कर्मणो जन्म महत: पुरुषाधिष्ठितादभूत् ॥ २२ ॥
karmaṇo janma mahataḥ
kālāt — from eternal time; guṇa-vyatikaraḥ — transformation of the modes by reaction; pariṇāmaḥ — transformation; svabhāvataḥ — from the nature; karmaṇaḥ — of activities; janma — creation; mahataḥ — of the mahat-tattva; puruṣa-adhiṣṭhitāt — because of the puruṣa incarnation of the Lord; abhūt — it took place.
After the incarnation of the first puruṣa [Kāraṇārṇavaśāyī Viṣṇu], the mahat-tattva, or the principles of material creation, take place, and then time is manifested, and in course of time the three qualities appear. Nature means the three qualitative appearances. They transform into activities.
By the omnipotency of the Supreme Lord, the whole material creation evolves by the process of transformation and reactions one after another, and by the same omnipotency, they are wound up again one after another and conserved in the body of the Supreme. Kāla, or time, is the synonym of nature and is the transformed manifestation of the principles of material creation. As such, kāla may be taken as the first cause of all creation, and by transformation of nature different activities of the material world become visible. These activities may be taken up as the natural instinct of each and every living being, or even of the inert objects, and after the manifestation of activities there are varieties of products and by-products of the same nature. Originally these are all due to the Supreme Lord. The Vedānta-sūtras and the Bhāgavatam thus begin with the Absolute Truth as the beginning of all creations (janmādy asya yataḥ).