tato ’bhavan mahat-tattvam
visvam vyañjams tamo-nudah
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Thereafter, influenced by the interactions of eternal time, the supreme sum total of matter, called the mahat-tattva, became manifested, and in this mahat-tattva the unalloyed goodness, the Supreme Lord, sowed the seeds of universal manifestation out of His own body.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In due course of time, the impregnated material energy was manifested first as the total material ingredients. Everything takes its own time to fructify, and therefore the word kala-coditat, “influenced by time,” is used herein. The mahat-tattva is the total consciousness because a portion of it is represented in everyone as the intellect. The mahat-tattva is directly connected with the supreme consciousness of the Supreme Being, but still it appears as matter. The mahat-tattva, or shadow of pure consciousness, is the germinating place of all creation. It is pure goodness with the slight addition of the material mode of passion, and therefore activity is generated from this point.