Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 2 Chapter 5:15-29

Book 2: Chapter 5

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 2: Chapter 5: Verses 15-29
A description of the cosmos

NNarayana (Lord Visnu) is the goal of the Vedas; the gods have sprung from the limbs of Narayana; the sacrifices are meant to please Narayana and the worlds attained through such sacrifices are so many limbs of Narayana's Cosmic Body. Narayana is the ultimate object of all Yoga (concentration of mind); all austere penance is intended to propitiate Narayana. All wisdom is directed towards Narayana and all paths lead to Narayana. He is at once the Seer and the Ruler; though immutable, He is all-embracing. It is He who created me; and, encouraged by His glance, I evolve this creation. The Lord is infinite and beyond the three Gunas (modes of Prakrti); it is His Maya that has assumed these three Gunas-Sattva, Rajas and Tamas-for the purpose of creation, preservation and destruction. Through the agency of the elements, the senses and the gods presiding over the senses, these Gunas (modes of Prakrti) bind the individual soul who is subject to Maya, though ever free in essence, with the consciousness that he is the physical body, the senses and the mind, all in one. The selfsame Lord, who transcends sense-perception, envelops Himself beyond recognition with these three sheaths of matter. He is the Ruler ofall beings as well as of myself, O Narada ! Intent upon becoming many (at the dawn of creation), the Lord of Maya assumed at will (pressed into His service for the purpose of creation) by His own Maya (deluding potency), Time, Karma (Destiny of the divas) and Swabhava (their innate disposition) that had already existed in a latent form in His being. Time disturbed the equilibrium of the three Gunas, Swabhava transformed them and from Karma was evolved Mahat (the principle of cosmic intelligence), all these functioning through the power of the Lord Himself. From Mahat, as it underwent transformation, dominated as it was by Rajas and Sattva, emanated an evolute which was dominated by the element of Tamas (darkness, opacity) and was made up of three factors--Dravya (substance), Jnana (intelligence) and Kriya (activity). This was known by the name of Ahankara and became threefold as it underwent transformation. Its three varieties are Vaikarika (Sattvika), Taijasa (Rajasika) and Tamasa, which are severally predominated, O Narada, by the force of Jnana, Kriya and Dravya. From the Tamasa Ahankara, the origin of the five gross elements, as it underwent transformation, was evolved ether. Sabda (sound) is the subtle form as well as the distinctive characteristic of this element; and it is sound which furnishes a clue to the seer and the seen[1] From ether, as it underwent transformation, sprang up the element of air, which is characterized by the quality to touch. Having inherited the characteristics of its cause (ether), it is further characterized by the quality of sound. Vitality, energy, zeal and strength are only other names of air. From the element of air, even as it underwent transformation under the impelling force of Time as well as of the Destiny and innate disposition of the various individual souls, was evolved fire, which is characterized by the quality of colour and has also inherited the characteristics of its chain of causes, viz., sound and touch. From the element of fire, even as it underwent transformation, sprang up water, which is characterized by the quality of taste. It is further characterized by the qualities of colour, touch and sound, *which it has inherited from its chain of causes (fire, air and ether). From the element of water, even as it underwent transformation, came into being the earth, which is characterized by the quality of smell as well as by the qualities of taste, colour, touch and sound, which it has inherited from its chain of causes ( water, fire, air and ether).



  1. ' Suppose someone standing behind a wall loudly exclaims 'Elephant !elephant !" Here it is this ejaculation that indicates the presence of the man who sees the elephant, as welt as of the object he sees,

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