|Canto 5: The Creative Impetus||Chapter 18: The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpa|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.18.38
yasyepsitaḿ nepsitam īkṣitur guṇaiḥ
māyā yathāyo bhramate tad-āśrayaḿ
grāvṇo namas te guṇa-karma-sākṣiṇe
karoti — performing; viśva — of the universe; sthiti — the maintenance; saḿyama — winding up; udayam — creation; yasya — of whom; īpsitam — desired; na — not; īpsitam — desired; īkṣituḥ — of the one glancing over; guṇaiḥ — with the modes of material nature; māyā — the material energy; yathā — as much as; ayaḥ — iron; bhramate — moves; tat-āśrayam — placed near that; grāvṇaḥ — a magnetic stone; namaḥ — my respectful obeisances; te — unto You; guṇa-karma-sākṣiṇe — the witness of the actions and reactions of material nature.
O Lord, You do not desire the creation, maintenance or annihilation of this material world, but You perform these activities for the conditioned souls by Your creative energy. Exactly as a piece of iron moves under the influence of a lodestone, inert matter moves when You glance over the total material energy.
Sometimes the question arises why the Supreme Lord has created this material world, which is so full of suffering for the living entities entrapped in it. The answer given herein is that the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not wish to create this material world just to inflict suffering on the living entities. The Supreme Lord creates this world only because the conditioned souls want to enjoy it.
The workings of nature are not going on automatically. It is only because the Lord glances over the material energy that it acts in wonderful ways, just as a lodestone causes a piece of iron to move here and there. Because materialistic scientists and so-called Sāńkhya philosophers do not believe in God, they think that material nature is working without supervision. But that is not the fact. In Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 6.18-19) the creation of the material world is explained as follows:
yadyapi sāńkhya māne 'pradhāna' — kāraṇa
jaḍa ha-ite kabhu nahe jagat-sṛjana
nija-sṛṣṭi-śakti prabhu sañcāre pradhāne
īśvarera śaktye tabe haye ta' nirmāṇe
"Atheistic Sāńkhya philosophers think that the total material energy causes the cosmic manifestation, but they are wrong. Dead matter has no moving power, and therefore it cannot act independently. The Lord infuses the material ingredients with His own creative potency. Then, by the power of the Lord, matter moves and interacts." Sea waves are moved by the air, the air is created from ether, the-ether is produced by the agitation of the three modes of material nature, and the three modes of material nature interact due to the Supreme Lord's glance over the total material energy. Therefore the background of all natural occurrences is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg. 9.10]). This is also further explained in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 5.59-61):
jagat-kāraṇa nahe prakṛti jaḍa-rūpā
śakti sañcāriyā tāre kṛṣṇa kare kṛpā
kṛṣṇa-śaktye prakṛti haya gauṇa kāraṇa
agni-śaktye lauha yaiche karaye jāraṇa
ataeva kṛṣṇa mūla-jagat-kāraṇa
prakṛti — kāraṇa yaiche ajā-gala-stana
"Because prakṛti [material nature] is dull and inert, it cannot actually be the cause of the material world. Lord Kṛṣṇa shows His mercy by infusing His energy into the dull, inert material nature. Thus prakṛti, by the energy of Lord Kṛṣṇa, becomes the secondary cause, just as iron becomes red-hot by the energy of fire. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original cause of the cosmic manifestation. prakṛti is like the nipples on the neck of a goat, for they cannot give any milk." Thus it is a great mistake on the part of the material scientists and philosophers to think that matter moves independently.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness