Reconciling differences in Opinion

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.22.21-23 - Reconciling differences in Opinion (download mp3)
by Purushottam Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.22.21
catvary eveti tatrapi
 teja apo ’nnam atmanah
jatani tair idam jatam
 janmavayavinah khalu

Some philosophers propose the existence of four basic elements, of which three — fire, water and earth — emanate from the fourth, the Self. Once existing, these elements produce the cosmic manifestation, in which all material creation takes place.

SB 11.22.22
sankhyane saptadasake
 bhuta-matrendriyani ca
pañca pañcaika-manasa
 atma saptadasah smrtah

Some calculate the existence of seventeen basic elements, namely the five gross elements, the five objects of perception, the five sensory organs, the mind, and the soul as the seventeenth element.

SB 11.22.23
tadvat sodasa-sankhyane
 atmaiva mana ucyate
bhutendriyani pañcaiva
 mana atma trayodasa

According to the calculation of sixteen elements, the only difference from the previous theory is that the soul is identified with the mind. If we think in terms of five physical elements, five senses, the mind, the individual soul and the Supreme Lord, there are thirteen elements.

According to the theory of thirteen elements, the sense objects — aroma, taste, form, touch and sound — are considered by-products of the interaction of the senses and physical matter.

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