The Breath of the Universe: Hindu Philosophy


Carrying on with my theme of “The Infinite Breathes Me” here we have a Hindu perspective. Stephanie

According to Hindu Philosophy, the universe (or Multiverse) had no origin, but always has been and always will be, but is perpetually in flux. Space and time are of cyclical nature. This universe is simply the current one, which is in flux and constantly changing, when it finally ceases to manifest, a new one will arise. This concept is also accepted by Buddhist DharmaIn a number of stories from the Puranas the continual creation and destruction of the universe is equated to the outwards and inwards breaths of the gigantic cosmic Maha Vishnu.

Hindu scriptures hold that Lord Vishnu, the protector and caretaker of all creation, sleeps in the middle of a vast ocean on the giant snake Sheshnaga. When the cycle begins, Lord Brahma is born out of the ‘Anda’, an allusion to the egg which is the origin of all life. This ‘Anda’ comes from the navel of Lord Vishnu. The first sound of Lord Brahma is Om, the origin of all creation. At first the ultimate truth “Brahman” was there, from whom came out Shiva without any birth or death. Vishnu is formed from the vaamanga of Shiva or the left body. Shiva is the extreme male power of the universe. He is the destroyer or annihilator of the universe. From him manifested the extreme female power of the universe, Sati.

Then the preserver of the universe Vishnu took three forms, Karnodakasayi visnu or Maha-Vishnu, Garbhodakasayivisnu, and ksirodaksayi vishnu. Maha Visnu have several Garbhodakasayivishnus in the spiritual sky (the ocean of Karana. E ach Garbhodakasayivishnu exhales and inhales and with each breath a Brahma is born who lives for 100 Brahma years and dies with the breath of Garbhodakasayi vishnu. Each Brahma creates a universe which comes to an end with partial annihilation.

After several Brahma years the annihilation of Garbhodakasayi vishnu takes place and at the last stage, the dissolution of the whole karan sagar with Maha vishnu by Shiva with Tandav; and this cycle begins again. This cycle of formation and annihilation is seen in Hinduism.

The puranic view asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (a kalpa or one day of Brahma the creator) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya (Cataclysm), repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion human years), which represents Brahma’s lifespan. Similarly at any given time there are an infinite number of Brahmas creating each of these universes, which are infinite in number.

Brahma is the creator but not necessarily regarded as God in Hinduism. He is mostly regarded as a creation of God or Brahman. This ‘oscillation’ is portrayed in Hindu texts, especially in the Bhagwad Gita, as Shrishti followed by Vinaash. The period of Vinaash is one of extreme chaos where the very laws of Nature fail.

Breath 5

Breath 4

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