Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 12: Chapter 12: Verses 1-16
Suta began again : Hail to the exalted virtue in the shape of devotion to Sri Hari ! Hail to Sri' Krsna, the Maker of the universe ! Bowing (again) to the Brahmanas (as well), I shall expound the eternal verities (discussed in Srimad Bhagavata).(So) have I narrated to you, 0 Brahmana sages ! this wonderful (sublime) story (in the form of Srimad Bhagavata) of Lord Visnu, about which you asked me and which is worth hearing for men in whom there is (any) trace of humanity (left). Here stands duly celebrated Lord Narayana Himself, the Ruler of (our) senses, the Protector of devotees, (also) known as Sri Hari, the Dispeller of all sins.In this has been discussed the mysterious transcendent Brahma, the source and end of (all) creation, (the topic of) spiritual enlightenment cum Realization and the means of awakening them. (In addition to this) there has been discussed at length the discipline of Devotion (both as a means and an end itself) as well as Vairagya (freedom from passion) hinging on the latter. (Now hear the contents of the twelve Skandhas in a more or less serial order.) The narrative of (the birth etc., of) Pariksit and (as a prelude to it) the story of (the previous incarnation of) the (celestial) sage Narada. The vow of the royal sage Pariksit as a sequel to the curse of a Brahmana (boy) to fast till death and (the opening of) the dialogue between Pariksit and Suka, the foremost of Brahmanas.(Here ends the theme of Book One.) The (process of) ascent (to the higher regions of a departing soul) through Yogic concentration; the dialogue between Narada and (his father) Brahma (the birthless creator); an account of the Lord's descents in the order of sequence and (a description of) the cosmic evolution from Prakrti (Primordial Matter) from the (very) beginning. (Here ends the theme of Book Two.) The dialogue between Vidura and Uddhava and then between Vidura and Maitreya; an inquiry regarding the (Bhagavata-) Purana; the dormant state of the Supreme Person (during the period of Final Dissolution). Then follows a description of the flowering of Prakrti (in the form of disturbance caused in the equilibrium of the three Gunas) and the coming into being of the seven categories which are both of the nature of a cause and an effect (viz., of the Mahat-tattva into the cosmic ego and of the latter into the five Tanmatras or subtle elements) and the (gradual) crystallization of the (five) Tanmatras into the (five) gross elements and the eleven Indryas (viz., the five senses of perception, the five organs of action and the mind, which are all of the nature of an effect only since they do not give rise to any further modification). Then ensues a description of the evolution of the cosmic egg, from which appears Brahma (the offspring of the Cosmic Person). (Then) follows a description of Time in its subtle and gross states; the sprouting of the fourteen worlds (in the form of a lotus from the navel of the Cosmic Person) and how Hiranyaksa was killed (by the Lord in the form of the divine Boar) in the course of His attempt to lift up the earth from (the bottom of) the ocean.The evolution of the higher (heavenly and aerial), subhuman and subterranean(Asurika) orders of created beings and the appearance of Rudra (the god of destruction), and subsequently the division of Brahma in two halves, one constituting a male and the other a female, from which sprang up the Manu named Swayambhuva (because born of Brahma, the self-born) and Satarupa, the first and foremost pattern of womanhood. (Then) follows the description of the progeny (in the shape of nine daughters) of the revered wife (Devahuti) of the sage Kardama, a lord of creation. The descent of the Supreme Spirit as Lord Kapila and the dialogue of Devahuti with Aapila, the embodiment of wisdom. (Here ends the theme of Book Three.) The progeny (through the nine daughters of Kardama) of the nine lords of creation (Marici and others); the destruction of the sacrificial performance undertaken by Daksa (the tenth lord of creation); the narrative of (the devotee) Dhruva and then of King Prthu; the dialogue between King Pracinabarhi and the (celestial) sage- Narada and next follows the narrative of King Priyavrata, 0 Brahmanas ! Then follow the stories of Kings Nabhi, Rsabha and Bharata. A description of the Dwipas (the nine broad divisions of the terrestrial plane), Varsas (subdivisions of the Dwipas) and the oceans (dividing the Dwipas) and (then) of the (principal) mountains and rivers (forming part of the Dwipas); the disposition of the stellar sphere and the location of the (seven) subterranean worlds and the infernal regions (closely followed by the story of Ajamila, illustrating the means of averting descent into hell, in Book Six).