(1) Sûta said: "In the beginning the Supreme Lord assumed, for the creation of the worlds, the form of the Original Person[: the integrity of the material realm] composed of the sixteen elements [of the ten knowing and working senses, the mind and the five elements] and the cosmic intelligence and such. (2) Resting in His meditative slumber in that water, out of the lotus that spread from the lake of His navel, Brahmâ was manifested, the master of the progenitors in the universe. (3) One believes the different worlds [as expansions] to be part of the form of the Fortunate One that constitutes the excellence of the purest existence. (4) His form thus seen perfectly has numerous legs, thighs, arms and faces, with wonderful heads, ears, eyes and noses, all glowing with garlands and dresses. (5) This source of the multifarious incarnations is the imperishable seed from which the plenary portions and portions thereof, the gods, the human beings and the animals, originate."
(6) "The sons of Brahmâ [the Kumâras] were first disciplined in austerity for the sake of realizing continuity. (7) He next incarnated for the sake of the welfare of the earth like a boar lifting her up from the lower regions. (8) Thirdly He accepted [in the form of Nârada Muni] His presence among the learned for the sake of evolving Vedic knowledge concerning the service in devotion without further material motives. (9) Fourth born as the twin sons of king Dharma in the form of Nara-Nârâyana He underwent severe penances to attain control over the senses. (10) Fifth with the name of Kapila He gave an exposition to the brahmin Âsuri on the nature of metaphysics and the elements of creation because in the course of time the knowledge was lost. (11) Sixth, born as the son of Atri from Anasûyâ who prayed for Him, He lectured to Alarka, Prahlâda and others about transcendence. (12) Seventh born from Âkûti as Yajña, the son of Prajâpati Ruci He, assisted the godly, with His son Yama ruled during the period of Svâyambhuva Manu. (13) Eighth, from the wife of King Nâbhi, Merudevî, He took birth as King Rishabha and showed the path of perfection respected by people of all stages of life. (14) Accepting His ninth incarnation in response to the prayers of the sages, He ruled [as Prithu] the earth for the sake of its cultivation and produces, which made her beautifully attractive. (15) Like a fish [Mâtsya] in the water He kept Vaivasvata Manu after the period of Câkshusha Manu protected in a boat afloat the waters when the world was deeply inundated. (16) Eleventh as a tortoise [Kurma] He sustained the Mandarâcala Hill of the theists and atheists which served as a pivot in the ocean. (17) Twelfth there was Dhanvantari [Lord of medicine] and thirteenth He appeared as an alluring beautiful woman to the atheists when He gave nectar to the godly. (18) In His fourteenth incarnation He appeared as Nrisimha, who with His nails half as a Lion on His lap tore apart the king of the atheists like a carpenter splitting cane. (19) Fifteenth He assumed the form of Vâmana [the dwarf-brâhmana] who went to the arena of sacrifice of Mahârâja Bali and begged for three steps of land only, while He in fact wanted to seize the three worlds. (20) In His sixteenth incarnation [as Bhrigupati or Paras'urâma] He acted twenty-one times against the ruling class that negated the intelligentsia. (21) Seeing the common people as being less intelligent He seventeenth incarnated as Vyâsadeva taking birth from Satyavatî with Parâs'ara Muni as His father, in order to divide the desire tree of the Veda into several branches. (22) Next He performed superhuman in controlling the Indian Ocean having assumed the form of a divine human being [Râma] in order to act for the sake of the godly. (23) Nineteenth as well as twentieth He appeared as Balarâma and Krishna from the Vrishni family and thus Bhagavân removed the burden from the world. (24) Thereafter in the Age of Kali His birth as Lord Buddha from Añjanâ in Gayâ will take place in order to delude the ones envious of the theists. (25) Next, at the conjunction of two yugas when there is hardly a ruler to be found who is not a plunderer, the Lord carrying the name of Kalki will take birth as the son of Vishnu Yas'â."
(26) "Oh twice-born ones, the incarnations of the Lord that appeared from the ocean of goodness are as innumerable as the thousands of streams found from the lakes. (27) All the powerful sages, the godly, the Manus and their progeny, as well as the Prajâpatis [founding fathers] are aspects of the Lord. (28) All these are part of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Lord [Bhagavân] in person who offers protection during all ages and in all worlds against the enemies of the king of heaven [Indra]. (29) Those who in the morning and the evening carefully recite these mysterious births of the Lord, will find relief from all miseries of life. (30) All these forms of the Lord stem no doubt from the One who is without a form and transcendental; they came about in the self from the modes of material energy with their elements. (31) To the less intelligent spectator they are there to be perceived the way one sees clouds in the sky and dust in the air. (32) This unmanifested self in the beyond that cannot be seen or heard, has no form that is affected by the modes of nature - thàt is the living being that takes birth repeatedly. (33) As soon as one realizes that all these gross and subtle forms originate in the self because of ignorance, they lose their value and so one achieves association with the divine. (34) With the illusory energy subsided one is enriched with the full knowledge of enlightenment and thus being established able to see the glories of the Self. (35) Thus the inactive unborn Lord of the Heart with His births and activities has been described by the learned as being undetectable even in the Vedas. (36) Residing within every living being He, the omnipotent master of the senses whose play is spotless, is independent and unaffected by creation, destruction and maintenance. (37) Because of His manipulations He, acting like an actor in a drama, by the ones with a poor fund of knowledge cannot be known in His activities, names and forms by means of speculation and oration. (38) Only he who renders unconditional, uninterrupted, favorable service to His fragrant lotus feet may know the transcendental glories of the all-powerful Creator with the wheel of the chariot in His hand. (39) In this world one can be successful if one knows everything about the Personality of Godhead who embraces all of His universes and who inspires for the complete of the spirit of ecstasy in which one will never find the dreaded vicious circles of worldly interest."
(40) "This book containing the story of the Personality of Godhead and His devotees was compiled by the wise man of God and is, as a supplement to the Vedas, there for the ultimate good of bringing success, happiness and perfection to all people. (41) S'rîla Vyâsadeva delivered this story, which constitutes the cream he managed to extract from all the Vedic literatures and histories, to his son who is the most respectable one among the self-realized. (42) He on his turn told it to emperor Parîkchit who surrounded by the wise sat down at the Ganges to fast until his death. (43) Now that Krishna has left for His abode and with Him also proper conduct and spiritual insight have vanished, this Purâna bright as the sun has appeared at the horizon for the sake of everyone who in the Age of Quarrel [Kali-yuga] has lost his vision. (44) When I heard the story from that powerful, great sage, I, being perfectly attentive by his mercy, managed to understand it as well, so that I from my own realization now am able to relate it to you."