Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O all-pervasive Lord! You have not answered my question as to how You, the great Lord are this entire creation comprising of the universe and the animate and inanimate beings.
O Lord! How can Your body of limited height and measure be the origin, sustenance and dissolution of all beings?
How are the deities with prescribed duties seated in You? How can they all be one with You? How is it that the fourteen worlds are one with You?
O Lord! There is a great doubt in me even after hearing it from You. You must dispel the doubt in my mind which suffers in incomprehension.”
Shri Bhagawan uvācha, “Though the seed of the banyan tree is very tiny, a huge banyan tree that has always existed within it grows out it. Tell me, if that were not the case, how can that huge tree come out from that tiny seed?
Similarly, O Rama! The origination and dissolution of all the beings take place in My body. Even the massive salt mass dissolves in water when dropped into it and is no longer visible. But when boiled, it appears as before.
Just as the light manifests at every dawn from the solar sphere, similarly the entire universe originated from Me, exists in Me and merges in Me. Know that everything is in Me. O Rama of noble resolves!”
Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O great Lord! Just as a person is confused regarding directions, the delusion is not removed even when correctly informed. Such is my case. What shall I do?”
Shri Bhagawan uvācha, “O Rama! I will show how all the moving and unmoving beings of the world subsist in Me. But you will not be able to see this with these eyes.
O son of Dasaratha! I will bless you with divine vision. Through that, shedding all fears, behold the expanse of everlasting effulgence of Mine.
My grandeur cannot be perceived through physical eyes, either by human beings or by celestial beings without My grace.”
Sūta Maharshi uvācha, “Having said thus, Lord Maheshwara blessed Rama with divine vision. Then Rama saw the form of the Lord resembling the subterranean fire.
Seeing that form brilliant like millions of lightning flashes and striking intense terror even among the brave, Rama, out of sheer fright fell to the ground on his knees.
Rama, the fearless hero, fell flat on the ground like a stick and offered prostrations again and again praising the Lord and finally, rising saw as far as he could.
Rama saw the form of the Supreme Lord who destroyed Tripura with all the sidereal universes inside it looking like she-sparrows, in constellations of luminous blaze.
In that luminous form of the Supreme Lord are the mountains of Meru, Mandara and Vindhya, the seven seas, the sun and the moon, the gods and the five elements (pancha bhutas).
The son of Dasaratha saw the forests, the holy mountains, the fourteen worlds and the entire cosmic expanse in that radiant form of the Lord.
Beholding the battles between the gods and demons, those already born and who are yet to be born, the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu and His sports in those incarnations. O Brahmanas!
Beholding the defeat of the gods at the hands of the demons, the burning of Tripura by the mighty Lord Shiva and the extinction of all that is born and that is yet to be born.
Seeing all these, Rama filled with fear prostrated again and again. And then, true wisdom dawned on Raghunandana.
Then Rama praised Shankara extolling the quintessence of the Upanishads.
Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O Lord! The destroyer of sorrow and anguish of those who take refuge in You. Be gracious! Be gracious! O Lord of the universe! O, You are worshipped by the universe! Be gracious! You are bearer of the Ganga, with the moon adorning the crest! Helpless as I am, protect me from the fear of births and deaths.
O Lord! This world indeed is born only from You and in You alone do the created beings live always. O Shambu! Into You alone they undergo the union, like the trees and creepers into the earth.
O, the wielder of the trident! Brahma, Indra and Rudra, the group of Maruts, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, Asuras, the Siddhas, rivers like the Ganges, the oceans, all of them live in the midst of Your person.
O, the moon-crested! Everything is illusory, projected by Your maya. In You alone, the universe attains perceptibility. The common people see all this mistakenly not realising the true nature of the world that is You, O Supreme Brahman just as silver is mistakenly seen in a shell and as snake is seen in the rope.
Filling the entire universe with Your magnificence, manifesting things by Your own splendour, O God of the gods! Without Your light, this universe cannot be perceived even for a moment.
Great things do not rest on a weak foundation. One single atom cannot support the Vindhya Parvat. This universe rests on Your person through Your maya alone. I am convinced about this.
Just as a rope appears to be a snake causing fear does not really come into being, nor exists nor undergoes destruction, similarly, the universe too, taking shape in You only through Your maya, O Neelakanta (blue-throated) does not exist at all.
When it is enquired as to Your body assuming the nature of being the foundation for the manifestation of this universe, that itself is seen only due to my ignorance. You are, truly and wholly of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss.
O, enemy of Tripura! You alone are being praised and bestow the fruits of the eminently meritorious acts of Your worship, yagnas and charitable acts on the performers of such actions. But even this statement is not accurate because there is nothing different or apart from You at all.
Sages declare that those who overcome by ignorance mistakenly think Shiva, Lord of the Himalayas gets pleased by external acts like worship and services are deluded. How can there be the desire for pleasure for One who is formless?
O Supreme Lord! You bestow even the sovereignty of all the three worlds on those people as a reward for offering a bilva leaf or a little water to You. I deem it all as the work of ignorance.
You pervade all the directions and the intermediate directions. You are the universe, nondual, the infinite and the eternal. Even when that universe becomes extinct, there is no loss to You, just as there is no damage to space when the pot is broken.
Just as the one single form of the sun in the skies gets its many reflections in the water contained in small vessels, similarly You, O Lord are reflected in different minds.
There is nothing to be done by You even when the world is created, protected and dissolved. Even then, You bestow heaven and others on the beings beginninglessly embodied according to their actions and inactions. It all happens as in a dream.
O Shambhu! There cannot be consciousness for the inert bodies namely the subtle and the gross without the Self. Therefore, the scripture, O enemy of Tripura! talks of pleasure – pain experiences through Your reflection in them.
Salutations and prostrations to You, the swan in the ocean of Existence and Consciousness; salutations and prostrations to You, Kālakanthāya (the blue-throated), Kālātmakāya (the very form of Time); salutations and prostrations to You, the destroyer of all sins; salutations and prostrations to You, the one witness and experiencer of the functions of the mind which is after all illusory.”
Sūta Maharshi uvācha, “Prostrating thus before the Lord of the universe, standing with folded hands before Him the overwhelmed Rama praised the Supreme Lord in so many words.”
Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O, Self of the universe! Withdraw this cosmic form of Yours. By Your grace, O Shambhu! the oneness of the world has been seen by me.”
Shri Bhagawan uvācha, “O Rama! the mighty-armed! There is nothing other than I.”
Sūta Maharshi uvācha, “Saying thus, the Lord withdrew the gods and others into His own form.
Closing his eyes in absolute delight, Rama again opened his eyes and saw the Lord standing over the tiger skin on the crest of the Himalaya Parvat.
Rama saw Lord Neelakanta with three eyes and five faces donning the tiger skin and His body adorned with sacred ash.
Rama saw the Lord wearing the serpent as a bracelet, with the snake as the sacred thread, wearing the tiger skin as the upper garment and with matted locks blazing like lightning.
Rama saw the One, The Lord of the Universe, with the moon on His crest, the supremely admirable and adored, assuring freedom from fear with four arms and holding a battle-axe and with a deer in one hand.
Then, Rama offered salutations and prostrated in front of the Lord and on the Lord’s command sat in His front. After that, the God of gods said thus to Rama, “Whatever you want to ask, ask, O Rama! There is no preceptor for you other than I.”
[Siva Gita – Chapter 7 – The Vision of the Cosmic Form – Slokas 1 – Slokas 45, Uttara Khanda, Padma Purana]