Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 10: Verses 16-25
"Who are you, that go about incognito and wear the sacred thread (a distinguishing mark) of the twice-born ? If you are an Avadhuta (one who has shaken off all worldly feeling and obligation), which (of the well-known Avadhutas, such as the divine sage Dattatreya and others) may you be ? (Again,) whose son are you and born at what place, and wherefore are you here ? If (you have come here) for our good, are you not the sage Kapila (who is Sattva personified) ? I fear neither the thunderbolt of Indra (the lord of paradise) nor the trident of Lord Siva (the three-eyed) nor (even) the rod (of punishment) of Yama (the god of retribution) nor (again) the weapons of the fire-god, the sun-god, the moon-god, the wind god and Kubera (the lord of riches); but I am terribly afraid of showing disrespect to the Brahmana race. Tell me (all) this, (as to who you are) roaming about as you do like a dunce, with your greatness in the shape of profound wisdom fully disguised, free from attachment and possessing infinite glory. Your words which are replete with Self-Knowledge, O pious sage, cannot be penetrated (correctly understood) even with the help of intuition. Moreover, I was (just) proceeding to ask Lord Kapila-who is no other than Sri Hari, descended (on earth) with a view to imparting (true) knowledge, nay, who is the Master of Yoga and the supreme preceptor of sages knowing the truth about the Self-what is the (true) asylum in this world. May it be that you are the same Lord Kapila going about incognito in order to examine the condition of the world ? How can he who is tied to his home and whose intellect is blinded (by infatuation) understand the ways of Masters of Yoga ?
"I have known weariness being felt by me through activity (in the form of fighting in war) and infer that the same must (likewise) be experienced by you while bearing a load and walking (with the same). The phenomenal world too ought to have a reality at its bottom; for otherwise it will have no utility nor will it be possible to take any work from it, any more than one can fetch water and so on in an unreal jar. (It is a matter of common experience that) in consequence of a kettle being heated by fire the water (contained in it) also gets fully heated and due to the heat of the water the grains of rice (that are being boiled in it) get softened (first) and (then) their interior too; and the heat thus conducted from the pot to the water and from the water to the exterior of the grains in the first instance and later on to their interior as well is not unreal. Even so, due to contact (identification) with the body, as well as with the lndriyas (the senses of perception and the organs of action) and the mind, their experiences (in the form of fatigue, the feeling of heat and cold and so on) are (gradually) transmitted to the soul (as well) because of its taking upon itself the attributes of its conditioning vestures. (Granted that the relation of master and servant subsisting between a ruler and his subjects is not permanent or unchangeable) a king is (nevertheless for the time being) the ruler and protector of the people. He who is a servant (of the Lord, that is, he who does his duty as a piece of service to the Lord) does not grind what is already ground (undertake an unprofitable business), for (although he may not be able to rid a dunce of his stupidity by upbraiding him for his remissness, he thereby carries out the Lord's behests and) by offering worship to the Lord in the shape of performing his duty he is able to get rid of his stock of sins. Therefore, may you be pleased, 0 friend of the afflicted, to cast a kindly look on me, who have slighted the most holy (like you) through vanity arising from consciousness of my being a ruler of men, so that I may (be able to) get rid of the sin incurred by showing disrespect to pious souls. Although there is no agitation in you, who are a friend and a well-wisher of the (whole) universe and have entirely ceased to identify yourself with the body because of your undifferentiating outlook, a man like me is sure to perish at no distant date as a result of his own misdeed in the shape of despising exalted souls, even if he were (as great and powerful as) Lord Siva (the Wielder of a trident) Himself."
Thus ends the tenth discourse in Book Five of the great
and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise knownas the Paramahamsa-Samhita.