Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 2: Chapter 5: Verses 1-14
Narada said : My obeisance to you O god of gods, creator of all beings, forefather of all, Kindly instruct me in that wisdom which makes one realize the truth of the Spirit. My lord. kindly tell me in essence the truth about this universe, as to what its characteristics are, on what it is supported, by whom it has been created, where it ultimately rests, by what power it is ruled and what it essentially is. You surely know all this; for you are the lord of that which has come to be, that which is still to come and that which is coming into existence. Like a fruit of the emblic myrobalan on the palm of one's hand, the universe is within the range of your knowledge. What is the source of your special knowledge and by whom are you supported ? To what power do you owe your allegiance and what is your essential nature? Single-handed you create all beings out of the five elements by dint of your own Maya (wonderful creative energy)! Even as a spider spins a web out of its own mouth without any exertion and sports in that web, so do you create all beings in your own self by your own energy and remain unchanged yourself. Of all that is known through a certain name, form and qualities, in this world, 0 lord, I know of nothing, animate or inanimate, high, low or mediocre, which has its source in anything other than you. By the fact that even you (the supreme Ruler of all) practised austere penance with great concentration of mind, you bewilder us and lead us to suspect that there is someone higher than you. Omniscient as you are , 0 Ruler of all, I ask you all this. Pray, therefore, instruct me in such a way that I may follow your teachings correctly. Brahma replied : Laudable is this enquiry of yours, dear child, who are full of compassion to all; for you have thereby urged me to reveal the Lord's glory. It is not without truth either what you have spoken about me, my son. For, until one has come to know Him who is even greater than me, all this greatness appears as belonging to me. I (seem to) manifest (bring forth) the universe, which stands manifested by the self-effulgent Lord, much in the same way as the sun and fire, the moon and the other pianets as well as the other stars and the lunar mansions (seem to) illumine it (the universe) even though it stands illumined by the Lord. I bow to the same Lord Vasudeva and meditate on Him. Deluded by His Maya, which is so difficult to conquer, people (like you) speak of me as the father of the universe. Nay, bewildered by that Maya, fools vauntingly speak of the body as their self ('I') and of all that belongs to it as 'mine', although this Maya is too shy even to stand the Lord's look. In reality, O divine sage, there is no substance other than Lord Vasudeva-neither the elements nor Karma (destiny) nor Time nor Swabhava (nature) nor the individual soul.