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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Apara-prakṛti literally means ‘the lower prakṛti or nature’.

Creation of the world is a favorite topic discussed in the scriptures. Most of the schools mentioned in these works are inclined to accept three basic realities from which the world has been created or evolved. They are as follows :

  1. Iśvara or God
  2. Jivas or the individual souls
  3. Prakṛti or nature, the insentient matrix of the inanimate creation

The Bhagavadgitā, though not a treatise on philosophy, in its wide sweep of discussing all relevant topics, touches upon the subject of creation also. God creates the world out of his twofold prakṛti or nature :

  • The parā-prakṛti or higher nature
  • The aparā-prakṛti or lower nature

The former comprises the jivas whereas the latter consists of the three guṇas mentioned below :

  1. Sattva
  2. Rajas
  3. Tamas

Thus the aparā-prakṛti forms the material base from which all non-living creation emerges.[1]


  1. Bhagavadgitā 7.4-14
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore