(1) S'rî S'ukadeva said: 'For the intelligent among men, I have given you all the answers in response to the inquiring of your good self about the human being on the threshold of death. (2-7) They who desire the luster of the Absolute worship the master of the Vedas [Brihaspati]; Indra, the king of heaven is there for the ones desiring the strength of the senses [sex] and the Prajâpatis [the strong progenitors] are there for those who desire offspring. The goddess [Durgâ] is there for those who desire the beauty of the material world, the fire god is there for the ones desiring power, for wealth there are the Vasus [a type of demigod] and the incarnations of Rudra [Lord S'iva] are there for those who wish strength and heroism. For a good harvest the mother of the demigods Aditi is worshiped, desiring heaven one worships her sons, for those desiring royal riches there are the Vis'vadeva demigods and to be of commercial success there are the Sâdhya gods. The As'vinîs [two brother demigods] are there for the ones desiring longevity, for a strong body mother earth is worshiped and those who want to maintain their position and be renown respect the goddesses of the earth and the heavens. Aspiring beauty there are the heavenly Gandharvas, those who want a good wife seek the girls of the heavenly society [the Apsaras and Urvas'îs] and anyone who wants to dominate others is bound to the worship of Brahmâ, the head of the Universe. Yajña, the Lord of Sacrifice is worshiped for tangible fame and for a good bank balance Varuna, the treasurer, is sought. But those who desire to learn, worship S'iva himself while f or a good marriage his chaste wife Umâ is honored.
(8) For spiritual progress the supreme truth [Lord Vishnu and His devotees] is worshiped, for offspring and their care one seeks the ancestral [the residents of Pitriloka], pious persons are sought by those who seek protection, while the demigods in general are there for the less common desires. (9) The godly Manus [the fathers of mankind] are there for those desiring a kingdom, but the demons are sought for defeating enemies. The ones desiring sense gratification are bound to the moon [Candra], while those who are free from desire worship the Supreme Personality in the beyond. (10) Whether he is free from desire, is full of it or else desires liberation, someone who has a broader outlook with all his heart should worship in devotional service [bhakti-yoga] the Original Personality of God, the Supreme One. (11) All these types of worshipers for sure develop, in their worship of the highest benediction in this life, through association with His pure devotees unflinching, spontaneous attraction to the Supreme Lord. (12) The knowledge leading to the limit of the complete withdrawal from the whirlpool of the material modes, gives the satisfaction of the soul, which in the transcendence of being detached from these modes, carries the blessings of the path of bhakti yoga. Who, absorbed in the narrations about the Lord would not act upon this attraction?"
(13) S'aunaka said: "What is it that the king, the ruler of Bharata, after hearing all of this, wanted to know more from the son of Vyâsadeva, the poetic wise? (14) Oh learned Sûta, explain those topics to us who are eager to hear about it, for in an assembly of devotees those talks are welcome that lead to the narrations about the Lord. (15) He, the king, that grandson of the Pândavas, was no doubt a great devotee, a great fighter who playing with dolls as a child enacted the activities of Lord Krishna. (16) And thus it must also have been so - there in the presence of all those devotees - with the son of Vyâsadeva who, in his attachment to the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva who is glorified by so many souls, had all the great qualities for it. (17) Except for the one who spends his time on the topics about the One who is discussed in the supreme scriptural truth, the rising and setting sun is but decreasing the lives of the people. (18) Aren't the trees also living, are the blacksmith's bellows not breathing as well and are the beasts all around us not also eating and procreating? (19) A person whose ear never reached the holy name of the One who delivers us from all evil is just as praiseworthy as a dog, a hog, an ass or a camel. (20) The ears of a man who never heard of Vishnu, the One of giant progress, are like those of snakes and also the tongues of those who never sang aloud the songs of worth are as useless as those of frogs. (21) Even carrying a heavy silk turban, the upper part of the body is just a burden, when that body never bows down to Mukunda [Krishna granting liberation]; just like hands not engaged in the worship of the Lord are alike those of a dead body, even though they are decorated with glittering golden bangles. (22) Like the eyes on the plumes of a peacock the eyes of those men are who do not look upon the forms of Vishnu and like the roots of trees the feet of those human beings are who never went for the holy places of the Lord. (23) Dead while being alive the mortals are who never personally received the dust of the feet of pure devotees and a descendant of Manu [a man] is but a dead breathing body when he has never experienced the wealth of the aroma of tulsî leaves of Lord Vishnu's lotus feet. (24) Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of being absorbed in chanting the name of the Lord, is not transformed by the emotions of therewith having tears in one's eyes and hairs standing on end. (25) Oh Sûta Gosvâmî, you express yourself in favorable terms, so please explain what transcendental knowledge the expertly leading S'ukadeva Gosvâmî upon being questioned conveyed to the king who sought the truth."