Book 3: Chapter 5
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 5: Verses 1-13
Sri Suka continued : Vidura, the foremost of the Kurus, whose heart was purified by devotion to the imperishable Lord Sri Krsna, approached the sage Maitreya of fathomless wisdom, who was staying at Haridwara (the gateway of the celestial river, Ganga, so-called because the river descends into the plains at this point) and, gratified by his good disposition and other virtues, asked him (the following question): Vidura said : People perform actions for the sake of happiness; but they neither attain happiness nor succeed in ending their sorrow thereby. On the other hand, they undergo suffering again and again as a result of those acts. Therefore, O worshipful sage, be pleased to tell me what is advisable under the circumstances. The blessed devotees of Lord Janardana (Sri Krsna) move about in this world just in order to shower their grace on men who have through ill luck turned their face away from Sri Krsna and are given to unrighteousness and are therefore extremely miserable. Be pleased to point out to me, O foremost saint, that blessed path by following which people succeed in propitiating the Lord, who in His turn settles in their heart, purified by devotion, and bestows on them the most ancient wisdom, which brings with it the realization of Truth. Kindly also tell me what kind of deeds are performed by the Lord, who is the Ruler of all the three worlds and absolutely independent, when He descends into the world of matter; how, though action less, He brought forth this universe at the dawn of creation; how, having established it on a firm footing, He provides a means of subsistence for all created beings; and how again, having withdrawn it into the cavity of His heart and refraining from all activity, He retires into communion with His Yogamya; and finally how, having (created this universe over again and) entered it as the Inner Controller, the Lord of all Masters of Yoga, though one, appears in diverse forms. Also recount to me the exploits that He performs as a mere sport for the well-being of the Brahmanas, the cows and the gods in the course of His various Avataras or descents into the world of matter. My mind does not feel sated even though I go on hearing the nectar-like stories of Sri Krsna (the Crest-jewel of those enjoying fair renown). Pray, further tell me, O chief of the Brahmanas, with what principles that suzerain Lord of all the worlds created the different worlds and their guardian deities, as well as the dark regions (lying beyond the mountain called Lokaloka),  wherein appear all classes of beings entrusted with different duties, and how theself-existent Lord Narayana, the Maker of the universe, endowed all created beings with a distinctive disposition, activity, form and name. I have often heard, 0 worshipful sage, from the lips of the sage Vyasa about the duties of the higher (twice-born) as well as the lower classes of men; but I am now fed up with all other Dharmas, conducive as they are to trivial joys, and find my sole delight in the stream of nectar that flows from the stories of Sri Krsna. As a matter of fact, who can be sated with the stories of Sri Krsna (whose feet are the abode of all sanctity), which are sung with praise by seers (like Narada) in the assemblies of holy men like you ? For, entering the cavity of a man's ears (through His stories) the Lord cuts asunder the bond of attachment to his home, which throws one into the whirlpool of metempsychosis. It was with the intention of recounting the Lord's virtues that your friend, the sage Krsna Dwaipayana (Vedavyasa), composed the Mahabharata. For even there, while (apparently) dwelling on the pleasures of sense, the mind of human beings is (ultimately) drawn towards the stories of Sri Hari. The attraction (thus generated) for the stories of Sri Hari, when it grows, creates aversion in the mind of a devout man for other things. Nay, it speedily puts an end to all the sorrows of the man who has tasted the joy flowing from the constant remembrance of Sri Hari's feet.
- A belt or circle of mountains surrounding the outermost of the seven seas and dividing the visible world from the region of darkness (As the sun is within this wall of mountains, they are tight on one side and dark on the other).