(1) Vidura said: 'How many living beings were by the almighty grandfather of all creatures on this planet created from his body and mind after the disappearance of the Supreme Personality? (2) Be so kind to eradicate all my doubts and describe from the beginning to the end everything I asked you, oh best among the ones of vast knowledge.' "
(3) Sûta said [see Canto 1]: "Oh son of Bhrigu [S'aunaka], the great sage, the son of Kushâra [Maitreya] thus being stimulated by Vidura felt pleased and answered the questions speaking from his heart.
(4) Maitreya said: 'Brahmâ thus for the sake of the soul engaged himself in penance for a hundred celestial years the way the unborn One, the Supreme Lord told him to. (5) He who was born on the lotus, then saw how the lotus upon which he was situated and the water surrounding it were moved by the wind that was propelled by the power of eternal Time. (6) Because of his penance having increased his transcendental knowledge and self-awareness he had matured in practical knowledge, and with that power he took in the wind along with the water. (7) When he saw how widespread the lotus was upon which he was situated he thought to himself: 'I will with this [lotus in these time stirred waters] bring back to life all the worlds who in the past have merged in me.' (8) By the Supreme Lord being encouraged to engage in action, he entered the whirl of the lotus and divided the complete in three main divisions he further distributed over fourteen subdivisions [see also 2.5: 42]. (9) These different circumstances of life of the individual souls, together constitute the consequence of their [more or less] selfless performance of duty in relation to the Supreme Personality.'
(10) Vidura said: 'Discussing the variety of different forms of the Lord, the wonderful actor, you spoke about eternal time as one of His names. Oh brahmin, can you please describe to us how time factually makes its appearance, oh master, what are its characteristics?'
(11) Maitreya said: 'It [Eternal Time] is the source of the different [organic and anorganic] interactions of the modes of nature, it is undivided and unlimited and it is the instrument of the Original Person who through His pastimes created the material life of the soul. (12) Time [kâla] is the hidden, impersonal feature of God by means of which the cosmic creation in the form of material energy was separated from the Supreme Lord as His objective manifestation, as the phenomenal that was established by Vishnu's bewildering potency. (13) The way it [Eternal Time] is there in the present, it was there in the beginning and will be there hereafter.
(14) The conditioning [or creation] that took place because of it is divided in nine according to its material modifications [or modes: passion, goodness and ignorance], according to the material qualities of eternal time [movement, knowledge and inertia], and depending its three types of dissolution [with time: the ending of humans, of animals and of the inertial realm of plants and the rest of the universe]. (15) The first one [the mahat-tattva, of the goodness] is the complete of the creation that emanated from the Lord with the three modes in interaction. The second one [of passion] is the I-awareness [or ego] from which proceeded material objects, material characteristics and material activities. (16) The third type of creation is that what was created as a mixture of matter [of ignorance] and [in the form of living beings] is of sense perception. Fourth there are the goods to the senses that constitute the practical basis of material knowledge. (17) The interaction [the movement] to the mode of goodness and the consequent mind results in the deities [ruling the senses] who constitute the fifth kind of creation. Sixth there is the darkness of creation [the slowness of matter] that turns masters into fools. (18) These are the six primary material creations. Now hear from me about the three secondary creations [of plant, animal and man] produced by the almighty incarnation of passion [Brahmâ] who is the intelligence of the Lord.
(19) The seventh main division of creation concerns the six kinds of beings who do not move around: trees bearing fruit without flowers, plants and bushes that exist until the fruit has ripened, the creepers, the pipe-plants, creepers without support and fruit trees that blossom. (20) These beings who seek their sustenance upwards, are practically unconscious with only an inner feeling and are of many varieties. (21) The eighth creation concerns the species of lower animals. There are twenty-eight different kinds of them and they are considered to have no knowledge of their destiny, to be of an extreme ignorance, to discriminate by smell and have a poorly functioning conscience. (22) Oh purest one, the cow, the goat, the buffalo, the antelope, the hog, the gavaya [a type of oxen], the deer, the sheep and the camel all have split hooves. (23) The ass, the horse, the mule, the gaura, the s'arabha-bison and the wild cow have only one toe. Oh Vidura, just let me tell you now about the animals with five nails. (24) They are the dog, the jackal, the fox, the tiger, the cat, the rabbit, the sajâru-porcupine, the lion, the monkey, the elephant, the tortoise, the iguana ['four legged snake'], the alligator and such. (25) The heron, the vulture, the crane, the hawk, the bhâsa [another kind of vulture], the bhallûka, the peacock, the swan, the sârasa [indian crane], the cakravâka, the crow, the owl and more of them are the birds. (26) The ninth kind that [also] fills its belly, oh Vidura, is of one species: the humans. In them the mode of passion is very prominent. They are very busy to [diminish] their misery but always consider themselves happy.
(27) These three secondary creations including the creation of the demigods [as an extra category] my dear one, are contrary to the other ones [of the modes and the qualities] I described, subjected to modifications [to mutation or evolution], but the sons of Brahmâ [the brahmins, the Kumâras] are of both [viz. evolving along physically, but they do not change in quality]. (28-29) The creation of the demigods is of eight kinds: (1) the self-realized souls, (2) the forefathers, (3) the atheists, (4) the celestial beings, angels and the saints, (5) the protectors and the giants, (6) the celestial singers, (7) the spirits of guidance in what is good and bad and the denizens of heaven and (8) the superhuman beings and such. All the ten types of creation I described to you, oh Vidura, are created by Brahmâ, the creator of the universe. (30) Next I will explain the different descendants of the Manus and how the Creator, moved by the mode of passion, in the different ages creates with an unfailing determination in respect of the Supreme Lord who, by dint of His own energy, as Himself appeared from Himself.'