Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 10: Chapter 14: Verses 14-22
Are You not actually Narayana, since You are (the life and) soul of all embodied beings? (Nay,) You are their Prompter () as well as the Witness of all creatures ( (The celebrated) Lord Narayana, so-called because He has His abode in things produced out of Nara (God) as well as in the waters evolved out of Him, constitutes a form of Yours. Your appearing in a finite form (however) is not true; it is a mere sport of Yours. If that form of Yours, constituting the support of the world, (really) stays in water (and is thus finite), why was it not perceived by me, 0 almighty Lord, that very time (when I embarked on a quest for it, entering the lotus-stalk, on my failing to trace my origin when I emerged out of the lotus) or why was it clearly seen in the heart at that very moment (when I concluded my austerities) ? And why was it not beheld by me instantaneously again? (This shows that, even though You are all-pervading, Your sight depends entirely on Your pleasure; it does not indicate Your finite character).
It was in this very descent of Yours (as Sri Krsna), 0 dispeller of (alt) delusion, that the undoubtedly illusory character of this entire externally visible universe was actually revealed by You within Your abdomen before Your mother. (Just) as all this (creation) including Your own Self appears within Your abdomen, so does all this appear in this universe (outside Yourself) too. Is this possible in You except through Your Maya (deluding potency) ? Was not the illusory character of (all) this other than Yourself revealed to me by Yourself this very day? At first (before the calves and their keepers were stolen away by me) You alone existed; after that (when the calves and the cowherd boys, had been stolen away) You appeared in the form of Your companions in Vraja as well as of the calves and all other paraphernalia (such as their flutes, horns etc.). Then (again) You appeared in as many four-armed forms, waited upon by all categories (in a living form), accompanied by myself. Then again You became as many universes and now remain as the infinite Brahma without a second.
In the eyes of those who are ignorant of Your (supreme) nature You are the Spirit identified with Prakrti (Matter) and, having spread Maya by your own Self, appear as myself (Brahma) for the purpose of creation, as Yourself (Lord Visnu) standing before me for the sake of preservation and as Lord Siva (the three-eyed) for the dissolution of the universe.In order to curb the foolish pride of the wicked, 0 Lord, as well as for showering Your grace on the righteous, 0 Maker of the universe, You appear among the gods, the Rsis and even so among human beings, as well as among the beasts and birds and even among aquatic creatures, although You are birthless (as a matter of fact), 0 Master ! When You engage in sports spreading (the curtain of) Your Yogamaya (enchantment), 0 infinite Lord, who can know of Your activities in (all) the three worlds-as to where or how or when they come into play and what is their number, 0 supreme Spirit, the Master of Yoga ? Therefore, appearing and vanishing in Your infinite Self, the embodiment of eternal Bliss and Consciousness, by virtue of Your Maya, this entire universe, which is unreal by nature like a dream, devoid of intelligence and full of abundant and endless misery, appears as real (as well as eternal, full of bliss and consciousness).