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Vedanta’s Version Of the Big Bang

N Vedanta, the second capsule of the Brahma Sutras is the most fundamental, cardinal, sacrosanct, and is also the most famous. Janmadyasya yatah — Brahman is that from which the birth and the evolution of the universe follow.

It says Brahman is that ultimate ‘world’ which we gain access to by distilling the world down to its inmost content, or the furthest stop from where we get off by travelling backwards in time-space. Astronomical observations have confirmed more or less beyond doubt that stars, galaxies and clusters of super galaxies are receding from the earth and from one another.

The clinching evidence comes from the Doppler Effect or the Red Shift. The shift in the spectral lines towards the longer wavelengths identified by the red colour in the spectrum confirms that the source of light is moving and is not at rest.

What is more, even the speed of the recession can be easily calculated with the help of high school maths.

If the whole universe is expanding at a rate that is calculable, then by regress, we can go back to the starting point of this expansion.

That is, we can go back in time to meet janmadyasya yatah. And when we do, we meet this janmadyasya some 14 billion years away in an extremely dense and absolutely inconceivable concentration of time-space-mind-matter-energy.

It is now established more or less beyond doubt that the world started out from a big bang. The most clinching evidence comes from the prediction of the existence of a sea of background microwave radiation in the universe and its subsequent detection.

At the beginning of time, and at the beginning of space, all the matter-energy and its container, the time-space-mind, were concentrated in a primeval ‘fireball’ of extreme inconceivable density and temperature.

From a massive explosion, the big bang, the universe started and has been expanding ever since. So this is that Inmost Content and the Furthest Stop — janmadyasya yatah — this primeval ‘fireball’.

There is nowhere to progress from here, for the three-dimensionality of being collapses here. Where the 3-D of the world crumbles is the zero point of the world — the final content and the last stop.

Prior to the big bang there was nothing existing. Absolutely nothing. To exist, a thing needs space around it to exist in. To be is to be in space. Prior to the big bang there was no space and therefore there was nothing existing — not even a God or heaven.

The primeval ‘fireball’ which exploded to become the universe was not existing in a space, but, on the contrary, space was existing within that ‘fireball’ in extreme inconceivable density or concentration. This zero degree of being is absolutely unimaginable.

Thus in that primeval ‘fireball’, we meet God face to face, and look Him in the eye. God is that primeval ‘fireball’ which blew up this sea of time-space-mind-matter-energy through the big bang.

The janmadi or birth and evolution of the world is the blow-up of the God-stuff. The world stuff and God stuff are one and the same that is, ‘The creator is in the creation and the creation in the creator’ (Kabir) and world stuff-God stuff is the primordial ‘fireball’ which ‘existed’ before the big bang and which suffuses the universe after the big bang. After the big bang, whatever is there within that blow-up is its own distortion — vikara as Vedanta puts it.

Perhaps ‘fireball’, ‘big bang’, and ‘explosion’ are not the exact words for it. Perhaps our insight and terminology need to be something finer, but anyway we are with the substance. We have identified God. His identity mark is the point where the 3-D of the world collapses.

In Vedanta the big bang is vak sphota from which AUM originates first and from AUM, the whole world. The constituent three sounds A, U and M make the three dimensions of space and from their interaction the whole ‘audio’ and ‘video’ of the world follow. The evolution of the world from Brahman and AUM is called vivarta meaning unfolding or opening out.

Its opposite is avarta meaning folding, closing in. The world is the vivarta or parinama (atmakriteh parinamat, B S-1.4.26) of Brahman of the world stuff through the medium of vak sphota, and what existed before the big bang, janmadyasya yatah, is its avarta or avarana.




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