They are all energy. But this energy takes many forms. Just like in modern science we say that there are many forms of energy such as kinetic energy, thermal energy, electromagnetic energy, gravitational energy, etc. Like that there are infinite forms of energy. At a high-level we can say that they are all “material energy” but then we can also describe the forms of these energies.
The original energy is called Sakti and all the energy is enfolded in the body of Parvati. During creation, this energy is unfolded just like a tree is enfolded inside a seed. The difference is that the seed needs water, sunlight, and air from the outside, and Sakti doesn’t need anything external. David Bohm used this idea of enfolded and unfolded in conversation with J Krishnamurthy (although he says that he had this idea even before this conversation).
So we can also say that prior to the manifest universe, the energy is unmanifest. It doesn’t mean it did not exist. It just means that it was enfolded. In one sense, this is also the big bang, where all the energy is enfolded in the body of Parvati who is the complete form of Sakti, and everything comes out of this body, so it is like a big bang. But the difference is that the big bang is impersonal and the enfolded-unfolded process of creation is personal.
The problem in modern science is that when energy is highly concentrated then all laws of modern science seem to break down because we are unable to visualize how an infinite amount of energy can be concentrated in a small place. Cosmologists call this the ‘black hole’ which is an infinite amount of energy from which energy can never escape so they cannot see this black hole.
The real reason is different. These black holes are very powerful living entities that have tremendous enfolded energy, so it is true that there is an infinite concentration of energy in a very small place. But it is not true that these are not emanating energy. Just like rivers flow into the ocean, similarly, energy from the rest of the world is absorbed by these living entities and then distributed. The problem is that they are not distributing this energy to us so we cannot see them. Nevertheless, there are theories such as Hawking Radiation which insist that black holes emit radiation. This whole problem of how energy is absorbed and radiated is not very well understood, which is why scientists keep trying to bombard particles at very high energy hoping that they will emulate the conditions of the big bang and we will learn more about our origins.
In short, all these particles are energy and they are concentrated into a source of energy from where they are emitted. The mystery is how they are enfolded and unfolded.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, it is described that during the creation, from pradhana where we cannot distinguish the three modes comes prakriti where the three modes are distinguished. From there comes mahattattva, then ahamkara, then many other elements leading up to Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. During annihilation, Earth merges into Water, Water merges into Fire, Fire merges into Air, Air merges into Ether, which merges into the senses, which merge into the mind, and so on, until the entire universe merges back into the body of Maha-Visnu.
Everything is enfolded inside Maha-Visnu and then unfolded. So, it is like a big-bang except that the origin is not a vacuum or some impersonal concentration of energy. The origin is a person inside whose body the energy is enfolded and it is unfolded by their will. It is enfolded in a way that the small thing is absorbed into the big thing, but this big thing is not physically bigger, otherwise, there would be no big bang. The big thing is a bigger idea, and the smaller thing is a smaller idea which is a part of the bigger idea. Since the smaller idea is always part of the bigger idea, therefore it exists even when the universe is not manifest. It is only when the small is separated from the big that we say that the universe has manifest.
I’m trying to explain the nature of the unfolding and enfolding like a tree that grows from a seed and then is absorbed back into the seed, and the nature of this tree. The root is the Absolute Truth and the emanations from this root are Relative Truths. If we can simply understand how it unfolds and enfolds then we can speak about the seed of the entire manifest phenomena.