Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 11 - Chapter 1 - Verse 7


परस्परानुप्रवेशात् तत्त्वानां पुरुषर्षभ ।पौर्वापर्यप्रसङ्ख्यानं यथा वक्तुर्विवक्षितम् ॥ ७ ॥


parasparānupraveśāttattvānāṁ puruṣarṣabhapaurvāparya-prasaṅkhyānaṁyathā vaktur vivakṣitam


O best among men, because subtle and gross elements mutually enter into one another, philosophers may calculate the number of basic material elements in different ways, according to their personal desire.


Material creation takes place as a chain reaction in which subtle elements expand and transform into progressively denser elements. Since a cause is in a sense present within its effect, and the effect is subtly present within the cause, all subtle and gross elements have entered within one another. Thus one may categorize basic material elements in many different ways, assigning various numbers and names according to one’s methodology. Although material philosophers proudly assume their individual theories to be supreme, they are all speculating according to their personal proclivities, as described in this and the following verse.