namo ’vyaktāya sūkṣmāya
namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; avyaktāya—who are never seen by material eyes; sūkṣmāya—transcendental; pradhāna-puruṣāya—the Supreme Person; ca—also; catuḥ-viṁśat—twenty-four; guṇa-jñāya—the knower of the elements; guṇa-saṅkhyāna—of the sāṅkhya-yoga system; hetave—the original cause.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme Person. Being very subtle, You are never visible to material eyes. You are the knower of the twenty-four elements, and You are the inaugurator of the sāṅkhya-yoga system.
Catur-viṁśad-guṇa, the twenty-four elements, are the five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), the three subtle elements (mind, intelligence and false ego), the ten senses (five for working and five for acquiring knowledge), the five sense objects, and contaminated consciousness. These are the subject matter of sāṅkhya-yoga, which was inaugurated by Lord Kapiladeva. This sāṅkhya-yoga was again propounded by another Kapila, but he was an atheist, and his system is not accepted as bona fide.
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