When The Universe Was Dark
Many of us appreciate the beauty of nature, we are interested to hear of the wonderful and amazing creatures living in the tropical rain-forests, in the depths of the ocean and even in outer-space. We feel if these natural places are spoiled or destroyed as a by-product of industry it will be a great loss for us and future generations.
We feel if these natural places are spoiled or destroyed as a by-product of industry then it will be a great loss for us and future generations. So we appreciate nature, but we have very little idea of what nature really is.
The Western scientific view:
The Western scientific view, primarily stemming from the work of Albert Einstein, favors a world developed as a result of a completely random process with no intelligence behind it. His theory that all matter can be turned into energy and all energy turned into matter has formed the basis of all Western ideas on the origins of the universe.
One commonly held belief, developed in light of Einstein’s theory is the “Big Bang Theory.” This theory maintains that a huge explosion about 5 billion years ago created all the material in the universe. The theory is there, but any good theory should be backed up by practical experience. If it is a fact the universe emerged from a “big bang” then we should see similar things happening in nature on a smaller scale.
We have recently seen one scientist, Mandelbrot, who stunned the scientific world with his “fractals”. He showed complex patterns could be generated from fairly simple mathematical equations if these equations are repeated over and over again. His “fractal” pictures are very nice to look at, so he became quite famous.
He made a big thing out of similarity at different levels. He called it set similarity. He noticed in nature things we see on a big scale are repeated on a smaller scale and then on an even smaller scale and so on. There is similarity at every level. He gave two examples: the coastline and the branching structure of a tree. In both cases you can look at any level of magnification and the structure is essentially the same. If we accept this work of Mandelbrot we would expect to see the process of universal creation mirrored on a smaller scale within our experience.
Creation of the universe should be similar to the creation we experience now on a smaller scale:
If the hypothesis of similarity at different scales is to hold true we would expect the universal creation to be similar to any other creation we experience in our day-to-day lives. However the Western scientists explanation of creation is completely foreign to us. If the universe was created by a “big bang” then why couldn’t a child be created by a “small bang”? A child is essentially a self-contained universe so his creation should be similar to that of the universal creation.
I challenge the scientists to prove their “big bang” theory by creating anything (They should be able to create a child, but failing that they could create a city, a building or even a motorcar.) with an explosion.
The idea is actually ludicrous, we have no experience anywhere of an explosion ever creating anything. Explosions destroy things. Instead of creating order, they create disorder. This “big bang” theory can’t be simply accepted on the basis of sentiment, the scientists have to give us some proof.
Now I am going to ask a favor of you. You have probably (like myself before I came to Krishna consciousness) blindly accepted the scientists vague ramblings on the “big bang” without really giving it a second thought, but if you analyze their claims they are not at all plausible. I have since heard another explanation of the creation of the universe which is at least as amazing as the “big bang” theory but it is completely reasonable and it is mirrored on a smaller scale in our day-to-day experience. The difficulty is it’s very different to the conception of the universe the Western scientists have given us. My favor is this, please try to forget everything you have learned from the scientists and start from scratch.
The scientist’s vision of the universe is not much better than a frog’s!
All the universal knowledge you have has come to you through the limited perceptions of the scientists who’s universal vision is not much more valuable than the vision a frog in a well has of the universe. The frog has spent his whole life at the bottom of a well three feet wide but he has developed so much philosophy, he thinks his universal vision is perfect, but what does he know? Similarly the scientists, with their telescopes and tiny spaceships have not seen much more of the universe than the frog, but they have come up with so many “scientific facts”. I would like you to, at least theoretically, accept that the reality might be completely different from what we now accept.
If we actually want to understand the cosmic creation we need to get an eyewitness report. If we want to find out the structure of the universe we have to find someone who has seen it, what is the use of a so-called scientist who can only say: “Perhaps it may be like this…”
It is not that Earth is the only planet inhabited by living entities, the living entities are everywhere. If we apply Mandelbrot’s theory we would expect to find similar things on all the planets and this is actually the fact. We have eyewitness reports from people who are not tied down to this tiny planet. There are people who can travel freely within the universe at will and one such great soul is Narada Muni. Narada Muni is the spiritual master of Srila Vyasadeva and Srila Vyasadeva is the author of all the original Vedic scriptures. Vyasadeva simply wrote down the instructions of his liberated spiritual master Narada Muni. Because Narada has traveled all over the universe and also entered the spiritual world he has first-hand experience of everything, his experience is infinitely more valuable than the scientists who are no better than the frog in the well.
The Vedas — a storehouse of all knowledge both material and spiritual
The Vedic scriptures written by Vyasadeva contain all knowledge, both material and spiritual, so whatever we want to know can be found in these books. Of all the books written by Vyasadeva one book stands supreme, it is called the Srimad-Bhagavatam and it is called “the ripened fruit of the desire-tree of Vedic knowledge.” The idea is the Vedic knowledge is likened to a desire-tree because it can fulfill anyone’s desire and Srimad-Bhagavatam is the ripened fruit because it contains the topmost, most relishable knowledge of all the Vedas.
Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the creation and the structure of this universe and its version is completely authorized and authentic. Every word in the Srimad-Bhagavatam is perfect, there is no speculation or errors, it is pure knowledge coming from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, through the heart of Lord Brahma, the first and most powerful person within this universe. From Lord Brahma the knowledge is passed to his son Narada Muni and Narada Muni is the spiritual master of Srila Vyasadeva. This is the transcendental system, the knowledge is handed down in an unbroken chain from the spiritual master to the disciple. If the disciple actually receives the knowledge and presents it purely without adding his own concoctions and mental speculations then he becomes qualified to act as a spiritual master. This system of receiving knowledge is perfect. It is called the descending process because the knowledge descends from a perfect higher authority, in this way it is perfect knowledge.
The scientific process is far from perfect:
On the other hand, the process used by the scientists is the ascending process. By this method one uses his own intelligence to understand the things around him. This process is not perfect because it relies on information gathered through the senses and the senses themselves are imperfect. Our eyes can only see a limited range of the spectrum, they can only focus on objects within a certain range, they can only resolve objects up to a certain distance, then everything becomes a blur. Similarity all our senses are imperfect, so any knowledge gathered by the senses must also be imperfect.
We can see the “Scientific Process” is imperfect by looking at the history of science. Western scientists have continually disproved the theories held by their predecessors, In retrospect Western science can bee seen as a collection of incorrect and imperfect guesses. The scientists would generally accept this critique however they would have us believe they are learning from their mistakes and their guesses are becoming more accurate. While there is a glimmer of truth in this, how long will it take? If the perfect knowledge is available from a perfect source why not take advantage of it?
A summary of the Vedic version of creation:
I will put a summary of the Vedic view of creation before you for your information. The creation is dealt with in great detail in the Srimad-Bhagavatam and I urge you to read it for yourself, but here is a short summary.
Within the creation everything that exists is a manifestation of the energy of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is nothing but Krishna’s energy, but His energy is manifested in different ways. There are three principal divisions of the energy of Krishna: spiritual, marginal and material. Krishna Himself and His expansions and incarnations are the spiritual energy. We, the living entities, regardless of the body we have (dog, cat, fish, tree, human, etc.), are also of the same quality as Krishna. We are called the marginal energy because we can associate with Krishna’s spiritual energy or His material energy. We are fragmental parts and parcels of Krishna. As the quality of the gold in a gold earring is equal to the quality of gold in a gold-mine we are qualitatively equal with Krishna. However the quantity of gold in the mine is infinitely greater than the quantity of gold in the earring. Krishna is very great and we are very small. We are a tiny part and Krishna is the whole. The third of Krishna’s energies is dull matter. Dull matter can not become active without the touch of spirit.
We, the living entities, are called Krishna’s marginal potency because we can either associate with Krishna’s spiritual energy in the spiritual world or we can associate with His material energy here in the material world, it’s our choice. We have the independence to choose whether we want to serve Krishna in the spiritual world or whether we want to try to satisfy our senses here in the material world. So these three energies are the building blocks for the cosmic manifestation, there is nothing more.
It is described that all of Krishna’s energies are eternal, they are never destroyed at any point in time. Although the entire material creation is manifest at a certain point in time and the whole show is annihilated also after some time, the energy is never lost. The spiritual energy, us, the living entities, is conserved within the body of Krishna (as the Maha-Visnu lying on the causal ocean) and the material energy is conserved in the mahatattva which is described as an inert cloud which is the storehouse of all the material elements. Nothing happens without the touch of the living entity or spiritual force. Therefore once the material world is annihilated it cannot be recreated without someone’s touch. If some machine breaks down it will not automatically start working again, it requires the touch of an engineer to repair it.
When the time comes for the re-creation of the universe the creation is set into motion by Krishna. It is described as sa iksata or “He glances over the mahatattva.” This glance of Krishna impregnates the mahatattva, or mother nature, with the seeds or the spirit-souls of the living entities. The process of conception we experience within this world mirrors the supreme impregnation of the universe by the Supreme Lord. One of Krishna’s qualities is He can accomplish any activity with any of His senses. We cannot. If we want to impregnate we have to use our genitals, to see we have to use our eyes, to smell we use our nose and so on. But Krishna can impregnate by His glancing, Krishna can taste by His hearing, Krishna can do anything with any of His transcendental senses. This glance of Krishna is called the primary creation.
After impregnating the mahatattva with the living entities by His glance Krishna enters the universe as Garbhodakasayi Visnu. As Garbhodakasayi Visnu He lies as the bottom of the universe, which is ball shaped [a covered sphere.] From the perspiration of His body He fills half of the sphere with salty water. From His navel sprouts a lotus stem and at the top of that lotus stem there is a brilliant golden lotus flower. Within the middle of the whirl of the lotus flower the first person within the universe takes his birth. His name is Lord Brahma. This might all sound unlikely but if you consider it carefully you will find it a plausible explanation. Everything is within our experience, there is nothing mystical and unexplainable like a “big bang” which magically creates the universe from “nothing at all”. We have seen a father impregnate a mother and thus produce a child so why is it surprising that the whole universe is produced as a result of the Supreme Father, Krishna, impregnating the supreme mother, the mahatattva, or the material elements. In the same way the father puts the living entity within the mother and the living entity then develops within the mothers womb, Krishna, the Supreme Father, places the living entities within the womb of mother nature where they develop. It is completely reasonable.
When Lord Brahma is born on top of the Lotus flower he is bewildered, he has no idea where he is or what is his duty. Then he hears a vibration from the sky “ta pa“…
(to be continued…)
This is an article taken from the first Hare Krishna web site, Sudarsana. It was first published in 1994 and it resulted in very extensive discussions in the scientific, religious, straight-edge and punk News Groups. You can read some of this discussion in the Sudarsana Archive. It even resulted in Mandelbrot publicly stating that “somebody” had taken his theory to prove the existence of God, something he had never intended it to be used for! The different threads of the discussion include:
- Re: Madhudvisa and science
- Re: WHEN THE UNIVERSE WAS DARK…(Marain’s Thread)
- Re: When the Universe was Dark (aus.religion thread)
- Re: When the Universe was Dark – Hardcore/Punk Thread
There are some other articles you may also find interesting.
- Urey/Miller Experiment. Life from chemicals?
- Can a Big Bang Produce Anything Useful?
- Create Something with a Small Bang!
- If there is a Big-Bang in the city what do the people ask?
- Who Supplied the Explosives?
- The Big-Bang Theory doesn’t Solve the Problem