Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 11: Chapter 16: Verses 1-16
Uddhava submitted : You are actually the supreme Brahma, having no beginning or end, and unobscured (by Maya). You are responsible for the protection, subsistence, destruction and birth of all existences.The knowers of the (real) import of the Vedas (alone) worship You, 0 Lord, in Your reality as abiding in (all) created beings, high and (low as their Cause), though You cannot be easily known (perceived) by those that have not been able to purify their mind. (Therefore, pray,) point out to me those particular entities (by) contemplating on You through which with devotion men of supreme wisdom (are able to) attain highest perfection (in the form of true devotion or saving wisdom). The Inner Controller of beings, You remain hidden from their view. 0 Life-giver of (all) created beings ! Deluded by You, living beings are unable to perceive You, even though You behold them (all). Mention to me all those powerful manifestations of Yours, invested by You with Your own divine glory, that may be existing on earth, in the quarters, in heaven or in the subterranean region, 0 Lord of infinite prowess ! I bow to Your lotus-feet, which are the abode of (all) sanctuaries. The glorious Lord replied : In a like manner I was put this very question by Arjuna while just going to fight with his enemies at (the battle-field of) Kuruksetra, 0 chief of those possessing Insight into the meaning of questions ! Feeling like the common man that " I am the slayer and the other one is slain (by me)", and believing that slaying one's kinsfolk for the sake of kingdom is reproachful and unrighteous, he ceased from that act (at the beginning). Disillusioned by My reasoning, that tiger among men then interrogated Me at the van of fight in the same way as you have done. I am the Self, the Befriender and the Ruler of all these created beings, 0 Uddhava ! (in fact,) I am all the beings as well as responsible for their birth, life and death. l am the motion of the mobile and Kala (the Time-Spirit) among those that bring others under their control. I am the state of equilibrium (in the shape of Prakrti) of the three Gunas (modes of Prakrti) and the property natural to a thing with attributes. t am the Sutra (the active aspect of Mahat-tattva, the very first evolute of Prakrti) among the products constituted of the three Gunas; (nay,) I am Mahat-tattva (the principle of cosmic intelligence) among big things. Of subtle principles I am the Jiva (the embodied soul); and of those that are difficult to conquer I am the mind. Of the Vedas I am their teacher, Brahma (who taught them for the first time to his mind-born sons); of Mantras (sacred texts) I am Pranava (the sacred syllable ONI), consisting of three members (A,U,M). Of the letter-sounds I am the sound represented by the letter(A); of metres I am the metre Gayatri (consisting of three feet). Of all the gods I am Indra (their chief); of the (eight) Vasus (a particular class of gods) I am the god of fire (who carries oblations to the gods). Of the (twelve) sons of Aditi I am Visnu (known by the name of Upendra, the youngest, who appeared in the court of the demon king Bali as a dwarf and robbed him of his dominion extending over the three worlds); of the (eleven) Rudras, I am Nila-Lohita (Lord Siva). Of the nine Brahmana sages (born of Brahma's mind) I am Bhrgu (the foremost of them); of the royal sages I am (Swayambhuva) Manu. Of the celestial sages I am Narada; of cows I am Kamadhenu (lit., the storehouse of milk and its products used as oblations for the gods). Of the lords of Siddhas I am Lord Kapila; of birds I am Garuda (the king of birds, the carrier of Lord Visnu). Of Prajapatis (the gods presiding over creation) I am Daksa (the foremost of them); of the manes I am Aryama (their head). Of Daityas (the sons of Diti) know Me to be Prahrada, the ruler of the demons. Of the stars and annual plants know Me to be (their ruler,) the moon-god; of Yaksas and Raksasas know Me to be (their chief) Kubera (the lord of treasures), O Uddhava !