Maharishi Śounaka continued,
“Tā naḥ kīrtaya bhadraṁ te kīrtanyodāra-karmaṇaḥ
Rasajñaḥ ko nu tṛpyeta hari-līlāmṛtaṁ piban
Srihari is the Supreme Lord whose stories are worth glorifying. Please narrate His stories to us. May you be blessed with auspiciousness! Can it be possible for any person, who has once tasted the nectar called glories of Srikrishna, to ever be content with them?”
In this way in the Naimishāranya forests, Maharishi Śounaka and others questioned Maharishi Suta.
Maharishi Suta then fixed his mind upon the Lord and began, “Through His power of illusion, Srihari incarnated as a boar and restored the earth to its original position. Playfully He killed Hiranyāksha. Vidura was thrilled to hear these stories. He then addressed Maharishi Maitreya and enquired,
“O Maharishi Maitreya! How did Lord Brahma, the father of all the Prajapati’s, expand this creation? What did He create after creating these Prajāpatis (leaders of living entities)? You are all knowing. Please explain this to me in minute detail. Secondly, Lord Brahma had ordered Marichi and other saints as well as Swayambhuva Manu to expand the creation. How did they execute the Lord’s order? Did they, together with their wives, create this universe? Or, did they create it independently? Or did they create collectively? Please explain.”
Maitreya Maharishi now began to explain the process of creation. He said, “Vidura! Due to three factors viz., Self (Puruśa), time and the collective destiny of living beings, a disturbance arose in the three attributes of Nature (trigunas). From this, Mahat tattva (cosmic intelligence) emerged.
Rajaḥ-pradhānān mahatmas tri-liṅgo daiva-coditāt
Jātaḥ sasarja bhūtādir viyad-ādīni pañcaśaḥ
Due to the Lord’s influence, from this cosmic intelligence (Mahat) which predominantly consists of attributes of action/ passion (rajo guna), ahamkara (egoism) arose. This egoism is of three kinds, viz., sattvika, rajasika and tamasika emerged. Egoism (ahamkara) was the cause behind the origin of the five elements.
From it the 5 subtle elements, 5 gross elements, 5 organs of perception, 5 organs of action and the 5 presiding deities connected to them emerged.
However none of them could individually create the universal egg (Brahmānda). Through the help of God’s energy they combined with each other and collectively created a radiant cosmic egg. For about a thousand years, this cosmic egg, floated in the waters of dissolution. It was devoid of Consciousness and movement. Thereafter the Lord entered into it.
Tasya nābher abhūt padmaṁ sahasrārkoru-dīdhiti
Sarva-jīvanikāyauko yatra svayam abhūt svarāṭ
Now from the Lord’s navel a lotus emerged which had the radiance of a 1000 Suns. This lotus is the residence for all living beings in entirety. From this lotus Lord Brahma emerged. Lord Narayana, who sleeps in the oceans of dissolution, entered into Brahma and inspired him to begin the task of creation.
Lord Brahma then created all the worlds that were composed of name and form, exactly as it was in earlier creations. Thereafter from his shadow i.e. from his spiritual ignorance (ajnana) he created 5 types of spiritual ignorance viz., tāmiśra, andha-tāmiśra, tamas, moha, mahā-tamas.
Brahma looked at his body after the creation of these 5 types of spiritual ignorance. He did not like this body which was predominantly made up of tamas (inertia) and ajnana (ignorance). Immediately he shed this body. This body transformed into night. From this night, hunger and thirst were born. Ghosts, spirits (yakshas) and demons (rakshasas) accepted this body of Brahma that was overflowing with spiritual ignorance.
Hunger and thirst that had emerged from this body began to torment these demons and ghosts. Unable to withstand these pangs of hunger they collectively decided to swallow Lord Brahma! Screaming in frenzy, “Eat him up, he doesn’t need protection”, all of them began to run towards Brahma.
Those who screamed that he should be eaten were called Yakshas. Those who declared that he doesn’t need protection (raksha) were known as Rākshasas. Seeing them, who were rushing to gobble him up, Brahma said, “O Yakshas and Rākshasās! You are all my children. Please protect me. Do not eat me up”.
Devatāḥ prabhayā yā yā dīvyan pramukhato ’sṛjat
Te ahārṣur devayanto visṛṣṭāṁ tāṁ prabhām ahaḥ
Thereafter, Brahma took on another body which was replete with traits of goodness and purity. He then created Devatas who shine with purity and goodness. Subsequently he discarded even this radiant body which then transformed into daytime. It became a shelter for all the Devatas. In great happiness, the Devatas accepted the illumination of daytime.
From his buttocks, Brahma now created asuras (a type of demons) who were very lustful in nature. Soon upon birth these asuras who were extremely lustful, demanded Lord Brahma to satisfy their sexual needs. At first Brahma laughed at them. However these shameless asuras, unable to control their sexual desire, began to chase Brahma in order to fulfill this need. In fear and in anger Brahma ran away from them.