TEXT 17
vaikariko deva-sargah
pancamo yan-mayam manah
sasthas tu tamasah sargo
yas tv abuddhi-krtah prabhoh
SYNONYMS
vaikarikah—interaction of the mode of goodness; deva—the demigods, or controlling deities; sargah—creation; pancamah—fifth; yat—that which; mayam—sum total; manah—mind; sasthah—sixth; tu—but; tamasah—of darkness; sargah—creation; yah—that which; tu—expletive; abuddhi-krtah—made foolish; prabhoh—of the master.
TRANSLATION
The fifth creation is that of the controlling deities by the interaction of the mode of goodness, of which the mind is the sum total. The sixth creation is the ignorant darkness of the living entity, by which the master acts as a fool.
PURPORT
The demigods in the higher planets are called devas because they are all devotees of Lord Visnu. Visnu-bhaktah smrto daiva asuras tad-viparyayah: all the devotees of Lord Visnu are devas, or demigods, whereas all others are asuras. That is the division of the devas and the asuras. Devas are situated in the mode of goodness of material nature, whereas the asuras are situated in the modes of passion or ignorance. The demigods, or controlling deities, are entrusted with departmental management of all the different functions of the material world. For example, one of our sense organs, the eye, is controlled by light, light is distributed by the sun rays, and their controlling deity is the sun. Similarly, mind is controlled by the moon. All other senses, both for working and for acquiring knowledge, are controlled by the different demigods. The demigods are assistants of the Lord in the management of material affairs.
After the creation of the demigods, all entities are covered by the darkness of ignorance. Each and every living being in the material world is conditioned by his mentality of lording it over the resources of material nature. Although a living entity is the master of the material world, he is conditioned by ignorance, by the false impression of being the proprietor of material things.
The energy of the Lord called avidya is the bewildering factor of the conditioned souls. The material nature is called avidya, or ignorance, but to the devotees of the Lord engaged in pure devotional service, this energy becomes vidya, or pure knowledge. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita. The energy of the Lord transforms from mahamaya to yogamaya and appears to pure devotees in her real feature. The material nature therefore appears to function in three phases: as the creative principle of the material world, as ignorance and as knowledge. As disclosed in the previous verse, in the fourth creation the power of knowledge is also created. The conditioned souls are not originally fools, but by the influence of the avidya function of material nature they are made fools, and thus they are unable to utilize knowledge in the proper channel.
By the influence of darkness, the conditioned soul forgets his relationship with the Supreme Lord and is overwhelmed by attachment, hatred, pride, ignorance and false identification, the five kinds of illusion that cause material bondage.

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