Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 4: Chapter 17: Verses 18-36
Then with a sore heart she returned (much) terrified and said to the noble king: "O Knower of Dharma (the secret of piety), kind to the afflicted, protect me as well, intent as you are on the maintenance of living beings. Such as you are, wherefore do you seek to kill me, a meek and innocent creature? How would he who is acknowledged as a knower of Dharma take the life of a female? People do not strike the fair sex even though they have committed an ofience. Much less would men like you, who are so gracious and fond of the miserable, stoop to such a thing. Having destroyed me, an undecaying boat on which the whole universe rests, how would you be able to support yourself as well as (all) these created beings on the surface of water ? Prthu replied : Earth, I shall slay you, who have turned a deaf ear to my commands and take your share in the sacrificial offerings but refuse to yield us crops. Punishment is not unadvisable in the case of the cow which is so wicked that it feeds on fodder everyday but does not yield the milk of its udders. Foolishly disregarding me, you refuse to release the foodgrains already created by Brahma (the seli-born), and which you have concealed within your bosom. When your bowels are ripped open by my arrows, 1 shall be able to stop the lamentation of these afflicted ones seized with hunger, by (appeasing their appetite with ) your fat . For the rulers of men, to kill the vile and self-conceited soul-be it man, woman or a sexless person-who is merciless to (Other) beings, is no killing (at all). Having torn you with arrows into pieces as minute stubborn and arrogant and have assumed the illusory appearance of a cow-I shall support these created beings by sheer dint of my Yogic (supernatural) power. Seized with a tremor and bowing low, Earth spoke with joined palms to the king, who like Death bore a form which was the very embodiment of wrath. Earth said : Hail, hail to the transcendent Person, who evolves diverse forms by dint of His Maya (creative energy) and appears as constituted of the three Gunas (modes of Prakrti), though (really speaking) He has by (constantly) realizing His essential nature eliminated all (possibilities of) identification with physical matter (Adhibhuta), the Jiva or embodied spirit (Adhidaiva) and the Controller of both (Adhiyajna) and is (therefore) above all modifications (in the shape of likes and dislikes resulting from such identification). The same supreme Maker by whom I have been created to be the abode of living beings and from whom has proceeded this creation consisting of the three Gunas (modes of Prakrti) is ready with uplifted weapon to strike me I Whom else shall I (now) resort to for protection ? He who evolved at the dawn (of creation) this world consisting of animate and inanimate beings by dint of His Maya (creative energy), which rests on Himself and is beyond all speculative reasoning, is now out to protect it by the same Maya. Now should He seek to kill me, devoted as He is to righteousness ? The Lord Almighty, though one, appears as many by virtue of His Maya. It is He who evolved Brahma (the creator) and caused the universe to be brought about by him. Surely the doings of such a Lord cannot be understood by men whose mind is tossed by His Maya, which is so hard to conquer. Hail to the Supreme Person, the Maker (of the universe), who (when necessary) brings into play and then withdraws into Himself His (manifold) potencies and who brings about the creation, preservation and dissolution of this universe by means of His potencies in the shape of the five gross elements, the ten Indriyas and the deities presiding over them, the faculty of understanding and egotism. It is You, O birthless Lord, who, in order to place on a sound footing the creation brought forth by You and consisting of the five gross elements, the lndriyas and the inner sense, lifted me up from the depths of the ocean and took me out of water assuming the form of the primaeval Boar. Appearing in the form of a hero, You, who once played the role of lifting up the earth, now seek to kill me with Your fierce arrows for the sake of milk, keen as You are to protect (all) created beings who have taken up their abode in me as in a boat on the surface of water I Surely the doings of divine personages (like You) cannot be known by people of my ilk, whose mental horizon is clouded by Your Maya (deluding potency), which brings forth this creation made up of the three Gunas. Hail to such personages, who bring renown to heroes themselves !
Thus ends the seventeenth discourse entitled The Taming of Earth' forming part of the Conquest of Prthu , in Book Four of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.