यथात्थ बहुरूपस्य हरेरद्भुतकर्मण: ।
कालाख्यं लक्षणं ब्रह्मन् यथा वर्णय न: प्रभो ॥ १० ॥
kālākhyaṁ lakṣaṇaṁ brahman
yathā varṇaya naḥ prabho
viduraḥ uvāca — Vidura said; yathā — as; āttha — you have said; bahu-rūpasya — having varieties of forms; hareḥ — of the Lord; adbhuta — wonderful; karmaṇaḥ — of the actor; kāla — time; ākhyam — of the name; lakṣaṇam — symptoms; brahman — O learned brāhmaṇa; yathā — as it is; varṇaya — please describe; naḥ — unto us; prabho — O lord.
Vidura inquired from Maitreya: O my lord, O greatly learned sage, kindly describe eternal time, which is another form of the Supreme Lord, the wonderful actor. What are the symptoms of that eternal time? Please describe them to us in detail.
The complete universe is a manifestation of varieties of entities, beginning from the atoms up to the gigantic universe itself, and all is under the control of the Supreme Lord in His form of kāla, or eternal time. The controlling time has different dimensions in relation to particular physical embodiments. There is a time for atomic dissolution and a time for the universal dissolution. There is a time for the annihilation of the body of the human being, and there is a time for the annihilation of the universal body. Also, growth, development and resultant actions all depend on the time factor. Vidura wanted to know in detail the different physical manifestations and their times of annihilation.