maharsayah sapta purve
catvaro manavas tatha
mad-bhava manasa jata
yesham loka imah prajah

"The seven great sages and before them the four other great sages and the Manus [progenitors of mankind] come from Me, born from My mind, and all the living beings populating the various planets descend from them."

There are deep meanings in this and so it has to be carefully understood. The Lord creates and it is an interesting scene, which we had seen earlier. First He creates sanashti items or it is called samashti srushti [समष्टि सृष्टि]. In this all items upto the creation of lord Brahma are created. From the Primordial prakruthi, mahaan [महान], ahankaram [अहंकारं] are created. Then satvika ahankaram, rajasa ahankaram and tamasa ahankaram are formed. From these the Five great elements - space [आकाश ], air [वायु ], water [अप्पू ], fire [तेजस ] and earth [पृथ्वी ] are formed. Then pancha tanmatras, pancha karmendriya, pancha gyanendriya and mind [मनस] are formed, making a total of 24 entities. Then they are all mixed and that process is called panchikaranam [पंचीकरणं ]. All these are part of samashti srushti. Upto this all creations are done directly by the Lord. We have seen these in Chapter Seven in detail. Then He creates lord Brahma. From now on lord Brahma creates the rest of the Universe and it is aclled vyashti srushti [व्यष्टि सृष्टि]. So, the Lord is directly involved in samashti srushti and lord Brahma is directly involved in vyashti srushti. Here, the Lord Sri Krishna clarifies that not only samashti srushti is under His control, even the vyashti srushti done by lord Brahma is also in His control and command. Lord Brahma starts creation by first creating Seven Maharishis [great sages] by his will power or sankalpam. Then he creates Swayambuva Manu. at the same time from the daughter of Daksha, four savarnikas are created. These Maharishis, Manu and Savarnikas, will later on, carry out the nithya [routine] pralayam [destruction or dissolution] and nithya [routine] actions for maintaining the life cycle in the world. So, first the Lord creates all the ingredients for subsequent creations, by His samashti srushti and all the Five great elements and others are made available. He creates lord Brahma and so Brahma in a way is His son. With the savarnikas, lord Brahma gets nithya pralayam performed. We have seen that lord Brahma's day time [excluding night time] is 1000 Chatur yug [ one chatur yug is 4,320,000 our earthly years]. During this day time Fourteen Manus rule in succession. After lord Brahma's daytime is over the first three worlds - Bhu, Bhuva and Suva lokas- would be destroyed. This is called Naimittika pralayam. This Naimittika pralayam is looked after by lord Brahma himself. During lord Brahma's night time of another 1000 Chatur yug, these three worlds will not exist. They are created again when lord Brahma's daytime begins. To look after the nitya pralayam, the Maharishis and Manus are created. Every living being according to the past karma is born and dies. This is called nithya srushti and nithya pralayam. Nithya pralayam is looked after by the Maharishis. Daily all these created living beings are to be sustained and this work is done by the Four Manus. The Lord Sri Krishna tells that all these Maharishis and Manus, are all in His control and command. This He tells to clear our misunderstanding, that lord Brahma, the Maharishis and the Manus are all performing their duties independently. In all of them the Lord is their inner atman [antaratma] and commands them. Without the Lord, all these - lord Brahma, the Maharishis and the Manus- will be inactive. We will see the sloka in detail now. Purve = long ago, at the time of creation started by lord Brahma, manasa jata = from his mind [will power] were born, sapta rishaya = seven sages. These rishis are created to look after the nithya pralayam. These sages are:

  2. ATRI
These Seven sages are creations of the mind of lord Brahma. Catva =four, manva = manus. Here we may have a confusion. The Manus mentioned by Sri Krishna are:
But we have just seen that lord Brahma created Swayambuva Manu. We ahve herad of 14 manus and currently Seventh Manu -Vaivaswata Manu- is ruling. We in our sankalpam during any religious function tell that in the 28th chatur yug in the Vaivasta Manvantare [वैवसतर मन्वन्तरे अष्टा विम्स ....]. Already Six Manus had ruled and gone. When Gita was preached it was the Seventh Manu's reign. We have to remember that in the daytime of lord Brahma, Fourteen Manus would rule and so after this reign of Seventh Manu is over, another Seven Manus have to rule, when lord Brahma's daytime of a single day would be over. So, we may be wondering why Sri Krishna did not tell that Six Manus reign were over. Swami Vedanta Desika in his Tatparya Chandrika explains this. Sri Krishna is not mentioning these Fourteen Manus in this sloka. During the reign of the First Manu, Swayambuva Manu, from the daughter of Daksha, Four savarnikas were created. Thses are listed by Sri Krishna as above. These Savarnikas are described as Savarni Manu by Sri Krishna. All these [lord Brahma, Maharishis and Manus] people are, mad-bhava = [follow] My [Sri Krishna's] command or thinking. Lord Brahma might have created, but in each and everyone of them the Lord alone is residing and controlling. In our practical experience we notice that though our immediate boss might be taking work from us, we are controlled by the Managing Director. Yesham = from these people created, ima praja = all these living beings of, loka = the Universe at large.