गुणव्यतिकराद्राजन्मायया परमात्मन: ॥ १६ ॥
sthitiḥ saṁyama eva ca
Manu continued: My dear King Dhruva, it is simply by the illusory material energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by the interaction of the three modes of material nature that creation, maintenance and annihilation take place.
First, creation takes place with the ingredients of the five elements of material nature. Then, by the interaction of the modes of material nature, maintenance also takes place. When a child is born, the parents immediately see to its maintenance. This tendency for maintenance of offspring is present not only in human society, but in animal society as well. Even tigers care for their cubs, although their propensity is to eat other animals. By the interaction of the material modes of nature, creation, maintenance and also annihilation take place inevitably. But at the same time we should know that all is conducted under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everything is going on under that process. Creation is the action of the rajo-guṇa, the mode of passion; maintenance is the action of sattva-guṇa, the mode of goodness; and annihilation is the action of tamo-guṇa, the mode of ignorance. We can see that those who are situated in the mode of goodness live longer than those who are situated in the tamo-guṇa or rajo-guṇa. In other words, if one is elevated to the mode of goodness, he is elevated to a higher planetary system, where the duration of life is very great. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ: great ṛṣis, sages and sannyāsīs who maintain themselves in sattva-guṇa, or the mode of material goodness, are elevated to a higher planetary system. Those who are transcendental even to the material modes of nature are situated in the mode of pure goodness; they attain eternal life in the spiritual world.