The Lord said, 'Hear once more what I say with a view to the welfare of devotees. Even gods and great sages do not know my beginning, for the very simple reason that I am without beginning myself and am the origin of the universe including gods and sages. The wise man who knows Me to be unborn and without beginning is liberated from all sins, for when he realizes Me as such and himself as My child or as part and parcel of Me, he overcomes the human liability to sin. Ignorance of one's real nature is the root of sin.
As all beings derive from Me, so do the various natures distributed to them, such as
for instance forgiveness, truth, joy and sorrow, birth and death, fear and
fearlessness. Those who know all these to be My glorious manifestations easily
become even minded, as they cease to be egotistic. Their heart is fixed on Me.
They dedicate their all to Me. I am the only subject of their conversation. They
glorify Me and live in happiness and contentment. To these loving worshippers
always aware of Me I grant the power of understanding, by means of which they
come to Me.'
Arjuna then praised the Lord, 'You are the supreme Brahma, the highest abode, and the
Lord. You yourself say that sages worship you as the First of the Gods, the
Birthless, the All-pervading. O Lord, O Father, no one knows your real nature;
it is known to you alone. Now please tell me your glorious manifestations, and
explain to me how I may recognize you by meditation.'
The Lord replied, 'There is no end to My divine manifestations, but I shall name the
chief of these only. I am the atman (soul) dwelling in the heart of all
beings. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of them all. Of the Adityas I
am Vishnu. Among the lights I am the light-giving sun. Of the Maruts (wind-gods)
I am Marichi. Among the stars T am the moon. Of the Vedas I am the Samaveda. Of
the gods I am Indra. Of the sense-organs I am the mind. Of beings I am
consciousness. Of the Rudras I am Shankara (Shiva). Of the Yakshas and Rakshasas
I am Kubera. Of the Daityas (demons) I am Prahlada. Of beasts I am the lion. Of
birds I am the eagle. Indeed I am even the gambling of thi cheats. Whatever,
good or evil, happens in this world happens only by My permission. Realizing
these men should give up their pride and steer clear of evil, for I am the
dispenser of the fruits of their good and bad deeds. You should realize that
only a single fraction of Mine sustains the entire universe.'