SPIRIT
and MATTER

Every thing that exists is a product of spirit [purusa] and matter [prakriti]. Spirit is the basic field of creation, and matter is created by spirit. Spirit is not created at a certain stage of material development. Rather, this material world is manifested only on the basis of spiritual energy. This material body is developed because spirit is present within matter, a child grows gradually from infancy to boyhood to old age because of that superior energy, spirit soul, being present in the physical body.

Similarly, the entire cosmic manifestation of the gigantic universe is developed because of the presence of the Supersoul, Vishnu, the Supreme Spirit. Therefore spirit and matter, which combine together to manifest this gigantic universal form, are originally two energies of the Lord, and consequently the Lord is the original cause of everything. This material world is a temporary manifestation of one of the energies of the Lord.

In the material energy, the principle manifestations are eight as explained in Bhagavad-Gita by Lord Krishna; "earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego - altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies. Besides this inferior nature, however, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe." [BG 7.4-6].

This verse clearly mentioned that the living entities belong to the superior nature or energy of the Supreme Lord. The inferior energy is matter in its gross and subtle form. Both forms of material nature, namely the gross (earth, water, fire, air, ether) and the subtle (mind, intelligence, ego) are products of the inferior energy. The living entities, who are exploiting these inferior energies for different purposes are the superior energy of the Supreme Lord, and it is due to this energy that the entire material world functions.

The cosmic manifestation has no power to act unless it is moved by the superior energy, the living entity. Prakriti or material energy, which is unconscious and inert by nature, cannot create or act without the touch of purusa or spirit, which is completely antimaterial and the conscious principle behind matter.

"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego--all together these eight comprise My separated material energies." [BG 7.4]

"Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe." [BG 7.5]

"Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both its origin and dissolution." [BG 7.6]

 


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