On Creation, Cosmos, Mind
There are fundamental differences in approach to Science in the West and in India. This fact is not understood or appreciated even by the Indian Scientists. In fact, in the West, they call it "Christian Science". What is so Christian about it? Believing that the Earth is flat, or that it is the centre-piece of the Solar System, or that Time is linear? On the first two, they changed opinion, thanks to Gallileo and Christopher Columbus. On the dimension of time, they are yet to come to grips with reality, notwithstanding the life-long efforts of Prof. Stephen Hawking ! A letter that I wrote to him some years ago was not responded to by him!.
The Bhagavatham and Bhagavad Gita provide direct answers to all the questions raised. The details are as follows:
Indians always considered the Earth as a globe, and called it "Bhoo gola". Similarly, they said:
"Dhyeyah sadhaa Savitrmandala madhya vartee", referring to the Sun, in our Sandhya Vandhanam (Nama Savitre, Jagadeka Chakshushe......) clearly stating that the earth is a globe, and that the Sun was at the centre of the Solar system.. Similarly, Book V of Sreemad Bhagavatham describes the structure and dimensions of the Cosmos itself, including the concept of time. To us, Time is a cyclical concept. It operates like clock, in cycles, repeating the same events, periodically. The Bhagavatham gives the example of a potter's wheel turning, and an unmindul ant moving on the wheel surface, on its own. One cycle takes several billion human years and all the statistics regarding its duration etc. are given. Thereafter, for an equal duration, the Cosmos gets withdrawn into Brahman and stays dormant for that periiod. Another cycle begins, and the same events, people, et al is repeated. This is a sport for Brahman, which is the only REALITY that is always there, neither born, nor dying.
It is amazing to find the GOD PATICLE (Prof. Einstein) also called HIGGS-BOSON particle referred to. Regarding the extent of the Cosmos, or its expansion also, there is reference in Book V of Bhagavata. Not only that, there is reference to the BLACK-HOLE, for discovering which, a Scientist - was it Prof,Chandasekharan - was awarded the Nobel Prize! Similarly, the structure of the Mind is dealt with extensively in the BHAGAVAD GITA. Evolution of life from the amphibian fish to the land-water creatures like tortoises,the flying creatures, the aoeba etc are all explained in Book V. The origin of the human life from foetus to full life is explained.
I shall now give the references, so that any curious reader can verify what I have stated.
While it is evident that the Universe is expanding - in the sense that more and more of it becomes perceptible to us as time rolls by - it does not, according to Indian faith, needs to be created continuously. Prurusha Suktha, the Hymn of creation says -
PAADHOSYEHAAVABHATH PUNAH THRIPAADASYAAMRITHAM DIVI
meaning: 'Only one quarter i.e. a small portion is revealed, three-quarters of it are in space unrevealed.
Book V of the Bhagavatham refers to the location etc. of the revealed and unrevealed portions. Amazingly, it also refers to the Black Hole, for inventing which some scientist - Was it Prof.S.Chandrasekhar? - walked away with a Nobel Prize. Book V, Chapter 20, Sloka 35 states:
YASYAAH PRAHITHAH PADHAARTHAH NA KADHAMCHIT PUNAH PRATHYUBHALABHYATHE THASMAATH SARVA SARVA SATHWA PARIHRITHAA AASEETH
meaning: "Any thing dropped there is on no account to be found again, and is assimilated by it".
Similarly Prof. Stephen Hawking's "String theory" of the Universe is already there in Bhagavad Gita Chapter V, Sloka 5:
MAYI SARVAMIDHAM PROTHAM SUTRE MANIGANAA IVA MEANING
"In Me, the Supreme, everything in the Cosmos is woven on to a long string, even as pearls are woven into a garland to wear".
Prof. Einstein called it the God Particle, others still look for it as Higgs Boson, that connects all physical laws into one law governing the Universe.
Some years ago, I wrote to the Professor about this, but he never responded.
The Bhagavatha Book VIII - Chapter 3 - sloka 24 says:
SSA VAI NA DEVAASURA MARTYA THIRNG
NA STREE NA SHANDHO NA PUMAAN NA JANTHUH
NAAYAM GUNAH KARMAH NA SANNA CHAASAN
NISHEDHA SESHO JAYATHAADHASESHAH meaning
"The Lord is, really speaking, neither a God nor a Demon, nor a human being, nor again an animal. He is neither a male, nor a person of either sex, nor is he an asexual creature. He is neither an attribute nor an action, neither a Cause no an Effect. He is that which remains after everything else has been negated as Unreal, as the basis of negation. May He reveal Himself for bringing about my release from thebondage from the illusion of the Universe".
Siimilarly, "Mind" is dealt with in Bhagavad Gita Chapter III - sloka 42, as an intermediate stage in our percepting process, and not real or ultimate.
One gets rid of it either voluntarily by totally controlling it by Meditation, or involuntarily on Death. The Lord needs no action for Creation. His mere wish is enough - "ICHHAAMATHRAM PRABHOH SRISHTIH".
Regarding the Avathaaras, I would say that they refer to the Evolution process of life, in various stages i.e. from acquatic creature like Fish, to Amphibians like tortoise, to man-animal, dwarf man, to perfect man. It is in this order they are mentioned. The perfect being is yet to be evolved, and the process continues. Matsyaavatara has to be understood in this context.
A question may arise. Why is it not evident to man? Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita Chapter V sloka 15 -
"AGNANENAAVRUTHM GNAANAM THENA MUHYANTHI JANTHAVAH"
meaning: "Nescence prevents one from knowing, thereby people are misled into believing the Unreal to be the Real".