Thursday, May 3, 2012

God and Universe are One and the Same

This is no world. It is God Himself. In delusion we call it world.” – Swami Vivekananda.

The core philosophy of Hinduism or the vedic texts is not “God Created this Universe” in the sense of Universe being some materialistic entity created by God. Instead it is “God is this Universe”, or more accurately “This Universe is a manifestation of God” or “Universe is a part of the Supreme Consciousness”. So “God Created Universe” here means “God manifested himself in the form of this Universe”. God does not exist somewhere outside this Universe, it is omnipresent and the Universe is a part of this divinity. The term “God” here is not the general personified version of a super human being but instead is the all pervading Supreme Consciousness, the Brahman.
Mahavakyas (The Great Vedic Sanskrit contemplations) and Vedic phrases like “Ayam Atma Brahma”, “Ishavasya Midam Sarvam”, “Aham Brahmasmi”, “Brahma satyam jagan mithya”, “Tat Tvam Asi” all point to the same, that the entire Universe is a manifestation of the Supreme Brahman. There is no duality here. Which is why in Hinduism every aspect of nature, be it the trees, rivers, mountains, animals, planets, stars, moon, air, water, fire, teachers, parents, even one’s own self are all considered to be divine and worshipped. This entire universe is filled with divinity – the Brahman.
If the divinity is an ocean, then we are like the waves in that ocean. Can waves exist outside the ocean waters? It is like a Gold ring saying, I am a ring. Well, ring is its current form. In reality it is Gold. Similarly we look ourselves to be rings, bangles, chains, etc – but these forms are all temporary, the permanent truth is that we all are made up of Gold – the divinity. Just like Gold can be used to make rings, jewellery, chains etc, similarly the divine energy manifests itself as planets, humans, animals, etc and hence this Universe. At a fundamental level we all are one and the same. How can sweetness exist without a sweet source like Sugar, light exist without a source like Sun? Just like sweetness comes out of Sugar, light comes out of the Sun, so is the Universe, an aspect of the Supreme Brahman.
Take a realistic looking wooden Elephant. For a small child, it is a real elephant and there is no wood in it. For a grown up adult, it is merely wood and there is no elephant in it. But at a deeper level, there is neither the elephant, nor the wood, it is mere electrons and protons. The one who understands this fundamental truth realizes that the Universe is filled with quantum particles, the one who does not thinks it to be filled with elephants and wood.
The very term “Jagat” means, the one that is constantly changing. This world is a constantly changing world. And the only thing that is unchanging is the divinity in it.
The divine nature of this Universe is described beautifully in the Ishopanishad, or the Isha Vasya Upanishad
Om Purnamadah Purnamidam
Purnat Purnamudachyate
Purnasya Purnamadaya
Purnameva Vashishyate
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Heem
which means
Om, That is Completeness, This is Completeness,
From completeness, completeness comes forth.
Completeness from completeness taken away,
completeness to completeness added,
completeness alone remains.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!
“That” refers to the Supreme divinity. “This” refers to this Universe. The message here is that the universe comes from the supreme divinity, and the Universe comes from that Supreme divinity. And you cannot take away one from the other.
Consider this. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change from one form to the other. This is a scientific fact. And we know that the Universe is made up of energy – energy manifesting itself as radiation, matter, anti-matter, etc. If Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then it should have always existed, isn’t it? So what we call the creation of the universe is nothing but the manifestation of the ever existing energy in the form of this Universe. Science calls it Energy, Spirituality calls it divinity.
What be our point of reference, the truth is that something cannot be created out of nothing, it has to be an already existing thing which gets manifested into this something. So God cannot create this Universe out of nothing, Universe is filled with Energy, and Energy cannot be created says Science. So if this Energy already existed before the creation of this Universe, then it should be God itself, because only God existed before the creation of this Universe. Hence Universe is nothing but a divine manifestation.
And the Ishopanishad further confirms this by saying “Ishavasyam idam sarvam” – the entire Universe is pervaded by the Lord. In Bhagavadgita, Lord Krishna talks about the “Para” and “Apara” nature of the divine manifestation – Para refers to the Supreme nature of the divinity, and Apara refers to the materialistic manifestations like the elements of nature, intelligence, mind, ego etc.
The absolute divinity is Purna, the Completeness, and nothing can exist “outside” this Completeness. So there are no boundary lines which separate the Universe and the God. Divinity always existed, and the Universe is just a manifestation of this infinite divinity. Which is why Swami Vivekananda said
This is no world. It is God Himself. In delusion we call it world.” – Swami Vivekananda.

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