Canto 3: The Status QuoChapter 5: Vidura's Talks with Maitreya

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.5.27

tato 'bhavan mahat-tattvam

avyaktāt kāla-coditāt


viśvaḿ vyañjaḿs tamo-nudaḥ


tataḥ — thereafter; abhavat — came into existence; mahat — supreme; tattvam — sum total; avyaktāt — from the unmanifested; kāla-coditāt — by the interaction of time; vijñāna-ātmā — unalloyed goodness; ātma-deha-stham — situated on the bodily self; viśvam — complete universes; vyañjan — manifesting; tamaḥ-nudaḥ — the supreme light.


Thereafter, influenced by the interactions of eternal time, the supreme sum total of matter called the mahat-tattva became manifested, and in this mahat-tattva the unalloyed goodness, the Supreme Lord, sowed the seeds of universal manifestation out of His own body.


In due course of time, the impregnated material energy was manifested first as the total material ingredients. Everything takes its own time to fructify, and therefore the word kāla-coditāt, "influenced by time," is used herein. The mahat-tattva is the total consciousness because a portion of it is represented in everyone as the intellect. The mahat-tattva is directly connected with the supreme consciousness of the Supreme Being, but still it appears as matter. The mahat-tattva, or shadow of pure consciousness, is the germinating place of all creation. It is pure goodness with the slight addition of the material mode of passion, and therefore activity is generated from this point.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness