Hindu cycle of the universe

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See also Hindu units of measurement.

According to Hindu Philosophy, the universe (or multiverse) never came to be at some particular point, but always has been, 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. An interesting parallel to these ideas can be found in the ekpyrotic model of the universe. This concept is also accepted by Buddhist Dharma.

This is similar to the Cyclical Universe Theory in physical cosmology. The Big Bang is described as the birth of the universe (Brahma), the life of the universe then follows (Vishnu), and the Big Crunch would be described as the destruction of the universe (Shiva).

In 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 thesis of creation[edit]

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 out of 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 their 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). Each 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 Shiv with Tandav and this cycle again begins.This cycle of formation and annihilation is seen in Hinduism.

Hindu viewpoint of modern cosmology[edit]

There are many metaphorical parallels between modern cosmology and the Hindu theory of 'Shrishti'. The 'Anda' itself resembles the hypothetical energy point from which the Big Bang and hence the Universe emerged. The true intonation of Om is very long and drawn out, it is described as an all pervading sound. Its parallel is the cosmic background radiation, currently at a temperature level of 2.725 kelvins, which pervades the Universe.

Even string theory finds a place in the Hindu texts. The first thing that ever was and will be is 'Shabda' or sound. This energy is produced by vibrations in energy produced by the powers of the Trinity (Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). Although at a very high level, this resembles the multidimensional vibrations of the infinitesimal strings which are said to be the basis of all creation.

The end of the universe[edit]

The ultimate fate of the Universe is still an open question. The final answer depends upon the mass-energy content of the system as a whole. If it is below a certain limit, the Universe shall expand forever. If it exceeds a certain limit, it will contract into what has been conjectured as The Big Crunch.

The Hindu viewpoint of the continuous cycle of creation, destruction and rebirth is attuned to the theory of Big Bang - Expansion - Contraction - Big Crunch. 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 are described to fail. If the Big Crunch happens, the movement of galaxies towards each other will produce very strong gravitational fields which may make relativistic effects perceptible at a great magnitude. The physical phenomena which we are used to may change wildly or be non-existent.

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