Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 12: Verses 9-16
What is denoted by the word 'earth' is (also) similarly explained because of its being (ultimately) resolved into the finest atoms (its constituent factors). As for the atoms, by whose concatenation the element known by the name of earth has been brought into existence, they have been postulated by force of reason through ignorance (because, as a matter of fact, all these phenomena are but a creation of the Lord's own Maya or creative energy). Similarly whatever other objective (phenomenal) existence appears to us as lean or stout, small or big, of the nature of cause or effect, animate or inanimate, know it to be a creation of Maya (the beginningless creative energy of the Lord) known by various names such as substance (the gross elements), nature (the mutability of all phenomena), predisposition, the Time-Spirit (that which disturbs the equilibrium of the three Gunas or modes of Prakrti) and Karma (good or evil destiny). Consciousness alone is true-Consciousness which is pure, absolute, one (differenceless), having no inside or outside, all-perfect, directed towards the Self, immutable and (commonly) known by the appellation of Bhagavan (the almighty and all-glorious Lord), and that sages call Vasudeva (the abode of all beings).
O Rahugana, one does not attain this (consciousness) through asceticism nor through (Vedic) rituals, nor (again) by dealing out food and other necessaries (among the needy), nor by (duly) performing one's religious duties (pertaining to household life-such as entertaining an unexpected visitor, service of the afflicted and poor and so on), nor through a (proper) study of the Vedas nor through the worship of (the gods presiding over) water, fire and the sun, (nor by any other means) except by sprinkling one's body with the dust of feet of exalted souls. In their assemblies are held discourses on the excellences of the Lord, which shut out (all) talks of worldly pleasures and which, when listened to everyday, concentrate the pure mind of a seeker of liberation on Lord Vasudeva. I was formerly (in a previous birth) a king (like you), Bharata by name, and, having completely got rid of (all) bondage resulting from attachment to (all) that is seen (in this world) or heard of (as existing in heaven) endeavoured to propitiate the Lord, but was reborn as a deer through attachment to a deer, and (thus) lost my purpose (in the shape of God-Realization). The memory of past life, awakened in me by the worship of Lord Sri Krsna, (however) did not leave me even in that bestial form, O valiant king. It is therefore that I move about incognito and unattached, afraid as I am of mixing with the people. Therefore, having completely severed (all) ties of infatuation with the sword of wisdom developed through the blessed company of exalted souls (who are free from attachment), and attained God-consciousness by (constantly) recounting and listening to the stories of Sri Hari, a man reaches the highest goal of his journey, the Lord (Himself).
Thus ends the twelfth discourse, forming part of the dialogue between the Brahmana and king Rahugana, in Book Five of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana,