledge? Under whose protection are you standing? And under whom are you working? What is your real position? Do you alone create all entities with material elements by your personal energy? As the spider very easily creates the network of its cobweb and manifests its power of creation without being defeated by others, so also you yourself, by employment of your self-sufficient energy, create without any other's help. Whatever we can understand by the nomenclature, characteristics and features of a particular thing--superior, inferior or equal, eternal or temporary--is not created from any source other than that of Your Lordship, thou so great. Yet we are moved to wonder about the existence of someone more powerful than you when we think of your great austerities in perfect discipline, although your good self is so powerful in the matter of creation. My dear father, you know everything, and you are the controller of all. Therefore may all that I have inquired from you be kindly instructed to me so that I may be able to understand it as your student. Lord Brahma said: My dear boy Narada, being merciful to all (including me) you have asked all these questions because I have been inspired to see into the prowess of the Almighty Personality of Godhead. Whatever you have spoken about me is not false because unless and until one is aware of the Personality of Godhead, who is the ultimate truth beyond me, one is sure to be illusioned by observing my powerful activities. I create after the Lord's creation by His personal effulgence [known as the brahmajyoti], just as when the sun manifests its fire, the moon, the firmament, the influential planets and the twinkling stars also manifest their brightness. I offer my obeisances and meditate upon Lord Krishna [Vasudeva], the Personality of Godhead, whose invincible potency influences them [the less intelligent class of men] to call me the supreme controller. The illusory energy of the Lord cannot take precedence, being ashamed of her position, but those who are bewildered by her always talk nonsense, being absorbed in thoughts of "It is I" and "It is mine." The five elementary ingredients of creation, the interaction thereof set up by eternal time, and the intuition or nature of the individual living beings are all differentiated parts and parcels of the Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, and in truth there is no other value in them. The Vedic literatures are made by and are meant for the Supreme Lord, the demigods are also meant for serving the Lord as parts of His body, the different planets are also meant for the sake of the Lord, and different sacrifices are performed just to please Him. All different types of meditation or mysticism are means for realizing Narayana. All austerities are aimed at achieving Narayana. Culture of transcendental knowledge is for getting a glimpse of Narayana, and ultimately salvation is entering the kingdom of Narayana. Inspired by Him only, I discover what is already created by Him [Narayana] under His vision as the all-pervading Supersoul, and I also am created by Him only. The Supreme Lord is pure spiritual form, transcendental to all material qualities, yet for the sake of the creation of the material world and its maintenance and annihilation, He accepts through His external energy the material modes of nature called goodness, passion and ignorance. These three modes of material nature, being further manifested as matter, knowledge and activities, put the eternally transcendental living entity under conditions of cause and effect and make him responsible for such activities. O Brahmana Narada, the Superseer, the transcendent Lord, is beyond the perception of the material senses of the living entities because of the above- mentioned three modes of nature. But He is the controller of everyone, including me. The Lord, who is the controller of all energies, thus creates, by His own potency, eternal time, the fate of all living entities, and their particular nature, for which they were created, and He again merges them independently. After the incarnation of the first purusa [Karanarnavasayi Vishnu], the mahat- tattva, or the principles of material creation, take place, and then time is manifested, and in course of time the three qualities appear. Nature means the three qualitative appearances. They transform into activities. Material activities are caused by the mahat-tattva's being agitated. At first there is transformation of the modes of goodness and passion, and later--due to the mode of ignorance--matter, its knowledge, and different activities of material knowledge come into play. The self-centered materialistic ego, thus being transformed into three features, becomes known as the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance in three divisions, namely the powers that evolve matter, knowledge of material creations, and the intelligence that guides such materialistic activities. Narada, you are quite competent to understand this. From the darkness of false ego, the first of the five elements, namely the sky, is generated. Its subtle form is the quality of sound, exactly as the seer is in relationship with the seen. Because the sky is transformed, the air is generated with the quality of touch, and by previous succession the air is also full of sound and the basic principles of duration of life: sense perception, mental power and bodily strength. When the air is transformed in course of time and nature's course, fire is generated, taking shape with the sense of touch and sound. Since fire is also transformed, there is a manifestation of water, full of juice and taste. As previously, it also has form and touch and is also full of sound. And water, being transformed from all variegatedness on earth, appears odorous and, as previously, becomes qualitatively full of juice, touch, sound and form respectively. From the mode of goodness the mind is generated and becomes manifest, as also the ten demigods controlling the bodily movements. Such demigods are known as the controller of directions, the controller of air, the sun-god, the father of Daksa Prajapati, the Asvini-kumaras, the fire-god, the King of heaven, the worshipable deity in heaven, the chief of the Adityas, and Brahmaji, the Prajapati. All come into existence. By further transformation of the mode of passion, the sense organs like the ear, skin, nose, eyes, tongue, mouth, hands, genitals, legs, and the outlet for evacuating, together with intelligence and living energy, are all generated. O Narada, best of the transcendentalists, the forms of the body cannot take place as long as these created parts, namely the elements, senses, mind and modes of nature, are not assembled. Thus when all these became assembled by force of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this universe certainly came into being by accepting both the primary and secondary causes of creation. Thus all the universes remained thousands of eons within the water [the Causal Ocean], and the Lord of living beings, entering in each of them, caused them to be fully animated. The Lord [Maha-Vishnu], although lying in the Causal Ocean, came out of it, and dividing Himself as Hiranyagarbha, He entered into each universe and assumed the virat-rupa, with thousands of legs, arms, mouths, heads, etc. Great philosophers imagine that the complete planetary systems in the universe are displays of the different upper and lower limbs of the universal body of the Lord. The brahmanas represent His mouth, the ksatriyas His arms, the vaisyas His thighs, and the sudras are born of His legs. The lower planetary systems, up to the limit of the earthly stratum, are said to be situated in His legs. The middle planetary systems, beginning from Bhuvarloka, are situated in His navel. And the still higher planetary systems, occupied by the demigods and highly cultured sages and saints, are situated in the chest of the Supreme Lord. From the forefront of the chest up to the neck of the universal form of the Lord are situated the planetary systems named Janaloka and Tapoloka, whereas Satyaloka, the topmost planetary system, is situated on the head of the form. The spiritual planets, however, are eternal. My dear son Narada, know from me that there are seven lower planetary systems out of the total fourteen. The first planetary system, known as Atala, is situated on the waist; the second, Vitala, is situated on the thighs; the third, Sutala, on the knees; the fourth, Talatala, on the shanks; the fifth, Mahatala, on the ankles; the sixth, Rasatala, on the upper portion of the feet; and the seventh, Patala, on the soles of the feet. Thus the virat form of the Lord is full of all planetary systems. Others may divide the whole planetary system into three divisions, namely the lower planetary systems on the legs [up to the earth], the middle planetary systems on the navel, and the upper planetary systems [Svarloka] from the chest to the head of the Supreme Personality. Chapter Six : Purusa-sukta Confirmed Lord Brahma said: The mouth of the virat-purusa [the universal form of the Lord] is the generating center of the voice, and the controlling deity is fire. His skin and six other layers are the generating centers of the Vedic hymns, and His tongue is the productive center of different foodstuffs and delicacies for offering to the demigods, the forefathers and the general mass of people. His two nostrils are the generating centers of our breathing and of all other airs, His smelling powers generate the Asvini-kumara demigods and all kinds of medicinal herbs, and His breathing energies produce different kinds of fragrance. His eyes are the generating centers of all kinds of forms, and they glitter and illuminate. His eyeballs are like the sun and the heavenly planets. His ears hear from all sides and are receptacles for all the Vedas, and His sense of hearing is the generating center of the sky and of all kinds of sound. His bodily surface is the breeding ground for the active principles of everything and for all kinds of auspicious opportunities. His skin, like the moving air, is the generating center for all kinds of sense of touch and is the place for performing all kinds of sacrifice. The hairs on His body are the cause of all vegetation, particularly of those trees which are required as ingredients for sacrifice. The hairs on His head and face are reservoirs for the clouds, and His nails are the breeding ground of electricity, stones and iron ores. The Lord's arms are the productive fields for the great demigods and other leaders of the living entities who protect the general mass. Thus the forward steps of the Lord are the shelter for the upper, lower and heavenly planets, as well as for all that we need. His lotus feet serve as protection from all kinds of fear. From the Lord's genitals originate water, semen, generatives, rains, and the procreators. His genitals are the cause of a pleasure that counteracts the distress of begetting. O Narada, the evacuating outlet of the universal form of the Lord is the abode of the controlling deity of death, Mitra, and the evacuating hole and the rectum of the Lord is the place of envy, misfortune, death, hell, etc. The back of the Lord is the place for all kinds of frustration and ignorance, as well as for immorality. From His veins flow the great rivers and rivulets, and on His bones are stacked the great mountains. The impersonal feature of the Lord is the abode of great oceans, and His belly is the resting place for the materially annihilated living entities. His heart is the abode of the subtle material bodies of living beings. Thus it is known by the intelligent class of men. Also, the consciousness of that great personality is the abode of religious principles--mine, yours, and those of the four bachelors Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara and Sanandana. That consciousness is also the abode of truth and transcendental knowledge. Beginning from me [Brahma] down to you and Bhava [Shiva], all the great sages who were born before you, the demigods, the demons, the Nagas, the human beings, the birds, the beasts, as well as the reptiles, etc., and all phenomenal manifestations of the universes, namely the planets, stars, asteroids, luminaries, lightning, thunder, and the inhabitants of the different planetary systems, namely the Gandharvas, Apsaras, Yaksas, Raksas, Bhutaganas, Uragas, Pasus, Pitas, Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Caranas, and all other different varieties of living entities, including the birds, beasts, trees and everything that be, are all covered by the universal form of the Lord at all times, namely past, present and future, although He is transcendental to all of them, eternally existing in a form not exceeding nine inches. The sun illuminates both internally and externally by expanding its radiation; similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by expanding His universal form, maintains everything in the creation both internally and externally. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the controller of immortality and fearlessness, and He is transcendental to death and the fruitive actions of the material world. O Narada, O brahmana, it is therefore difficult to measure the glories of the Supreme Person. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is to be known as the supreme reservoir of all material opulences by the one fourth of His energy in which all the living entities exist. Deathlessness, fearlessness and freedom from the anxieties of old age and disease exist in the kingdom of God, which is beyond the three higher planetary systems and beyond the material coverings. The spiritual world, which consists of three fourths of the Lord's energy, is situated beyond this material world, and it is especially meant for those who will never be reborn. Others, who are attached to family life and who do not strictly follow celibacy vows, must live within the three material worlds. By His energies, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead is thus comprehensively the master in the activities of controlling and in devotional service. He is the ultimate master of both nescience and factual knowledge of all situations. From that Personality of Godhead, all the universal globes and the universal form with all material elements, qualities and senses are generated. Yet He is aloof from such material manifestations, like the sun, which is separate from its rays and heat. When I was born from the abdominal lotus flower of the Lord [Maha-Vishnu], the great person, I had no ingredients for sacrificial performances except the bodily limbs of the great Personality of Godhead. For performing sacrificial ceremonies, one requires sacrificial ingredients, such as flowers, leaves and straw, along with the sacrificial altar and a suitable time [spring]. Other requirements are utensils, grains, clarified butter, honey, gold, earth, water, the Rg Veda, Yajur Veda and Sama Veda and four priests to perform the sacrifice. Other necessities include invoking the different names of the demigods by specific hymns and vows of recompense, in accordance with the particular scripture, for specific purposes and by specific processes. Thus I had to arrange all these necessary ingredients and paraphernalia of sacrifice from the personal bodily parts of the Personality of Godhead. By invocation of the demigods' names, the ultimate goal, Vishnu, was gradually attained, and thus compensation and ultimate offering were complete. Thus I created the ingredients and paraphernalia for offering sacrifice out of the parts of the body of the Supreme Lord, the enjoyer of the sacrifice, and I performed the sacrifice to satisfy the Lord. My dear son, thereafter your nine brothers, who are the masters of living creatures, performed the sacrifice with proper rituals to satisfy both the manifested and nonmanifested personalities. Thereafter, the Manus, the fathers of mankind, the great sages, the forefathers, the learned scholars, the Daityas and mankind performed sacrifices meant to please the Supreme Lord. All the material manifestations of the universes are therefore situated in His powerful material energies, which He accepts self-sufficiently, although He is eternally without affinity for the material modes. By His will, I create, Lord Shiva destroys, and He Himself, in His eternal form as the Personality of Godhead, maintains everything. He is the powerful controller of these three energies. My dear son, whatever you inquired from me I have thus explained unto you, and you must know for certain that whatever there is (either as cause or as effect, both in the material and spiritual worlds) is dependent on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. O Narada, because I have caught hold of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, with great zeal, whatever I say has never proved to have been false. Nor is the progress of my mind ever deterred. Nor are my senses ever degraded by temporary attachment to matter. Although I am known as the great Brahma, perfect in the disciplic succession of Vedic wisdom, and although I have undergone all austerities and am an expert in mystic powers and self-realization, and although I am recognized as such by the great forefathers of the living entities, who offer me respectful obeisances, still I cannot understand Him, the Lord, the very source of my birth. Therefore it is best for me to surrender unto His feet, which alone can deliver one from the miseries of repeated birth and death. Such surrender is all- auspicious and allows one to perceive all happiness. Even the sky cannot estimate the limits of its own expansion. So what can others do when the Lord Himself is unable to estimate His own limits? Since neither Lord Shiva nor you nor I could ascertain the limits of spiritual happiness, how can other demigods know it? And because all of us are bewildered by the illusory external energy of the Supreme Lord, we can see only this manifested cosmos according to our individual ability. Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose incarnations and activities are chanted by us for glorification, though He can hardly be fully known as He is. That supreme original Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, expanding His plenary portion as Maha-Vishnu, the first incarnation, creates this manifested cosmos, but He is unborn. The creation, however, takes place in Him, and the material substance and manifestations are all Himself. He maintains them for some time and absorbs them into Himself again. The Personality of Godhead is pure, being free from all contaminations of material tinges. He is the Absolute Truth and the embodiment of full and perfect knowledge. He is all-pervading, without beginning or end, and without rival. O Narada, O great sage, the great thinkers can know Him when completely freed from all material hankerings and when sheltered under undisturbed conditions of the senses. Otherwise, by untenable arguments, all is distorted, and the Lord disappears from our sight. Karanarnavasayi Vishnu is the first incarnation of the Supreme Lord, and He is the master of eternal time, space, cause and effects, mind, the elements, the material ego, the modes of nature, the senses, the universal form of the Lord, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and the sum total of all living beings, both moving and nonmoving. I myself [Brahma], Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, great generators of living beings like Daksa and Prajapati, yourselves [Narada and the Kumaras], heavenly demigods like Indra and Candra, the leaders of the Bhurloka planets, the leaders of the earthly planets, the leaders of the lower planets, the leaders of the Gandharva planets, the leaders of the Vidyadhara planets, the leaders of the Caranaloka planets, the leaders of the Yaksas, Raksas and Uragas, the great sages, the great demons, the great atheists and the great spacemen, as well as the dead bodies, evil spirits, satans, jinn, kusmandas, great aquatics, great beasts and great birds, etc.--in other words, anything and everything which is exceptionally possessed of power, opulence, mental and perceptual dexterity, strength, forgiveness, beauty, modesty, opulence, and breeding, whether in form or formless--may appear to be the specific truth and the form of the Lord, but actually they are not so. They are only a fragment of the transcendental potency of the Lord. O Narada, now I shall state, one after another, the transcendental incarnations of the Lord known as lila-avataras. Hearing of their activities counteracts all foul matters accumulated in the ear. These pastimes are pleasing to hear and are to be relished. Therefore they are in my heart. Chapter Seven : Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions Lord Brahma said: When the unlimitedly powerful Lord assumed the form of a boar as a pastime, just to lift the planet earth, which was drowned in the great ocean of the universe called the Garbhodaka, the first demon [Hiranyaksa] appeared, and the Lord pierced him with His tusk. The Prajapati first begot Suyajna, in the womb of his wife Akuti, and then Suyajna begot demigods, headed by Suyama, in the womb of his wife Daksina. Suyajna, as the Indradeva, diminished very great miseries in the three planetary systems [upper, lower and intermediate], and because he so diminished the miseries of the universe, he was later called Hari by the great father of mankind, namely Svayambhuva Manu. The Lord then appeared as the Kapila incarnation, being the son of the prajapati brahmana Kardama and his wife, Devahuti, along with nine other women [sisters]. He spoke to His mother about self-realization, by which, in that very lifetime, she became fully cleansed of the mud of the material modes and thereby achieved liberation, the path of Kapila. The great sage Atri prayed for offspring, and the Lord, being satisfied with him, promised to incarnate as Atri's son, Dattatreya [Datta, the son of Atri]. And by the grace of the lotus feet of the Lord, many Yadus, Haihayas, etc., became so purified that they obtained both material and spiritual blessings. To create different planetary systems I had to undergo austerities and penance, and the Lord, thus being pleased with me, incarnated in four sanas [Sanaka, Sanat-kumara, Sanandana and Sanatana]. In the previous creation the spiritual truth was devastated, but the four sanas explained it so nicely that the truth at once became clearly perceived by the sages. To exhibit His personal way of austerity and penance, He appeared in twin forms as Narayana and Nara in the womb of Murti, the wife of Dharma and the daughter of Daksa. Celestial beauties, the companions of Cupid, went to try to break His vows, but they were unsuccessful, for they saw that many beauties like them were emanating from Him, the Personality of Godhead. Great stalwarts like Lord Shiva can, by their wrathful glances, overcome lust and vanquish him, yet they cannot be free from the overwhelming effects of their own wrath. Such wrath can never enter into the heart of Him [the Lord], who is above all this. So how can lust take shelter in His mind? Being insulted by sharp words spoken by the co-wife of the king, even in his presence, Prince Dhruva, though only a boy, took to severe penances in the forest. And the Lord, being satisfied by his prayer, awarded him the Dhruva planet, which is worshiped by great sages, both upward and downward. Maharaja Vena went astray from the path of righteousness, and the brahmanas chastised him by the thunderbolt curse. By this King Vena was burnt with his good deeds and opulence and was en route to hell. The Lord, by His causeless mercy, descended as his son, by the name of Prthu, delivered the condemned King Vena from hell, and exploited the earth by drawing all kinds of crops as produce. The Lord appeared as the son of Sudevi, the wife of King Nabhi, and was known as Rsabhadeva. He performed materialistic yoga to equibalance the mind. This stage is also accepted as the highest perfectional situation of liberation, wherein one is situated in one's self and is completely satisfied. The Lord appeared as the Hayagriva incarnation in a sacrifice performed by me [Brahma]. He is the personified sacrifices, and the hue of His body is golden. He is the personified Vedas as well, and the Supersoul of all demigods. When He breathed, all the sweet sounds of the Vedic hymns came out of His nostrils. At the end of the millennium, the would-be Vaivasvata Manu, of the name Satyavrata, would see that the Lord in the fish incarnation is the shelter of all kinds of living entities, up to those in the earthly planets. Because of my fear of the vast water at the end of the millennium, the Vedas come out of my [Brahma's] mouth, and the Lord enjoys those vast waters and protects the Vedas. The primeval Lord then assumed the tortoise incarnation in order to serve as a resting place [pivot] for the Mandara Mountain, which was acting as a churning rod. The demigods and demons were churning the ocean of milk with the Mandara Mountain in order to extract nectar. The mountain moved back and forth, scratching the back of Lord Tortoise, who, while partially sleeping, was experiencing an itching sensation. The Personality of Godhead assumed the incarnation of Nrsimhadeva in order to vanquish the great fears of the demigods. He killed the king of the demons [Hiranyakasipu], who challenged the Lord with a club in his hand, by placing the demon on His thighs and piercing him with His nails, rolling His eyebrows in anger and showing His fearful teeth and mouth. The leader of the elephants, whose leg was attacked in a river by a crocodile of superior strength, was much aggrieved. Taking a lotus flower in his trunk, he addressed the Lord, saying, "O original enjoyer, Lord of the universe! O deliverer, as famous as a place of pilgrimage! All are purified simply by hearing Your holy name, which is worthy to be chanted." The Personality of Godhead, after hearing the elephant's plea, felt that the elephant needed His immediate help, for he was in great distress. Thus at once the Lord appeared there on the wings of the king of birds, Garuda, fully equipped with His weapon, the wheel [cakra]. With the wheel He cut to pieces the mouth of the crocodile to save the elephant, and He delivered the elephant by lifting him by his trunk. The Lord, although transcendental to all material modes, still surpassed all the qualities of the sons of Aditi, known as the Adityas. The Lord appeared as the youngest son of Aditi. And because He surpassed all the planets of the universe, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. On the pretense of asking for a measurement of three footsteps of land, He took away all the lands of Bali Maharaja. He asked simply because without begging, no authority can take one's rightful possession. Bali Maharaja, who put on his head the water washed from the lotus feet of the Lord, did not think of anything besides his promise, in spite of being forbidden by his spiritual master. The king dedicated his own personal body to fulfill the measurement of the Lord's third step. For such a personality, even the kingdom of heaven, which he conquered by his strength, was of no value. O Narada, you were taught about the science of God and His transcendental loving service by the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation of Hamsavatara. He was very much pleased with you, due to your intense proportion of devotional service. He also explained unto you, lucidly, the full science of devotional service, which is especially understandable by persons who are souls surrendered unto Lord Vasudeva, the Personality of Godhead. As the incarnation of Manu, the Lord became the descendant of the Manu dynasty and ruled over the miscreant kingly order, subduing them by His powerful wheel weapon. Undeterred in all circumstances, His rule was characterized by His glorious fame, which spread over the three lokas, and above them to the planetary system of Satyaloka, the topmost in the universe. The Lord in His incarnation of Dhanvantari very quickly cures the diseases of the ever-diseased living entities simply by his fame personified, and only because of him do the demigods achieve long lives. Thus the Personality of Godhead becomes ever glorified. He also exacted a share from the sacrifices, and it is he only who inaugurated the medical science or the knowledge of medicine in the universe. When the ruling administrators, who are known as the ksatriyas, turned astray from the path of the Absolute Truth, being desirous to suffer in hell, the Lord, in His incarnation as the sage Parasurama, uprooted those unwanted kings, who appeared as the thorns of the earth. Thus He thrice seven times uprooted the ksatriyas with His keenly sharpened chopper. Due to His causeless mercy upon all living entities within the universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His plenary extensions, appeared in the family of Maharaja Iksvaku as the Lord of His internal potency, Sita. Under the order of His father, Maharaja Dasaratha, He entered the forest and lived there for considerable years with His wife and younger brother. Ravana, who was very materially powerful, with ten heads on his shoulders, committed a great offense against Him and was thus ultimately vanquished. The Personality of Godhead Ramacandra, being aggrieved for His distant intimate friend [Sita], glanced over the city of the enemy Ravana with red-hot eyes like those of Mara [who wanted to burn the kingdom of heaven]. The great ocean, trembling in fear, gave Him His way because its family members, the aquatics like the sharks, snakes and crocodiles, were being burnt by the heat of the angry red-hot eyes of the Lord. When Ravana was engaged in the battle, the trunk of the elephant which carried the King of heaven, Indra, broke in pieces, having collided with the chest of Ravana, and the scattered broken parts illuminated all directions. Ravana therefore felt proud of his prowess and began to loiter in the midst of the fighting soldiers, thinking himself the conqueror of all directions. But his laughter, overtaken by joy, along with his very air of life, suddenly ceased with the tingling sound of the bow of Ramacandra, the Personality of Godhead. When the world is overburdened by the fighting strength of kings who have no faith in God, the Lord, just to diminish the distress of the world, descends with His plenary portion. The Lord comes in His original form, with beautiful black hair. And just to expand His transcendental glories, He acts extraordinarily. No one can properly estimate how great He is. There is no doubt about Lord Krishna's being the Supreme Lord, otherwise how was it possible for Him to kill a giant demon like Putana when He was just on the lap of His mother, to overturn a cart with His leg when He was only three months old, to uproot a pair of arjuna trees, so high that they touched the sky, when He was only crawling? All these activities are impossible for anyone other than the Lord Himself. Then also when the cowherd boys and their animals drank the poisoned water of the River Yamuna, and after the Lord [in His childhood] revived them by His merciful glance, just to purify the water of the River Yamuna He jumped into it as if playing and chastised the venomous Kaliya snake, which was lurking there, its tongue emitting waves of poison. Who can perform such herculean tasks but the Supreme Lord ? On the very night of the day of the chastisement of the Kaliya snake, when the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi were sleeping carefreely, there was a forest fire ablaze due to dry leaves, and it appeared that all the inhabitants were sure to meet their death. But the Lord, along with Balarama, saved them simply by closing His eyes. Such are the superhuman activities of the Lord. When the cowherd woman [Krishna's foster mother, Yasoda] was trying to tie the hands of her son with ropes, she found the rope to be always insufficient in length, and when she finally gave up, Lord Krishna, by and by, opened His mouth, wherein the mother found all the universes situated. Seeing this, she was doubtful in her mind, but she was convinced in a different manner of the mystic nature of her son. Lord Krishna saved His foster father, Nanda Maharaja, from the fear of the demigod Varuna and released the cowherd boys from the caves of the mountain, for they were placed there by the son of Maya. Also, to the inhabitants of Vrndavana, who were busy working during daytime and sleeping soundly at night because of their hard labor in the day, Lord Krishna awarded promotion to the highest planet in the spiritual sky. All these acts are transcendental and certainly prove without any doubt His Godhood. When the cowherd men of Vrndavana, under instruction of Krishna, stopped offering sacrifice to the heavenly King, Indra, the whole tract of land known as Vraja was threatened with being washed away by constant heavy rains for seven days. Lord Krishna, out of His causeless mercy upon the inhabitants of Vraja, held up the hill known as Govardhana with one hand only, although He was only seven years old. He did this to protect the animals from the onslaught of water. When the Lord was engaged in His pastimes of the rasa dance in the forest of Vrndavana, enlivening the sexual desires of the wives of the inhabitants of Vrndavana by sweet and melodious songs, a demon of the name Sankhacuda, a rich follower of the treasurer of heaven [Kuvera], kidnapped the damsels, and the Lord severed his head from his trunk. All demonic personalities like Pralamba, Dhenuka, Baka, Kesi, Arista, Canura, Mustika, Kuvalayapida elephant, Kamsa, Yavana, Narakasura and Paundraka, great marshals like Salva, Dvivida monkey and Balvala, Dantavakra, the seven bulls, Sambara, Viduratha and Rukmi, as also great warriors like Kamboja, Matsya, Kuru, Srnjaya and Kekaya, would all fight vigorously, either with the Lord Hari directly or with Him under His names of Baladeva, Arjuna, Bhima, etc. And the demons, thus being killed, would attain either the impersonal brahmajyoti or His personal abode in the Vaikuntha planets. The Lord Himself in His incarnation as the son of Satyavati [Vyasadeva] will consider his compilation of the Vedic literature to be very difficult for the less intelligent persons with short life, and thus He will divide the tree of Vedic knowledge into different branches, according to the circumstances of the particular age. When the atheists, after being well versed in the Vedic scientific knowledge, annihilate inhabitants of different planets, flying unseen in the sky on well- built rockets prepared by the great scientist Maya, the Lord will bewilder their minds by dressing Himself attractively as Buddha and will preach on subreligious principles. Thereafter, at the end of Kali-yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God, even at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen of the three higher castes, and when the power of government is transferred to the hands of ministers elected from the lowborn sudra class or those less than them, and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser. At the beginning of creation there are penance, myself [Brahma], and the Prajapatis, the great sages who generate; then, during the maintenance of the creation, there are Lord Vishnu, the demigods with controlling powers, and the kings of different planets. But at the end there is irreligion, and then Lord Shiva and the atheists full of anger, etc. All of them are different representative manifestations of the energy of the supreme power, the Lord. Who can describe completely the prowess of Vishnu? Even the scientist, who might have counted the particles of the atoms of the universe, cannot do so. Because it is He only who in His form of Trivikrama moved His leg effortlessly beyond the topmost planet, Satyaloka, up to the neutral state of the three modes of material nature. And all were moved. Neither I nor all the sages born before you know fully the omnipotent Personality of Godhead. So what can others, who are born after us, know about Him? Even the first incarnation of the Lord, namely Sesa, has not been able to reach the limit of such knowledge, although He is describing the qualities of the Lord with ten hundred faces. But anyone who is specifically favored by the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, due to unalloyed surrender unto the service of the Lord, can overcome the insurmountable ocean of illusion and can understand the Lord. But those who are attached to this body, which is meant to be eaten at the end by dogs and jackals, cannot do so. O Narada, although the potencies of the Lord are unknowable and immeasurable, still, because we are all surrendered souls, we know how He acts through yogamaya potencies. And, similarly, the potencies of the Lord are also known to the all-powerful Shiva, the great king of the atheist family, namely Prahlada Maharaja, Svayambhuva Mahu, his wife Satarupa, his sons and daughters like Priyavrata, Uttanapada, Akuti, Devahuti and Prasuti, Pracinabarhi, Rbhu, Anga the father of Vena, Maharaja Dhruva, Iksvaku, Aila, Mucukunda, Maharaja Janaka, Gadhi, Raghu, Ambarisa, Sagara, Gaya, Nahusa, Mahdhata, Alarka, Satadhanve, Anu, Rantideva, Bhisma, Bali, Amurttaraya, Dilipa, Saubhari, Utanka, Sibi, Devala, Pippalada, Sarasvata, Uddhava, Parasara, Bhurisena, Vibhisana, Hanuman, Sukadeva Gosvami, Arjuna, Arstisena, Vidura, Srutadeva, etc. Surrendered souls, even from groups leading sinful lives, such as women, the laborer class, the mountaineers and the Siberians, or even the birds and beasts, can also know about the science of Godhead and become liberated from the clutches of the illusory energy by surrendering unto the pure devotees of the Lord and by following in their footsteps in devotional service. What is realized as the Absolute Brahman is full of unlimited bliss without grief. That is certainly the ultimate phase of the supreme enjoyer, the Personality of Godhead. He is eternally void of all disturbances and fearless. He is complete consciousness as opposed to matter. Uncontaminated and without distinctions, He is the principle primeval cause of all causes and effects, in whom there is no sacrifice for fruitive activities and in whom the illusory energy does not stand. In such a transcendental state there is no need of artificial control of the mind, mental speculation or meditation, as performed by the jnanis and yogis. One gives up such processes, as the heavenly King, Indra, forgoes the trouble to dig a well. The Personality of Godhead is the supreme master of everything auspicious because the results of whatever actions are performed by the living being, in either the material or spiritual existence, are awarded by the Lord. As such, He is the ultimate benefactor. Every individual living entity is unborn, and therefore even after the annihilation of the material elementary body, the living entity exists, exactly like the air within the body. My dear son, I have now explained in brief the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is creator of the manifested worlds. Without Him, Hari, the Lord, there are no other causes of the phenomenal and noumenal existences. O Narada, this science of God, Srimad-Bhagavatam, was spoken to me in summary by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it was spoken as the accumulation of His diverse potencies. Please expand this science yourself. Please describe the science of Godhead with determination and in a manner by which it will be quite possible for the human being to develop transcendental devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead Hari, the Supersoul of every living being and the summum bonum source of all energies. The Lord's activities in association with His different energies should be described, appreciated and heard in accordance with the teachings of the Supreme Lord. If this is done regularly with devotion and respect, one is sure to get out of the illusory energy of the Lord. Chapter Eight :Questions by King Pariksit King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: How did Narada Muni, whose hearers are as fortunate as those instructed by Lord Brahma, explain the transcendental qualities of the Lord, who is without material qualities, and before whom did he speak? The King said: I wish to know. Narrations concerning the Lord, who possesses wonderful potencies, are certainly auspicious for living beings in all planets. O greatly fortunate Sukadeva Gosvami, please continue narrating Srimad- Bhagavatam so that I can place my mind upon the Supreme Soul, Lord Krishna, and, being completely freed from material qualities, thus relinquish this body. Persons who hear Srimad-Bhagavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna manifested in their hearts within a short time. The sound incarnation of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Soul [i.e. Srimad- Bhagavatam], enters into the heart of a self-realized devotee, sits on the lotus flower of his loving relationship, and thus cleanses the dust of material association, such as lust, anger and hankering. Thus it acts like autumnal rains upon pools of muddy water. A pure devotee of the Lord whose heart has once been cleansed by the process of devotional service never relinquishes the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, for they fully satisfy him, as a traveler is satisfied at home after a troubled journey. O learned brahmana, the transcendental spirit soul is different from the material body. Does he acquire the body accidentally or by some cause? Will you kindly explain this, for it is known to you. If the Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whose abdomen the lotus stem sprouted, is possessed of a gigantic body according to His own caliber and measurement, then what is the specific difference between the body of the Lord and those of common living entities? Brahma, who was not born of a material source but of the lotus flower coming out of the navel abdomen of the Lord, is the creator of all those who are materially born. Of course, by the grace of the Lord, Brahma was able to see the form of the Lord. Please also explain the Personality of Godhead, who lies in every heart as the Supersoul, and as the Lord of all energies, but is untouched by His external energy. O learned brahmana, it was formerly explained that all the planets of the universe with their respective governors are situated in the different parts of the gigantic body of the virat-purusa. I have also heard that the different planetary systems are supposed to be in the gigantic body of the virat-purusa. But what is their actual position ? Will you please explain that? Also please explain the duration of time between creation and annihilation, and that of other subsidiary creations, as well as the nature of time, indicated by the sound of past, present and future. Also, please explain the duration and measurement of life of the different living beings known as the demigods, the human beings, etc., in different planets of the universe. O purest of the brahmanas, please also explain the cause of the different durations of time, both short and long, as well as the beginning of time, following the course of action. Then again, kindly describe how the proportionate accumulation of the reactions resulting from the different modes of material nature act upon the desiring living being, promoting or degrading him among the different species of life, beginning from the demigods down to the most insignificant creatures. O best of the brahmanas, please also describe how the creation of the globes throughout the universe, the four directions of the heavens, the sky, the planets, the stars, the mountains, the rivers, the seas and the islands, as well as their different kinds of inhabitants, takes place. Also, please describe the inner and outer space of the universe by specific divisions, as well as the character and activities of the great souls, and also the characteristics of the different classifications of the castes and orders of social life. Please explain all the different ages in the duration of the creation, and also the duration of such ages. Also tell me about the different activities of the different incarnations of the Lord in different ages. Please also explain what may generally be the common religious affiliations of human society, as well as their specific occupational duties in religion, the classification of the social orders as well as the administrative royal orders, and the religious principles for one who may be in distress. Kindly explain all about the elementary principles of creation, the number of such elementary principles, their causes, and their development, and also the process of devotional service and the method of mystic powers. What are the opulences of the great mystics, and what is their ultimate realization? How does the perfect mystic become detached from the subtle astral body? What is the basic knowledge of the Vedic literatures, including the branches of history and the supplementary Puranas? Please explain unto me how the living beings are generated, how they are maintained, and how they are annihilated. Tell me also of the advantages and disadvantages of discharging devotional service unto the Lord. What are the Vedic rituals and injunctions of the supplementary Vedic rites, and what are the procedures of religion, economic development and sense satisfaction? Please also explain how, merged in the body of the Lord, living beings are created, and how the infidels appear in the world. Also please explain how the unconditioned living entities exist. The independent Personality of Godhead enjoys His pastimes by His internal potency and at the time of annihilation gives them up to the external potency, and He remains a witness to it all. O great sage, representative of the Lord, kindly satisfy my inquisitiveness in all that I have inquired from you and all that I may not have inquired from you from the very beginning of my questionings. Since I am a soul surrendered unto you, please impart full knowledge in this connection. O great sage, you are as good as Brahma, the original living being. Others follow custom only, as followed by the previous philosophical speculators. O learned brahmana, because of my drinking the nectar of the message of the infallible Personality of Godhead, which is flowing down from the ocean of your speeches, I do not feel any sort of exhaustion due to my fasting. Suta Gosvami said: Thus Sukadeva Gosvami, being invited by Maharaja Pariksit to speak on topics of the Lord Sri Krishna with the devotees, was very much pleased. He began to reply to the inquiries of Maharaja Pariksit by saying that the science of the Personality of Godhead was spoken first by the Lord Himself to Brahma when he was first born. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the supplementary Vedic literature, and it is just in pursuance of the Vedas. He also prepared himself to reply to all that King Pariksit had inquired from him. Maharaja Pariksit was the best in the dynasty of the Pandus, and thus he was able to ask the right questions from the right person. Chapter Nine : Answers by Citing the Lord's Version Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, unless one is influenced by the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no meaning to the relationship of the pure soul in pure consciousness with the material body. That relationship is just like a dreamer's seeing his own body working. The illusioned living entity appears in so many forms offered by the external energy of the Lord. While enjoying in the modes of material nature, the encaged living entity misconceives, thinking in terms of "I" and "mine." As soon as the living entity becomes situated in his constitutional glory and begins to enjoy the transcendence beyond time and material energy, he at once gives up the two misconceptions of life [I and mine] and thus becomes fully manifested as the pure self. O King, the Personality of Godhead, being very much pleased with Lord Brahma because of his nondeceptive penance in bhakti-yoga, presented His eternal and transcendental form before Brahma. And that is the objective goal for purifying the conditioned soul. Lord Brahma, the first spiritual master, supreme in the universe, could not trace out the source of his lotus seat, and while thinking of creating the material world, he could not understand the proper direction for such creative work, nor could he find out the process for such creation. While thus engaged in thinking, in the water, Brahmaji heard twice from nearby two syllables joined together. One of the syllables was taken from the sixteenth and the other from the twenty-first of the sparsa alphabets, and both joined to become the wealth of the renounced order of life. When he heard the sound, he tried to find the speaker, searching on all sides. But when he was unable to find anyone besides himself, he thought it wise to sit down on his lotus seat firmly and give his attention to the execution of penance, as he was instructed. Lord Brahma underwent penances for one thousand years by the calculations of the demigods. He heard this transcendental vibration from the sky, and he accepted it as divine. Thus he controlled his mind and senses, and the penances he executed were a great lesson for the living entities. Thus he is known as the greatest of all ascetics. The Personality of Godhead, being thus very much satisfied with the penance of Lord Brahma, was pleased to manifest His personal abode, Vaikuntha, the supreme planet above all others. This transcendental abode of the Lord is adored by all self-realized persons freed from all kinds of miseries and fear of illusory existence. In that personal abode of the Lord, the material modes of ignorance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any of their influence in goodness. There is no predominance of the influence of time, so what to speak of the illusory, external energy; it cannot enter that region. Without discrimination, both the demigods and the demons worship the Lord as devotees. The inhabitants of the Vaikuntha planets are described as having a glowing sky- bluish complexion. Their eyes resemble lotus flowers, their dress is of yellowish color, and their bodily features very attractive. They are just the age of growing youths, they all have four hands, they are all nicely decorated with pearl necklaces with ornamental medallions, and they all appear to be effulgent. Some of them are effulgent like coral and diamonds in complexion and have garlands on their heads, blooming like lotus flowers, and some wear earrings. The Vaikuntha planets are also surrounded by various airplanes, all glowing and brilliantly situated. These airplanes belong to the great mahatmas or devotees of the Lord. The ladies are as beautiful as lightning because of their celestial complexions, and all these combined together appear just like the sky decorated with both clouds and lightning. The goddess of fortune in her transcendental form is engaged in the loving service of the Lord's lotus feet, and being moved by the black bees, followers of spring, she is not only engaged in variegated pleasure--service to the Lord, along with her constant companions--but is also engaged in singing the glories of the Lord's activities. Lord Brahma saw in the Vaikuntha planets the Personality of Godhead, who is the Lord of the entire devotee community, the Lord of the goddess of fortune, the Lord of all sacrifices, and the Lord of the universe, and who is served by the foremost servitors like Nanda, Sunanda, Prabala and Arhana, His immediate associates. The Personality of Godhead, seen leaning favorably towards His loving servitors, His very sight intoxicating and attractive, appeared to be very much satisfied. He had a smiling face decorated with an enchanting reddish hue. He was dressed in yellow robes and wore earrings and a helmet on his head. He had four hands, and His chest was marked with the lines of the goddess of fortune. The Lord was seated on His throne and was surrounded by different energies like the four, the sixteen, the five, and the six natural opulences, along with other insignificant energies of the temporary character. But He was the factual Supreme Lord, enjoying His own abode. Lord Brahma, thus seeing the Personality of Godhead in His fullness, was overwhelmed with joy within his heart, and thus in full transcendental love and ecstasy, his eyes filled with tears of love. He thus bowed down before the Lord. That is the way of the highest perfection for the living being [paramahamsa]. And seeing Brahma present before Him, the Lord accepted him as worthy to create living beings, to be controlled as He desired, and thus being much satisfied with him, the Lord shook hands with Brahma and, slightly smiling, addressed him thus. The beautiful Personality of Godhead addressed Lord Brahma: O Brahma, impregnated with the Vedas, I am very much pleased with your long accumulated penance with the desire for creation. Hardly am I pleased with the pseudo mystics. I wish you good luck. O Brahma, you may ask from Me, the giver of all benediction, all that you may desire. You may know that the ultimate benediction, as the result of all penances, is to see Me by realization. The highest perfectional ingenuity is the personal perception of My abodes, and this has been possible because of your submissive attitude in the performance of severe penance according to My order. O sinless Brahma, you may know from Me that it was I who first ordered you to undergo penance when you were perplexed in your duty. Such penance is My heart and soul, and therefore penance and I are nondifferent. I create this cosmos by such penance, I maintain it by the same energy, and I withdraw it all by the same energy. Therefore the potential power is penance only. Lord Brahma said: O Personality of Godhead, You are situated in every living entity's heart as the supreme director, and therefore You are aware of all endeavors by Your superior intelligence, without any hindrance whatsoever. In spite of that, my Lord, I am praying to You to kindly fulfill my desire. May I please be informed how, in spite of Your transcendental form, You assume the mundane form, although You have no such form at all. And [please inform me] how You, by Your own Self, manifest different energies for annihilation, generation, acceptance and maintenance by combination and permutation. O master of all energies, please tell me philosophically all about them. You play like a spider that covers itself by its own energy, and Your determination is infallible. Please tell me so that I may be taught in the matter by the instruction of the Personality of Godhead and may thus act instrumentally to generate living entities, without being conditioned by such activities. O my Lord, the unborn, You have shaken hands with me just as a friend does with a friend [as if equal in position]. I shall be engaged in the creation of different types of living entities, and I shall be occupied in Your service. I shall have no perturbation, but I pray that all this may not give rise to pride, as if I were the Supreme. The Personality of Godhead said: Knowledge about Me as described in the scriptures is very confidential, and it has to be realized in conjunction with devotional service. The necessary paraphernalia for that process is being explained by Me. You may take it up carefully. All of Me, namely My actual eternal form and My transcendental existence, color, qualities and activities--let all be awakened within you by factual realization, out of My causeless mercy. Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead. O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me, has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to be in darkness. O Brahma, please know that the universal elements enter into the cosmos and at the same time do not enter into the cosmos; similarly, I Myself also exist within everything created, and at the same time I am outside of everything. A person who is searching after the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, most certainly search for it up to this, in all circumstances, in all space and time, and both directly and indirectly. O Brahma, just follow this conclusion by fixed concentration of mind, and no pride will disturb you, neither in the partial nor in the final devastation. Sukadeva Gosvami said to Maharaja Pariksit: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, after being seen in His transcendental form, instructing Brahmaji, the leader of the living entities, disappeared. On the disappearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who is the object of transcendental enjoyment for the senses of devotees, Brahma, with folded hands, began to re-create the universe, full with living entities, as it was previously. Thus once upon a time the forefather of living entities and the father of religiousness, Lord Brahma, situated himself in acts of regulative principles, desiring self-interest for the welfare of all living entities. Narada, the most dear of the inheritor sons of Brahma, always ready to serve his father, strictly follows the instructions of his father by his mannerly behavior, meekness and sense control. Narada very much pleased his father and desired to know all about the energies of Vishnu, the master of all energies, for Narada was the greatest of all sages and greatest of all devotees, O King. The great sage Narada also inquired in detail from his father, Brahma, the great-grandfather of all the universe, after seeing him well satisfied. Thereupon the supplementary Vedic literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam, which was described by the Personality of Godhead and which contains ten characteristics, was told with satisfaction by the father [Brahma] to his son Narada. In succession, O King, the great sage Narada instructed Srimad-Bhagavatam unto the unlimitedly powerful Vyasadeva, who meditated in devotional service upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, on the bank of the River Sarasvati. O King, your questions as to how the universe became manifested from the gigantic form of the Personality of Godhead, as well as other questions, I shall answer in detail by explanation of the four verses already mentioned. Chapter Ten : Bhagavatam Is the Answer to All Questions Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: In the Srimad-Bhagavatam there are ten divisions of statements regarding the following: the creation of the universe, subcreation, planetary systems, protection by the Lord, the creative impetus, the change of Manus, the science of God, returning home, back to Godhead, liberation, and the summum bonum. To isolate the transcendence of the summum bonum, the symptoms of the rest are described sometimes by Vedic inference, sometimes by direct explanation, and sometimes by summary explanations given by the great sages. The elementary creation of sixteen items of matter--namely the five elements [fire, water, land, air and sky], sound, form, taste, smell, touch, and the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and mind--is known as sarga, whereas subsequent resultant interaction of the modes of material nature is called visarga. The right situation for the living entities is to obey the laws of the Lord and thus be in perfect peace of mind under the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Manus and their laws are meant to give right direction in life. The impetus for activity is the desire for fruitive work. The science of God describes the incarnations of the Personality of Godhead and His different activities together with the activities of His great devotees. The merging of the living entity, along with his conditional living tendency, with the mystic lying down of the Maha-Vishnu is called the winding up of the cosmic manifestation. Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies. The supreme one who is celebrated as the Supreme Being or the Supreme Soul is the supreme source of the cosmic manifestation as well as its reservoir and winding up. Thus He is the Supreme Fountainhead, the Absolute Truth. The individual person possessing different instruments of senses is called the adhyatmic person, and the individual controlling deity of the senses is called adhidaivic. The embodiment seen on the eyeballs is called the adhibhautic person. All three of the above-mentioned stages of different living entities are interdependent. In the absence of one, another is not understood. But the Supreme Being who sees every one of them as the shelter of the shelter is independent of all, and therefore He is the supreme shelter. After separating the different universes, the gigantic universal form of the Lord [Maha-Vishnu], which came out of the causal ocean, the place of appearance for the first purusa-avatara, entered into each of the separate universes, desiring to lie on the created transcendental water [Garbhodaka]. That Supreme Person is not impersonal and therefore is distinctively a nara, or person. Therefore the transcendental water created from the Supreme Nara is known as nara. And because He lies down on that water, He is known as Narayana. One should definitely know that all material ingredients, activities, time and modes, and the living entities who are meant to enjoy them all, exist by His mercy only, and as soon as He does not care for them, everything becomes nonexistent. The Lord, while lying on His bed of mystic slumber, generated the seminal symbol, golden in hue, through external energy out of His desire to manifest varieties of living entities from Himself alone. Just hear from me how the potency of His Lordship divides one into three, called the controlling entities, the controlled entities and the material bodies, in the manner mentioned above. From the sky situated within the transcendental body of the manifesting Maha- Vishnu, sense energy, mental force and bodily strength are all generated, as well as the sum total of the fountainhead of the total living force. As the followers of a king follow their lord, similarly when the total energy is in motion, all other living entities move, and when the total energy stops endeavoring, all other living entities stop sensual activities. The living force, being agitated by the virat-purusa, generated hunger and thirst, and when He desired to drink and eat, the mouth opened. From the mouth the palate became manifested, and thereupon the tongue was also generated. After this all the different tastes came into existence so that the tongue can relish them. When the Supreme desired to speak, speeches were vibrated from the mouth. Then the controlling deity Fire was generated from the mouth. But when He was lying in the water, all these functions remained suspended. Thereafter, when the supreme purusa desired to smell odors, the nostrils and respiration were generated, the nasal instrument and odors came into existence, and the controlling deity of air, carrying smell, also became manifested. Thus when everything existed in darkness, the Lord desired to see Himself and all that was created. Then the eyes, the illuminating god Sun, the power of vision and the object of sight all became manifested. By development of the desire of the great sages to know, the ears, the power of hearing, the controlling deity of hearing, and the objects of hearing became manifested. The great sages desired to hear about the Self. When there was a desire to perceive the physical characteristics of matter, such as softness, hardness, warmth, cold, lightness and heaviness, the background of sensation, the skin, the skin pores, the hairs on the body and their controlling deities (the trees) were generated. Within and outside the skin is a covering of air through which sense perception became prominent. Thereafter when the Supreme Person desired to perform varieties of work, the two hands and their controlling strength, and Indra, the demigod in heaven, became manifested, as also the acts dependent on both the hands and the demigod. Thereupon, because of His desiring to control movement, His legs became manifested, and from the legs the controlling deity named Vishnu was generated. By His personal supervision of this act, all varieties of human being are busily engaged in dutiful occupational sacrifice. Thereupon, for sexual pleasure, begetting offspring and tasting heavenly nectar, the Lord developed the genitals, and thus there is the genital organ and its controlling deity, the Prajapati. The object of sexual pleasure and the controlling deity are under the control of the genitals of the Lord. Thereafter, when He desired to evacuate the refuse of eatables, the evacuating hole, anus, and the sensory organ thereof developed along with the controlling deity Mitra. The sensory organ and the evacuating substance are both under the shelter of the controlling deity. Thereafter, when He desired to move from one body to another, the navel and the air of departure and death were combinedly created. The navel is the shelter for both, namely death and the separating force. When there was a desire to have food and drink, the abdomen and the intestines and also the arteries became manifested. The rivers and seas are the source of their sustenance and metabolism. When there was a desire to think about the activities of His own energy, then the heart (the seat of the mind), the mind, the moon, determination and all desire became manifested. The seven elements of the body, namely the thin layer on the skin, the skin itself, the flesh, blood, fat, marrow and bone, are all made of earth, water and fire, whereas the life breath is produced by the sky, water and air. The sense organs are attached to the modes of material nature, and the modes of material nature are products of the false ego. The mind is subjected to all kinds of material experiences (happiness and distress), and the intelligence is the feature of the mind's deliberation. Thus by all this, the external feature of the Personality of Godhead is covered by gross forms such as those of planets, which were explained to you by me. Therefore beyond this [gross manifestation] is a transcendental manifestation finer than the finest form. It has no beginning, no intermediate stage and no end; therefore it is beyond the limits of expression or mental speculation and is distinct from the material conception. Neither of the above forms of the Lord, as just described unto you from the material angle of vision, is accepted by the pure devotees of the Lord who know Him well. He, the Personality of Godhead, manifests Himself in a transcendental form, being the subject of His transcendental name, quality, pastimes, entourage and transcendental variegatedness. Although He is unaffected by all such activities, He appears to be so engaged. O King, know from me that all living entities are created by the Supreme Lord according to their past deeds. This includes Brahma and his sons like Daksa, the periodical heads like Vaivasvata Manu, the demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuna, the great sages like Bhrgu, Vyasa and Vasistha, the inhabitants of Pitrloka and Siddhaloka, the Caranas, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, Asuras, Yaksas, Kinnaras and angels, the serpentines, the monkey-shaped Kimpurusas, the human beings, the inhabitants of Matrloka, the demons, Pisacas, ghosts, spirits, lunatics and evil spirits, the good and evil stars, the goblins, the animals in the forest, the birds, the household animals, the reptiles, the mountains, the moving and standing living entities, the living entities born from embryos, from eggs, from perspiration and from seeds, and all others, whether they be in the water, land or sky, in happiness, in distress or in mixed happiness and distress. All of them, according to their past deeds, are created by the Supreme Lord. According to the different modes of material nature--the mode of goodness, the mode of passion and the mode of darkness--there are different living creatures, who are known as demigods, human beings and hellish living entities. O King, even a particular mode of nature, being mixed with the other two, is divided into three, and thus each kind of living creature is influenced by the other modes and acquires its habits also. He, the Personality of Godhead, as the maintainer of all in the universe, appears in different incarnations after establishing the creation, and thus He reclaims all kinds of conditioned souls amongst the humans, the nonhumans and the demigods. Thereafter, at the end of the millennium, the Lord Himself in the form of Rudra, the destroyer, will annihilate the complete creation as the wind displaces the clouds. The great transcendentalists thus describe the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the pure devotees deserve to see more glorious things in transcendence, beyond these features. There is no direct engineering by the Lord for the creation and destruction of the material world. What is described in the Vedas about His direct interference is simply to counteract the idea that material nature is the creator. This process of creation and annihilation described in summary herein is the regulative principle during the duration of Brahma's one day. It is also the regulative principle in the creation of mahat, in which the material nature is dispersed. O King, I shall in due course explain the measurement of time in its gross and subtle features with the specific symptoms of each, but for the present let me explain unto you the Padma-kalpa. Saunaka Rsi, after hearing all about the creation, inquired from Suta Gosvami about Vidura, for Suta Gosvami had previously informed him how Vidura left home, leaving aside all his relatives, who were very difficult to leave. Saunaka Rsi said: Let us know, please, what topics were discussed between Vidura and Maitreya, who talked on transcendental subjects, and what was inquired by Vidura and replied by Maitreya. Also please let us know the reason for Vidura's giving up the connection of his family members, and why he again came home. Please also let us know the activities of Vidura while he was in the places of pilgrimage. Sri Suta Gosvami explained: I shall now explain to you the very subjects explained by the great sage in answer to King Pariksit's inquiries. Please hear them attentively.