Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 3 - Chapter 1 - Verse 15


आद्यस्तु महत: सर्गो गुणवैषम्यमात्मन: ।द्वितीयस्त्वहमो यत्र द्रव्यज्ञानक्रियोदय: ॥ १५ ॥


ādyas tu mahataḥ sargoguṇa-vaiṣamyam ātmanaḥdvitīyas tv ahamo yatradravya-jñāna-kriyodayaḥ


Of the nine creations, the first one is the creation of the mahat-tattva, or the sum total of the material ingredients, wherein the modes interact due to the presence of the Supreme Lord. In the second, the false ego is generated, in which the material ingredients, material knowledge and material activities arise.


The first emanation from the Supreme Lord for material creation is called the mahat-tattva. The interaction of the material modes is the cause of false identification, or the sense that a living being is made of material elements. This false ego is the cause of identifying the body and mind with the soul proper. Material resources and the capacity and knowledge to work are all generated in the second term of creation, after the mahat-tattva. Jñāna indicates the senses which are sources of knowledge, and their controlling deities. Work entails the working organs and their controlling deities. All these are generated in the second creation.