PanchiKarana and the Pancha Bootas

At the end of the last post, we saw how the basic 24 elements came into existence. We also saw that each Pancha Bhoota or Gross Element is just associated with its own Subtle element or Tanmatra and how it is not so in actuality. Now let us see what happens to bring the gross elements to the current state they are in.

Panchikarana is what happens. Lord Vishnu first takes Ether and divides it into 2 halves. He takes one half, divides it into 4 equal quarters and shares them each with the other 4 elements. He does the same to all the 5 gross elements. At the end of this process, all elements are a mixture of 50% of itself and 12.5% of the other 4 elements.

The Creation that happens till this point of time is called Samashti Creation (Creation done by the Supreme Being himself).  At the end of the Samashti Creation, there are millions of eggs or Andams floating in the cosmos. As seen in our very first post, Each of this Andam contains 14 lokas – Satya, Tapa, Jana, Mahar, Svar, Bhuvar, Bhur Lokas at the top  and Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala Lokas under the ground. It is also covered on the exterior by seven natural envelopes – Water, Fire, Air and Ether- in the same order-followed by Ahankara, Mahat and finally by the Indiscrete Principle. Each layer is ten-fold than the previous one.

Inside each such Egg, all the worlds that would be created, are in an embryonic state. Our world contains Mountains, Rivers, Land, Ocean etc… The egg also contains, Asuras, Devas, Humans and all other living things.

The Supreme Being then appoints one very pure Soul (Atman) as Brahma of each Andam.  He then becomes the Antharyami  (or the Inner God) of Brahma and starts Vyashti Srishti. Brahma goes on to create Asuras, Devas, Rakshasas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Plants and animals, basically everything that lives and is a part of our Lokas. Detailed description of how Brahma achieves the progeny is given in our ancient scriptures like Vishnu Purana and Srimad Bhagavatam. (by the way, Asuras are different from Rakshas. We tend to mix them up in our stories. A topic for another post may be)

The very first creation at the start of the new Brahma’s first day is called Sarga. The creation that happens after every dissolution or pralaya is called Prati-Sarga.

Now that we have seen Dissolution and Creation, it is time to get into the original goal of this blog – bringing out interesting and not so frequently heard stories from our scriptures. I thought I will start with Varaha Avatar (although this is an oft repeated story, there are some misconceptions which I would like to do something about).

Until we see Mr Varaha…

Creation of Universe in Hindu Scriptures

After the dissolution, the universe has to be created again. How does that happen? Who does what during this process? Who are the players? Read on to know…

Kala or Time (which is also considered as a form of Vishnu) communicates to the Lord that it is time to start the creation process.

The Supreme Being manifests himself as Moola Prakriti or Chief Principle and creates Mahat or Maha Tattva or Intellect or Great Principle. This is the germinating place for the rest of the creation.

From Mahat arises Ahankara or False-ego.

From Ahankara, the 3 elemental qualities or Gunas are born – Sattva Guna(Goodness), Rajo Guna(Passion) and Tamo Guna(Ignorance,Inertia).

From Sattva Guna, the five organs of senses and five organs of action are born. At the end, Mind is created to control all the above 10 organs.

From Tamo Guna, the five gross elements or Pancha Bhootas and the five Tanmatras or Subtle elements are born in the below fashion.

Each Gross element is associated with one subtle element.  The subtle element is created first which is followed by the corresponding gross element. I’m reproducing the Vishnu Purana here so that I don’t mess with the content.

“Elementary Egotism then becoming productive, as the rudiment of sound, produced from it Ether, of which sound is the characteristic, investing it with its rudiment of sound. Ether becoming productive, engendered the rudiment of touch; whence originated strong wind, the property of which is touch; and Ether, with the rudiment of sound, enveloped the rudiment of touch. Then wind becoming productive, produced the rudiment of form (colour); whence light (or fire) proceeded, of which, form (colour) is the attribute; and the rudiment of touch enveloped the wind with the rudiment of colour. Light becoming productive, produced the rudiment of taste; whence all juices in which flavour proceed resides; and the rudiment of colour invested the juices with the rudiment of taste. The waters becoming productive engendered the rudiment of smell; whence an aggregate (earth) originates, of which smell is the property.”

In simple terms, starting with Sound the Gross and Subtle elements are produced in a logical order. At the end of this exercise, the Supreme Being completes the creation of all the Pancha Bhootas and Tanmatras and 24 basic elements come into existence. 5 Sense organs, 5 action organs, 1 Mind to control, 5 Gross elements, 5 Subtle elements, Ahankara, Mahat and Moola Prakriti. Also, Brahma has not yet been created. From nothing, we have the most basic elements that are required for the actual creation to begin. But one step remains.

If you notice, you will realize that the Tanmatras are just associated with their own Pancha Bhootas. For example Wind is just associated with touch after the creation. But in actuality we can also “hear”wind. Right? So what does the Lord do to bring about that basic elemental change?  We will see in the next post.