|Canto 3: The Status Quo||Chapter 26: Fundamental Principles of Material Nature|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.26.46
bhāvanaḿ brahmaṇaḥ sthānaḿ
bhāvanam — modeling forms; brahmaṇaḥ — of the Supreme Brahman; sthānam — constructing places of residence; dhāraṇam — containing substances; sat-viśeṣaṇam — distinguishing the open space; sarva — all; sattva — of existence; guṇa — qualities; udbhedaḥ — the place for manifestation; pṛthivī — of earth; vṛtti — of the functions; lakṣaṇam — the characteristics.
The characteristics of the functions of earth can be perceived by modeling forms of the Supreme Brahman, by constructing places of residence, by preparing pots to contain water, etc. In other words, the earth is the place of sustenance for all elements.
Different elements, such as sound, sky, air, fire and water, can be perceived in the earth. Another feature of the earth especially mentioned here is that earth can manifest different forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By this statement of Kapila's it is confirmed that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Brahman, has innumerable forms, which are described in the scriptures. By manipulation of earth and its products, such as stone, wood and jewels, these forms of the Supreme Lord can be present before our eyes. When a form of Lord Kṛṣṇa or Lord Viṣṇu is manifested by presentation of a statue made of earth, it is not imaginary. The earth gives shape to the Lord's forms as described in the scriptures.
In the Brahma-saḿhitā there is description of Lord Kṛṣṇa's lands, the variegatedness of the spiritual abode, and the forms of the Lord playing a flute with His spiritual body. All these forms are described in the scriptures, and when they are thus presented they become worshipable. They are not imaginary as the Māyāvāda philosophy says. Sometimes the word bhāvana is misinterpreted as "imagination." But bhāvana does not mean "imagination;" it means giving actual shape to the description of Vedic literature. Earth is the ultimate transformation of all living entities and their respective modes of material nature.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness