“Suka said, ’How may one succeed in understanding that unequal distribution (of the five great entities of which thou speakest) in the diverse things of the universe? Which amongst them are the senses and which the attributes? How may this be understood?’
“Vyasa said, ’I shall explain thee this duly one after another. Listen with concentrated attention to the subject as I expound how what I have said actually happens. Sound, the sense of hearing, and all the cavities within the body,—these three—have space for their origin. The vital breaths, the action of the limbs and touch form the attributes of the wind. Form, eyes, and the digestive fire within the stomach, are originated by light. Taste, tongue, and all the humours,—these three,—are from water. Scent, nose, and the body,—these three,—are the attributes of earth. These, then, as I have expounded to thee, are the transformations of the five (great) entities with senses. Touch is said to be the attribute of the wind; taste of water; form of light. Sound is said to have its origin in space, and scent is said to be the property of earth. Mind, Understanding, and Nature,—these three,—spring from their own previous states, and attaining (at each rebirth) to a position higher than the attributes (which form their respective objects), do not transcend those attributes. As the tortoise stretches out its limbs and withdraws them once again within itself, even so the Understanding creates the senses and once again withdraws them into itself. The consciousness of personal identity that arises in respect of that which is above the soles of the feet and below the crown of the head, is principally due to the action of the Understanding. It is the understanding that is transformed into the (five) attributes (of form, scent, etc.). It is understanding also that is transformed into the (five) senses with the mind for the sixth. When the Understanding is absent, where are the attributes? In man there are five senses. The mind is called the sixth (sense). The Understanding is called the seventh. The Soul is the eighth. The eyes (and the other senses) are for only receiving impressions of form (and scent, etc.). The mind exists for doubting (the accuracy of those impressions). The Understanding settles those doubts. The Soul is said only to witness every operation without mingling with them. Rajas, Tamas, and Sattwa,—these three,—arise from their own counterparts.