As mentioned earlier, we have three tattvas or reals. We will next take up Achetana and then finally Iswara. Achetana means non-sentient. It means that it does not possess any knowledge. So, theAchetana is not capable of thinking, since it has no knowledge(pramana).
At the time of pralaya, matter (prakriti) is in a subtle, undifferentiated state. It is then called Avibhakta. We plant a seed. In course of time, the seed grows, sprouts into a small plant and then into a big tree. Similarly, the undifferentiated Matter is like the seed. It slowly develops and in the next stage, it is called Vibhakta.
Initially matter is subtle in dormant state. It evolves into the next stage and the tattva called mahat comes out. From mahat we get the tattva ahankara. Both the mahat and ahankara are of three kinds.
The subtle element (tanmatra) is something in between two gross elements (bhuta). Supposing milk is being turned into curd, the intermediate stage of formation of curd, i.e., the stage between milk and curd is called the subtle stage. So from tamasa ahankara is created the subtle element of sound. (sabda)
Ether (akasa) is produced from the subtle element of sound. Ether is called the gross element (bhuta). From ether is produced the subtle element of touch (sparsa). From the subtle element of touch is produced the gross element of air (vayu). From the gross element of air is produced the subtle element of sight (rupa). From the subtle element of sight is produced the gross element of light (tejas). From the gross element of light is produced the subtle element of taste (rasa). From the subtle element of taste is produced the gross element of water. From the gross element of water is produced the subtle element of smell (gandha). Finally from the subtle element of smell is produced the gross element of earth (prithivi). Thus, each of the subtle elements (tanmatra) is an intermediate stage of creation, between two gross elements (bhuta). The process of creation is, therefore, like this: prakriti or matter, mahat, ahankara, sound, ether, touch, air, sight, light, taste, water, smell, earth. Thus, in the process of creation, we have 24 items, i.e., starting from the empirical or fundamental matter, we have No. 2 mahat, No. 3 ahankara and No. 4 to 8 the 5 subtle elements mentioned above: and No. 9 to 13, the 5 gross elements (pancha bhutas) mentioned above; No. 14 is the mind (manas); No. 15 to 19 the 5 senses of knowledge; No. 20 to 24 are the 5 senses of action or karma. Thus we have a total of 24 elements.
These 11 senses are also atomic in size. These senses also depart from the body, when a person dies. Hence they have to be necessarily atomic; since we cannot see these 11 senses, leaving the body, at the time of death.
What is called quintuplication of five-fold division takes place in the process of creation. I have to talk a bit of mathematics. We saw that there are five gross elements that are ether, air, light, water and earth. Now, the process of creation is like this. Each gross element is taken and divided into two halves. One half of this element is again split up into four equal parts and added to the remaining four gross elements. For example, let us take the gross element of ether. This is divided into two halves. One half of it is further divided into four equal portions, namely, 1/8th each and so 1/8th ether is added toeach of the remaining four elements, namely, air, light, water and earth. In the same way, the remaining four gross elements are also divided into halves and each half is again divided into four portions and added to the other gross elements.
Let us take the gross element of ether. After all these transformations or quintuplication, the ele-ment ether will actually consist of the following: Half of ether, l/8th portion of air, l/8th portion of light, l/8th portion of water and l/8th portion of earth. So half plus 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8, will add to one. So after this mixing up, finally we shall have ether consisting of half of ether and l/8th of the remaining four gross elements. So, this method of mixture is called quin-tuplication or five-fold division (panchikarana).
From the mathematics explained above you will observe that in the composition of each element, the dominant element is 50%. The other elements are only l/8th each making up the other half. Since one element is predominant, the element is named after it.
The same process which has been explained above is talked of in regard to three gross elements, namely, light, water and earth, instead of all the five gross elements. The principle of mixing up of these three elements is also the same as I have explained earlier in regard to all the five elements. When only three elements as above are involved it is called tripartition. The principle in both the cases is the same. Actually, quintuplication is only an extension of the principle of tripartition.
Yes. In fact, in Vishnupurana, along with the 5 gross elements as above, the two earlier tattvas of mahat and ahankara are also added. These make up a total of seven. Then the Vishnupurana describes the principle of seven-fold division (saptikarana). So, it is only a further extension of the principle of mixing up of the elements.
The creation of mahat out of the elementary or fundamental matter; the creation of ahankara and the ten indriyas of knowledge and karma; the creation of the. gross elements and the five subtle elements - all these are called aggregate creation. .
Out of the above process or after the above process, the world is created. The further creation of human beings, devas, animals, trees and plants is called individual creation. I think this much of understanding about matter (prakriti) is enough for the present. .
This is to uphold dharma or righteousness. In the Gita, Krishna says that whenever there is a decline in righteousness or dharma, whenever adharma raises its head, then the Lord takes avataras in this world.