Bhagawatam 077: Expansion of creation

Hearing these questions put forth by Maharishi Narada, Lord Brahma said as follows,

“My Son, as you are unaware that there is an energy which is superior to me, you have praised me profusely. Even then I should say that there is no untruth in your words. This is because it is true that the powers and capacities that were extolled by you, really exist within me.

Just as the Sun, Moon, Fire, Planets, Stars shine brightly, I too illumine the entire creation. But even before me, this world has been illumined by the Self-illuminating Supreme Lord. Please understand this.

Tasmai namo bhagavate vāsudevāya dhīmahi

Yan-māyayā durjayayā māṁ vadanti jagad-gurum

 I offer obeisance to Vāsudeva who illumines the entire creation. We meditate upon Him. It is His illusionary energy, which is exceedingly difficult to conquer, that causes living entities to address me as the Guru for the creation (Jagadguru).

the illusionary energy feels ashamed to even stand in the presence of this Supreme Lord. The living entities who are bewildered by her and enveloped by spiritual ignorance take pride in feelings of ‘I and mine”.

O Maharishi Nārada! Material object, action, time and nature of the individual living beings are all integral parts of the Supreme Lord. There is nothing apart from Him. this is the undeniable Absolute Truth!

Nārāyaṇa-parā vedā devā nārāyaṇāgajā

Nārāyaṇa-parā lokā nārāyaṇa-parā makhā

All the Vedas speak only about Nārāyaṇa! All Devatas have emerged from Nārāyaṇa alone! All the various planes of existence (lokas) are under the control of Nārāyaṇa himself. All the Yagnas (sacrificial rituals) are aimed at pleasing Nārāyaṇa alone.

Nārāyaṇa-paro yogo nārāyaṇa-para tapa

Nārāyaṇa-para jñānaṁ nārāyaṇa-parā gati

The ultimate end point (goal) of Yoga is Nārāyaṇa. The main purpose of undertaking austerities (tapas) is solely to earn the grace of Nārāyaṇa. That which explains the essence of this Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa is known as Supreme Knowledge. All paths lead to Him alone.

I, who have been created by Srihari, the universal soul, have been inspired by His divine intention to undertake this creation. I create only that which is related to Him and that which is worthy of creation.

This Lord Srihari resides within all living beings as their ruler (kshetrajna). He is the Lord of the universe (jagannatha). He is devoid of any transformation (nirvikara). He is without attributes (nirguna). The omnipotent Lord, for the purposes of creation, sustenance and annihilation of this world, accepted the three attributes (trigunas) i.e. traits of goodness/ purity (sattva), traits of action/ passion (rajas) and traits of inertia/ ignorance (tamas). All this happened due to His illusory power (māya).

These three attributes of nature (trigunas) bind the individual soul who, although inherently being free and being a form of consciousness, is now in the grip of illusion (māya). They bind him to matter (dravya), to the knowledge pertaining to matter (dravya-jnana) as well as to the ‘feelings of doership’ in activities pertaining to matter. Further, with the help of the body and senses which support them and due to the egoism that arises in the form of feelings such as, ‘I am doing’, they bind the being.

O great saint! Srihari is the Lord not only for the individual beings, but also for me. He makes himself visible only to those who have conquered their senses. Those who are bound due to these trigunas (three modes of nature) can never know His complete form.

Keeping His illusory power (māya shakti) under His control, the Lord with its help, wanted to manifest in various different forms. With this desire, He brought out from within Him, the eternal time (kāla), the collective destiny of all living entities based on their earlier actions (karma) as well as their individual natures (swabhāva), which had so far been merged into Him.

From this eternal time (kāla), which manifested due to the His illumination and which is free from the limitations of time and place, the three modes of nature (trigunas) got polluted. Due to the influence of māya (illusory power), changes began to manifest. Due to the collective destiny of all beings, Mahat tattva (fundamental principle of the total material creation) was born.

The traits of goodness (sattva guṇa) and the traits of action (rajo guṇa) cause the Mahat tattva to expand and undergo transformation. From this Mahat tattva all matter (dravya), the knowledge about matter (dravya-jnana) and more importantly, due to the prominence of the traits of ignorance (tamo guna), the activities (kriya) related to this matter emerge.

O Maharishi Nārada! In ahamkara (materialistic ego, sense of I-ness) 3 divisions exist which are equipped with the energy to manifest in varied different forms. They are Sāttvik, Rājasic and Tāmasic ahamkārās. Among them Sāttvik-ahamkāra transforms into the form of the inner mind (antahkarana), Rājasa-ahamkāra transforms into the organs of action (karmendriya) and Tāmasa-ahamkāra as the five basic elements of creation such as earth, water etc.

This tāmasa ahamkāra (egoism born out of ignorance) undergoes transformation and evolves as space. Sound is the quality (guṇa) of space. When some words are uttered, sound becomes the cause for understanding not only about the object being seen by that person, but also about the person himself. In other words, through the medium of sound, the person who is speaking is recognized.

This space undergoes change and air (vāyu), which is prominently of sattva guṇa, is generated. Touch (sparsha) is the quality of air. As space, which is also the causative factor for creation of air, enters into it, the quality of sound is also embedded in air element. Due to air, the sense perception (indriya shakti), inner mind (antah karana), power (sāmarthya) and bodily strength, which are principles essential for life, are generated.

Due to course of time (kāla) and destiny (karma), air undergoes transformation and fire is born. This fire that is born has in it the qualities of sound, touch and form. As space and air are the causative factors of fire, their corresponding qualities of sound and touch also inherently exist in it along with its quality of form.

Narayana! Hari! Narayana Hari!

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