(1) The wise [Maitreya] said: 'Thus the Lord was faced with the fact that the progress of what was created in the universe was suspended because of a lack of coherence between His potencies [see 3.5: 48]. (2) At that time He simultaneously with His supremely powerful potency that is known as Kâlî, the goddess of the power to destroy, entered all the twenty-three elements [the five elements and their qualities, the five organs of action and the senses and the three forms of individual consciousness: mind, intelligence and ego; compare 2.4: 23]. (3) That entering later on of the Supreme Lord in the form of the force of matter, Kâlî, separately engaged all the living beings in labor by awakening them from their unconscious state to their karma. (4) When the twenty-three principal ingredients thus by the will of God were roused to [coherent] action, their combination led to the manifestation of His plenary expansion of the Original Person [in the appearance of the Universal Form]. (5) The moment He thus entered there with His plenary expansion [of the material power], all the elements of creation that thus found each other therein transformed into the worlds of organic and anorganic existence. (6) He, the Original Person, this [Garbhodakas'âyî] Vishnu called Hiranmaya, for a thousand celestial years [one such year is a 360 years to man] resided together with all that belonged to his goodness within the egg-shaped universe supported by the [causal] waters.
(7) With the content of that egg, the complete of the gigantic person being put to work by His divine Self filled with His [female] power, He thus divided Himself into one [consciousness], three [identifications of the self] and ten [activities]. (8) This unlimited expanse is the self of the living entities, the first incarnation and plenary portion of the Supersoul, whereupon the aggregate of all of them flourishes. (9) The threefold of the gigantic form pertains to the three aspects of âdhyâtmika [the self with its senses and mind], âdhidaivika [nature and all her gods] and âdhibhautika [the others and what more appears to the senses], the tenfold relates to the [organs of the] life force [or prâna: hands, feet, anus, the genitals, eyes, nose, ears, tongue, skin and mouth; see brahma sûtra 2.4: 5-6] and the oneness refers to the heart. (10) The Lord beyond the senses recalling the prayer of the deities of the universe by His own radiance [thus] illumined the gigantic form for their understanding. (11) Now listen to my description of the many different ways of the demigods who then manifested as a consequence of His consideration.
(12) A mouth manifested and with that happening it was the god of fire who among the directors of the material world took his position along with his power, the organ of speech with which one utters words. (13) A palate appeared. It was the abode of Varuna [the god presiding over the waters] who in [the body of] the Lord among the directors of the material world took his position along with his power: the organ of the tongue with which one tastes. (14) Next the nostrils appeared where the two As'vinî Kumâras have their position with the sense of smell with which one perceives odors [see also 2.1: 29 and 2.5: 30]. (15) Eyes appeared in the gigantic body which offered a position to Tvashthâ, the director of light and the power of sight by which forms can be seen. (16) Then the skin of the gigantic form manifested, a position taken by Anila, the director of the air with the power of breath which enables the experience of touch. (17) With the manifestation of the ears of the gigantic form that position was occupied by the deities of the directions [the Digdevatâs] with the power of hearing by which sounds are perceived. (18) Thereafter the [hair of the] skin of the gigantic body manifested for the divinity of the [herbs and plants with] the power to feel by means of the hairs with which itching feelings are experienced. (19) When the genitals of the gigantic form appeared the first one [Brahmâ, the Prajâpati] took his position with the function of semen with which the pleasure [of sex] is experienced. (20) An anus formed in the original embodiment offering a position taken by the god Mitra with the function of evacuation with which one defecates. (21) With the manifestation of the hands of the Universal Form the king of heaven Indra took his position with the ability to handle matters with which one makes one's living. (22) The legs of the Universal Form that manifested were occupied by Vishnu, the godhead of the power of locomotion by which one reaches one's destination. (23) When the intelligence of the Universal Form manifested de ruling godhead Brahmâ, the Lord of the spoken word, found his position with the power of insight with which one arrives at understanding. (24) Next the heart of the Universal Being manifested in which Candra, the god of the moon took his position with the function of mental activity because of which one is lost in thoughts. (25) What next came about in the Universal Form was the I-awareness in which the identification with the body [the 'false ego'] took its position [under the rule of Lord Rudra] with the function of karma by which one engages in concrete activities. (26) What followed was the manifestation of the spiritual essence of goodness in the gigantic body in which the complete[ness, of the mahat-tattva] found its place with the power of consciousness by means of which one cultivates wisdom.
(27) From the head of the Universal Form the heavenly worlds manifested, the earthly places originated from His legs and the ether rose from His abdomen. In those areas the enlightened souls and other living beings are found who evolved as a result of the operation of the three modes of nature. (28) By the infinite mode of goodness [of sattva] the gods found their place in the heavens whereas all the human beings who on earth live by the nature of their passion [rajas] are subordinate to them. (29) Those of the third kind are as the associates of Rudra because of their nature [of tamas] found in the region of the ether - the navel of the Lord - situated in between the other two.
(30) Spiritual wisdom, generated from the mouth of the Universal Form, oh chief of the Kuru dynasty. Those who are inclined to this wisdom became the leading order [the chief varna] of society. They, the brahmins, are the recognized teachers and spiritual spokesmen [the gurus]. (31) The power to protect the citizens manifested from the arms [of the gigantic body]. They who exercise that power [the kshatriyas or rulers] are the followers [of the brahmins] and deliver, as representatives of the Supreme Personality, the other classes from the vice of disturbing societal elements. (32) For the production and distribution of the means of livelihood the mercantile community [the vais'yas], whose occupation it is to take charge of provisioning all man, generated from the thighs of the Almighty. (33) From the legs of the Supreme Lord the service manifested which is of prime importance to the fulfillment of all sacred duties. It is traditionally the profession of the laborer [the s'ûdra] by which the Lord is satisfied [*]. (34) In order to purify their soul all the classes in society under the lead of their spiritual teachers with faith and devotion by means of their occupational duties worship the Lord from whom they generated along with their duties.
(35) Who can estimate, oh Vidura, the totality of this form of the divine operating Self of the Supreme Lord that manifested by the strength of the deluding material oneness [of His internal potency, yogamâyâ]? (36) Oh brother, nevertheless I will give a description as far as my intelligence permits and my knowledge allows of what I heard about the glories of the Lord that purify, for without speaking up [about Him] we wander off in untruth. (37) One says that the One Beyond Compare is attained by discussions about the Supreme Personality that were piously handed down through history for the glorification of His activities. Also the ear is served best by the nectar of the transcendental message as prepared [in writing] by the learned. (38) My dear son, were the Glories of the Supreme Soul known by the original poet [Brahmâ] after his intelligence for a thousand celestial years had matured in meditation? (39) Therefore, when even those skilled in creating illusions have no knowledge because they - as well as the one self-satisfied [Creator] personally - are under the spell of the bewildering potencies of the Supreme Lord, then what may one expect from others? (40) Him out of our reach intangible for our ego, mind and words as also for the respective gods, we offer our obeisances.'
*: S'astri Gosvâmî in this context remarks that the laborer, the s'ûdra, takes a prominent place among the classes in society. Of the four purushârthas, the civil virtues, the brahmin stands for moksha, or liberation. The kshatriya is there for the regulation of sense gratification, kâma, and the vais'ya is there for the purpose of distributing the welfare, artha. But the laborer in fact makes possible the religiosity, the service to God, of all the other occupational duties. He who simply serves, is there for the dharma.