Q. What is the difference between MAHAT-TATTVA and FALSE EGO?
A. Mahat-tattva is the sum total of all cosmic manifestation, the sum total of the material world. It is the germinating place of all creation. It is created by Maha-Visnu, a plenary portion of Lord Krishna.
Regarding false ego and other material elements, you may refer to Srila Prabhupada’s purport in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.28). A section of that purport is given below:
“Srila Sridhara Svami confirms that a part of the material nature, after being initiated by the Lord, is known as the mahat-tattva. A fractional portion of the mahat-tattva is called the false ego. A portion of the ego is the vibration of sound, and a portion of sound is atmospheric air. A portion of the airy atmosphere is turned into forms, and the forms constitute the power of electricity or heat. Heat produces the smell of the aroma of the earth, and the gross earth is produced by such aroma. And all these combined together constitute the cosmic phenomenon.”