(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'At the source of the celestial river [the Ganges], the best of the Kuru's, Vidura who had come closer to the Infallible One, sat before Maitreya Muni, whose knowledge was fathomless, and with perfect respect he politely inquired from his satisfaction in transcendence. (2) Vidura said: 'For the sake of happiness everyone in this world engages in fruitive activities, but by those activities one never attains to happiness or another idea of contentment, on the contrary, one certainly finds misery that way. Please, o great one, kindly enlighten us on what would be the right course under which circumstances. (3) Because of their compassion towards the common man, who turned his face against Lord Krishna and who under the influence of the material world is always unhappy in neglect of his duties to God, the great souls of sacrifice wander around for the sake of the Lord of the three worlds. (4) Therefore o greatest among the saints, please instruct me on the path that is favorable for our serving perfectly the Supreme Lord who, residing in the heart of the living being, awards the unalloyed devotee the knowledge of the principal reality by which one learns from history [the Veda]. (5) How does the self sufficient Supreme Lord and ruler of the three worlds, although desireless, by accepting incarnations arrange, through His transcendental activities in the created universe, the regulative principles for its maintenance? (6) How can He, returning back to His form in the universe, lie down within it without concerns about His existence as the Lord of Unification that is the one and only original proprietor after whom innumerable others enter existence likewise? (7) Why is it that, manifesting His pastimes for the welfare of the twice born, the cows and the devoted ones, and with His operating in different incarnations, the mind is never satisfied in spite of continuously hearing about the underlying auspicious characteristics of the Lord? (8) By the reality of which differentiation does the King of all kings and worlds from the lowest on together with them plan therein for certain the existence as it appears to be of the living entities in their different occupations? (9) And, please describe us o chief among the brahmins, how the Lord of man, Nârâyana, did settle, for those who are born, the differentiation of their engagements, their specific forms as also their dispersed cultures.
(10) O my Lord, I heard from the mouth of Vyâsadeva repeatedly about the higher and lower of these occupations, but I am little satisfied about the happiness derived from that without hearing the nectar of the talks about Krishna. (11) Who can find satisfaction [without the nectar]; from the talks entering one's ears about the journey for the feet, is, by the One who in human society is worshiped so by the great devotees, a man's bondage by the affection for his family cut off! (12) The sage Krishna-dvaipâyana Vyâsa, who is your friend too, has described the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord in the Mahâbhârata which is just there to draw the attention of the people that take pleasure in attending to worldly topics towards the stories of the Lord. (13) That interest of belief will bring about indifference to other things; the one in constant remembrance of the Lord His feet has achieved the bliss that vanquishes all miseries without delay. (14) I pity all those ignorant pitiable of the pitiable who of their sins are in decay of vigilance towards God and who waste the length of their lives with useless philosophical exercises, imaginative ultimate goals and a diversity of rituals. (15) Therefore, o Maitreya, heartening the good fortune of everyone, please describe us of all topics the essence: the talks about the Lord that like the nectar of flowers are the glorious of pilgrimage. (16) Please recite all pertaining to the transcendental superhuman activities accomplished by the Lord through His acceptance of incarnations centering on the maintenance of the created of His universe. '
(17) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus the great sage His lordship Maitreya as requested did Vidura the great honor to expound on this to him for the ultimate welfare of all. (18) S'rî Maitreya said: ' All blessings to you, o good one, your asking me for the sake of all is proof of the goodness of your mercy to broadcast the glories of the soul in the Transcendental of the mind in this world. (19) It does not astonish me to find you in this, without deviation of thought, in acceptance of the Supreme Personality our Lord, o Vidura, as you were born from the semen of Vyâsa. (20) You are the one born from the curse of the powerful sage Mândavya Muni as the incarnation of Yamarâja, the controller of death, from the maidservant of the brother [Vicitravîrya] and the son [Vyâsadeva] of Satyavatî [see family tree]. (21) You, your goodness, are recognized as one of the eternal associates of the Supreme Lord, who, on His return to His abode, has given me the knowledge and order to instruct you. (22) Therefore I shall describe to you systematically the pastimes pertaining to the Supreme Lord His greatly extended external energy for the maintenance, creation and dissolution of the cosmic reality.
(23) The one and Supreme Lord was there prior to the creation as the soul of the living entities mastering the self and being merged in its longing He is seen as being different with different characteristics. (24) At that time He was with all of these not seen as the undisputed proprietor in the cosmic creation and was thought to be nonexistent with His plenary portions unmanifested to the power of His manifest internal potency. (25) The external energy is of the perfection of the seer, that is the Lord, seen as the power of the operation of cause and effect and is called mâyâ [or the deluding influence of matter], o fortunate one, of which the Almighty has constructed this world. (26) The Supreme Living Being, by the incarnation of the Original Person, which is the plenary expansion of the original soul, impregnated through the seeds of the living entities, under the influence of time, the external energy in being the Transcendence to the modes of mâyâ. (27) Thereafter came about, by the interaction of time, from the unmanifested, the sum total of unalloyed goodness that could root in the embodied to manifest the supreme light of complete universes. (28) That sum total, which must as well be considered a plenary expansion of the soul to the mode and time, differentiated as the reservoir of the becoming entities into the many different forms of the range of sight of the Personality of Godhead and of this one saw the generation of its falsification.
(29) The great of the causal truth [mahâtattva], transformed into the material reality of false ego, gave rise to effects, the material cause and the doer and thus sprouted to the self its senses the material ingredients of the three kinds of false ego known as the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance that one finds on the mental plane. (30) By transformation from this reality, through interaction with the mode of goodness, the mind generated and also through this interaction the phenomenon of all the godly came about that are the source of material knowledge. (31) The senses are certainly of the mode of passion and thus are its predominating knowledge and fruitive activities likewise. (32) From slowness then the subtle sense objects [of sound] were realized and from that the sky can be considered the symbolic representation of the Supreme Soul. (33) The Supreme Lord glancing over the sky as [cyclic] time mixing the external energy, created from the touch of contacting with the sky the air. (34) The air, also transformed by the extremely powerful sky then gave rise to the lightening [bio-electricity] of sense perception and thus the light of the world to see. (35) The interacting of the air and the glance of the Supreme with that electricity created of the time mix of the material energy the taste [of life] in water. (36) Electrified water subsequently, due to the transforming glancing over by the Supreme of the earth, achieved the quality of smell in the partial mixture of cyclic [eternal] time with the external energy.
(37) Beginning from the sky, all the material elements, and o gentle one, the great number of their superior and inferior qualities, you may see as [due to] the final touch of the Supreme. (38) The godly of all these physical elements are part and parcel of Vishnu and are embodied as part and parcel of the cyclic of time to the external energy. Because of their different duties being not capable [of the complete] they utter fascinating prayers to the Lord. (39) The godly ones said: 'Our obeisances to your lotus feet, o Lord, in distress we surrendered us to them as they are the protecting umbrella giving shelter to the great sages that forcibly throw out all the great miseries of material life completely. (40) O Father, because of the fact that in this material world, o Lord, the individual souls are always embarrassed by the three miseries [born from oneself, others and nature] they are never happy, but gaining to your (Super-)soul, o Supreme One, to the shade of your lotus feet, they are full of knowledge and find shelter. (41) At every step taking shelter of the feet of pilgrimage, they who search after Your lotus like face find its protection carried by the wings of the vedic hymns of the sages at the best of rivers [the Ganges], whose clarity of mind liberates one from the reactions to sin. (42) The meditation that with belief and from simply hearing and in devotion as well is cleansing the heart by the strength of the knowledge of detachment, obliges the pacified to go for the sanctuary of Your feet. (43) For the birth in, the fortitude with and internalization to the paining material reality, let us all take shelter of the incarnations of Your lotus feet that are the refuge, o Lord, that awards the courage of the devotees with remembrance. (44) Because of getting entangled and thus being of the material body in the mind of I and mine, we as persons are immersed in undesirable eagerness and see You as being far from us although we are present in Your [Universal] body; let us therefore worship Your lotus feet, o Lord.(45) They [Your feet] are certainly there for the ones under the material influence who from their sense-perception are alienated from the internal vision, o Supreme One, and therefore can never see Your greatness, but to those who do see your divine action there is the enjoyment of the transcendental. (46) O Lord, those who are of a serious attitude simply by drinking of the nectar of the talks attain to enlightened devotional service, the full purport of renunciation and the intelligence in which they quickly achieve the spiritual sphere where there is no fear [Vaikunthha]. (47) For others of the transcendental realization of unifying by the strength of powerfully conquering over the material nature, You are also that one pacifying original person they enter into, but for them it is a lot of work whereas that is not so for the ones who serve You. (48) O Original One, therefore we are [now] all Yours; as for the sake of the creation of the world we were created one after another and in the past were separated by our own actions to the three modes and thus, in the network of our own pleasures, couldn't manage in respect of You. (49) O Unborn One, direct us in our efforts of offering to You at the right time so that we can share as well the meals as the amenities for You and surely also all the ones we live with, and that we, with our sacrifices, therewith may enjoy the food in peace. (50) O Lord, You are of us, the god-conscious and our orders, the one and the same original founder; You o Lord, although You are unborn, are to the energy, the cause of the material modes and the activities indeed as the initiated seed for begetting the variety. (51) O Supreme Soul, tell us what we, who were all created from and for the totality of the cosmos, should do for You, and specifically grant us the vision of Your personal plan and the ability to work, o Lord, and act according our different departments [statusorientations and their transcendence].'