(1) S'rî Parîkchit said: 'O brahmin, how can the sacred texts [the s'ruti, the Vedas], dealing with the different modes of nature, express themselves about the inexpressible [*] Absolute Truth that is elevated above cause [the subtle] and effect [the gross]?'
(2) S'rî S'uka said: 'The intelligence, senses, mind and life force of the living beings were by their Lord and Master evolved for the sake of the sensual, for the sake of getting a life and for the sake of the [emancipation of the] soul and its ultimate liberation. (3) This same philosophical exercise concerning the Absolute Truth was observed by the predecessors [like the Kumâras] of our predecessors [like Nârada]. Whoever with faith concentrates upon it will be free from material attachment and attain peace and tranquility [see also 8.24: 38]. (4) For this purpose will I relate to you an account concerning Lord Nârâyana. It concerns a conversation between Nârâyana Rishi and Nârada Muni.
(5) Once went the Supreme Lord's beloved Nârada as he was traveling the worlds, for a visit to the âs'rama of the Eternal Seer Nârâyana. (6) From the beginning of Brahmâ's day has He [Nârâyana Rishi], just for the welfare in this and the next life of the human beings who abide by dharma, jñâna and self-control, in Bhârata-varsha been performing penances [see kalpa]. (7) Having arrived there bowed he down to Him who sat there surrounded by sages of Kalâpa, the village where He resided, and asked he this very same question, o best of the Kurus. (8) As the seers were listening related the Supreme Lord this ancient discussion about the Absolute Truth among the inhabitants of the world of the mortals [Janaloka]. (9) The Supreme Lord said: 'O son of the self-born Lord [Brahmâ], in the past was there, among the ones residing in the world of the mortals, a sacrifice held for the sake of which the [ûrdhva-retah] celibate sages who had found their life in Brahmâ [- who were born from him -] exercised their spirituality. (10) With you having left for S'vetadvîpa to see the Lord, ensued about Him [Vishnu in the function of Aniruddha] in whom the Vedas lay down to rest [after the dissolution of the material world], indeed a lively exposition which brought up the question that you now again are asking Me. (11) Even though they were equally qualified from their penance and their study of the s'ruti and equal to friends, foes and neutrals, appointed they one of them as their speaker while the rest eagerly listened.'
(12-13) S'rî Sanandana said: 'When He after having created this universe relating to its disolution withdrew and was lying asleep, awakened the Vedas in person the Supreme One with descriptions of His characteristics, the same way a sleeping king by his court poets is awakened as they as his servants approach him at dawn with [reciting] his heroic deeds. (14) The Vedas said: 'All glories, all glories to You, please o Unconquerable One defeat the eternal illusion that assumed the form of the modes and creates the detrimental. Because You at times engage Yourself with the from Your inner self springing energies of the embodied ones who move and not move about, can You by us, the Vedas, be appreciated who in Your original status are complete in all opulences [**]. (15) This world is by the seers regarded as being the end product of a greater complete [of brahman], for it is like with clay that in transformation leads to forms that dissolve again but itself doesn't change. For that reason dedicated the seers their minds, words and actions to You. Where else could the footsteps of men be placed than on the ground they are walking [see also 6.16: 22, 11.24: 18 and B.G. 7: 20-25]? (16) Thus do Your people of enlightenment o Master of All the Three Worlds, rid themselves of their troubles by diving deep into the ocean of the nectar of the narrations [the kathâ] that eradicates the contamination. No wonder then that they who by the power of their own minds dispelled the qualities of the temporal O Supreme One, in their worship experience the uninterrupted happiness of Your abode. (17) They who only displace air as they breathe [see B.G. 18: 61] are really alive when they are Your faithful followers, for You, elevated above cause and effect, are the underlying reality from Whose mercy the universal egg of the material complete, the separate existence and the other aspects and material elements of the person were produced [see 3.26: 51-53]. According the particular forms that furthermore were manifested, You appear as the Ultimate Form among the more or less material, physical coverings [the kos'as and B.G. 18: 54]. (18) According the standards of the seers are they who are engrossed in their vision of worship for the abdomen [the lower centers] and fix the Ârunis [the superior yogis] first of all their attention on the prânic knot of the subtle energies [see cakra] of the heart, after which they, o Unlimited One, go upward to the head which is Your abode and next go to the highest destination from which they, once they reached it, never fall down again into the mouth of death [see also B.G. 8: 16]. (19) Apparently as their motivator [pro or contra] entering the by You differently created species of life, do You depending the situation in Your own creation become visible about the way fire manifests itself [depending the form ignited]. You thus being among them as the real [equal to itself and eternal] among the unreal [variegated expansion that is temporal] are by the ones who are connected to Your manifestation and not being entangled have spotless minds, understood as being one [unchanging, permanent] state of love [see also B.G. 2: 12]. (20) The person within the bodies he owes to his own activities is in fact as an expansion of You, the possessor of all energies so it is said [by the Vedas], not of the external [the gross body, the deha], nor of the internal [the subtle body, the linga] but [by these bodies] enveloped. And so do, once they have developed faith ascertaining the status of the living entity as being manifested in this manner, the ones learned in the sacred precepts worship Your feet as the source of liberation and field in which all offerings are sown. (21) By diving deep into the vast ocean of nectar of the pastimes of the forms You assumed in order to propagate the hard to grasp principle of the soul, do the few who found relief from the fatigue [of a material life] not even wish to be liberated from this world, o Lord. This is so because they, abandoning their homes, found association with the community of the swans [the transcendental people] at Your lotus feet [see e.g. 4.24: 58, 4.30: 33, 5.12: 16, 5.13: 21, 7.6: 17-18, 7.14: 3-4]. (22) This body useful for serving You acts as one's self, one's friend and beloved. However, even though You, favorably disposed as their very Self, are helpful and affectionate, do they who alas fail to delight in You rather find the degradation of the physical frame [in successive births], suicidal as they are in their worship of the unreal when they time and again fail to find their way with their existential fears [see also B.G. 16: 19]. (23) That what by the sages with their breathing, mind and senses brought under control in steadfast yoga is worshiped in the heart, is also attained by the ones who remember You in enmity [see also 3.2: 24 and 10.74: 46]. Similarly will we attain You and equally relishing the same nectar from the lotus-like feet, as do the women [the gopîs, the wives] who in their mind and with their eyes are attracted to Your arms that are as firm as mighty snake bodies. (24) Ah, who out here who but recently was born and soon will die has an inkling who the first one would be from whom arose the seer [Brahmâ] after whom followed the two groups of demigods [to the senses and the principles. See B.G. 7: 26]? When He lies down to withdraw is there at that time neither the gross, nor the subtle, nor that [the bodies] comprising both; nor is there the flow of Time or are the S'âstras there [B.G. 9: 7]. (25) They who teaching with authority declare that life springs from dead matter and that there would be finality to the eternal [see B.G. 2: 16], that the soul wouldn't be one [see 10.14: 9] and that the duality of mundane business is something real [see B.G. 17: 28], are mistaken in their from ignorance born dualistic conception that the living entity thus would be produced from the three modes [only without You, their Oneness Beyond, see B.G. 14: 19 and 13: 28]; that is what one gets when one concerning such transcendental matters is not of [knowledge with] You, the Essence of Full Perception [see also 5.6: 9-11]. (26) The [temporal of forms and thus the] untrue threefold and its [mind-]phenomena up to the human beings, appear in You as if they would be true, but they are nevertheless by the knowers of the Soul who consider the entirety of this world as something true [viz. as Your living body] not rejected, because they are transformations non-different from Him. They, created by Him who enters [His creation] Himself, are as such recognized as being of the True Self in the same sense as gold is not different when it is assigned different forms [see also 6.16: 22]. (27) They who worship You as the shelter of all created beings do not worry about Death and simply put their feet on his head, but even the sages [among them] are tied by Your words the way animals are tied. It are they who consider themselves Your friends who [thus] find purification, not so much they who turned away from that. (28) You who self-effulgent are free from labor are the sustainer of all who are of karma [bound as they are to their senses]. The godly vigilant with the material of nature carry You tribute and enjoy the same excercise of respect offered to them, just like it is with the local rulers in a kingdom in relation to the sovereign ruling the entire country - that is how they who are of success in fear of You execute their assigned duties. (29) By Your material energy are the species of life, that manifest themselves as stationary and moving, motivated for action, but that can happen only when You, the One aloof, o Eternally Liberated one, cast Your brief glance by assuming Your forms to have Your pastimes in the material world. To [You] the Supreme can no one be a stranger or a friend, just like the ether can have no perceptible qualities. In that sense are You like the void of space. (30) If the countless embodied beings wouldn't be time-bound, would the omnipresent consequently not be such a sovereign rule, o Unchanging One. Because the substance cannot be independent from that from which it was generated [ - pradhâna, timespace, primeval ether -] must [You] the regulator [of Time] be known as being equally present everywhere and not as being somewhere else. For that reason is one mistaken supposing that one knows [the complete of You], since one is of the imperfect [local order] with what one is knowing [see 6.5: 19]. (31) The generation of the material world and its enjoyer [the male principle, the person, the purusha] is not something that happens; it is from the combination of these two unborn elements that living bodies within You find their existence like bubbles that appear in water [in combination with air]. Just like rivers merge into the ocean and all flavors of nectar merge into the honey, merge these living beings with all their different names and qualities [in de end again] into the Supreme [see also B.G. 9: 7]. (32) Those who are of wisdom and properly understand how much Your mâyâ bewilders the human beings render potent loving service unto You, the source of liberation. How would there for those who faithfully follow You, be any kind of fear for a material existence, a fear which by the three rimmed [wheel of Time of past, present and future] of Your furrowing eyebrows repeatedly is created in those who do not take shelter of You [see also B.G. 4: 10, 7: 14 & 14: 26]? (33) Conquered by the senses and breath is the mind like a horse not brought under control [B.G. 2: 60 and 5.11: 10]. Those who out here endeavor to regulate but abandon the feet of the guru, meet with hundreds of obstacles in their distress and unsteadiness with the various methods of control, o Unborn One. They are like merchants who sailing the ocean failed to employ a helmsman [see 10.51: 60 & B.G. 4: 34]. (34) What do servants, children, a body, a wife, money, a home, land, vitality, and vehicles mean to human beings for whom You became their very Self, the Embodiment of All Pleasure. And what at all would to those who carrying on with their indulgence in sexual matters fail to appreciate the truth [of Him], bring [real] happiness in this world subject to destruction that on itself is void of any essence? [see also B.G. 13: 8-12] (35) The seers free from false pride who, with the greatest piety on this earth direct themselves at the places of pilgrimage and the sites of His pastimes, have installed Your feet in their heart and destroy the sins themselves with the water of their feet. They who but once turned their mind towards You, the Supreme Soul of Eternal Happiness, will never again dedicate themselves to the homely affair [of a family life] that steals away a person's essential qualities. (36) 'From the true manifested the true' so one may say, but that must be refuted as being a specious argument. Just because it is true in a number of cases is this connection not always found. Because the conjunction is found at times are by a succession of people groping in the dark the matters of every day life differently presented and then do Your numerous words of wisdom bewilder and loses one one's attentiveness with the incantations one has with the rituals. (37) Because all of this didn't exist in the beginning and hence will not exist after its annihilation, can be concluded that that what in the interim appears within Your manifestation, is the untruth to be avoided. And thus is that [interim existence] to those who are stable in their spirituality but a figment of imagination, even though one can compare it all in categories of material substance that appear in varieties of transformations [see text 26], transformations that by the unintelligent conversely are considered something worshipable [see B.G. 6: 8]. (38) He [the living entity] reconciles himself, because of the insurmountable of matter, to that energy and assumes, in taking to her qualities, accordingly forms. In his attachment to those forms is he deprived of His advantage and runs he into [the facts of birth and] death. You on the other hand with the grace You have leaves her aside like a snake that sheds its skin and are in Your eightfold greatness [see siddhis] glorified as the One Unlimited in His Glory. (39) If persons having entered a renounced life do not uproot the traces of material desires in their hearts and as yoga practitioners [just] live to satisfy their animal needs, have they, being unhappy in not having moved away from death, in both [this life and the hereafter], missed Your heavenly kingdom. For the impure it is impossible to attain when they have forgotten You with You by them carried as a jewel around their neck [see also B.G. 6: 41-42]. (40) Someone who understands You takes no heed of the good and bad consequences of the auspicious and inauspicious that in the moment rises from You [in the here and now], nor takes he heed of the words of other living beings. Every day, o You of All qualities, is he of the song that in every age is heard through the disciplic succession of the children of Manu [see 3.22: 34-39 and 5.13: 25]. And thus are You by him considered the ultimate goal of liberation. (41) Neither the masters of heaven can discern the end of the glories of You so Unlimited, nor even You Yourself, You within whom the multitudes of universes - each in their own shell - with the Course of Time are blown about in the sky as particles of dust. In You finding their ultimate conclusion bear the s'rutis fruit by [neti neti] eliminating that what is not the Absolute of You [see siddhânta]'.
(42) The Supreme Lord said: 'Thus having heard this instruction about the True Self, understood the sons of Brahmâ their final destination and worshiped they following perfectly satisfied sage Sanandana. (43) Thus was by the classical sages who appeared in this world to roam in higher spheres, of all the Vedas and Purânas the nectar of the underlying mystery [of the Upanishad philosophy] distilled. (44) O you heir of Brahmâ [Nârada], wander the earth as you wish, meditating with faith upon this instruction about the Soul that turns to ashes the desires of man.'
(45) S'ri S'uka said: 'He, self-possessed, who this way was commanded by the sage accepted that faithfully, o King, and spoke, now completely being of success, the following after first, firm in his belief, having meditated upon what he had heard. (46) S'rî Nârada said: 'My obeisances to Him, the Supreme Lord Krishna spotless in His glories, who manifests His all-attractive expansions for the liberation of all living beings [1.3: 28].'
(47) Thus having spoken bowed he down to the Original Rishi [Nârâyana] and to the great souls who were His pupils, and went he from there to the hermitage of my physical father, Dvaipâyana Vedavyâsa. (48) After by the great devotee having been honored and having accepted a seat from him, described he to him what he had heard from the mouth of S'rî Nârâyana. (49) Thus has your question been answered o King, about how the mind would find its way with the Absolute Truth, the truth which having no material qualities is so hard to express in words. (50) He who watches over this universe in the beginning, the middle and the end; He who is the Lord of the unmanifested of the individual soul; He who, sending forth this universe, entered it along with the individual seer and [with him] producing bodies regulates them; He unto whom surrendering the one [illusioned] not being [re-]born forgets - as if asleep - the body that he cherishes; He by the power of whose pure spiritual status one is saved from a material birth, is the Supreme Personality upon whom one relentlessly should meditate to be freed from the fear [see B.G. 16: 11-12, 1.9: 39 and the bhajan Sarvasva Tomâra].'