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In India science and religion are not opposed fundamentally, as they often seem to be in the West, but are seen as parts of the same great search for truth and enlightenment that inspired the sages of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Thus, in the Hindu scientific approach, understanding of external reality depends on also understanding the godhead. In all Hindu traditions the Universe is said to precede not only humanity but also the gods. Fundamental to Hindu concepts of time and space is the notion that the external world is a product of the creative play of maya (illusion). Accordingly the world as we know it is not solid and real but illusionary. The universe is in constant flux with many levels of reality; the task of the saint is find release (moksha) from the bonds of time and space.
"After a cycle of universal dissolution, the Supreme Being decides to recreate the cosmos so that we souls can experience worlds of shape and solidity. Very subtle atoms begin to combine, eventually generating a cosmic wind that blows heavier and heavier atoms together. Souls depending on their karma earned in previous world systems, spontaneously draw to themselves atoms that coalesce into an appropriate body." - The Prashasta Pada.
As in modern physics, Hindu cosmology envisaged the universe as having a cyclical nature. The end of each kalpa brought about by Shiva's dance is also the beginning of the next. Rebirth follows destruction.
Unlike the West, which lives in a historical world, India is rooted in a timeless universe of eternal return: everything which happens has already done so many times before, though in different guises. Hinduism arose from the discoveries of people who felt that they had gained an insight into the nature of reality through deep meditation and ascetic practices. Science uses a heuristic method that requires objective proof of mathematical theories. Yet both have proposed similar scenarios for the creation of the universe. Here is a look at Creation, Maya, Churning of Milky Ocean, Shiva's Cosmic Dance, Serpent of Infinity and a few articles on Hindu Cosmology.
Grandiose time scales
Hinduism’s understanding of time is as grandiose as time itself. While most cultures base their cosmologies on familiar units such as few hundreds or thousands of years, the Hindu concept of time embraces billions and trillions of years. The Puranas describe time units from the infinitesimal truti, lasting 1/1,000,0000 of a second to a mahamantavara of 311 trillion years. Hindu sages describe time as cyclic, an endless procession of creation, preservation and dissolution. Scientists such as Carl Sagan have expressed amazement at the accuracy of space and time descriptions given by the ancient rishis and saints, who fathomed the secrets of the universe through their mystically awakened senses.
(source: Hinduism Today April/May/June 2007 p. 14).
(1895-1965) geologist, professor at the University of Durham. writes regarding the age of the earth in his great book, The Age of Earth (1913) as follows:
"Long before it became a scientific aspiration to estimate the age of the earth, many elaborate systems of the world chronology had been devised by the sages of antiquity. The most remarkable of these occult time-scales is that of the ancient Hindus, whose astonishing concept of the Earth's duration has been traced back to Manusmriti, a sacred book."
When the Hindu calculation of the present age of the earth and the expanding universe could make Professor Holmes so astonished, the precision with which the Hindu calculation regarding the age of the entire Universe was made would make any man spellbound.
(source: - By T. R. R. Iyengar p. 20-21).
, aprofessor, graduate school dean and research fellow of Harvard University, drew heavily on the insights of Vedanta. Watts became well known in the 1960s as a pioneer in bringing Eastern philosophy to the West. He wrote:
"To the philosophers of India, however, Relativity is no new discovery, just as the concept of light years is no matter for astonishment to people used to thinking of time in millions of kalpas, ( A kalpa is about 4,320,000 years). The fact that the wise men of India have not been concerned with technological applications of this knowledge arises from the circumstance that technology is but one of innumerable ways of applying it."
It is, indeed, a remarkable circumstance that when Western civilization discovers Relativity it applies it to the manufacture of atom-bombs, whereas Oriental civilization applies it to the development of new states of consciousness."
(source: Introduction by Alan Wattsp. 8-9).
author and coauthor of several books about science and technology, including . He is cofounder of magazine and has written for Discover, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly. He says
"Indian cosmologists, the first to estimate the age of the earth at more than 4 billion years. They came closest to modern ideas of atomism, quantum physics, and other current theories. India developed very early, enduring atomist theories of matter. Possibly Greek atomistic thought was influenced by India, via the Persian civilization."
The cycle of creation and destruction continues forever, manifested in the Hindu deity Shiva, Lord of the Dance, who holds the drum that sounds the universe’s creation in his right hand and the flame that, billions of years later, will destroy the universe in his left. Meanwhile Brahma is but one of untold numbers of other gods dreaming their own universes.
The 8.64 billion years that mark a full day-and-night cycle in Brahma’s life is about half the modern estimate for the age of the universe. The ancient Hindus believed that each Brahma day and each Brahma night lasted a kalpa, 4.32 billion years, with 72,000 kalpas equaling a Brahma century, 311,040 billion years in all. That the Hindus could conceive of the universe in terms of billions.
The similarities between Indian and modern cosmology do not seem accidental. Perhaps ideas of creation from nothing, or alternating cycles of creation and destruction are hardwired in the human psyche. Certainly Shiva’s percussive drumbeat suggests the sudden energetic impulse that could have propelled the big bang. And if, as some theorists have proposed, the big bang is merely the prelude to the big crunch and the universe is caught in an infinite cycle of expansion and contraction, then ancient Indian cosmology is clearly cutting edge compared to the one-directional vision of the big bang. The infinite number of Hindu universes is currently called the many world hypothesis, which is no less undocumentable nor unthinkable.
(source: : The Ancient Roots of Modern Science - By Dick Teresi p. 159 and 174 -212). For more refer to chapter ).
Lord Vishnu is said to rest in the coils of Ananta, the great serpent of Infinity, while he waits for the universe to recreate itself.
"he falls back upon the earliest and greatest of Revelations, those of the Sacred Books of India with a Cosmogony which no European conception has ever surpassed."
"While the West was still thinking, perhaps, of 6,000 years old universe – India was already envisioning ages and eons and galaxies as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. The Universe so vast that modern astronomy slips into its folds without a ripple.”
Despite the dawn of Enlightenment and advent of modern science, the Semitic religions have still not matured enough to respect, tolerate and understand a simple notion that “All paths lead to the same summit (God).”
photo courtesy: Dr. Deepak Shimkhada.
(image source: - By Sushama Londhe).
(1862-1949) was a Belgian writer of poetry, a wide variety of essays. He won the 1911 Nobel Prize for literature. In his book , says:
"he falls back upon the earliest and greatest of Revelations, those of the Sacred Books of India with a Cosmogony which no European conception has ever surpassed."
(source: - By Maurice Maeterlinck). Refer to - Contributed to this site by Dom Sturiale of Sydney, Australia.
Refer to and Watch – video
Swami Kriyananada (J. Donald Walters) World renowned as a singer, composer, and lecturer, founder of the Ananda Village is perhaps the most successful intentional community in the world writes:
"Hindu cosmography, for example born in hoary antiquity, strikes one in certain ways as surprisingly modern. India has never limited its conception of time to a few crowded millennia. Thousands of years ago India's sages computed the earth's age at a little over two billion years, our present era being what is called the seventh Manuvantra. This is a staggering claim. Consider how much scientific evidence has been needed in the West before men could even imagine so enormous a time scale."
(source: - By Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) vol. 1 p - 94).
( ? ) born in China to Methodist missionaries, a philosopher, most eloquent writer, world-famous religion scholar who practices Hatha Yoga. He has said in Hinduism:
“The invisible excludes nothing, the invisible that excludes nothing is the infinite – the soul of India is the infinite.”
“Philosophers tell us that the Indians were the first ones to conceive of a true infinite from which nothing is excluded. The West shied away from this notion. The West likes form, boundaries that distinguish and demarcate. The trouble is that boundaries also imprison – they restrict and confine.”
“India saw this clearly and turned her face to that which has no boundary or whatever.” “India anchored her soul in the infinite seeing the things of the world as masks of the infinite assumes – there can be no end to these masks, of course. If they express a true infinity.” And It is here that India’s mind boggling variety links up to her infinite soul.”
“India includes so much because her soul being infinite excludes nothing.” It goes without saying that the universe that India saw emerging from the infinite was stupendous.”
While the West was still thinking, perhaps, of 6,000 years old universe – India was already envisioning ages and eons and galaxies as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. The Universe so vast that modern astronomy slips into its folds without a ripple.”
(source: – By Huston Smith).
(1901 -1986) made her first trip to Japan, China, Korea and India in 1939. She was the author of several books including The World of Zen and Time's Left Corner. Miss Ross lectured on Zen Buddhism at the Jungian Institute in Zurich. She served on the board of the Asia Society of New York which was founded by John D. Rockefeller III since its founding in 1956 and was on the governing board of the India Council. In private life she was known as Mrs. Stanley Young.
She has written:
"Anachronistic as this labyrinthine mythology may appear to the foreign mind, many of India’s ancient theories about the universe are startlingly modern in scope and worthy of a people who are credited with the invention of the zero, as well as algebra and its application of astronomy and geometry; a people who so carefully observed the heavens that, in the opinion of Monier-Williams, they determined the moon’s synodical revolution much more correctly than the Greeks."
" Many hundreds of years before those great European pioneers, Galileo and Copernicus, had to pay heavy prices in ridicule and excommunication for their daring theories, a section of the Vedas known as the Brahmanas contained this astounding statement:
“The sun never sets or rises. When people think the sun is setting, he only changes about after reaching the end of the day and makes night below and day to what is on the other side. Then, when people think he rises in the morning, he only shifts himself about after reaching the end of the day night, and makes day below and night to what is on the other side. In truth, he does not see at all.”
"The Indians, whose theory of time, is not linear like ours – that is, not proceeding consecutively from past to present to future – have always been able to accept, seemingly without anxiety, the notion of an alternately expanding and contracting universe, an idea recently advanced by certain Western scientists. In Hindu cosmology, immutable Brahman, at fixed intervals, draws back into his beginningless, endless Being the whole substance of the living world. There then takes place the long “sleep” of Brahaman from which, in course of countless aeons, there is an awakening, and another universe or “dream” emerges. "
"This notion of the sleeping and waking, or contracting and expanding, of the Life Force, so long a part of Hindu cosmology, has recently been expressed in relevant terms in an article written for a British scientific journal by Professor Fred Hoyle, Britain’s foremost astronomer. "
Lord Vishnu is said to rest in the coils of Ananta, the Cosmic couch, the great serpent of Infinity, while he waits for the universe to recreate itself.
"Plainly, contemporary Western science’s description of an astronomical universe of such vast magnitude that distances must be measured in terms as abstract as light-years is not new to Hinduism whose wise men, millennia ago, came up with the term kalpa to signify the inconceivable duration of the period elapsing between the beginning and end of a world system.
It is clear that Indian religious cosmology is sharply at variance with that inherited by Western peoples from the Semites. On the highest level, when stripped of mythological embroidery, Hinduism’s conceptions of space, time and multiple universes approximate in range and abstraction the most advanced scientific thought.
(source: – By p. 64 - 67 and 74 - 76). Refer to – By Alok Kumar
Our Universe is cyclic and eternal
According to , visiting scholar at Hoover Institution at Stanford and the leader of new liberalism in France:
" Temporal notions in Europe were overturned by an India rooted in eternity. The Bible had been the yardstick for measuring time, but the infinitely vast time cycles of India suggested that the world was much older than anything the Bible spoke of. It seem as if the Indian mind was better prepared for the chronological mutations of Darwinian evolution and astrophysics."
(source: - By Guy Sorman ('Le Genie de l'Inde') MacMillan January 2001 ISBN 0333936000 p.195).
Refer to - By Dr. Subhash Kak - sulekha.com and also Refer to - Contributed to this site by Dom Sturiale of Sydney, Australia. Refer to - By Ramesh N Rao - sulekha.com).
Josh Schrei (?) is a Marketing Director, Strategist, Producer, Writer, Critic, Activist.
He has written most eloquently about Hinduism's open source and staggering contribution to the our spiritual world:
"Modern-day atheists, however, have come to assume that if one is “rational” or “scientific” it means that one does not believe in god. Victims of the western Church-Science split, these atheist casualties are so spooked by the atrocities of religious power structure that they are unable to do any serious study of the history of human thought on God."
"Any two-bit religious scholar knows that Buddhists and Hindus count time in Kalpas, or segments of millions of years, and that they firmly believe the earth was created billions of years ago. There are many prominent Hindu scholars, in fact, who posit that some of the best loved Hindu legends from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are in fact tales from Neanderthal times."
"Indian history, for example, contains a vast body of incredibly sophisticated scientific/academic literature on god, concepts of god, consciousness at it relates to god, the human body and human thoughts and emotions in relation to god… and, in the case of Kashmiri Shaivism for example, quantum physics as it relates to god. The concept of spanda in Kashmiri cosmology is one of the most intellectually complex and sophisticated views on divinity ever put forth. Abhinavagupta — the brilliant architect of much of Indian thought– penned theistic texts over 1,000 years ago that contain scientific truths that physicists are just now confirming."
(source: - By Josh Schrei - huffingtonpost.com and - By Josh Schreiy). Refer to The Christian propaganda in Stephen Hawking’s work - By C K Raju
Philip Goldberg ( ) is a spiritual counselor, Interfaith Minister, and author or coauthor of numerous books, including Roadsigns on the Spiritual Path. His latest work, .
He has observed:
"Their ancient philosophies have also influenced physicists, among them , and , who read from the at a memorial service for . "
"In his landmark TV series Cosmos, called Hinduism the only religion whose time-scale for the universe matches the billions of years documented by modern science. Sagan filmed that segment in a Hindu temple featuring a statue of the god Shiva as the cosmic dancer, an image that now stands in the plaza of the ."
"Western religions would do well to emulate this history. Their historical and faith-based claims conflict with empirical science and probably always will; but to the extent that their practices directly impact human life, they can be treated as testable hypotheses."
"Ages ago, the vast subcontinent of India birthed explorers and innovators who focused on the inner realm. Those geniuses - spiritual sages or scientists of consciousness, depending on your perspective - gave us, through a series of modern translators and adapters, insights that have profoundly influenced religion, healthcare, psychology, the arts and other areas of life. The way we understand ourselves and the universe has been shaped by India more than we can readily appreciate.
(source: - By Philip Goldberg - huffingtonpost.com and - By Philip Golberg - huffingtonpost.com).
( ? ) worked as a sales manager with Apple Computer for six years, is married to Sandy Gramah, who shares his passion for all things Indian. The couple, which has founded an educational institute called the Vedic Academy of Science and Arts (VASA), is now working on creating a permanent library of Hindu and Vedic culture in Vancouver.
"Indians of pre-modern history calculated the age of the universe in trillions of years.
This is also the culture that gave us , the numerals that we use – so-called Arabic have their roots in India – as do trigonometry and calculus, astronomical calculation and a view that says the universe is not only billions, but trillions of years in age and that we are eternal beings who are simply visiting the material world to have the experience of being here.
So, the point is, India holds a massive cosmological view of us – and that humans have existed for trillions of years, in varying stages of existence. And further, over time humans will continue to populate the many universes again and again.
There is a lot of evidence that ancient Indian civilization was global and as I mentioned many were seafaring and using extremely accurate astronomical, heliocentric calculations for both Earth and celestial motions, indicating an understanding that the Sun is at the center of the solar system and that the Earth is round. Elliptical orbits were also calculated for all moving celestial bodies. The findings are remarkable. What India calculated thousands of years ago, for example the wobble of the Earth's axis, which creates the movement called precession of the equinoxes – the slowly changing motion that completes one cycle every 25,920 years – has only recently been validated by modern science.
The cosmology of India describes our universe as having fourteen parallel realities on multiple levels, all existing and intersecting within the material realm in which we are currently living.
Was this knowledge given to them by divine beings as they claim? Was there inter-galactic travel? Did the people in India have contact with beings or knowledge from other planets? We don't know, but what is certain is that they had mathematical/astronomical understanding that is extremely precise and agrees with many of the results of astronomy today. There is no other way to explain why India and these ancient cultures would have such precise knowledge other than the fact that they were in a period of impressive technology and culture beyond our present understanding."
(source: - thedailybell.com). Refer to - By
Alexander Gorbovsky (1930 - 2003) an expert at the has written:
“The Mahabharata - an ancient Indian epic compiled 3000 years ago - contains a reference to a terrible weapon. Regrettably, in our age of the atomic bomb, the description of this weapon exploding will not appear to be an exaggeration:
".... a blazing shaft possessed of the effulgence of a smokeless fire (was) let off...'. That was how this weapon was perceived. The consequences of its use also evoke involuntary associations. '... This makes the bodies of the dead unidentifiable. ... The survivors lose their nails and hair, and their food becomes unfit for eating. For several subsequent years the Sun, the stars and the sky remain shrouded with clouds and bad weather'.
"This weapon was known as the Weapon of Brahma or the Flame of Indra......".
(source:Riddles of Ancient History - Alexander Gorbovsky, The Sputnik Magazine, Moscow, Sept. 1986, p. 137).
Vedic India and the Primordial Tradition
Vishnunabhi is the navel of Lord Vishnu, the emanation point of the cosmos.
According to John Major Jenkins, a leading independent researcher of ancient cosmology:
"Our understanding of the true age of the ancient Vedic civilization has undergone a well-documented revolution. Feuerstein, Frawley, and Kak have shown conclusively (In Search of the Cradle of Civilization) that the long-accepted age of the Vedic culture—erroneously dated by scholars parading a series of assumptions and unscientific arguments to roughly 1500 BC—is much too recent. Evidence comes from geological, archaeological, and literary sources as well as the astronomical references within Vedic literature. The corrected dating to eras far prior to 1500 BC was made possible by recognizing that precessional eras are encoded in Vedic mythology, and were recorded by ancient Vedic astronomers. As a result, the Indus Valley civilization appears to be a possible cradle of civilization, dated conservatively to 7000 BC. Western India may thus be a true source of the civilizing impulse that fed Anatolia in Turkey, with its complex Goddess-worshipping city-states of Çatal Hüyük and Hacilar. However, there are layers upon layers of even older astronomical references, and legends persist that the true “cradle” might be found further to the north, in Tibet or nearby Central Asia.
The work of these three writers shows that biases and assumptions within scholarly discourse can prevent an accurate modeling of history and an underestimation of the accomplishments of ancient cultures. The analogous situation in modern Egyptology and Mesoamerican studies also requires that well-documented new theories — often exhaustively argued, interdisciplinary, and oriented toward a progressive synthesis of new data — should be appraised fairly and without bias.
Next to the Australian aborigines, the Vedic civilization is perhaps the oldest continuous living tradition in the world. Its extremely ancient doctrines and insights into human spirituality are unsurpassed. We might expect that its cosmology and science of time has been as misunderstood as its true antiquity. In looking closely at Vedic doctrines of time, spiritual growth, calendars, and astronomy, we will see that a central core idea is that of our periodic alignment to the Galactic Center. And, according to these ancient Vedic beliefs, the galactic alignment we are currently experiencing heralds our shift from a millennia-long descent of deepening spiritual darkness to a new era of light and ascending consciousness. "
Lord Vishnu is the infinite ocean from which the world emerges - Lord is shown lying down on a thousand-headed snake (named Shesha or Ananta Nag - Timeless or Ageless snake).
According to ancient Vedic beliefs, the galactic alignment we are currently experiencing heralds our shift from a millennia-long descent of deepening spiritual darkness to a new era of light and ascending consciousness. "
Refer to and Watch – video
Vishnunabhi: Yugas and Galactic Center
One of the oldest writings in Vedic literature comes from a pseudo-historical god-man called Manu. René Guénon pointed out that Manu belongs to a family of related archetypal figures, which include Melchezidek, Metatron, St Michael, Gabriel, and Enoch. As an angelic inspiration for the rebirth of humanity at the dawn of a new era, or Manvantara, Manu is the primal law-giver, and his laws were recorded in the extremely ancient Vedic text called the Laws of Manu. Much of its contents describe moral and ethical codes of right behavior, but there is a section that deals with the ancient Vedic doctrine of World Ages - the Yugas. Manu indicates that a period of 24,000 years — clearly a reference to precession — consists of a series of four yugas or ages, each shorter and spiritually darker than the last. In one story this process of increasing limitation is envisioned as a cosmic cow standing with each leg in one quarter of the world; with each age that passes a leg is lost, resulting in the absurd and unstable world we live in today—a cow balancing on one leg.
According to the information in the Laws of Manu, the morning and twilight periods between the dawn of each new era equals one-tenth of its associated yuga, as shown in the following table:
Dawn Era Dusk Total Name
400 + 4000 + 400 = 4800 years. Satya Yuga (Golden Age)
300 + 3000 + 300 = 3600 years. Treta Yuga (Silver Age)
200 + 2000 + 200 = 2400 years. Dwapara Yuga (Bronze Age)
100 + 1000 + 100 = 1200 years. Kali Yuga (Iron Age)
In Vedic mythology, a fabled dawn time existed in the distant past, when human beings had direct contact with the divine intelligence emanating from Brahma—the seat of creative power and intelligence in the cosmos. This archaic Golden Age (the Satya Yuga) lasted some 4800 years. After the Golden Age ended, humanity entered a denser era, that of the Silver Age, lasting only 3600 years. In this age, humanity’s connection with the source was dimmed, and sacrifices and spiritual practices became necessary to preserve it. The Bronze Age followed, and humanity forgot its divine nature. Empty dogmas arose, along with indulgence in materialism. Next we entered the Kali Yuga—in which we remain today—where the human spirit suffers under gross materialism, ignorance, warfare, stupidity, arrogance, and everything contrary to our divine spiritual potential.
As the teachings tell, Kali, the creator-destroyer Goddess, will appear at the end of Kali Yuga to sweep away the wasted detritus of a spirit-dead humanity, making way for a new cycle of light and peace. Notice that the Manu text takes us from a pinnacle of light to the ultimate end-point of the process—the darkness of Kali Yuga. And notice that the four ages, when the overlap period is added, amounts to only half of the 24,000-year period of the Vedic Yuga cycle.
(source: - By John Major Jenkins).
The Indian astronomers went even further, giving a physical reason for how the dual star or binary motion might allow the rise and fall of human consciousness to occur. They said that the Sun (with the Earth and other planets) traveled along its set orbital path with its companion start, it would cyclically move close to, then away from, a point in space referred to as Vishnunabhi, a supposed magnetic center or "grand center".
The Indian astronomers went even further, giving a physical reason for how the dual star or binary motion might allow the rise and fall of human consciousness to occur. They said that the Sun (with the Earth and other planets) traveled along its set orbital path with its companion start, it would cyclically move close to, then away from, a point in space referred to as Vishnunabhi, a supposed magnetic center or "grand center". They implied that being close to this region caused subtle changes in human consciousness that brought about the Golden Age, and conversely, our separation from it resulted in an age of great darkness, the Kali Yuga or Dark Age. "When the Sun in its revolution around its dual comes to the place nearest to this grand center, ... (an event which takes place when the autumnal equinox comes to the first point of Aries), dharma, the mental virtue, becomes so much developed that man can easily comprehend all, even the mysteries of the Spirit."
(source: - By Walter Cruttenden). Also refer to - By Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend.
(For more refer to chapter on and ).
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