Verse 16: How can all the diversity I experience in the world emerge from one Unmanifest cause?

kāraṇam-asti-avyaktaṃ pravartate tri-guṇataḥ samdayāt-ca |
pariṇmataḥ salilavat prati-prati-guṇa-āśraya-viśeṣāt ||

kāraṇa – cause
avyakta – unmanifest
pravartate – occuring/becoming
tri – three
guṇa – quality of nature
samdayāt – union
pariṇāma – change / transformation
pratiprati – counter-balancing

Diversity comes from different combinations of the three Gunas.

  1. In the Unmanifest (Avyakta) the Gunas are in a state of equilibrium.
  2. However, different mixes of three Gunas cause different imbalances between them.
  3. Different imbalances create different things.
  4. This diversity is like that which comes from water falling from the clouds. The same water nourishes many seeds which grow to be different plants. In the different plants, the same water takes on different flavors. The difference does not originate in the water itself but in the mediums through which the water passes.
  5. The Gunas operate through their own nature and by mixing & combining.
  6. The Nature of the Gunas is change itself. Even in their original state of equilibrium in the Unmanifest, they operate as what they are. They are what they do and they operate through their nature.
    1. Sattva is always affecting pleasure
    2. Rajas is always affecting pain.
    3. Tamas is always affecting delusion.
  7. This inherent, dynamic ever-changing nature of the Gunas generates diversity when they are combined and blended.
  8. When they combine and blend, one Guna becomes dominant over the other two.

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