Friday, August 19, 2005

Why did God create the Cosmos

Question: Why did God create the Cosmos

Firstly, Hindus does not believe in creation. Gita expounds Atman as that which is not created, nor destroyed, that which fire cannot burn etc etc...

We believe in Projection. One form projecting itself as another form. To give an example, the energy and mass is constant in this universe. So, no mass is 'created', energy simply changes its form into mass, thus giving the feelig that something is created. But every this type of 'creation' is also accomanied with the idea of dissolution.

Western idea of time itself is a linear reality, which leaves the question of a beginning and ending. But Indian concept of time is a circular reality.(I am just stating, I too dont know why)

Now coming to the question of "why does this happen"

I am quoting the answer of Swami Vivekananda "first we have to understand this that the very asking of the question "why" presupposes that everything round us has been preceded by certain things and will be succeeded by certain other things. The other belief involved in this question is that nothing in the universe is independent, that everything is acted upon by something outside itself. Interdependence is the law of the whole universe. In asking what caused the Absolute, what an error we are making! To ask this question we have to suppose that the Absolute also is bound by something, that It is dependent on something; and in making this supposition, we drag the Absolute down to the level of the universe. For in the Absolute there is neither time, space, nor causation; It is all one. That which exists by itself alone cannot have any cause. That which is free cannot have any cause; else it would not be free, but bound. That which has relativity cannot be free. Thus we see the very question, why the Infinite became the finite, is an impossible one, for it is self-contradictory."

But Vedanta does not finilize that this why cannot be known. What it says is it cannot be known in this state. To know the answer, you have to be first be free. If I want to know the reason why I got bound into a room, I have to first go out the room to know the reason.

Here I dont mean God being unkowable in the manner Agnostics refer to it. God is known yet unknown at the same time. Like say do not know what exactly time is, yet at the same time you know what it is.

I hope following text from a lecture of SV will further explain your question, according to the school of Advaita Vedanta.

"The first is the question of creation, that this nature, Prakriti, Mâyâ is infinite, without beginning. It is not that this world was created the other day, not that a God came and created the world and since that time has been sleeping; for that cannot be. The creative energy is still going on. God is eternally creating — is never at rest. Remember the passage in the Gita where Krishna says, "If I remain at rest for one moment, this universe will be destroyed." If that creative energy which is working all around us, day and night, stops for a second, the whole thing falls to the ground. There never was a time when that energy did not work throughout the universe, but there is the law of cycles, Pralaya. Our Sanskrit word for creation, properly translated, should be projection and not creation. For the word creation in the English language has unhappily got that fearful, that most crude idea of something coming out of nothing, creation out of nonentity, non-existence becoming existence, which, of course, I would not insult you by asking you to believe. Our word, therefore, is projection.

The whole of this nature exists, it becomes finer, subsides; and then after a period of rest, as it were, the whole thing is again projected forward, and the same combination, the same evolution, the same manifestations appear and remain playing, as it were, for a certain time, only again to break into pieces, to become finer and finer, until the whole thing subsides, and again comes out. Thus it goes on backwards and forwards with a wave-like motion throughout eternity. Time, space, and causation are all within this nature. To say, therefore, that it had a beginning is utter nonsense. No question can occur as to its beginning or its end. Therefore wherever in our scriptures the words beginning and end are used, you must remember that it means the beginning and the end of one particular cycle; no more than that"


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