Book 3: Chapter 9
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 9: Verses 1-10
 Brahma said : It is after a very long time that I have come to know You today. It is really shameful that living beings should fail to realize the true nature of the Lord (Yourself). (In fact) there is nothing other than You; and even that which appears to exist is not real. For, when the equilibrium of the Gunas of Maya is disturbed, it is You alone who appear as many. The light of wisdom, which is synonymous with joy, being ever manifest in You, the darkness of ignorance can never approach You. This form, which is the seed of hundreds of forthcoming Avataras, and from the lotus sprung from whose navel I have emanated, has been assumed by You for the first time just in order to show Your grace to the worshippers. I do not regard Your essence, which is purely blissful and undifferentiated and of the nature of unobscured effulgence, as something other than this form of Yours, 0 Supreme Spirit. That is why I have taken refuge in this very form, which, though creating the universe, is yet beyond the universe and is the source of all the five elements and the ten Indriyas. It is for the good of Your worshipper in me, O source of blessings to the world, that You have revealed this form of Yours to me. I make obeisance again and again to You, who are disregarded only by people that are addicted to the pleasures of sense and thus deserve a place in hell. O Lord, You never leave the lotus heart of Your devotees, who take in through the opening of their ears the fragrance (delightful glory) of Your lotus-feet, wafted by the breeze of the Vedas, Your feet being held fast by the cords of supreme devotion. A man is subject to fear, grief, covetousness, ignominy and inordinate greed proceeding from wealth, house and kinsmen; nay, he is obsessed with the false sense of mineness in respect of the same, which is the root of all sorrow, only so long as he does not take refuge in Your feet, which secure immunity from all fear. Programmes connected with You (such as the hearing and chanting of Your praises etc.) destroy all evil. They have, therefore, been robbed of their wits by (an unpropitious) fate, who, having withdrawn their senses from such a programme, remain constantly engaged in sinful pursuits, their mind possessed with covetousness for the most trivial pleasures of sense, and feeling miserable on that account. It pains my soul, O immortal Lord of infinite power, to see these  creatures being repeatedly tormented by hunger and thirst, by the three humours (flatulence, bile and phlegm), by cold, heat, storm and rain, as well as by one another, and by the unbearable fire of passion as also by anger. So long as a man, O Lord, continues to regard himself as apart from (other than) the Lord (Yourself) on account of Your Maya (which stands between You and him) in the shape of the senses and their objects, the cycle of birth and death will not cease for him. Though this cycle has no reality, it is a perennial source of sorrows; for through this a man reaps the fruit of his actions. Those who have an aversion for programmes connected with You have to pass through a series of births and deaths in this world, no matter if they are born in a family of seers. For the mind and senses of such men are occupied with mundane pursuits and distracted with worldly thoughts by day, and they remain buried in slumber at night, although their sleep is disturbed moment after moment, their mind being tossed about by ambitions of various kinds, and their endeavours for the realization of their object are frustrated by Providence.
-  B. M. 9-
- Although no living being was present before Brahma at that time, since the work of creation had not been started till then, he could see their subtle bodies in the person of the Lord, and evidently was able to read their future life as if he actually saw it.