CHAPTER – 2
- What is meant by universe?
The universe is a five-fold structure created by the Supreme Creator’s will – the Supreme Godhood in action and created in a very short period of time ostensibly through a Big Bang but structured on firm foundations of science. Although literally universe means the conglomeration of all the matter and the whole of space, its universality lies in its perfect symmetry and the unique phenomenon of time-space-distance relationship and almost its unfathomable nature and character except through a visionary eye endowed to one by the spiritual master or the divinity itself.
- What is our relationship with the universe?
The relationship between man and the universe is more intense than most people realize. It is not perhaps known to many that while the universe is made up of the five elements of matter, water, fire, air and ether, human body is also equally made up of these very five elements in the subtle form. That is why the great Vedic Metaphysics extols in no uncertain terms that one can know all about the vast and inaccessible ends of the universe within oneself through meditation of the transcendental principle of the Universe called God or the Creator. For, the said Creator pervades both the whole (Macro) universe and the tiny (Micro) universe called human body.
- How is the Big Bang theory relevant to our creation and metamorphosis?
The Big Bang theory is indeed very relevant as the starting point of creation and the creative ability of the unified Field where in this Universe both the positive and negative elements – even understood as Shiva and Shakti elements respectively – coexist. It is very clearly known in the scientific field with reference to particle physics that if the positive particle of an element comes into collusion with the negative particle of the element – such as the positron and electron – both the particles explode in the same way as a giant explosion of Big Bang. Both the explosions result in production and dissemination of gamma rays and other cosmic rays engendering a cosmic nebula in which stars and planetary formations take place. This is the brief story of creation – from Superman status of God to (creation of) man. It is in the reverse potion, wherein the secret of man’s evolution, dissolution or metamorphosis into Superman or God lies.
- What is meant by creation?
Creation is the secret of bringing out something out from the invisible latent or hidden thing in the seed form. This is as much true of the creation of the universe as of the human person. “Sakala bhuvana beejam Brahma Chaitanya meede !” is the unknown quotation of Adi Shankara, meaning that the invisible seed (beeja) of creation resides in every human being and that is the very seed that was responsible for creation of the universe, and that it is in the hands of the ordinary individual to rise to the stature of the Supreme Creator or come down to material levels to proliferate children!
- Who created this universe? How was this universe created?
Anterior to creation, even according to the Bible and the Veda, the Supreme Creator called God was unmanifest and he thought of creation and he manifested himself and brought about the universe. The first manifestations of the created world are sound, light and form – the trilinear energies of an interchangeable nature. From sound (of A-U-M or OM) came the self-luminous letters of the alphabet – which are 50 in number according to the oldest of the alphabets viz, Sanskrit. These letters of the alphabet are symbolic representations of 50 primordial energies of Shiva-Shakti principle (referred to in Lalitha Sahasranama as “Panchashath Peeta Rupini”). These verily are 50 sub-atomic (ultimate-invisible) particles – the ultimate building blocks that nature is formed of.
- Is the universe within the body and outside the body different?
No. The one which we see around, namely, the vast universe called in Vedic scriptures as Bhramānda, is made up of the same elements as the human body (called Pindānda) is made up of. What is not in the universe is also not in the human body. What is not perceivable in the human body cannot be seen or perceived in the Universe. What is even more common to both is the God that pervades both! As Supreme God who created the universe pervades the five-elemental universe, so does the same one pervade the subtle five-elemental structure of the human body. So it is said by all the four Vedas, 108 Upanishads, 18 Puranas, 18 Upa-puranas and by all Saints and Rishis, that one can come face-to-face with the indwelling God who is indistinguishable from the one pervading the whole universe. In fact, visionary experience of the individual God is a Sine Qua Non for liberation and ultimate attainment.
- Who benefits from the creation of the Universe and from the destruction of the universe?
Both the Creator and created (i.e., the created human individuals). For the Creator, it is clearly laid down, that He created the Universe for the benefit of enjoying a universal sport. For the Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent, where is the source of enjoyment and the last laugh? The Lord created both the visible material universe of an illusory nature but pervaded the universe concealing his identity therein; He also created the human person but concealed his identity therein. In the case of both, He indeed is the prime-mover of the universe and prime-mover of the heart and the bodily movements, expressions and manifestations. The Lord stays in both as a witness. He keeps a constant vigil on everyone – only to know whether man who owes his life and existence to Him makes an attempt to come face-to-face with him. If he doesn’t due to ignorance – it is the Lord who has the last laugh! That is the Lord’s sport!
- Are there different types of universe or names existing in this wide space?
According to the well-known Indian scriptures and widely known to the Hindu intelligentsia, structure of the universe is such as to host 14 different worlds in almost a vertical fashion. The nether worlds inhabited by lesser beings are seven in number and our world (in which we live) is the 8th from the bottom and 7th from the top. Our’s is called the Bhu. The others as we go upwards are called Bhuvaha, Suvaha, Mahaha, Janaha, Tapaha and finally the Sathyaha. Those inhabiting in these have their divinely ordained forms. Each higher world (in the upper seven) above is subtler than the subtlest.
- What is meant by space travel?
In the ordinary meaning of the phrase known to scientists, space travelers and space-travel programs through sputniks, satellites and so-called challengers of the modern era, it appears that space-travel is possible only through such specially prepared vehicles made impregnable to cosmic irradiation especially when the space travelers temporarily steps out of the vehicle in journey outside our globe – and steps out in a specially designed suit. Such space travel is calculated to explore unexplored regions in and out of the solar system (of our own). Man on the moon and space vehicles launched to photograph planets and planetary satellites outside out planet Earth are great examples of such travel. But scriptures refer to space travel by Rishis of great reputation who traveled all over the vast universe not only with the speed of air but with the speed of mind.
- Is there life on the various planes?
Forms of life are varied and multitudinous, even innumerable. Life in each of the 14 different worlds of the kind of universe, postulated by the Hindu astronomers as per their scriptures and authoritative theories, is different from world to world. Those with the kind of bodily features or Earthly creatures (“Bhu”) are not be to found (with five elemental structure) in other worlds, although beings exalted upper worlds, though not made of such body, can assume human form in a second and go back to their ethereal or invisible form in the next second! Life in different forms, especially in exalted state, is present all over the universe.
- Do all the various beings both animals and inanimate have the ability to realize the Truth behind the creation of the universe?
The inanimate and the mute portions of the world, such as the mountainous rocks, boulders etc are pervaded by divinity itself and the presiding deity thereof knows the secrets of creation. But certain Gods created by the Supreme Creator – unless they have risen to the Godly position from the beginnings of earthly life as ordinary human beings – do not have the ability to realize (i) not only the secrets of creation (ii) but also the Lotus Feet of such Creator. This is in fact is the quintessence of truth disclosed by sloka 28 of “Soundarya Lahiri” authored by Adi Shankara. It is said that the Gods created by the Supreme One to protect different borders and corners of the Universe – those who have not had their origins on Earth – aspire to be born here so that they can blossom themselves to the stature of Supreme Creator!
- How did the classification of the various beings come about? And on what paremeter?
In the earliest of Yugas – the Krita Yuga (“Krita-kruthyānām ithi Krita Yugam” those who reached fulfillment without a single exception) – all men and women were created “equal among equals” in tune with the “Samjnaanam Sookta” of Rig Veda, with hyms containing and proclaiming the oft-repeated “Samaana” (equality) – that all beings are created as “equal among equals’ let the element of inequality be purged from the minds of all!” But it was the ill-conceieved act of man who petered down to a low level of humanity to carve out a lower classification of himself. The Creator thought it fit to bring together all such people of identical grade into an identifiable class or group so that purer ones above such class may not get polluted by the lower ones! In Hindu terminology abracadabra, it is the karma lot that accounts for different classifications – man made classification.
- It has been said all great civilizations and the dinosaurs suffered the onslaught of nature. What were the parameters for their extinction?
Civilizations in the past have had their share of cyclical fluctuations, namely, their phases of glorious prosperity, peak of glory, decline in values followed by the inescapable phase of depression and fall engendered by the collapse of faith in cultural values. Such a falling phenomenon becomes an easy prey to the surrounding forces of savagery engulfing the remnants of a civilization losing its raison d’être! The extinction of dinosaurs is coextensive with the will of God to put an end to an era of decadent civilization where animal instinct prevails! The instinctual way of life in contradistinction to the rational one always faces the danger of extinction!
- What is meant by Paganism? How is it relevant for an individual and his place/position in the universe?
A pagan is one who holds religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions. Paganism is indoctrination into the system of religious beliefs not normally associated with the main world religions such as Hinduism or Christianity. Departures from the main theme and thematic values of major world religions authored and advocated by (i) fanaticism (ii) personal beliefs around self-aggrandizement (iii) narrow tenets of sentimentalism or (iv) cults of uncompromising protagonists of half-truths of imperfection are all “facets” of the doctrine of Paganism. For example. Those so-called doctrines of sublimation of the exalted position of Gods through the sole material medium of sex-indulgence itself is enough to get the label and classification of modern paganism – not countenanced by the strong religious beliefs to the contrary of known major religions. It is relevant to know, especially the members of the younger generation that they can easily fall into an irretrievable trap close to the bosom of pagans! Paganism could even shield shameful wrongs under the mantle of righteousness! Paganism could even be sugar-coated doctrinaire approach to lure gullible members of a society into a religious order unacceptable to the beaten track of major religions. Devoid of such objectionable tenets, any bundle of religious beliefs could get the label of paganism if the beliefs are at variance with or opposed to the dominant position of major religions. Even a lesser individual could become a pagan by postulating a doctrine to suit his whimsical beliefs based on impaired vision or doubtful knowledge and enlightenment as to values! A pagan can be in a pigeon hole!! Every individual should do some soul-searching investigation into any religious beliefs and find out how far the belief or doctrine is at variance with the majority view of other religions.
- What exactly, in brief, is the Hindu astronomical theory of the origins of the universe? What are “dark matter” and “dark energy”?
The Hindu astronomical theory of the universe is vastly different from the various theories propounded by the Western scientists. According to this oriental theory which finds a place virtually in every epic of Indian origin and the which adorns the opening chapter of everyone of 18 major Puranas and 18 minor ones, the universe is the brain-child of the Supreme Creator. As part of the Creator’s will, the first manifestation of the beginnings of the universe was the huge belt of ether and within which the belt of air came to existence. Within the airy belt, a fiery belt was created. The fiery one gave within itself (but outside its inner line) room for a belt of water to be created and it is within this watery belt lies the belt of matter; the visible Universe consisting of galaxies, stellar formations, solar systems with planetary bodies. In other words, our visible universe is surrounded by the watery belt and the “dark matter” discovered by the scientists is evidence and proof of truth and realism behind the Hindu perception of genesis, since the huge chunk of dark-matter perplexing the very scientist’s thoughts, can only be the icy watery belt all round the visible universe.
The Western scientists are taken aback not only by the discovery of the existence of “dark matter” but also by the existence of what they called the “dark energy” whose origins they do not know. Indeed, the dark energy emerges from the unseen belts of water, fire, air and ether – each of which is successfully bigger than the preceding one. What is known to the scientists is the four-fold dimension of gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. The fifth dimension, now being discussed as a subject of much uneasy speculation by the West, is the “Anti-Gravity” exerted by the belts of water, fire, air and either. While gravity within the universe brings the star systems and galaxies closer and nearer to one another, the huge impact of anti-gravity exerted by the outer belts of water etc pulls the very objects within the entire universe towards themselves – towards watery belt etc – to tear the distances in the visible Universe apart! If only the Western scientists had known the existence of the belts surrounding the visible universe, they would have understood the origin of anti-gravity and that which is responsible for the existence of anti-gravity, exemplified by the evidence of widening distances among galaxies and virtually between distant celestial bodies.
It would appear that if only the outer belts of water, fire, air and ether had not been created around the visible universe, the forces of gravity – in contradistinction to anti-gravitational force – would have brought about an early dissolution of the universe! While the celestial bodies like stars and galaxies tend to close in by mutual forces of gravity, the outer-belts which are bigger and stronger (than that of the visible matter in the universe) hold the universal stars and galaxies back and the latter’s force of gravity! This is the divine way of creating the five dimensional universe to ensure the longevity of the visible universe!
The forces of gravity and anti-gravity are not equal and constant to hold the entire universe in respectable distances of mutual safety of visible members (stars, galaxies) of the universe. Scientists have come to the unhesitating conclusion that despite the existence of gravity within the universe, the forces of anti-gravity are strong enough to overpower the gravitational forces. In the other words, although the forces of gravity (that may endanger the belt of matter and objects within it) are under check by the forces of anti-gravity, the two forces are not equal or mutually constant or mutually opposite; if that were constant, the galaxies would not have been tearing apart vis-à-vis distances! The truth is that they are slowly moving away from each other or one another! Indeed it is this phenomenon, of disproportionate pulls of gravity and anti-gravity that threw the great Albert Einstein into a fit of great confusion as he first believed in what he called the Theory of Cosmological Constant only to be scrapped by him later as probably he found beginnings of irreconcilable disparity in the forces of the two!
What is discovered by the Western scientists is 3 to 5 percent of the Universe. “Where has all the 95 per cent (or more) gone?” is the scientific mark of self-interrogation! It (the balance of over 95%) is in the remaining 4 belts but hidden from the scientist’s eye!
- How far is the Western theory of the solar system correct and scientific?
It will not be long before the scientists revise their present theory of the Solar System and bring down the Sword of Damocles on the head of the theory?
According to Sree Suka Brahma Samhita, there was a cataclysmic consequence caused by stellar vicinity in the constellation of Sapta Rishi Mandala to which our Sun belongs. Our Sun is called the Kashyapa star – “Kashyapeyam Mahādyutim…”. As some of the stars in this constellation came together, there was a violent interchange of planets belonging to the group of stars named after the Seven Rishis.
Barring Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto, others belonging to Kashyapa stars were captured by the surrounding stars and came by way of similar capture by our Sun planets called Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter. Originally, only four planets were captured by our Sun but each of these four broke into two. Moon was a huge planet in those early times before the break-up; while a segment was captured by our Earth, its part ally that was captured by the Sun as a separate planet and came to be called Mercury. Moon and Mercury formerly belonged to Atri Star. Earth and Mars belonged to Bhardwaja star. Venus and Triton (now a satellite of Neptune) seem to have something in common – where the Sun rises in the West? Venus comes under the name of Bhrigu Rishi. Finally Jupiter has reputation to being a Angirasa planet. Its ally must have been smashed to smithereens – probably constituting the Asteroid belt. Saturn has a predominant hydrogen and helium atmosphere similar to our Sun proving its original relationship with our Sun. Saturn is grouped under Kashyapa Rishi! Decades ago, in a column devoted to “Scientific Age”, Deccan Herald carried a significant news item to the effect that scientists have discovered “original particles of our Sun on the planet Saturn!” Compare the surface features of close resemblance (of craters & lack of polar caps) of Moon and Mercury. Mars is called the offshoot of earth in Hindu astronomy (bhu-putra); Earth and Mars have a lot in common with each other! The far side of Moon is not visible to Earth; the far side of Mercury is not visible to solar centre! Is the Western theory of Solar System fallible? Time will prove its fallibility!!