Book 10: Thirteenth Chapter (First Half)
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 10: Chapter 13: Verses 45-56
Just as the darkness caused by mist gets merged in (that of) a night and even as the light emitted by a fire-fly is merged in day light, the inferior Maya (deluding power) of one employing it against a superior nullifies his own control over that power. Meanwhile, before the very eyes of Brahma (the birthless), who kept looking on, all the cowherd boys (the keepers of the calves) forthwith appeared dark as a cloud, clad in yellow silk, endowed with four arms, carrying a conch, a discus, a mace and a lotus in their r hands,
adorned (each) with a diadem, ear-rings, a necklace of pearls and a sylvan wreath, wearing on the (upper part of) their arms a pair of armlets illumined by the (lustre of) Srivatsa (a curl of hair on the right breast) and about their wrists a pair of bracelets made of precious stones marked with three lines like a conch, (nay,) decked with anklets and bangles, girdles and rings and covered all over their body from head to foot with fresh soft wreaths of basil leaves offered by devotees possessed of abundant merit. By their sidelong glances cast from their ruddy eyes and accompanied by smiles bright as moonlight they awakened desires in the heart of their devotees and fulfilled them as it were with the help of Rajas and Sattva (which are credited with a reddish and white colour respectively and stood symbolized by the reddish eyes and bright smiles of these divine forms).
- The quality of Rajas is associated with the power of creation and the quality of Sattva with that of preservation or fulfilment.
- The total number of principles of which the cosmos is composed is twenty-five, including Prakrti (Primordial Matter) and Purusa (the Spirit). Excluding Prakrti and Purusa the number comes to twenty-three alone, viz., the Mahat-tattva (the principle of cosmic intelligence), Ahankara (the cosmic ego), the five Tanmatras (subtle elements), the eleven Indriyas including the mind, and the five Mahabhutas (gross elements). The entire cosmos (referred to in our scriptures under the name of Sutra) Presided over by Brahma (the Sutratma or Hiranyagarbha) will have therefore to be recognized as the twenty-fourth principle in order to complete the figure of twenty-four.