HOW 24 MATERIAL ELEMENTS CONSTITUTE THE MATERIAL NATURE AND BODIES? A WELL SIMPLIFIED EXPLANATION!
B S Mahesh Kumar asked like this:
“Hare krishna dandavat pranam. Prabhu Ji, can you explain me the texts of bhagavad Gita chapter 13 canto 35 in which 3rd or last paragraph? I’m not understanding this, i have been reading this 3rd time still not getting the exact of this mean… I beg unto you to get clarify this Prabhu Ji.
No need for begging to your servant, ie, me. Just order me to serve you. I am the servant of Lord and His devotees like you. I only have to thank you for asking such a meaningful Question that enlightens the devotees!
Using this opportunity, let me explain these 24 elements that makes our body and entire material creations.
Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON, has written in the last paragraph of the purport for Bhagavad Gita 13-35 like this:
“One can understand that this body is matter; it can be analyzed with its twenty-four elements. The body is the gross manifestation. And the subtle manifestation is the mind and psychological effects. And the symptoms of life are the interaction of these features. But over and above this, there is the soul, and there is also the Supersoul. The soul and the Supersoul are two. This material world is working by the conjunction of the soul and the twenty-four material elements. One who can see the constitution of the whole material manifestation as this combination of the soul and material elements and can also see the situation of the Supreme Soul becomes eligible for transfer to the spiritual world. These things are meant for contemplation and for realization, and one should have a complete understanding of this chapter with the help of the spiritual master.”
These 24 elements can be explained like this:
This material world is constituted by the conjunction of all the below mentioned 24 material elements with the soul (Athma). To connect these two there is a connecting factor also. Read further:
These 24 elements are mentioned by Lord Kapila who is considered as the 5th incarnation of Krishna and the son of Kardhama Muni and Devahuti, like this:
(1) FIVE GROSS (VISIBLE) ELEMENTS (MAHABHUTAS) – 5:
Earth – Like the earth, Our body also has soil particles as a component.
Water – Like the earth, Our body also has water as a component.
Fire – Like the earth, Our body also has heat (fire) as a component.
Air – Like the earth, Our body also has air as a component.
Ether (Empty space) – Like the earth, Our body also has empty space as a component.
The beauty is, out of the above five Earth is the first because it is the least subtle because we can see, touch, smell, feel, etc.
Water is the second least subtle because we can touch, feel and see, but can’t smell it.
Fire is the third least subtle because we can see and feel, but can’t touch or smell.
Air is the fourth least subtle because we can’t see, smell, but, we can only feel.
Ether (Empty space) is the most subtle among grosss elements. We can neither see nor touch nor feel nor smell.
Thus, the five gross material elements have been listed according to their level of subtleness.
(2) KNOWLEDGE AQUIRING SENSES – GNANENDRIYAS – 5 :
These elements aquire knowledge from outside:
Eyes – see the objects
Nose – smells the fragrance
Ear – hears the sound
Mouth – feels the taste and speaks the knowledge
Skin – feels the touch (Perception)
(3) FIVE SUBTLE ELEMENTS – THE OBJECTS KNOWN BY THE ABOVE FIVE GNANENDRIYAS – 5:
Touch – Perception
(4) FIVE WORKING SENSES – 5:
(B) FOUR SUBTLE (INVISIBLE) ELEMENTS – 4:
Mind – Next to the above five elements, our body has Mind as a material element.
Intelligence (Buddhi) – The intelligence is also a part of our body’s material elements.
False ego – The feel of “I” and pride, etc are part of this false ego that is also a part of this material element.
Thus there are 24 material elements that constitute all material creations and the bodies.
Next these bodies should be connected with the soul (athma) to make them to exist.
OTHER RELATED ELEMENTS:
(25) MIXING ELEMENT – TIME.
To MIX AND CONNECT the material bodies containing these 24 material elements with the SOUL(Athma), a connecting element is required.
TIME acts as a mixing element.
Similarly, other materials are connected to SAGUNA BRAHMAM having Time acts as a mixing (connecting) element.
As per Srimad Bhagavatham, Krishna Himself acts as time.
Next, these body+soul combination should be allowed to function by imparting three gunas (modes of nature) into them that makes entire creations (called Prakruti) perfect.
(26) MAHAT TATVA or PRAKRUTI (Final stage of creations):
Then, three modes of material nature (Satva Guna, rajo Guna, Thamo Guna) influences all the above 24 elements and makes Prakruti (material nature) or Mahat Tatva that acts as a breeding source for all the types of material bodies and material objects.
With these mechanisms, all the universes and cosmic manifestations are created and allowed to exist till Brahma Deva lives.
They are annihilated at the time of annihilation (at the end of Brahma’s life) and created again as said above.
This is the secret of all the material creations.
Hope you are clear now.
Also read this important post: HOW KRISHNA CREATED ALL THE CREATIONS AND LIVING BEINGS?