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Chapter VII

On the creation and the Tattvas and their presiding deities

1.O Brahma said :– Narada ! Thus we three I, Visnu, and Mahadeva saw that highly effulgent Goddess: we also saw separately Her attendant goddesses, one after another, that form, as it were, a veil to her? Who were also preeminently grand.

2-3. Vyasa said :– O king ! Narada, the foremost of the Munis, hearing thus his father’s words, was exceedingly pleased and asked :– O Grandsire of all the Lokas ! Now describe in detail that ancient and indestructible undecaying, unchangeable, eternal Purusa, that is Nirguna (free from Prakritic qualities) that you have seen and realised.

4. Father ! You have seen the Sakti (the Prime Energy) personified the Saguna energy, the Supreme Goddess, having hands and feet; but cannot understand of what kind is that Nirguna Sakti which cannot be seen and which is devoid of all Prakritic qualities.

O Lotus-born ! Be good enough to describe to me the real nature of that Prakriti and Purusa and thus satisfy me.

5-6. O Lord of Creation ! I practised severe austerities in the Svetadvipa (white island), so that I might realise and see the Nirguna Highest Self and the Nirguna Sakti, the Supreme Goddess; I saw there many other Mahatmas (high class spiritual persons) who attained siddhis (supernatural powers) practise Tapasya with their passions and anger conquered. But I did not realise nor did I see anything about that Nirguna Highest Self. Father, I was not despaired; again and again I continued with my ascetic practices; but still I failed.

7. Father, you have been so successful as to see that beautiful Sakti with qualities; I have heard about Her from you, but how and of what sort, is that invisible attributeless energy as well as that Nirguna Purusa. Please narrate and explain all these and satisfy my desires that always reign in my breast.

8. Vyasa said :– O King ! Thus asked by Narada, the Lord of creation, the grandsire of the Lokas, smiled, and began to speak the truth in the following words :-¬

9. O best of Munis ! The form of the Nirguna Purusa (the Supreme Spirit beyond the Prakritic qualities) cannot exist or be visible; for everything that comes within the range of sight is transitory. How can, then, that Eternal Spirit have form and how can He become visible !

10. O Narada ! The Nirguna Energy or Nirguna Purusa comes not easily within the range of knowledge; but both of them can be realised by the Munis in their meditation in their consciousness.

11. Prakriti and Purusa have no beginning nor end; they can be realised only through faith; those that have no faith can never realise them.

12. Narada ! The universal consciousness, that is felt in all the beings, know that as the Highest Self; the Energy that is universal and is seen always in all the beings, know that as the Highest Self.

13. O blessed one ! That Purusa and Prakriti pervade everywhere and exist in all the things; in this Universe nothing can exist without the presence of both of them.

14. Both of them are the highest intelligent self, nirguna (free from all material qualities), without any tinge of impurity, and undecaying. The one form that is a combination of these two is always to be meditated in the heart.

15. What is Sakti (energy) is the Highest Self; what is the Highest Self is the Highest Sakti. O Narada ! Nobody can ascertain the subtle difference between these two.

16. O Narada ! Merely the study of all the Sastras and the Vedas with their Amgas without renunciation does not enable one to ascertain the difference between these two.

17. O Child ! This whole universe, moving and non-moving, comes out of Ahamkara (egoism). How can one ascertain the above difference even if he tries for one hundred kalpas, unless one frees oneself from Ahamkara.

18. The Jivas are Saguna (with qualities), how can the Sagunas see the Nirguna One with their physical eyes? Therefore O Intelligent one ! try to see the Saguna (Brahma) only within your heart (until you free yourself from the material qualities and thus be fit to realise the Nirguna Brahma).

19-20. O best of Munis ! If the tongue (organ of taste) and eyes (organ of sight) be affected with over biliousness, the pungent taste and the yellow colour do not appear what it appeared before; so the hearts of Jivas, overpowered with material qualities, are quite unfit for realisation of the Nirguna Brahman. O Narada ! That heart again has come out of Ahamkara; how can then that heart be free from Ahamkara?

21. Until one becomes able to cut asunder all connections with qualities, the seeing of that Nirguna Brahma is impossible. No sooner one is totally free from Ahamkara, than the Nirguna Brahma is at once seen by him within his heart.

22-24. Narada said :– O best of the Devas ! Ahamkara is three-fold, Satvik, Rajasik and Tamasik; describe in detail the differences between these three sub-divisions as well the real nature of the Gunas. Also describe to me about that knowledge, knowing which will lead to my salvation. Also describe, in detail, the characteristics of the several Gunas, in due order.

25-26. Brahma said :– O Sinless one ! The energy of Ahamkara is of three kinds :– Jnana Sakti, Kriya Sakti, and Artha or Dravya Sakti. The power by which knowledge is produced or obtained is the Sattvic Ahamkara; the power by which action or activity or motion is produced is the Rajasic Ahamkara; and that by which the material things or objects of have senses are generated is called the Tamasic Ahamkara. O Narada ! thus I described to you, in due order, the threefold Ahamkara.

27-30. Now I describe to you their merits and workings in detail; hear. Out of the Dravya Sakti of the Tamasic Ahamkara come sound, touch, form, taste and smell. From these five qualities, the five Tanmatras or the five subtle-elements (primary atoms) are produced.

Sound is the quality of Aka’sa (ether); touch is the quality of Vayu (Air); the form is the quality of Agni (fire); the taste is the quality of Jala (water); and the smell is the quality of earth.

O Narada, these ten gross and subtle materials can, when combined, become endowed with power to work out results in the shape of earth, water, fire, etc., and when the Panchikarana process is combined, the building of the whole cosmos takes place as a natural consequence of the Tamasa Ahamkara, endowed with the energy of generating material substances.

31-34. Now hear what are produced by the Rajasic energy. The five organs of hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell (ears, skin, tongue, eyes and nose) called the five Jnanendriyas (organs of senses); mouth, hands, feet, anus and the organs of generation called the five Karmendriyas (organs of action); and Prana, Apana, Vyana, Samana, and Udana, the five Vayus. The creation out of these fifteen substances is called the Rajasic energy. Narada ! All these organs of senses and actions endowed with the Kriya Sakti, called the Karanas and the materials fashioned out of them are called the chidanuvritti or Maya.

35-38. O Narada ! From the Sattvik Ahamkara are produced the five presiding rulers of the five internal organs named Dik (quarters), Vayu, Sun, Varuna, and the twins Asvini Kumaras and the four presiding rulers of the four fold divisions of Antahkarana (Buddhis, manas, Ahamkara and chitta) named Moon, Brahma, Rudra, and Ksetrajna. Thus the above five organs of senses, the five organs of action, the five Vayus and mind, these sixteen substances are reckoned as the Sattvic creation.

39-40. O Child ! The Highest Self has two forms; one gross and the other subtle. The formless Self; the Consciousness incarnate, as it were, is the first form. The Seers consider this formless self to be the primary cause (the ultimatum) of all this phenomenal cosmos. (This is only for the best qualified Jnanis, not for others).

The Second Form is the Gross Form for the meditation of the second class qualified persons; thus the sages say. This second form of the Supreme Goddess is conditioned by inherent Maya (time, space and causation); this is also divided into gross and subtle, according as it is the outer or inner body of the second form (and the form suited for the meditation of the third class and the second class devotees).

41. My body is called Sutratma; I will now tell you the gross body of Brahman, the Highest Self.

O Narada ! This my body and soul having the nature of a string or thread is called Hiranyagarbha; this is also the gross body of the Paramatman; therefore the Paramatman together with the Sutratma, should also be worshipped. O Narada ! I will now describe to you the outer gross body of Brahman, the Highest Self; hear it attentively; if one hears it with faith and devotion, one is sure to get salvation.

42-43. I have mentioned to you before the five subtle elements, called the five Tanmatras; these, now, when the Panchi Karana process is done, are converted into the five gross elements. Now hear what the Panchi Karana process means :–

44-46. Suppose you are to create the gross element of water. Divide into two equal parts the subtle element of water; divide also the other 4 elements into two equal parts respectively. Now set apart the first half of each of the five elements; divide the second half of each of the elements into four equal parts. Mix the first half of each of the elements with each of the fourth part of the other four elements; and you get one gross element. Similarly you get the other four gross elements. For example :– You want to get the gross element of water :–

With the half of the subtle element (½) of water mix the fourth part, of the halves of the other elements of ether, fire, air and earth; you get the gross element of water and so on. When the five gross elements are thus produced, consciousness then enters into these elements as their presiding deities; next comes the feeling of egoism (I ness) identifying itself with the body thus created out of the five elements. (I am this body and so forth).

1.         This great “I”, the great consciousness, creating and considering the Cosmos as its bodyis called the Bhagavan, Adideva, Narayana or Vaisvanara.

2.         When, by the Panchikarana process, the five gross elements, earth, ether, air, etc., are solidified and get their clear definite forms, one, two, three, four, five, qualities are seen to exist in ether, air, fire, water, and earth, respectively.

49-51. Thus ether has one quality only – that is sound: the air has got two qualities – sound and touch; the fire possesses three qualities – sound, touch, and form; the water has got four qualities – sound, touch, form and taste; the earth has got five qualities – sound, touch, form, taste and smell, and by the various combinations of these five gross elements, is produced this grand Cosmos, the great body of Brahman.

52. Similarly the sum-total of Jivas is produced from the several parts of the whole Brahmanda; these Jivas are eighty four lakhs; so the sages say.

Thus ends the Seventh Chapter of the Third Skandha of Sri Mad Devi Bhagavatam, the Maha Puranam, of 18,000 verses, on the creation and the Tattvas and their presiding Deities.

Note :Of these Jivas, those who are the best qualified, the Uttamadhikaris, are known as the Brahmanas, Janaghana Turiyas, as denoted by Om Hrim; the middlings have their gross, subtle and causal bodies and are called as Brahma VaiSvanara, Sutra, Hiranyagarbhas; and the third class is known as ViSva, Taijasa. and Prajnas and forms the body, as it were, of the Brahman. There are others also, animals, etc., in the lowest class.