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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Creation Myths - Part 2



Before reviewing creation myths from other traditions, let us look at a superb summary of the Indian Vedic thoughts given by Bal Gangadar Tilak in his book on Gita Rahasya (Volume 2: page 1027). I have added a few points of clarification and examples to Sri.Tilak's remarks.

There are four points of view on cosmogeny (creation of this universe) in the Vedic tradition. They are:

1.       All things which exist in this world  evolved out of five primordial elements (mahabhutani) of Prakriti energized by contact with Purusha. This is the adibhouthika view of Samkhya philosophy.

2.       All of this was created out of a Prajapati or Yagnapurusha in the process of fire-sacrifice or yagna according to Rg Veda and Satapata Brahmana.  That sacrificer-sacrificed is Yagnanarayana or Parameshwara says Bhagavatam. This is the adiyagna school.

3.       Various activities seen in this universe are caused by an active agent, a deity or a deva. These deities are responsible for making the Sun to shine and give light, for making the cloud to give rain and to energize the functions of our organs. This deva is a variant of the purusha of Samkhya. This is the adidaivata school of bhakti marga.

4.       Just as atman exists in every one of us, there exists in everything some subtle form of that primordial Brahman (tat). This is the adyatmika school of the Vedas and Vedanta.

My own take on this is that if we have several different points of view  on the same issue, we really do not know which one is or any of them are true.

I prefer the humble and honest view of the Nasadiya Sukta of Rg Veda.

1 comment:

Ramesh said...

Creation is one area where various myths in each culture get constantly pushed back as science advances. I would prefer to treat them as just that - myths which throw often a deep light on the cultural or religious context that prevailed in ancient times. Interesting, but likely to be untrue Of course we cant say for sure as we don't know.

I would like to explore the adyatmika school as you refer to. Seems to be to be profound. I don't know anything about it. Maybe when you find time, I can request you to help me understand, or point me in the direction of simple reading which can help in understanding.