Canto 3: The Status QuoChapter 5: Vidura's Talks with Maitreya

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.5.36

jyotiṣāmbho 'nusaḿsṛṣṭaḿ

vikurvad brahma-vīkṣitam

mahīḿ gandha-guṇām ādhāt



jyotiṣā — electricity; ambhaḥ — water; anusaḿsṛṣṭam — thus created; vikurvat — due to transformation; brahma — the Supreme; vīkṣitamso glanced over; mahīm — the earth; gandha — smell; guṇām — qualification; ādhāt — was created; kāla — eternal time; māyā — external energy; aḿśa — partially; yogataḥ — by intermixture.


Thereafter the water produced from electricity was glanced over by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and mixed with eternal time and external energy. Thus it was transformed into the earth, which is qualified primarily by smell.


From the descriptions of the physical elements in the above verses it is clear that in all stages the glance of the Supreme is needed with the other additions and alterations. In every transformation, the last finishing touch is the glance of the Lord, who acts as a painter does when he mixes different colors to transform them into a particular color. When one element mixes with another, the number of its qualities increases. For example, the sky is the cause of air. The sky has only one quality, namely sound, but by the interaction of the sky with the glance of the Lord, mixed with eternal time and external nature, the air is produced, which has two qualities — sound and touch. Similarly after the air is created, interaction of sky and air, touched by time and the external energy of the Lord, produces electricity. And after the interaction of electricity with air and sky, mixed with time, external energy and the Lord's glance over them, the water is produced. In the final stage of sky there is one quality, namely sound; in the air two qualities, sound and touch; in the electricity three qualities, namely sound, touch and form; in the water four qualities, sound, touch, form and taste; and in the last stage of physical development the result is earth, which has all five qualities — sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Although they are different mixtures of different materials, such mixtures do not take place automatically, just as a mixture of colors does not take place automatically without the touch of the living painter. The automatic system is factually activated by the glancing touch of the Lord. Living consciousness is the final word in all physical changes. This fact is mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā (9.10) as follows:

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ

sūyate sa-carācaram

hetunānena kaunteya

jagad viparivartate

The conclusion is that the physical elements may work very wonderfully to the laymen's eyes, but their workings actually take place under the supervision of the Lord. Those who can mark only the changes of the physical elements and cannot perceive the hidden hands of the Lord behind them are certainly less intelligent persons, although they may be advertised as great material scientists.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness