Sri Vishnu Puranam – Commentary-Part 6



Chapter- 6

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 MuttHis 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:

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