The Origin Of The Universe
The Indian Vedic scripture state that in the beginning, there was no existence nor non-existence. There was no time, no space, no-nothing. In this absolute void, an entity emerged through an inexplicable intent by means of energy and fire, Brahman was created. Awareness and consciousness emerged, and everything arose from it. The desire and intention of this consciousness led to vibration, existence and matter. Atoms vibrate and cause the divine sound AUM.
Brahman is truth, knowledge and infinity. Brahman is overflowing beauty, bliss and love. It is everywhere in the material and non-material realm. It permeates all of reality as the essence that provides everything with structure, meaning and existence. Brahman is the transcendent origin of all things. It is the ultimate cause and the ultimate goal of existence. Brahman is the sole reality that exists, the source of all. Everything else is a transformation and an attribute of Brahman called Maya, the illusory nature.
The sound AUM is a vibration originating in the universe’s manifestation. Creation and form arise from vibration. It is the sound of the higher self, the Atman. It reflects the manifested and the non-manifested Brahman and maintains the vibration of being, life and consciousness in all worlds and creatures. Each letter and tone corresponds to an aspect of the divine. A embodies Brahma, the Creator. U stands for Vishnu, the Keeper, and M represents the destructive form of God Shiva. AUM reminds us of the three aspects of the divine, without which nothing exists and everything is maintained, and ultimately is dissolved into the void.
Brahman embodies two manifestations, Purusha and Prakriti. The unmanifested Purusha implies creative awareness. It is the energy that sets in motion the entire process of Prakriti, the eternal reality, which in turn becomes Maya, ‘a physical universe we live in’.
The Hymn Of Creation in the Rigveda
There was neither non-existence nor existence then. There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond. What stirred? Where? In whose protection? Was there water, bottom-lessly deep? There was neither death nor immortality then. There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day. That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse. Other than that there was nothing beyond. Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning, with no distinguishing sign, all this was water. The life force that was covered with emptiness, that One arose through the power of heat. Desire came upon that One in the beginning, that was the first seed of mind. Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom found the bond of existence and non-existence. Their cord was extended across. Was there below? Was there above? There were seed-placers, there were powers. There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above. Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen? Whence this creation has arisen – perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not – the One who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only He knows or perhaps He does not know.
The Five Great Elements
From the original state of Prakriti, subtle energy variations manifested themselves in 5 basic principles. These principles form the building blocks from which everything in the material universe is built. Each of the Five Great Elements is a combination of the five basic principles and shows the dominance of one essence. The 5 basic principles are sound (Shabda), touch (Sparsha), vision (Roopa), taste (Rasa), smell (Gnadha). Our sense organs are a reflection of these basic principles.
The five major elements rise from subtle to gross. As the elements manifest from less dense to impenetrable, each element contains the essence of those coming before it. Air is condensed space/ether. Fire is the friction of air and space. Water is the fluid state of space, air and fire, while earth is the solid state of all the primary energies. The balance of space, air, fire, water and earth in the body can be continuously regulated by food, the cultivation and management of prana (internal energy), and our interaction with the physical world.
- Akasha – Space/Ether is the element from which everything manifests and into which everything returns. It has no physical nature and no dimensions. It is the space that enables all other elements to exist in relation to each other. It only consists of the distances that separate matter. For example, sound waves expand due to Space/Ether and vibrate in it. In our body, it is the element that allows everything to happen, it lets us breathe, it absorpts and assimilates nutrients, and so on. Space is associated with the Vishuddha Chakra in the throat. It guides our self-impression and communication. Its sound is HAM.
- Vayu – Air is the gaseous state of matter. Its properties are mobility and dynamics. Air is existence without form. Vayu evolves from and contains the essence of space/ether. In this state, the particles move quickly and expand, making them low in density. It mobilizes the kinetic energy. Air stimulates important body processes such as breathing and gas exchange on the cellular level. It stimulates impulses from the central nervous system and the kinetic energy that pumps blood into the cells. The element Air is in the heart. The Anahata Chakra is love, compassion, and well-being. Its sound is YAM.
- Agni – Fire is the force that can convert a substance from solid to liquid to gaseous, or vice versa, increasing or decreasing the substance. Fire is form without substance, its property is transformation. The fire element is the energy of change or dissolution. It contains the expansive essence of air and space and transforms matter from one state to another. Fire controls all transformations in the body, enzyme function, digestion, metabolism and also the thinking process. Agni is the Manipura Chakra, the solar plexus. It is in charge of complex emotions, fear, opinions, or introversion. Its sound is RAM.
- Jal – Water is the liquid state of matter. Its attribute is substance without stability. The water element consists of ether, air, and fire. Water is dynamic and adapts to any environment. When water is faced with obstacles or resistances, it spontaneously changes shape and flows around the obstruction in the path of least resistance. Water is responsible for all body fluids and is found in all cell fluids, tissues, spine, and brain. It lubricates the joints and supplies the lungs with moisture. Water has its origin in the Svadhisthana Chakra and is the energy of our creativity, pleasure, and basic emotions. The sound of the water is VAM.
- Pritvi – Earth is the solid state of matter, it is stability, fixity or rigidity. The element earth contains all other elements. Matter is stable and the particles move slowly. Thus, they offer the necessary structure and stability for all forms of the universe. It supports the skeleton and the body giving strength and stability. The earth element lives in the Muladhara Chakra and is located at the base of the spine. It is our connection to instinct and sexuality. Here we experience intuition, and its gentle vibrations ground us and support the practical implementation of our ideas. The sound for the earth is LAM.
Micro & Makro Cosmos
Everyone has an individual existence, but none of us are actually free, and cannot live independently of the whole. Everything that exists in the outer universe has a counterpart in one’s own internal universe. Every cosmic force is represented internally in an altered form. “The flow of nutrients into and waste from body cells also characterizes the continuous flow of nutrients and waste into and from plants, animals, and humans.” (1)
Taking care of our food intake, our thoughts, and emotions are extremely important to maintain our balance, happiness, and health. It also gives us the power to explore our spiritual potentials. The physical body is the microcosm of the universe. This gives us the opportunity to explore the ultimate truth of existence, as an individual and the whole ultimate reality. Through mindfulness, discipline, and practice, we learn to understand our physical body and the astral and causal aspects of our nature.
- (1): Dr Robert E. Svoboda – Prakriti – Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, Dehli or on Amazon
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