Book 3: Chapter 6
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 6: Verses 1-17
The sage Maitreya said: When the almighty Lord saw that His own powers (the Mahattattva and the rest) were unable to start the work of creating the universe, because there was no harmony among them, He assumed His divine potency known by the name of Kala (Time) and simultaneously entered the twenty-three categories (viz., the Mahat-tattva, the Ego, the five senses of perception, the five organs of action and the mind, the five subtle elements and the five gross elements). Having entered these categories, that stood disconnected, He united them by His active power, stimulating their dormant energy. When they were thus roused into activity, the twenty-three categories, impelled as they were by God, evolved the Cosmic Body out of their own parts. In other words, even as the Supreme entered them that group of twenty-three categories, which had taken upon themselves the work of creating the universe, partially underwent transformation as a result of mutual co-operation. It is this transformation of the twenty-three categories which goes by the name of the Cosmic Body, the abode of the whole animate and inanimate creation. That all-effulgent Cosmic Being dwelt with all the divas (that lay dormant in an unmanifest state) for a thousand celestial years (3,60,000 human years) in the space having the shape of the interior of an egg with water surrounding it on all sides. That Cosmic Body, the evolute of the categories entrusted with the work of creating the universe, endowed as it was with knowledge, activity and the power of enjoyment, manifested itself of its own accord as one (the heart), as ten (the ten vital airs) and as three (Adhyatmika, Adhidaivika and Adhibhautika aspects). (As the totality of all the Jivas) He is the Soul (support) of all living beings; (as an embodied spirit) He is a part manifestation of the Supreme Spirit and (as the first manifestation of Reality) He is the prime Avatara. The entire living creation takes its shape in Him. As possessed of Adhyatma, Adhidaiva and Adhibhuta, the Cosmic Being is of three kinds; as the Prana, He is of tent kinds and as the heart, He is only one. Recalling the prayer of the deities presiding over the Mahat-tattva and other categories (that had been entrusted with the duty of creating the universe), the Lord who is beyond sense-perception illumined (aroused) the Cosmic Being with His own effulgence (in the shape of consciousness) in order to awaken their potentialities. Now hear from Me as I tell you how many abodes for the deities (presiding over the senses of perception and the organs of action) appeared (in the body) of the Cosmic Being, illumined as He now was (by the Lord's effulgence in the shape of consciousness). (First of all) there appeared in Him a mouth: the god of fire, one of the (ten) protectors of the world, whose abode it is, entered it along with his power, the organ of speech, by means of which the diva (embodied soul) utters words. Then appeared in (the body of) Sri Hari (the Cosmic Being) a palate, the abode of Varuna (the god presiding over the waters), another protector of the world, who entered it along with his power, the sense of taste, by means of which the Jiva perceives taste. Next appeared in (the body of) the Cosmic Being a pair of nostrils, the abode of the twin gods Aswins (the celestial physicians), who entered them along with their power, the olfactory sense, the means of perceiving odour. Now appeared in (the body of) the Cosmic Being a pair of eyes: Twasta (the sun-god), another protector of the world, entered them, along with his power, the sense of sight, the means of perceiving colours. Again, appeared on His body the skin (the seat of the tactile sense); the wind-god, another protector of the world, entered it along with his power, the tactile sense, by means of which the diva experiences touch. Further, appeared in His body a pair of ears, the personal abode of Digdevatas (the deities presiding over the cardinal points), who entered them along with their power, the auditory sense by means of which the Jiva perceives sound.
- Adhyatrna denotes the ten Indriyas (the five senses of perception and the five organs of action) and the mind; Adhidaiva means the deities presiding over the indriyas and the mind; and the objects of the senses constitute what is known as Adhibhuta. tThe ten Pranas or vital airs are known by the names of Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, Samana, Naga, Kurma, Krkala, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. The air which we inhale and exhale either through the nostrils or through the mouth and has its seat in the lungs is called Prana; that which has a downward course and has its seat in the anus is known as Apana; that which has its seat in the navel and is essential to digestion bears the name of Samaria; that which has an upward course and has its seat in the throat is known by the name of Udana; that which circulates in every direction and is diffused through the body is called Vyana; that which enables us to belch is known as Naga; that which helps us to open our eyes bears the name of Kurma; that which excites our hunger is known by the name of Krkala; that which enables us to yawn is called Devadatta and that which nourishes the body is known as Dhananjaya,