Maharishi Śuka prayed, “Brahma, Shiva and other Gods who possess a very pure inner mind, with great reverence and astonishment, observe the pure form of Jagannatha, Lord of the universe. May such Lord Srihari be pleased with me!
He is the husband of the Goddess of wealth and prosperity (Lakshmi-pati) and is the ruler for all forms of prosperity. He is the Lord of all Yagnas (yagna-pati). He is the Lord of people (Prajapati), the Lord of all intelligence (buddhipati), the Lord of all universes (loka-pati) and the Lord of this earth (bhu-pati). He is the one who offers protection to people belonging to Andhaka, Vṛṣṇi and Yadava clans. He is the one who protects all noble beings. May such Lord Srihari be pleased with me!
Learned scholars fix their mind exclusively upon His lotus feet and meditate upon Him. Through this they purify their inner mind completely and then in this purified mind, they understand the absolute essence of the Supreme Lord, who resides within everyone in the form of the Self. They then explain about this Supreme Essence based on their individual tastes. May such Lord, who bestows liberation, be pleased with me!
In the beginning of creation, Lord Srihari caused the entire knowledge of the previous creation to emerge in the mind of Lord Brahma. At that point from His face, Mother Goddess Veda was born. She was equipped with siksha and other limbs. This is Mother Goddess Siksha. May such a Supreme Lord Srihari, who is the most supreme amongst those who bestow supreme knowledge, be pleased with me!
May that Supreme Lord who is omnipotent and complete, who through the medium of the five basic elements (pancha bhootas) created these gross bodies and who himself remains within them in water, who manifests as the being replete with 16 kalās (types of glories) and 16 attributes (gunās) be pleased to decorate my words!
Here it should be understood that he has created the human bodies and he himself remains within them.
Namas tasmai bhagavate vyāsāya amita tejase
Apur jñānam ayaṁ saumyā yan-mukhāmburuhāsavam
I offer my obeisance to Maharishi Vyasa, the venerable and worshipful saint, who possesses limitless radiance and from whose lotus face the nectar called knowledge drips down, which is tasted and joyfully relished by ardent devotees.
In this manner after glorifying the Supreme Lord and after worshipping His father Maharishi Vyasa, Maharishi Śuka began to speak as follows:
‘O Emperor! What I am going to preach to you now is the knowledge that Lord Srihari personally imparted to Lord Brahma as soon as he was born. On being questioned by Nārada, Brahma in turn preached this to him. Maharishi Vyasa in turn taught this to me. I am now going to preach this to you’.
With this fourth chapter of the second canto comes to an end.
Second Canto Chapter Five
In this chapter, Maharishi Nārada questioning Lord Brahma, Lord Brahma’s reply, the emergence of the principles of creation (tattva), the creation of the universe (Brahmānda) and its description are covered.
Nārada Maharishi enquired, “My dear father, you are worshipped by all the Gods themselves. You, who have created all these living beings, are the first-born in this creation. You have emerged directly from the Supreme Lord himself. You possess the transcendental Supreme knowledge that bestows Self-knowledge upon the person. I beseech you to please impart that knowledge to me. I offer my obeisance to you.
O father! What is the purpose of this creation? Who is the cause behind the illumination of this universe? What is it that is supporting this universe? Who created it and how? Where is this universe located? From whom does it emerge and into whom does it merge back? Under whose control does it is exist? What is the principle that governs all this? Please tell me the actual facts, as it truly exists.
You, who are the Lord of the objects that exist in the past, present as well as the future periods of time, know the answers to all my questions. You know the exact details about the creation. Just like the gooseberry held in one’s hand, this entire knowledge is within your grip. You do not need any external assistance.
Using your own power of illusion (maya shakti), you are creating everything in this universe. Wherefrom did you get this knowledge about creation? Under whose control do you exist? Who is your support? What is your real form? Just as a spider spins the entire web using a substance that is produced from its mouth, without using any external aids You create this entire universe from your own Self-energy’.
The spider spins its web from a thread that is secreted from its glands. Likewise the Supreme Lord with His own energy creates this entire universe and thereafter absorbs this universe into himself. The principles of Vedanta draw parallels to many animal behaviors.
‘While continuing to remain without transformation of any kind, effortlessly you create hordes of living beings from within you. O Lord! It is from you that everything in this world emerges. I do not know of anything which has its origin outside of you.
In this entire creation, everything that has a name and form, be it a gross, subtle, supreme, mediocre or inferior, emerges solely from you. It is said that You, the Supreme Lord, have performed severe austerities with absolute concentration of mind. This sentence causes bewilderment to everyone. Why should you, the most Supreme Being, undertake severe austerities? When you are everything and when everything emerges from You, why did You undertake penance? This is very perplexing.
Is it not true that, through such statements, you are creating an illusion within us that there is a God who is greater than You? O omniscient Lord! O Lord of everyone! You know the answers to all my questions. Please answer my questions in a way that I understand properly”.
Hearing these questions put forth by Maharishi Narada, Lord Brahma said as follows:
“My son! I am very much impressed by this doubt put forth by you, the ocean of compassion, who possesses feelings of deep compassion towards all noble beings. My son! You possess a noble peaceful heart. By your question I am inspired about the subject that investigates about the form of the Supreme Lord. My Son! As you are unaware that there is an energy which is superior to me, you have praised me profusely. Even then I should say that there is no untruth in your words. This is because it is true that the powers and capacities that were extolled by you, really exist within me.
Just as the Sun, Moon, Fire, Planets, Stars shine brightly, I too illumine the entire creation. But even before me, this world has been illumined by the Self-illuminating Supreme Lord. Please understand this.”