TEXT 17
nimitta-mātraṁ tatrāsīn
nirguṇaḥ puruṣarṣabhaḥ
vyaktāvyaktam idaṁ viśvaṁ
yatra bhramati lohavat
SYNONYMS
nimitta-mātram—remote cause; tatra—then; āsīt—was; nirguṇaḥ—uncontaminated; puruṣa-ṛṣabhaḥ—the Supreme Person; vyakta—manifested; avyaktam—unmanifested; idam—this; viśvam—world; yatra—where; bhramati—moves; loha-vat—like iron.
TRANSLATION
My dear Dhruva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. He is the remote cause of the creation of this material cosmic manifestation. When He gives the impetus, many other causes and effects are produced, and thus the whole universe moves, just as iron moves by the integrated force of a magnet.
PURPORT
How the external energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead works within this material world is explained in this verse. Everything is happening by the energy of the Supreme Lord. The atheistic philosophers, who do not agree to accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the original cause of creation, think that the material world moves by the action and reaction of different material elements. A simple example of the interaction of elements occurs when we mix soda and acid and the movement of effervescence is produced. But one cannot produce life by such interaction of chemicals. There are 8,400,000 different species of life, with different wishes and different actions. How the material force is working cannot be explained just on the basis of chemical reaction. A suitable example in this connection is that of the potter and the potter’s wheel. The potter’s wheel rotates, and several varieties of earthen pots come out. There are many causes for the earthen pots, but the original cause is the potter, who sets a force on the wheel. That force comes by his superintendence. The same idea is explained in Bhagavad-gītā—behind all material action and reaction there is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa says that everything depends on His energy, and yet He is not everywhere. The pot is produced under certain conditions of action and reaction of material energy, but the potter is not in the pot. In a similar way, the material creation is set up by the Lord, but He remains aloof. As stated in the Vedas, He simply glanced over it, and the agitation of matter immediately began.
In Bhagavad-gītā it is also said that the Lord impregnates the material energy with the part-and-parcel jīvas, and thus the different forms and different activities immediately ensue. Because of the different desires and karmic activities of the jīva soul, different types of bodies in different species are produced. In Darwin’s theory there is no acceptance of the living entity as spirit soul, and therefore his explanation of evolution is incomplete. Varieties of phenomena occur within this universe on account of the actions and reactions of the three material modes, but the original creator, or the cause, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is mentioned here as nimitta-mātram, the remote cause. He simply pushes the wheel with His energy. According to the Māyāvādī philosophers, the Supreme Brahman has transformed Himself into many varieties of forms, but that is not the fact. He is always transcendental to the actions and reactions of the material guṇas, although He is the cause of all causes. Lord Brahmā says, therefore, in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.1):
There are many causes and effects, but the original cause is Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

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