Don’t know how many of you actually remember your science lesson about the Big Bang Theory and the formation of Earth or about the origin of life for that matter. I certainly don’t. I don’t even remember paying any attention when the teacher actually taught it. But I do remember listening to the Shiv Puran lesson this Dussehra, and as promised its time for some enlightenment.
Before I begin with small Shiv Puran lesson, it’s better if we brush up our memories about the Big Bang Theory first. As per the standard theory, our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitely small, hot, dense, something – a singularity. Where did it come from? Why did it appear? We don’t know. After its initial appearance, it inflated [the “Big Bang”], expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe. It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet. This is the Big Bang theory.
The story of Shiv Puran begins with Shiv. It is said that initially Shiv was present everywhere, in form of bright white light; five dimensional and infinite [from where Shiv came it is not mentioned]. Shiv created Brahma and Vishnu from his infinite expanse. On creation, Vishnu was four dimensional and in the form of Sheer Sagar covered Shiv completely. In the same Sheer Sagar Brahma the other part got lost and started travelling, in search of some end to begin with. On reaching the surface of Sheer Sagar Brahma picked its small part and threw it up. This small part of sheer Sagar exploded and in an egg shape began expanding in all directions.
From the exploded parts of Sheer Sagar celestial bodies were created. On one such celestial body i.e. earth, Brahma and Vishnu, after taking physical form came face to face. At their rendezvous point a huge infinite flame appeared which neither had any beginning nor an end. From this flame Shiv appeared in a physical form as well. Brahma and Vishnu accepted Shiv as their creator and on Shiv’s order Brahma started to create life.
Brahma first created clones of Shiv’s physical form. To which Shiv said that these are meager replicas, you should create something on your own. Next he created stones with life [It is now believed stones do breathe which is necessary for their existence. A sign of life I guess]. But Shiv was not happy with this form as there was no growth in them. So Brahma created plants and trees. But they were also not perfect, as there was no motion and complex lifestyle in them. Shiv wanted something which can continuously evolve, show survival instincts and intelligence; those who can learn and survive the environment. So finally came the complex life form, with ability to think, adapt and evolve i.e. animals including human beings.
This is the basic crux of the story about the beginning of universe and life. When we look at the story as just another mythological scripture all of it sound bizarre. But if we look at it from different point of view, in the light of our science class ‘Big Bang’ lecture, then most of it makes sense. Initially Shiv, then Brahma and Vishnu appeared. Vishnu is four dimensional [the first reference of four dimensions, even before Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Might be the source of his creativity!!!]. Then Sheer Sagar exploding [Big Bang] and expanding in egg shape with celestial bodies in it.
Am not sure if am able to explain the whole thing, based upon my limited knowledge; but when I first heard it, I can’t help but notice the similarities between Shiv the two. The Shiv Puran’s beginning of universe and life story is very much similar to the Big Bang Theory. And when this story is so near to the actual theory, it is possible that the rest things said in it are true as well. If the mention of four dimensions in Shiv Puran is a scientific proven fact, then there might be a fifth dimension as well [remember Shiv was five dimensional in the beginning] which we have not yet established scientifically.
In an earlier post ‘Proof of life’ we talked about things written in Ramayana which are established facts [have said this earlier as well while talking about management lessons from Ramayana]. It might not interest you much, but all I am trying to say, there is a need we stop treating our scriptures as mythological books and start looking towards them as source of knowledge, which is way beyond our current scientific understanding. And am sure it will open new paradigm of scientific knowledge for us.