पष्ठस्तु तमस: सर्गो यस्त्वबुद्धिकृत: प्रभो: ॥ १७ ॥
pañcamo yan-mayaṁ manaḥ
ṣaṣṭhas tu tamasaḥ sargo
yas tv abuddhi-kṛtaḥ prabhoḥ
vaikārikaḥ — interaction of the mode of goodness; deva — the demigods, or controlling deities; sargaḥ — creation; pañcamaḥ — fifth; yat — that which; mayam — sum total; manaḥ — mind; ṣaṣṭhaḥ — sixth; tu — but; tamasaḥ — of darkness; sargaḥ — creation; yaḥ — that which; tu — expletive; abuddhi-kṛtaḥ — made foolish; prabhoḥ — of the master.
The fifth creation is that of the controlling deities by the interaction of the mode of goodness, of which the mind is the sum total. The sixth creation is the ignorant darkness of the living entity, by which the master acts as a fool.
The demigods in the higher planets are called devas because they are all devotees of Lord Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu-bhaktaḥ smṛto daiva āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ: all the devotees of Lord Viṣṇu are devas, or demigods, whereas all others are asuras. That is the division of the devas and the asuras. Devas are situated in the mode of goodness of material nature, whereas the asuras are situated in the modes of passion or ignorance. The demigods, or controlling deities, are entrusted with departmental management of all the different functions of the material world. For example, one of our sense organs, the eye, is controlled by light, light is distributed by the sun rays, and their controlling deity is the sun. Similarly, mind is controlled by the moon. All other senses, both for working and for acquiring knowledge, are controlled by the different demigods. The demigods are assistants of the Lord in the management of material affairs.
After the creation of the demigods, all entities are covered by the darkness of ignorance. Each and every living being in the material world is conditioned by his mentality of lording it over the resources of material nature. Although a living entity is the master of the material world, he is conditioned by ignorance, by the false impression of being the proprietor of material things.
The energy of the Lord called avidyā is the bewildering factor of the conditioned souls. The material nature is called avidyā, or ignorance, but to the devotees of the Lord engaged in pure devotional service, this energy becomes vidyā, or pure knowledge. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. The energy of the Lord transforms from mahā-māyā to yoga-māyā and appears to pure devotees in her real feature. The material nature therefore appears to function in three phases: as the creative principle of the material world, as ignorance and as knowledge. As disclosed in the previous verse, in the fourth creation the power of knowledge is also created. The conditioned souls are not originally fools, but by the influence of the avidyā function of material nature they are made fools, and thus they are unable to utilize knowledge in the proper channel.
By the influence of darkness, the conditioned soul forgets his relationship with the Supreme Lord and is overwhelmed by attachment, hatred, pride, ignorance and false identification, the five kinds of illusion that cause material bondage.