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Origins of the Universe

Many people wonder when the world came into existence and why, but according to the Brahmas àtras (II, i, 35-36) and the Bhagavad-Gītā (XV, 3), this esistence oft referred to as samsāra has no real beginning. Within the historic literature, neither the Upanishads nor the the Vedas mention a beginning of the world, because the notion of “beginning” or “beginning”, which is already by definition a notion of time, cannot precede the appearance of the temporary world. So this is an impossible question to not say nonsense.

Ultimately, the modification called time is a mere effect of language as explicitly taught by the Upani Enads. Therefore, eternity in the absolute sense of the term is not an indefinite continuity of time, but which is devoid of all notions of time such as past, present and future, i.e. what is beyond time, space and causality and who is therefore timeless, infinite, unlimited, unconditional, unchangeable and without any duality.

Even if it was said that the current cosmic cycle began billions of years ago, it wouldn't answer the question since before this cycle there was another cycle, then another and so on without any possibility of finding a real beginning for Absolute Reality is timeless and the relative world conditioned by time, space and causation is merely a false appearance overimposed on Absolute Reality by ignorance. It is therefore illogical and impossible to question the beginning of the universe or try to answer it. This is what is declared by the last two mantras of the famous Nāsadīya-s ktktam of the Rigveda saying:

ko addhā veda ka iha pra vocat kuta ājātā kuta iyaṁ visṛṣṭiḥ | arvāg devā asya visarjanena athā ko veda yata ābabhūva || 6 ||

"Who really knows, who would say here" Where did this projection come from and why? The gods coming after its production, Who knows where she is from? "

iyaṁ visṛṣṭir-yata ābabhūva yadi vā dadhe yadi vā na | yo asyādhyakṣaḥ parame vyoman so aṅga veda yadi vā na veda || 7 ||

"This projection, from where it came, whether he produced it or not, the one who is its Watcher in the supreme space, Only he knows or maybe he doesn't "

This conclusion does not mean that the Supreme Being is ignorant, but that there is nothing to ask or answer about the so-called beginning of the world or the reason for its appearance, because ultimately the inner Consciousness is one and indivisible, eternal, always full and illuminated by herself.

Commentary by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac

In the Upanishads also known as Vedānta there are as many truths (provisional and successive) as (relative) views in reality, up to the absolute point of view denying any form of duality, creation included. Indeed, as you probably know, in a pedagogical perspective and through the process of discrimination between real and unreal, between eternal and impermanent (nithyānitya-vastu-viveka), the Vedānta distinguishes provisional lies three commandments of reality (sattātrayam).

Technically, this process of discrimination is called "subvaluation" (bādha). Precisely, subvaluation is the intellectual process of discrimination between real and unreal, by which we devalue the degree of reality of an object A held ex ante as real, because it is contradicted ex post by experience or acquaintance nce of an object B of an ontological value higher than A and what A depends on for its existence. Thus, absolute reality (satyam) is that reality independent of any other support, which no other relative reality can undervalue (in any of the three periods). The three levels of reality are :

  1. Pāramārthika sattā: The absolute, transcendental, non-due reality, present without discontinuity in all three periods of time and beyond time.
  2. Vyavahārika sattā: the level of relative "reality" (āpek sattikam), empirical, transactional, dueling, present in a part of time only.
  3. Prātibhāsika Sattā is the order of apparent, virtual reality, present in a part of time only.

Apparently, "the question of 'when' necessarily involves the superficial plan" ("the plan of appearances" seems more appropriate to me). But above all, questions like "When was the world created?" "or" where was the whole thing before creation? "disappear from themselves when we realize that the conjunction "when", the adverb "where," or any adverb whose function is to specify the circumstances of place or time are spatial-temporary concepts that are off topic applied to what precisely transcends both time and space. Even in deep sleep, it is because there is no concept of time and space that we have no idea of what time we sleep or where we are, or any concern or question about it.

Furthermore, I will not teach you anything by saying that Vedic cosmology refutes the theory of an "ex nihilo (from or out of nothing)" creation, recorded in a linear time, similar to that of Abrahamic religions. The Hindu cosmological model is that of a projection(s (i) or cyclic emanation of the Universe, thus moving from the non-manifested (avyakta) state (avyāk (ta) in the prime cause (Brahman), to the manifested state (vyakta) as n oms and shapes apparently differentiated. The latent preexist effect in its cause, a pot or pitcher exists in the undisclosed (avyakta) and indifferent (avyāk gileta) state in the clay. When the pot and the jug are made, the shapes and names associated with them are different from each other.

Similarly, the projection of the universe is a process of differentiation from the indifference, of manifestation from the non-manifested. In the Upanishads, the notion of a Brahman managing the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the universe is taught to the novice disciple for the sole purpose of strengthening his faith in the existence of an independent and immutable cause from the effects of m celebration, not to affirm the reality of cosmogonic process. Then, any notion of causation (cause and effect) will be disproved by the teacher once the disciple is sufficiently advanced down the path.

Ultimately Vedānta refutes any form of duality. It is not that the universe has no existence, as some Buddhists claim it, but that it is denied an independent reality of Brahman. Which explains why, despite the doctrine of the three orders of reality, one cannot really, in fine, assume the existence of a sa quisāra (what will be, will be) without beginning that would exist independently of Consciousness. The Aitareya Upani chosesad (III, i, 3) explicitly states that everything is directed by Consciousness, that everything is based upon it, and that Consciousness is the eye (netra) and foundation (prati quehā) of all things. The Upanishad concludes this capital passage by the famous declaration that pure consciousness is Brahman (Prajñānam brahma).

The Upanishads, therefore, do not stop at the unreality of phenomena or their total absence (sarva-abhāva), for they emphasize the ultimate reality of the Sāk vaī, the Witness of the denial of the kośas whose presence is undeniable. Indeed, the Self that dwells after the denial of all non-Self is not mere emptiness or nothingness, but the Fullness of Pure Consciousness (cinmātra-parip prna) or, as nadi sa ākkara says, the Witness whose nature is Pure Consciousness(sāk dontī bodhar pahpah) and who is there Everlasting bliss (sadānandah ). You always need a witness, a conscience, even to see a "nothing"!

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