(1) The king asked: 'How explained Nârada, being instructed by Lord Brahmâ oh brahmin, the modes and their transcendence, and to whom explained he it? (2) This I wish to understand oh best one: what is the reality of those who are in the Absolute of the truth of the Lord who is so full of wonderful potencies and whose narrations are so beneficial to all the worlds? (3) Please continue speaking, oh you of great fortune, so that I, with my mind focussed upon the Supreme One of the soul, Lord S'rî Krishna, freed from material attachment may relinquish my body. (4) Those who with faith regularly take to this spiritual matter and as well seriously persist in the endeavor, will after not too long a time see the Supreme Lord appear in their hearts. (5) When one thus through one's ears receives the sounds [of the Bhâgavatam], this lotus flower of the loving relationship with Krishna will wash away all the impurities, the way the autumnal rain cleanses the water of the pools. (6) Once being cleansed a person who took to the shelter of Krishna's feet will never want to give up on that liberation, just like a traveler who going through the miseries of life will never want to give up his home [the Soul, see also B.G. 5: 17; 8: 16; 8: 21-28; 9: 3; 15: 3-4; 15: 6].
(7) When it thus is not a question of being material oh brahmin, can you from your self-knowledge, tell me whether the living being in this undertaking accidentally arrives at a body or because of some cause? (8) If He is in the possession of the lotus flower of this world that as it were sprouted from His abdomen, then what is the difference between the Original Person to the measure of this extent [of the Virâth Rûpa] and the situation one speaks of with the different embodiments [of the living entities]? (9) How could he on the lotus flower who was not born from matter himself but from the navel, he [Brahmâ] who gave life to all the ones born with a material body, through His mercy see His Form? (10) And also [how can it be that] He as the Original Person maintaining, creating and annihilating the material worlds, remains untouched by His own external energy while He as the Lord of all energies rests in the heart of everyone? (11) Formerly I heard you discuss [in chapter 2.5] the different [planets or] worlds with their governors as the different parts of the body of the Original Person. So what [can you tell us] about those governors who by their different places are the different parts of Him?
(12) And what about a day of Brahmâ [a kalpa] and the periods between them [vikalpas]? What can you say about the time measures we call the past, the future and the present? And how about the lifespan allotted to embodied beings? (13) Oh purest of the twice-born, what could be the beginning of time and what can you say about the way time, in the context of one's karma, is experienced as being short or long? (14) And also to what extent is one ruled by one's accruing karma in relation to the different modes of nature and the different life forms resulting from it as a consequence of one's desire? (15) Please describe to us how the creation of the lower regions, the four quarters of heaven, the sky, the planets and the stars, the hills, rivers, the seas and the islands and their inhabitants took place. (16) What is the extent and measure of [the] outer space [universe] and the inner space, and what are their divisions? And what is the character and action of the great souls and the vocations and age groups of society? (17) What are the different ages, how long do they take and what is their nature? And which incarnation of the Lord performs what kind of wonderful activities in each and every age?
(18) What are the different religious duties of human society at large and what are the duties of the three classes [labor, trade and intellect] and their administration [the fourth class]? And what would the obligations be towards people in distress? (19) How many elements are there in creation, what are their characteristics and how do they react? What are the rules and regulations of the devotional service for de Original Person in the culture of yoga and what are the different spiritual methods that lead thereto? (20) What are the powers the yoga master acquires, where do they lead to, how do the yogis detach from the astral body and what is the transcendental knowledge found in the Vedas, their subsidiary literatures [the Upaveda], the law books and the Vedic stories and historical accounts? (21) How do the different ways of the living beings come about and how do they find their end? What are the procedures for performing rituals, pious works and deeds of self-interest and what are the regulations for the three goals of life [the economic, religious and sensual interests]? (22) How do all those who either live in union with the Lord or go against Him find their existence and to what extend are those who are liberated conditioned relative to the ones who lead a life less determined? (23) How does the independent Supreme Lord enjoy His pastimes from His own inner potency and how can He forsake them when He as the Almighty One remains a witness to the external of His capacity?
(24) About all this and more that I didn't ask you oh fortunate one, I've been wondering from the beginning. Please explain in accordance with the truth oh great sage, that what you want to tell me with us all having fallen at your feet. (25) Surely in these matters of factual knowing you are as good as Brahmâ who originated directly from the Lord, while others who following the customs accordingly may only speak from borrowed knowledge. (26) I never tire oh brahmin, of drinking, in the hunger of my fasting, from the nectar of the infallible which flows from the ocean of what you say.' "
(27) Sûta Gosvâmî said: "He [S'ukadeva] thus in that assembly being questioned by the king on topics concerning the highest truth like these, was, as the instrument of the Creator, very pleased with this servant of Vishnu. (28) He instructed this Purâna called the Bhâgavatam the way it was transmitted by the Supreme Lord to Lord Brahmâ at the beginning of the first day [or kalpa] of creation. (29) This was the first thing he [in 2.1: 8] said in preparation of a full description from the beginning to the end of everything that the king, the best of the Pându dynasty, had asked and would ask more."