Srimad Bhagavad-Gita :
Chapter-7. ( Jnana-Vijnana-yogam )
Slokam-4. ( In this slokam Lord narrates his nature : Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.)
bhumiraponalo vayuh kham mano buddhireva ca,
ahankaraitiyam me bhinna prakrtirashtadhah.
bhumih apah analah vayuh kham = earth, water, fire, air, sky ( space );
manah bhuddhih ahamkaram ca iti eva = mind, bhuddhi ( intellect ), ahamkaram ( 'I' ness , ' My' ness ) these are;
me iyam prakrtih = my natures ( energies );
ashtadha bhinna = divided in eight parts.
In order to continue the previous slokam Lord Krishna presents prakriti the material substratum in eight categories representing His lower material energy comprised of earth, water, fire, air and ether and they stand for their respective elements in their subtle state being seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting which are in their modified state and thus cannot be considered as constituents of nature. Manas or mind which stands for its cause being the intellect and ahankarah being false ego which stands for cosmic intelligence as well as the individual ego which stands for maya the illusory deluding energy which is the cause of cosmic intelligence. All this is the potency of Lord Krishna and the material cause of creation consisting of sixteen movable and immovable modifications in the form of five subtle elements, five organs with five senses and the mind all from His lower nature divided into eight categories.
After having enticed the listeners interest, next in order to delineate the nature of Isvara the Supreme controller, introduced as the origin of all creation, etc. through the agency of prakriti the material substatum. Prakriti has a dual nature differentiated by higher and lower properties. Lord Krishna defines the lower properties in this verse beginning with the word bhumir meaning Earth. It should be understood that Earth includes the five elementary essences being sight, taste, hearing, smell and touch. By the word manah meaning the mind, its cause ahankarah meaning ego is denoted. By the word ahankaryah or egoism, its cause avidya or ignorance the absence of knowledge is denoted. By the word buddhih meaning the intellect, its cause the mahat being cosmic intelligence is denoted. This is Lord Krishna's lower nature divided into eight categories. Another interpretation of this verse is that earth means the five gross elements together with the five subtle elements. The word egoism means together with its by products being the five senses. Intellect means the cosmic intelligence. By mind is meant the pradhana or the unmanifest which has no form that has been manifested and which can only be inferred by the mind. So this is Lord Krihna's prakriti otherwise known as maya-sakti or illusory potency in eight categories. Although prakriti is usually divided into twenty-four categories because the other sixteen are included within these eight it is said here to be divided into eight categories. Later in chapter thirteen, verses six and seven concerning ksetra or the body this very same prakriti will be described in full as having twenty-four categories being the five gross elements, egoism, intellect, the unmanifest, the ten sense organs, the mind and the five objects of the senses.
The eight categories of Lord Krishna's include the five elements and the mind concluding with the mahat denoting intellect and ahankara denoting false ego. The ahankara of the living entities is different from the ego sense of the incarnation Ksiradaksayi Vishnu who while meditating upon Himself in the casual ocean merely thinks I Am and universal creation begins to manifest as unlimited universes from the pores of His spiritual body.
It should be known that mula prakriti or the primeval substratum of material nature is the basis for the infinite and phenomena of all creation. It ministers its all encompassing energy in material existence to all sentient beings in a marvelous variety of ways. As objects of enjoyment, bodily organs to enjoy with as well as regions of enjoyment to interact with. All these things are also manifestations of the Supreme Lord Krishna's nature and they are divided into eight principle categories. 1)Solids being Earth distinguished by odor, 2)liquids being water distinguished by moisture, 3)light being fire distinguished by heat, 4)air being gases distinguished by lightness and 5)space being ether distinguished by unlimitedness, 6) manas or mind with its accompanying five senses and ahankara or false ego.
To be continued ...