Bhagawan Bala Mukunda uvācha, “O Venerable One! Even the devathas do not know My form satisfactorily and in reality. I will tell you the manner in which I create this universe because of your love and affection.
Brahmarshi! You are a devotee of the ancestors and you have sought refuge in Me and you have observed the discipline of Brahmacharya in a great way. It is because of all this that you have had darshan of My True Form today.
In the days of yore, it is I who have kept the name of Nārā for water. That Nārā is My abode at all times and therefore I am known as Nārāyana. I, Nārāyana am the cause for the creation of all beings, am Eternal and Imperishable. O Great One! I am only the creator and destructor of all the elements. I am only Vishnu, I am only Brahma, I am only the Lord of the Devas, Indra and I am only Kubera and I am only Yama.
O Great Sage! I am only Shiva, Chandra, Prajapati Kasyapa, Dhātā, Vidhātā and yagna. Agni is My face, prithvi are My feet and Surya and Chandra are My eyes. Dyuloka is My head. The space and directions are My ears and water manifests from the sweat of My body. The entire space along with the directions are My body. Vayu is seated in My mind. I have performed hundred yagnas with abundant donations. The well-versed scholars perform yagna to Me, the Yagnapurusha seated in the divine offerings. The kshatriyas who rule over this earth perform yagnas propitiating Me in the hope of attaining the heavenly worlds. Even the vaishyas serve Me to reach the heavenly worlds. I as Shesha Nāga adorn the Meru mountain and place this earth that is surrounded by water on all the sides on My head.
In the ancient times, when this earth was drowning in the unfathomable waters, I took the Varaha form and brought it out with force. I as Agni with many mouths perpetually drink the water of the ocean and send that water down as rain. Brahman is My mouth, kshatriya are My two arms and vaishya reside as My two thighs. Sudras are My two feet. They manifest again with My force. Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda – all these manifest from Me and get absorbed in Me alone.
Brahmans who are peaceful, reserved, curious, bereft of kāma and krodha, devoid of attachment, free from sin, moral, permanently free from ego and who are happy in the knowledge of the Self will contemplate on Me and worship Me.
I am only the deadly Samvartak agni. I am only the Samvartak fire. I am only the Samvartak Surya and I am only the Samvartak Vayu. Understand all the stars that you see in this sky as My pores. The bejewelled ocean and all the directions are My garments, bed and residence. I have only created them separately for the success of the actions of the devathas.
O Wise One! Kāma, krodha, harsha, bhaya and moha – understand these perversions to be the stretch of hair from My chest to navel. Understand O Brahman, that the enforcement of good deeds by man which results in benediction are satya, dāna, ugra tapasya and not harming any being – all this has been constructed on My ordination and reside in My body. When I bring forth the knowledge in all the beings, only then they can move else they cannot do anything as per their desire.
The dwijāti who studies the Vedas thoroughly, is peaceful and devoid of anger and worships Me through different types of yagnas will only attain Me. Understand Me to be the coveted fruit that sinners, niggardly, avaricious, lowly and the undesirable will never be able to attain. I am only the accessible path of Yoga for those whose inner organs are pure. I am always inaccessible for foolish men.
I manifest Myself again and again when there is a decrease of dharma and emergence of adharma. When the violent daityas are not put to death by the excellent devathas and fearsome rakshasas are born in this universe and commit atrocities, then I take a human birth in the houses of saintly persons and silence all the tyranny of the daityas and rakshasas. I only create devatha, manusha, gandharva, nāga, rakshasa and all the animals of the moving world by My māya and also destroy them when the time comes. At the time of creation, I take the incomprehensible form and take the form of a man to establish and protect dharma.
My body in Satya Yuga is white in colour, yellow in Treta Yuga, red in Dwapura Yuga and black in Kali Yuga. There are three parts of adharma and only one part of dharma in that Kali Yuga. I take an extremely frightening form of Kāla at the time of dissolution and single-handedly destroy the entire universe. I pervade these three worlds, am the ātma of the entire universe, bestow contentment on all the people, am the cause for the birth of all, am omnipresent, am eternal, am the controller of the sensory organs and am immensely powerful. I only make this unmanifest Kālachakra that destroys all the elements and make all persevere. In this manner, My all-pervading ātma resides in the hearts of all beings. And yet, no one knows Me.
All the devoted men in this world worship Me in many ways. Whatever sufferings you have undergone after coming near Me are instrumental for your benediction and happiness. Anagha! Understand My ātma to have manifested in the form of whatever moving and immoving material/items you saw. The Pithāmaha of the entire universe, Brahma is My other half.
Brahmarshi! I am the Universal Nārāyana who holds the shankha, chakra and gada and rests on the water till the dissolution at the end of thousand yugas is there when all the beings are captivated by mahānidrā. Whilst I am not a boy, I continue to remain in this child form residing here till Brahma wakes up.
You are revered by Brahmarshis. I only through Brahma have bestowed upon you a rare boon for you to be satisfied repeatedly. I understood that you were perturbed seeing the entire universe destroyed and engulfed in the universal deluge. Hence, I gave you the darshan of the universe again. When you entered My body and became astonished seeing the entire universe and could not remain conscious, I immediately brought you outside through the mouth.
Brahmarshi! In this manner I gave you an exposition of My form which is difficult for devathas and asuras to know. Till such time as Bhagawan Brahma does not wake up, you wander around with devotion and happiness. When Pithāmaha Brahma wakes up, then I become one with him and create all the bodies. I will create space, earth, fire, air and water as well as the other beings in this universe that are remaining.”
Markandeya Maharshi uvācha, “Dharmaraja Yudhishtira! After saying thus, that astounding devatha, Bhagawan Bala Mukunda vanished. After His disappearance, I saw that different types of unique lands sprung up just like that. I had this amazing experience at the end of the dissolution. The darshan of the lotus-eyed Lord, Bhagawan Bala Mukunda that I had at the time of the ancient dissolution is of your relative Bhagawan Shree Krishna.
It is because of His boon that I do not forget the past recollections. My long life and independent death is the fruit of His mercy. This scion of the Vrishni dynasty, Bhagawan Shree Krishna is omnipresent, of incomprehensible form and the ancient Shree Hari whom I saw in the form of a boy earlier. He has only taken an avatar now and shows Himself through His leelas. Bhagawan Govind, whose auspicious markings of Srivatsa chinha increases His radiance is only the creator, protector and destroyer of this universe, the eternal Lord and the Lord of the Prajapathis.
After seeing the scion of the Vrishni dynasty, Bhagawan Shree Krishna who is the Supreme Form, ever victorious and adorned in Pithambara, I remembered this ancient incident. This Madhav only is the universal Mother and Father. He only provides refuge for all. Therefore, all of you seek refuge in Him.”
Vaishampayana uvācha, “Janamejaya! On hearing the words of Markandeya Maharshi, Yudhishtira, Bheema and Arjuna as well as Nakula and Sahadeva along with Draupadi fell at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Shree Krishna. Then the benevolent Bhagawan Shree Krishna praised them accordingly and gave them all kinds of assurances and solace with sweet words.”
[Excerpt from The Mahabharat]