Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 3 - Chapter 1 - Verse 2


ससर्जाग्रेऽन्धतामिस्रमथ तामिस्रमादिकृत् ।महामोहं च मोहं च तमश्चाज्ञानवृत्तय: ॥ २ ॥


sasarjāgre ’ndha-tāmisramatha tāmisram ādi-kṛtmahāmohaṁ ca mohaṁ catamaś cājñāna-vṛttayaḥ


Brahmā first created the nescient engagements like self-deception, the sense of death, anger after frustration, the sense of false ownership, and the illusory bodily conception, or forgetfulness of one’s real identity.


Before the factual creation of the living entities in different varieties of species, the conditions under which a living being in the material world has to live were created by Brahmā. Unless a living entity forgets his real identity, it is impossible for him to live in the material conditions of life. Therefore the first condition of material existence is forgetfulness of one’s real identity. And by forgetting one’s real identity, one is sure to be afraid of death, although a pure living soul is deathless and birthless. This false identification with material nature is the cause of false ownership of things which are offered by the arrangement of superior control. All material resources are offered to the living entity for his peaceful living and for the discharge of the duties of self-realization in conditioned life. But due to false identification, the conditioned soul becomes entrapped by the sense of false ownership of the property of the Supreme Lord. It is evident from this verse that Brahmā himself is a creation of the Supreme Lord, and the five kinds of nescience which condition the living entities in material existence are creations of Brahmā. It is simply ludicrous to think the living entity to be equal with the Supreme Being when one can understand that the conditioned souls are under the influence of Brahmā’s magic wand. Patañjali also accepts that there are five kinds of nescience, as mentioned herein.