Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 11: Chapter 19: Verses 1-11
The glorious Lord began again: He who is equipped with learning culminating in intuition, (nay,) who has realized the Self and does not take his stand on (mere) logical reasoning should know this world of differences (as well as the means of sublating it) to be a mere phantom appearing in Me and (eventually) relinquish this knowledge too. (This is what is technically known by the name of Vidwat-Samnyasa.) To a man of wisdom I am the only beloved; I am recognized to be his purpose (goal) as well as the means of accomplishing it; I am his heaven (highest joy) and Moksa (release) too; no object other than Me is dear to him. bears Me up with his knowledge, hence he is most beloved of Me. Askesis, resorting to sacred places or holy waters, the muttering of prayers, charity and other purifying agencies do not consummately bring about that perfection which is wrought by a ray of Knowledge. Therefore, knowing your own self up to the stage of realization, 0 Uddhava, and equipped with (such) knowledge and realization and full of Devotion worship Me (alone, rejecting everything else). Having worshipped Me, their Inner Controller and Bestower of the fruit of all sacrifices, in their own self (heart), sages have attained to Me alone in the form of highest perfection (final beatitude). This threefold modification (of Prakrti, in the form of the body, the senses and the mind) that crops up in you, 0 Uddhava, is (only) an illusion (and not real) in that it appears in the middle (like the serpent in a rope), and does not exist in the beginning or at the end. (Hence) when these (six) states-in the shape of birth etc.,(viz., birth, existence, growth, transformation, decay and death)- befall (by turns) this psychophysical organism, nothing happens (no chang comes) to you, the substratum (beyond and unaffected by these states). (Reverting to the illustration of the serpent and the rope) what (the rope) persists before (the appearance of) and after (the disappearance of) a phantom (viz., the serpent) also exists in the middle. (Just as the states through which a serpent passes do not affect its substratum, viz., the rope, the states of the body do not affect you, the substratum of the body). Uddhava submitted : (Pray,) expound in a thorough (conclusive) way, 0 Lord of the universe, which is Your own form ! this purifying and most ancient (because embodied in the dateless Vedas) wisdom, coupled with dispassion and intuition, as well as the path of Devotion, sought after (even) by the great (Brahma and others). For a man tormented on all sides with the threefold agony (viz., 1-that brought about by divine agencies in the form of natural calamities, 2-that inflicted by other living beings and 3-that arising out of bodily distemper or mental disturbance) and undergoing intense suffering in the fearful path of metempsychosis, 0 Lord, I find no shelter other than the umbrella of Your feet, which (not only affords protection against the scorching sunshine but also) rains nectar on all sides. Kindly lift up once for all this creature fallen deep into this abyss (of transmigration) and bitten by the snake of Death, (yet) seized by the great thirst for trifling delights (of sense), and soothe me with (nectar-like) words showing the way to Liberation, 0 Lord possessed of immense glory ! The glorious Lord replied : Thus did King Yudhisthira (who bore no enmity to any creature whatsoever) ask this (very) question in the former days of Bhisma, the foremost of those devoted to the righteous course (pleasing to the Lord), while all of us listened.