The Supreme Lord continued, “My dear son! It was purely due to My grace that you could render My glories. You are truly dedicated towards penance. You have prayed to Me seeking to fulfill your desire of creating these worlds. Although inherently I am devoid of traits, I illumine as if traits exist within Me. You have thoroughly understood this essence and have aptly glorified Me. I am deeply pleased with your prayer. May you be blessed with auspiciousness!
Ya etena pumān nityaṁ stutvā stotreṇa māṁ bhajet
Tasyāśu samprasīdeyaṁ sarva-kāma-vareśvaraḥ
I, the Supreme Lord, will be deeply pleased with any human being, who worshipfully chants this hymn composed by you every single day. Pleased with them I will fulfill all that they seek.
Knowers of the Absolute Truth declare that pleasing the Supreme Lord is ultimate auspicious result for all the penance, meditation, Yagnas, yogic practices, charities and social service performed by any person.
Aham ātmātmanāṁ dhātaḥ preṣṭhaḥ san preyasām api
Ato mayi ratiṁ kuryād dehādir yat-kṛte priyaḥ
O Brahma! In this world there are many objects that are dear to living beings. Nevertheless, inner Self is the dearest. This love for the Self gets reflected as love for gross body and other objects. I am that Self who resides within the being. For this reason it is imperative that the human being should develop feelings of devotional love towards me.
During this period of dissolution, all living beings have merged into Me and are in deep sleep. You, the embodiment of Vedas, have emerged from Me. Go ahead with your task of creation. Continue to create these living beings exactly as it was in the earlier periods of creation”.
In this way the lotus-eyed Srihari, who rules over Nature and living beings, instructed Brahma. He imparted to him the knowledge of creation and then made himself invisible” –said Maharishi Maitreya.
With this the ninth chapter of the third canto of Srimad Bhagawatam comes to an end.
Third Canto Chapter Ten
In this tenth chapter, the 10 different ways of creation have been detailed.
Vidura enquired, “O revered Maharishi! O Supreme amongst all learned beings! After disappearance of Lord Srihari, how did the supreme grandfather Brahma create these worlds? How many forms of living beings did he create from his mind and body? O great sage! In addition to this I had earlier put forth some doubts before you. Kindly provide answers to them all in a proper sequential manner.”
Suta Maharishi who was narrating all this to Maharishi Śounaka, said, “Maharishi Maitreya was deeply pleased when he heard Vidura’s question. Remembering the questions that were in his heart, he began to reply sequentially.
Maitreya said, “In accordance with the instructions imparted by the Supreme birthless Lord, Brahma merged his intellect (buddhi) into the Self and meditated intensely for a hundred divine years.
Thereafter, the ever-powerful wind, which was triggered due to the turbulent fiery waters of the ocean of dissolution, began to blow violently. He caused both the lotus on which Brahma was seated as well as the waters of the ocean to tremble fearfully. Brahma observed this.
Due to long intense penance Self-knowledge had situated itself deeply in Brahma’s heart. As a result wisdom dawned in him. Due to this wisdom he drank the wind together with the water.
Brahma noticed that the lotus on which he was seated was pervading throughout space. He thought of creating all the planes of existence within the lotus exactly as they had existed in earlier creations.
Srihari then showered his blessings upon Brahma and permitted him to begin his task of creation. Brahma, who possessed the energy to create the 14 worlds, then rose above the lotus and split it into three divisions.
Etāvāñ jīva-lokasya saṁsthā-bhedaḥ samāhṛtaḥ
Dharmasya hy animittasya vipākaḥ parameṣṭhy asau
Shastras dictate that these three planes of existence are the places where the living entities experience the consequences of their past fruitive actions. When the human being adheres to selfless service (nishkāma karma, action without seeking any return) he reaches Brahma loka” said Maharishi Maitreya.
Vidura who was keenly listening to this had a doubt. He enquired, “O Maharishi! The stories of Lord Srihari are full of surprises. He manifests in varied different forms. You have explained about His time energy. Please explain about eternal time in greater detail”.
In response to this question Maharishi Maitreya said, “This Nature (Prakriti) is composed of the traits of goodness (sattva), action (rajas) and inertia (tamas). The transformations within them are the form of time. Time does not have any beginning or end. It has no limbs.
The Supreme Lord is devoid of form and traits. Yet using the transformations of Nature as His instrument He takes on a form that is replete with traits. He is eternally situated in divine glory. He does not need any shelter i.e. He does not seek refuge in any other entity.
Using time (kāla) as the cause (karaṇa) He playfully manifests as this universe. Due to Srihari’s illusion, this universe is hidden and exists only as Brahma.
With the help of time, which is not subject to any transformation, Brahma separated the entire universe from within him and externally manifested it.
Yathedānīṁ tathāgre ca paścād apy etad īdṛśam
Sargo nava-vidhas tasya prākṛto vaikṛtas tu yaḥ