etavan eva sankhyato
brahmanah sa-gunasya ha
sanniveso maya prokto
yah kalah panca-vimsakah
etavan—so much; eva—just; sankhyatah—enumerated; brahmanah—of Brahman; sa-gunasya—with material qualities; ha—indeed; sannivesah—arrangement; maya—by Me; proktah—spoken; yah—which; kalah—time; panca-vimsakah—the twenty-fifth.
All these are considered the qualified Brahman. The mixing element, which is known as time, is counted as the twenty-fifth element.
According to the Vedic version there is no existence beyond Brahman. Sarvam khalv idam brahma (Chandogya Upanisad 3.14.1). It is stated also in the Visnu Purana that whatever we see is parasya brahmanah saktih; everything is an expansion of the energy of the Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman. When Brahman is mixed with the three qualities goodness, passion and ignorance, there results the material expansion, which is sometimes called saguna Brahman and which consists of these twenty-five elements. In the nirguna Brahman, where there is no material contamination, or in the spiritual world, the three modes—goodness, passion and ignorance—are not present. Where nirguna Brahman is found, simple unalloyed goodness prevails. Saguna Brahman is described by the Sankhya system of philosophy as consisting of twenty-five elements, including the time factor (past, present and future).
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