Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego–all together these eight comprise My separated material energies. (Bhagavad-gita 7.4)

The Bhagavad-gita is not giving only spiritual knowledge. It is also giving us information about this material world and how it is working. This is science, material science as well as spritual science. So the Bhagavad-gita gives knowledge of everything, both material and spiritual.

Here, in this verse, Krishna describes His “separated material energies”. So this means He is describing the material energy. Krishna’s internal energy is His spritual energy and the material energy is called Krishna’s separated energy. Because actually, generally speaking, Krishna does not have anything directly to do with the material world. He has organized it in such a nice way that the material world is run by the various demigods who are put into their positions by Krishna and whose business it is to oversee the smooth running of the various departments of universal management.

We can understand from the Bhagavad-gita that the universe is going on under intelligent control. Although Krishna calls the material energy his external energy and although He is not directly in contact with it, He has his representatives, the demigods, in management positions in every department of the universe to ensure that things are running according to plan.

We know it for a fact that in the material world if something is left alone without proper management and organization there is a tendency to disorder. If you don’t clean your room for six months and just throw everything on the floor randomly then you are going to create a big mess. You are not going to create anything beautiful, orderly and organized like the material world. So it is insanity to suggest that this universe is created and is going on simply by random chance. You can not have anything organized and running very punctually and exactly without good management. The universe is working on very exact timings and the arrangements are very perfectly made. And everything keeps working also so that means the required adjustments and corrections are also being made by the intelligent demigods who are managing all the aspects of the functioning of the universe under the direction of Krishna.

So the big difference between Vedic science and Western science is in the Vedas we get the information that everything is going on under the direction of intelligent management. There is no chance. There is a good reason for everything that is happening in the universe and there is intelligence behind the scenes managing and directing everything.

The science of God analyzes the constitutional position of God and His diverse energies. Material nature is called prakrti, or the energy of the Lord in His different purusa incarnations (expansions) as described in the Satvata-tantra:

“For material creation, Lord Krishna’s plenary expansion assumes three Visnus. The first one, Maha-Visnu, creates the total material energy, known as mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramatma, who is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Visnus can be liberated from material entanglement.”

This is a very important point and key to understanding the operation of the material world. In the creation of the Supreme Lord we see the same thing happening on different scales. This was a theory put forward some years ago by Benoit Mandelbrot who discovered what he called the fractal geometry. Part of his discovery was ‘set similarity’. He discovered that in nature the exact same structures and systems are repeated on a larger and on a smaller scale. An example for this he would give was the branching structure in a tree. You will find that the main big trunk of the tree branches off, and similarly the smaller branches and even inside the leaves you see the veins branching off in the same way, and you see it happening in the roots of the tree. He noted it with the coastline also. No matter what scale you look at it still has the same sort of ‘roughness’.

Anyhow the main point is that in nature we see things are working in a similar way on different scales. It is a very important point to understand, for if we can understand this simple point that will open up our understanding of the universe immensely. We know from the Bhagavad-gita that our bodies are simply matter, they are machines made out of the material energy, and like the other machines we are familiar with, our bodies are completely lifeless and inanimate. As a machine needs to be worked by an operator similarly our material bodies need to be worked by us. And we are not these material bodies actually. We are the spirit souls who are operating or driving these material bodies.
The important point to grasp is that this principle is universal. Matter has no initiative of its own. Without the spirit soul our material bodies would just be lumps of flesh, bones, blood, stool and urine lying on the ground and rotting. Our material bodies only appear to be alive and only have the ability to move and act because they are being operated by us, the spirit soul.
This is the way the whole universe works. If we see matter moving or acting anywhere in the universe we can know for sure that it is not the matter moving by itself. There must be some living force that is moving the matter, or some living force who has created and who is working some machine that is moving the matter.
We can see it on a smaller scale. In our bodies there are many things going on that we are not actually aware of, and there are many other living entities within our body performing their particular tasks that are required to support and maintain the health of the body. Even right down to the level of cells we can find the symptoms of life and can find complex activities going on that can only be explained by intelligent direction. And when we look on a larger scale to any business or organization or country we see that things do not go on randomly simply by chance. No. Everywhere we find there is intelligent direction, there is management, there are rules and regulations and laws. And in this way things are going on nicely.

So here Krishna is giving us very important scientific information on how the universe is working. “For material creation, Lord Krishna’s plenary expansion assumes three Visnus.” So as we are the spirit soul present within and directing our bodies, also, on a larger scale, Krishna in the form of these three Visnus is the spirit soul of the entire universe. Visnu is the intelligent force that is ultimately the cause of all the activities going on in the universe. If these three Visnus were not present in the universe all we would have would be a lump of matter. And matter without spirit can not move, can not develop, can not do anything. So it is the combination of the dull matter with these three Visnus that makes the creation of the material world possible.

“The first one, Maha-Visnu, creates the total material energy, known as mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramatma, who is present even within the atoms.” These few words, if understood and accepted by modern science, will revolutionize our understanding of the universe. Maha-Visnu creates the mahat-tattva which is the reservoir of all material elements, then from His body unlimited universes are generated each time He breathes out and all those universes are again destroyed, or more correctly conserved, and enter back within His body, only to be manifested again when He again breathes out. The universes come out of His body in seed form and expand and then when He breathes in the universes contract again and reenter His body. And this one breath of Maha-Visnu is the total universal time which is an unimaginably long period of time from our point of view. So within each of these universes Garbhodakasayi Visnu enters and He creates diversities in each universe. It is from the naval of Garbhodakasayi Visnu that a lotus stem grows and on the top of that lotus stem Lord Brahma is born and Lord Brahma is the original engineer of the universe, so he sets about creating the universe as we see it. And then Lord Visnu is present within every living entities heart in the form of Ksirodakasayi Visnu.

So this is the actual scientific understanding of the universe. The universe is a machine, in exactly the same way as our bodies are machines. And as machines can not work without an operator, as our bodies can not work without the presence of ourselves as the spirit soul, similarly, the soul of the universe is Lord Visnu in these three forms and the only reason we see things happening in the universe is because they are being caused to happen by these three Visnus. Matter does not move without the touch of spirit. These are such earth-shattering scientific principles that somehow we have to educate the people and the scientists on.

This material world is a temporary manifestation of one of the energies of the Lord. All the activities of the material world are directed by these three Visnu expansions of Lord Krishna. These purusas are called incarnations. Generally one who does not know the science of God (Krishna) assumes that this material world is for the enjoyment of the living entities and that the living entities are the causes (purusas), controllers and enjoyers of the material energy. According to Bhagavad-gita this atheistic conclusion is false. In the verse under discussion it is stated that Krishna is the original cause of the material manifestation. Srimad-Bhagavatam also confirms this. The ingredients of the material manifestation are separated energies of the Lord. Even the brahmajyoti, which is the ultimate goal of the impersonalists, is a spiritual energy manifested in the spiritual sky. There are no spiritual diversities in brahmajyoti as there are in the Vaikunthalokas, and the impersonalist accepts this brahmajyoti as the ultimate eternal goal. The Paramatma manifestation is also a temporary all-pervasive aspect of the Ksirodakasayi Visnu. The Paramatma manifestation is not eternal in the spiritual world. Therefore the factual Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. He is the complete energetic person, and He possesses different separated and internal energies.

In the material energy, the principal manifestations are eight, as above mentioned. Out of these, the first five manifestations, namely earth, water, fire, air and sky, are called the five gigantic creations or the gross creations, within which the five sense objects are included. They are the manifestations of physical sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Material science comprises these ten items and nothing more. But the other three items, namely mind, intelligence and false ego, are neglected by the materialists.

Philosophers who deal with mental activities are also not perfect in knowledge because they do not know the ultimate source, Krishna. The false ego–”I am,” and “It is mine,” which constitute the basic principle of material existence–includes ten sense organs for material activities. Intelligence refers to the total material creation, called the mahat-tattva. Therefore from the eight separated energies of the Lord are manifest the twenty-four elements of the material world, which are the subject matter of Sankhya atheistic philosophy; they are originally offshoots from Krishna’s energies and are separated from Him, but atheistic Sankhya philosophers with a poor fund of knowledge do not know Krishna as the cause of all causes. The subject matter for discussion in the Sankhya philosophy is only the manifestation of the external energy of Krishna, as it is described in the Bhagavad-gita.

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