Creation of the Universe
Recap in brief
Sage Parasara informed Maitreya When intelligence blossoms, the jivatman gains a that Lord Narayana is the Prime gross form. We all know about the variations in cause of creation, sustenance and material things. Though all these undergo changes, dissolution of the universe. He is the also the soul of the universe, which in turn, forms His body.
The narration continues
Thus the deluge goes on for a while. At this stage, the results of past actions committed by the Jivatmas, that had lost their natural colour, begin to yield results. In tune with it, Time also changes into a creative source. Recognising this, the Lord moves Prakriti and the jiva to lead towards creation. Immediately they suffer a change of form and nature. That is, the subtle bodies become gross bodies. We all know about the variations in material things. Though all these undergo changes, the Paramatman alone remains unchanged.
The Vedic Principle
A lovely scent makes the mind leap with joy when we smell it. But it does not suffer any change. It is so with Brahnam too. But It remains the cause. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are of equal proportion in Prakriti. But when there is a change in the proportion, the tattva of Mahat comes into being. The seedling comes out of the seed. The seedling is enveloped by the seed (the skin of the seed). In the same way, the resultant Mahat is enveloped by its cause, Prakriti. Other causal principles also envelop resultant principles in the same manner. From the principle of Mahat is born the principle of Egotism (ahankara). It has three variations based upon Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. From Tamasa Ahankara are born the five elements (bhuta-s). From Sattvika-Ahakara appear eleven organs (indriya-s). The Rajasa-Ahankara helps the other two perform their activities. Each one of the principles is the body of Brahman and creates the working principles with the Brahman as the soul. Such is the Vedic doctrine.
The Evolution of the Five Elements
The five gross elements (pancha maha bhuta-s) are: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. Their earlier state is known as tanmatra-s. What gets revealed in the gross elements is found in their subtle form in the They are known by this name, as their qualities remain invisible.
When a little curd is mixed with milk, at first it is still somewhat liquid and solidifies only much later. In the same way the five elements are first in the state of tanrnatra-s and then become gross. The elements which are still not fully formed as gross are known as tanmatra-s.
The first to come out of Tamasa-Ahankara is the subtle element of sound. From that Ether takes form, which gives birth to the subtle element of touch. Out of this we get Air. When Air is created, it comes out along with the nature of Ether. Thus all the elements, which rise, get the qualities of the earlier elements. Hence, only sound is the nature of Ether, which came first. Air has both touch and sound. Out of Air comes the subtle element of colour and from it, Fire. This has, therefore, the three qualities of colour, sound and touch. From Fire comes the subtle element of taste and from it, Water. This has the qualities of taste, sound, touch and colour. From Water comes forth the subtle sense of smell, wherefrom earth is created. Earth has the five qualities of smell, sound, touch, colour and taste.
To be continued….
This English Commentary is written by Smt Prema Nandakumar based on the Tamil commentary written by HH 45th Azhagiyasingar of the Ahobila Mutt. His Holiness has ‘commented’ only on select chapters of the Vishnu Purana. The English translation faithfully follows the original in this aspect. Words that appear in square brackets [ ] have been placed there to serve as a link and do not form part of the original. Reproduced from Nrusimhapriya.
For Tamil commentary and Upanyasam of Vishnu Puranam, please visit: http://anudinam.org/category/stories/