(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'You are the greatest, the Supreme Himself. Unrestrained You are without a beginning and an end. You are the true protector and the maintenance, destruction and creation of all in existence. (2) O, Supreme Lord, while You for the impious are hard to understand, worship the brahmins You in Your reality of abiding in the superior as well as the inferior entities of creation. (3) Please speak to me about the variety of [Your] forms [see catur vyûha] by means of which the great sages, who with devotion worship You, achieve that perfection [which is the supreme]. (4) O Maintainer of All Beings, not being visible You are engaged as the Very Soul of the living beings. You see them while they, bewildered by You[r external reality], cannot see You. (5) And, please, explain to me o greatest Might, what all the potencies are that You manifest in all directions on earth, in heaven and in hell. I offer my obeisances at Your lotus feet, the abode of all holy places.'
(6) The Supreme Lord said: 'This question, o best of all questioners, was at the time of the destruction posed by Arjuna in his desire to fight his rivals [at Kurukshetra, see B.G. 2: 54, 13: 1-2, 14: 21, 18: 1]. (7) Aware of the fact that the killing of his relatives was an irreligious, abominable act with sovereignty as a motive, he refrained saying in a worldly mind: 'Then I am the slayer and they the ones slain' [B.G. 1: 37-45, compare 2: 19]. (8) He, who just like you is a tiger among men, asked Me before the battle took place questions and was that very moment by Me with logical arguments enlightened on the matter.
(9) I am of these living entities their Soul, o Uddhava, their Well-wisher and Controller, I am the maintenance, creation and annihilation of all the living beings. (10) I am the goal of the ones seeking progress, the Time of those who exert control, of the modes of nature I am the equilibrium and the natural virtue of the pious I am as well. (11) Of everything that has quality I am the guideline, of all great things I am the totality, of the subtle I am the spirit soul and among things that are difficult to conquer I am the mind. (12) I am Hiranyagarbha [Brahmâ the original teacher] of the Vedas, of the mantras I am the three-lettered Omkâra, of the letters I am the first [the 'a'], and of the sacred metres I am the three-footed one [the Gâyatrî mantra]. (13) Among all the gods I am Indra, among the Vasus I am Agni, among the sons of Aditi I am Vishnu [Vâmana] and among the Rudras I am the One Red-Blue [S'iva, see also 3.12: 7]. (14) Bhrigu I am among the brahmin sages, among the brahmin kings I am Manu, among the brahmin demigods I am Nârada and among the cows I am Kâmadhenu [the cow of plenty]. (15) Of the perfected in control I am Kapila, Garuda I am among the birds, Daksha among the founding fathers, and Aryamâ among the forefathers. (16) O Uddhava know Me among the sons of Diti as Prahlâda, the controller of the unenlightened, know Me as the [order of the] moon to the stars and the herbs, and as Kuvera, the lord of wealth among the Yakshas and Râkshasas. (17) Airâvata I am among the lordly elephants, Varuna, the master I am among the aquatics, of things that heat and illumine I am the sun, and among the human beings I am the master of the realm. (18) Uccaihs'ravâ I am among the horses, I am gold among the metals, Yamarâja I am among the regulators and I am also Vâsuki among the serpents. (19) Anantadeva I am among the hooded snakes, the lion I am among all beasts with teeth and horns, among the spiritual orders [the status-groups, the âs'ramas] I am the fourth [the sannyâsîs] and among the vocations [varnas] I am the first [the brahmins], o sinless one. (20) Among the holy places and what flows I am the Ganges, the ocean I am among the expanses of water, the bow I am among the weapons and I am the destroyer of Tripura [S'iva] among the wielders of the bow. (21) Meru I am among the mountains, among the places that are impervious I am the Himalayas, among the trees I am the as'vattha, and among the plants I am the ones bearing grains [barley]. (22) Among the priests I am Vasishthha, among those vowed to the Veda I am Brihaspati, Kârttikeya [Skanda] I am among the military leaders and among the ones of spiritual progress I am the unborn, highest lord [Brahmâ, the Creator]. (23) Of the sacrifices I am the study of the Veda, of the vows I am the vow of nonviolence [vegetarianism], and of all purifiers I am the pure fire, wind, sun, water and speech in person. (24) Of the process of yoga I am the final stage of samâdhi, prudent counsel I am among those desiring victory, of all discrimination I am the metaphysical logic [or the spiritual science of distinguishing spirit from matter], and among the speculative philosophers I am the choice. (25) Among the ladies I am S'atarûpâ [wife of Manu, see 3.12: 54] and among the men am I Svâyambhuva Manu, sage Nârâyana [see 10.87: 4] I am among the sages as also Sanat-kumâra among the celibates. (26) Of the principles of religion I am renunciation, of all things basic I am the inner awareness, of the secrecy I am the friendliness and the silence, and of the sexual couple I am the Unborn one [the original Prajâpati who is Brahmâ]. (27) Of what's ever wakeful I am the solar year, of the seasons I am the spring, among the months I am Mârgas'îrsha [November-December], and of the lunar mansions [the twenty-seven nakshatras] I am Abhijit. (28) Of the yugas I am Satya-yuga, among the sober ones I am Devala and Asita, of the vedic editors I am Dvaipâyana [Vyâsadeva] and among the scholars learned in spirituality I am S'ukrâcârya. (29) Of those entitled to the name Bhagavân [the Supreme Lord] I am Vâsudeva, among My devotees I am indeed you [Uddhava], among the ape-like I am Hanumân, and among the scientists I am Sudars'ana. (30) Of the jewels I am the ruby, of all things beautiful I am the lotus cup, of all types of grass I am the kus'a grass and of the oblations I am the ghee of the cow. (31) Of the enterprising I am the fortune, of the cheaters I am the gambling, the forgiveness I am among the tolerant and I am the character of the ones in the mode of goodness. (32) The mental and physical strength I am of the strong. Please know that among the devotees I am the [devotional] work done and that among My nine forms [nava mûrti], by which these Sâtvatas are worshiping Me, I am the Supreme Original Form [Vâsudeva]. (33) Among the singers of heaven I am Vis'vâvasu, and among the heavenly dancing girls I am Pûrvacitti. I am the steadiness of the mountains and the aroma of the earth. (34) I am the fine taste of water and among the things most brilliant I am the sun. The effulgence I am of the moon, the stars and the sun, and I am the transcendental soundvibration in the sky [see also 11.15: 19]. (35) Among the ones devoted to brahminical culture I am Bali, of the heroes I am Arjuna and indeed I am the rising, the stability, and the final mergence of all living beings. (36) Of the power of the senses I am the walking, the speech, the evacuation, the handling and the sexual joy [the karmendriyas] as also the touch, the sight, the taste, the hearing and the smell [the jñânendriyas].
(37) All this I enumerated - the subtle form of the earth [smell], of the air [touch], of the sky [sound], of the water [taste], of the fire [light]; the totality of matter, the sixteen elements [those five basic elements, the indriyas and the mind], the person, the unmanifest and the modes of rajas, tamas and sattva - stands together with the spiritual knowledge and the steady conviction [therewith] for My person, I the One Supreme. (38) I am the Supreme Controller of the living entity, the gunas and the greater reality. I, the Soul of all, am indeed everything, the one outside of whom nothing whatsoever exists. (39) I might be able to count the atoms after some time but not so My opulences, for I created the universes by the millions [compare 10.14: 7]. (40) Whatever power, beauty, fame, dominion [see 11.15], humility, renunciation, enjoyment, fortune, strength, tolerance or wisdom there might be, they are all an integral part of Me. (41) All these spiritual potencies I briefly enumerated to you [see also B.G. 7, 9 and 10] are, with each of them [as expansions of the Lord and as] being put in corresponding words [in the scriptures, in the teachings], likewise there also as transformations of the mind. (42) Control [for that reason] the mind, control the speech, control your breathing and senses. Control yourself by your soul so that you will never again stumble on the path of material existence. (43) For sure is someone who with the help of his intelligence is not completely in control of his speech and mind, a transcendentalist whose vows, penance and charity flow away like water from an unbaked pot. (44) Therefore the one devoted to Me who fitted in with My bhakti should control his words, life air and mind and thus, with that intelligence, fulfill his life's purpose.'