(1) Nârada said [to the Creator]: 'My obeisances to you, o god of the demi-gods, as you are the first one, giving life to the living beings. Please explain which knowledge specifically directs the transcendental.
(2) What is the form, the background and from where is this world created, o master, how is it conserved, what controls it and please what of this is factually real?
(3) All this for sure is known by your good self, as you know all that has become, will become and is becoming, master, the universe is like a walnut in your scientific grip.
(4) What is the source of your wisdom, under whose protection and ordination are you and in what capacity do you alone create the lives of all beings with the elements of matter that are for sure empowered by the soul?
(5) Employed like a spider, you self-sufficient manifest without any help out of your own all those [lives] without being defeated yourself.
(6) Whether or not I know myself as superior or inferior in this world, or as an equal, o powerful one, the qualities of name and form of all that eternally came into existence are just temporary, like anything else that originated from another source.
(7) He, who of his good self undertook severe meditation in perfect discipline and made us suffer for that reason gives us the chance to doubt on the good of the ultimate truth.
(8) All this I wonder about with all the inquiries on the all-knowing controller over all; please explain this so that I will surely be able to understand it myself as a follower of your argument.'
(9) The Creator answered: 'O gentle one, so dear to me, you are very kind in your perfect inquiries that inspire me to the heroism of the Supreme Lord.
(10) You don't miss the point in what you just said in your describing me; my dear, without the Supreme beyond, knowing me it will certainly be the way you said it about me.
(11) From the light of the radiating world [called brahmajyoti] I do manifest just like the sun and the fire, as well as the moon as also the firmament with its planets between the stars.
(12) My obeisances are unto Him, the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva upon whom I meditate, by whose invincible potencies one calls me the teacher [guru] of the world.
(13) Being shameful of staying in front with the bewildering material energy, those who are deluded abuse their words in talking of 'I' and 'mine', but thus speaking I am ill understood.
(14) The five elements in their interaction in Eternal Time as also the intuition or nature of the living being certainly are part of Vâsudeva, o brahmin; never is there in truth any value in them being separate.
(15) Nârâyana [Krishna as the four-armed original Personality of God and primordial Lord of man] is the cause of the knowledge, the demigods are His helping hands, for His sake do the worlds exist and all sacrifices are just there to please Him, the Supreme Lord.
(16) The concentration of mind is just there to know Nârâyana, austerity is just there to achieve Nârâyana, the culture of transcendence is just there to become aware of Nârâyana and the progress on the path of salvation is there only to enter the kingdom of Nârâyana.
(17) Inspired by His glancing me over I become aware of His surely modeling me by His vision, control and supreme intelligence as the Supersoul of that which has become and is becoming.
(18) Of this [modal reality of] goodness, passion and slowness [see 4.23], that because of the Almighty [Lord of Time] by the external energy was accepted, are there the three qualities of transcendence: maintenance, creation and destruction.
(19) Under the influence of the modes of the material energy is the eternally liberated living entity conditioned to the material knowledge [of I and mine] that manifests by the symptoms of cause and effect in material activities.
(20) He, this Supreme Lord who by the symptoms of all these three modes is, as the Superseer, verily unseen in His movements, o brahmin, is of everyone as well as of me the controller.
(21) [The Lord of] Eternal Time, the controller of the deluding potency of matter [mâyâ] that sets the workload [karma] as also the specific nature [or svabhâva - of the living entity], by the energy of its [His] own Self appears, independently merged, employing different forms.
(22) From that Eternal Time it so happened that because of the transformation of the activities created by the modes of nature, the original person His modification of the principle reality [the maha tattva] took place.
(23) But of the transformation of the principle reality the modes of passion and goodness were being increased so that [countering it in reaction] a prominence of the mode of darkness took place with its single material knowledge and predominance of material activities.
(24) That transformed material ego, thus said, manifested manifested itself in its three features of as well goodness, passion as ignorance, and thus, o master, were divided the powers of material action, knowledge in creation and guidance in intelligence.
(25) From the idenfication with the darkness of matter surely of the transformation to that mode the [fifth element of the] sky was developed with its subtle form and qualities of sound characteristics to the seer that relates to what is seen.
(26-29) Of the transformation to the sky one came through the quality of the air in touch with the previous in succession to the full of sound [the oral tradition e.g.] and thus also to a life of discrimination and the might of strength. Likewise fransforming to that air time as a reaction to the past naturally generated the element of fire duly giving form, touch and sound also [in books e.g.]. Of that fire of being transformed it also happened that one came in touch with the juices and taste of the element of water which, like seen before, also gave sound in succession [tears, saliva, semen, blood, milk]. But by the variegatedness of that transformation of water next in succession became the odorous [of the earth element] of the juice taking the form of the qualities of touch and sound.
(30) From the mode of goodness [thus] the mind of the godly generated that act in that goodness, counting the ten of them as the controller of the directions, the air, the sun, the waters [Varuna], the longevity [As'vini Kumâra's associated with the smell], the fire, the heavens [Indra], the deity of transcendence, ceasing [Mitra, associated with the evacuation] and the spirit [Brahmâ].
(31) From the passion of ego the according tenfold transformation concerning the power of knowledge and action to the five senses took place giving the intelligence to the living energy of all its hearing, touching, smelling, seeing and tasting to the speaking, handling, procreating, walking and defecating.
(32) For the time that all these elements of the senses and the mind to the modes of nature remained separate, for that time the body [of man and mankind] could not be formed, o [Nârada] best one in knowledge.
(33) When all those [elements] one after another assembled by the Supreme Energy were applied and that also in acceptance of their primary and secondary nature, both [likewise material and spiritual realities] of this universe clearly came into being.
(34) Countless millennia that universal reality remained drowned in the [causal] waters until the individual soul [jîva or the Lord] of the action of eternal time to the modes of nature caused the non-animated to be animated.
(35) He Himself as the original person [the purusha] came out from within the universal egg dividing Himself in thousands of divisions of legs, arms, eyes, mouths and heads.
(36) The great philosophers imagine that all the worlds in the universe are like the limbs of the body with seven systems to the lower and seven to the upper part of what can be seen.
(37) Of the mouth of the original personal the brahmins manifested, the ruling class came from His arms, from the Supreme Lord His thighs the traders came forth while the laborer class is of His legs.
(38) The earthly [lower] worlds are of His legs one says, the ethereal worlds are from His belly, the heavenly worlds from the heart are of the chest while the supreme worlds of the saints and sages are of the great Soul.
(39) While up to the neck one finds the worlds of manhood and next from the chest the worlds of renunciation and the worlds of truth with the head, it is the worlds of the spirit that are found in the eternal.
(40-41) With down his waist the first of the lower worlds, the second on the hips, the third down to the knees, the fourth on the shanks, the fifth from His ankles, the sixth on His feet and the seventh on the soles of His feet [compare 2-1: 26-39], the body of the Lord [virât rûpa or universal form] is full of all the worlds.
(42) Thus one [threefold] imagines oneself the earthly planets situated on the legs, the ethereal worlds on the region of His navel and the heavenly worlds from the chest upward or else the worlds as assumed otherwise [in a four or fourteen