Tag Archives: Vedic cosmology

Yoga at the Speed Of Light

== Introduction ==
It is amazing how much Western science has taught us. Today, for example, kids in grammar school learn that the sun is 93 million miles from the earth and that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per hours. Yoga may teach us about our Higher Self, but it can’t supply this kind of information about physics or astronomy. Or can it?

== Speed of Light ==
Professor Subhash Kak of Louisiana State University recently called my attention to a remarkable statement by Sayana, a Fourteenth Century Indian scholar. In his commentary on a hymn from Rig Veda, the oldest and perhaps most mystical text ever composed in India, Sayana has this to say: “With deep respect, I bow to the sun, who travels 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha.”

A yojana is about nine American miles; a nimesha is 16/75 of a second. Mathematically challenged readers, get out your calculators!

2,202 yojanas x 9 miles x 75 – 8 nimeshas = 185,794 m.p.s.

Basically, Sayana is saying that sunlight travels at 186,000 miles per second! How could a Vedic scholar who died in 1387 A.D. have known the correct figure for the speed of light? If this was just a wild guess it’s the most amazing coincidence in the history of science!

== And those 108 beads ==
The yoga tradition is full of such coincidences. Take for instance the mala many yoga students wear around their neck. Since these rosaries are used to keep track of the number of mantras a person is repeating, students often ask why they have 108 beads instead of 100. Part of the reason is that the mala represent the ecliptic, the path of the sun and moon across the sky. Yogis divide the ecliptic into 27 equal sections called nakshatras, and each of these into four equal sectors called padas, or “steps,” marking the 108 steps that the sun and moon take through heaven.

Each is associated with a particular blessing force, with which you align yourself as you turn the beads.

Traditionally, yoga students stop at the 109th “guru bead,” flip the mala around in their hands, and continue reciting their mantra as they move backward through the beads. The guru bead represents the summer and winter solstices, when the sun appears to stop in its course and reverse directions. In the yoga tradition we learn that we’re deeply interconnected with all of nature. Using a mala is a symbolic way of connecting ourselves with the cosmic cycles governing our universe.

But Professor Kak points out other coincidences: The distance between the earth and the sun is approximately 108 times the sun’s diameter. The diameter of the sun is about 108 times the earth’s diameter. And the distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times the moon’s diameter.

Could this be the reason the ancient sages considered 108 such a sacred number? If the microcosm (us) mirrors the macrocosm (the solar system), then maybe you could say there are 108 steps between our ordinary human awareness and the divine light at the center of our being. Each time we chant another mantra as our mala beads slip through our fingers, we are taking another step toward our own inner sun.

== Origin of Cosmos ==
As we read through ancient Indian texts, we find so much the sages of antiquity could not possibly have known-but did. While our European and Middle Eastern ancestors claimed that the universe was created about 6,000 years ago, the yogis have always maintained that our present cosmos is billions of years old, and that it’s just one of many such universes which have arisen and dissolved in the vastness of eternity.

In fact the Puranas, encyclopedias of yogic lore thousands of years old, describe the birth of our solar system out of a “milk ocean,” the Milky Way. Through the will of the Creator, they tell us, a vortex shaped like a lotus arose from the navel of eternity. It was called Hiranya Garbha, the shining womb. It gradually coalesced into our world, but will perish some day billions of years hence when the sun expands to many times it present size, swallowing all life on earth. In the end, the Puranas say, the ashes of the earth will be blown into space by the cosmic wind. Today we known this is a scientifically accurate, if poetic, description of the fate of our planet.

The Surya Siddhanta is the oldest surviving astronomical text in the Indian tradition. Some Western scholars date it to perhaps the fifth or sixth centuries A.D., though the text itself claims to represent a tradition much, much older. It explains that the earth is shaped like a ball, and states that at the very opposite side of the planet from India is a great city where the sun is rising at the same time it sets in India. In this city, the Surya Siddhanta claims, lives a race of siddhas, or advanced spiritual adepts. If you trace the globe of the earth around to the exact opposite side of India, you’ll find Mexico. Is it possible that the ancient Indians were well aware of the great sages/astronomers of Central America many centuries before Columbus discovered America?

== Knowing the unknowable ==
To us today it seems impossible that the speed of light or the fate of our solar system could be determined without advanced astronomical instruments. How could the writers of old Sanskrit texts have known the unknowable? In searching for an explanation we first need to understand that these ancient scientists were not just intellectuals, they were practicing yogis. The very first lines of the Surya Siddhanta, for of the Golden Age a great astronomer named Maya desired to learn the secrets of the heavens, so he first performed rigorous yogic practices. Then the answers to his questions appeared in his mind in an intuitive flash.

Does this sound unlikely? Yoga Sutra 3:26-28 states that through, samyama (concentration, meditation, and unbroken mental absorption) on the sun, moon, and pole star, we can gain knowledge of the planets and stars. Sutra 3:33 clarifies, saying: “Through keenly developed intuition, everything can be known.” Highly developed intuition is called pratibha in yoga. It is accessible only to those who have completely stilled their mind, focusing their attention on one object with laser-like intensity. Those who have limited their mind are no longer limited to the fragments of knowledge supplied by the five senses. All knowledge becomes accessible to them.

“There are [those] who would say that consciousness, acting on itself, can find universal knowledge,” Professor Kak admits. “In fact this is the traditional Indian view.”

Perhaps the ancient sages didn’t need advanced astronomical instruments. After all, they had yoga.

== Vedic Observer ==
The Vedas and its other Angas like Upanishads, Puranas are all said to be originating from the breath of Lord Vishnu the primary creator of the cosmos according to Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad. It is also said that all the information concerning the creation, maintenance and destruction is in Vedas. But this is not something that can be decoded with a supercomputer in the NASA laboratory. The process of understanding the knowledge depends on once adhikara or qualification and also by once perfection acquired through grace of God. So the mantradrista or the seers of the mantra meditate on that undivided supreme absolute truth as paramatma to acquire knowledge of a specific science. Which they use for the welfare of people.

Compiled by [[Authors#Lndasa|LNDAS]]


Big Bang or Big Bluff

== Introduction ==
Imagine yourself taking a walk in the heart of a city like New York or Tokyo and looking around at the well developed infrastructure around you. Infrastructure of that magnitude never ceases to amaze us. The tall buildings, monuments (such as statue of liberty) the well planned roads and the underground railway all point to meticulous planning (by the government authorities), amazing engineering skills (Architects and Engineers) and well managed execution (Contractors, Laborers, etc).

Now imagine some one coming up and telling us that all this automatically came up due to some ‘big bang’ or due to some ‘automatic molecular combination” that formed a simple structure and then ‘evolved’ into more and more complex buildings! We would think that such a person is likely to be out of his mind.

And yet, that is exactly what we ourselves seem to think when it comes to explaining the origin of the universe, which is so complex and vast, that millions of such well developed cities would constitute only a fraction of it! We attribute the origin of a well developed city to thoughtful planning, excellent engineering and meticulous execution. However, we tend attribute the creation of the universe to some automatic combination of molecules or some ‘Big Bang’.

== The Big Bang Theory: ==
‘Big Bang’ a scientific theory, developed from observations of the structure of universe and from theoretical considerations. Everybody knows that the theory of big-bang generally refers to the idea that the “universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition at some finite time in the past, and continues to expand to this day.”.

In 1924 Edwin Hubble found that the universe is constantly expanding. As the universe is constantly expanding, scientists came to a conclusion that the universe would have started at some time in the past and named it as Big Bang.

== Are we made of cosmic dust? ==
The basis of this theory, as explained scientifically, is that we owe the creation of the universe to the breaking away of the absolute symmetry of the absolute emptiness that existed before the creation began. There is a theory called vacuum genesis, which suggests that the universe began from a single particle arising from an absolute vacuum. A particle so powerful that it gave raise to the cosmic creation. Of course, a particle from nothing is admittedly not very likely. But it is a theory that they still work with, possibly for a lack of anything else.

The premise of the Big Bang Theory is based on the Redshift, the evidence that the universe seems to be expanding. This is when the wavelength of the light from a distant celestial object shifts toward the longer wavelength. This is figured to be caused by the Doppler Effect that the space between the objects giving the light is increasing, caused by an expanding universe. The Vedic version of the universal creation is that it was created by the guidance of the Supreme Being and, indeed, has been steadily expanding. But this does not imply an unnatural Big Bang from which everything appeared. The bottom line is that the Big Bang Theory is founded on a few assumptions that if ever negated or proven wrong will dismiss the whole theory. And, low and behold, it seems that after a closer look into this theory, there are some major flaws that prevent it from being acceptable for everyone.

[http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/BB-top-30.asp TomVanFlandern], the space scientist, has presented three major problems found in the Big Bang Theory. One is that the law of conservation of matter and energy is not upheld within this theory. Secondly, this theory offers no calculations of the early ages of the universe that can properly deduce the temperature of the microwave background radiation. Thirdly, though the theory may be able to explain how such substances as helium and deuterium were formed, there are problems in understanding how the nuclei in such substances as lithium, beryllium and boron were created.

Furthermore, the inflation that would have taken place with the Big Bang makes the age of the universe unreasonably small when compared with the estimated ages of the galaxies or globular clusters that are in existence. It also puts a limit on the amount of ordinary matter in the universe, forcing some astronomers to speculate that there must be a large amount of “dark matter” to fill in the spaces. But such dark matter cannot account for the observable superclusters and galaxies, says Anthony Peratt, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Thus, the superclusters are not what would be expected from the Big Bang model.

One last point is that the smooth nature of the background microwave radiation would not be the result of an explosive beginning, which would have produced a less organized and more chaotic or unsmooth result.  As it stands, science still cannot answer the question regarding what started the explosion of the Big Bang. Where was the original substance, or particle? What caused the creation? Even now science is still looking for another theory that can explain how nature would have behaved at the time of the threshold of creation under the extreme conditions during the original explosion of the Big Bang. How would it have happened in a way that caused the original atoms that then changed into forms that paved the way for all of the additional atoms to have developed? Because of these concerns and problems, along with others not mentioned, some scientists now feel that the Big Bang Theory is “thoroughly unsatisfactory” as an explanation of the universe’s origin. Besides, even if there was a Big Bang origin, where did consciousness come from? Why would there now be a bunch of entities running around trying to figure this out and not merely a bunch of dust and molecules drifting through space?

Encyclopedia Britannica admits: “It should be emphasized that no theory of the origin of the solar system has as yet won general acceptance. All involve highly improbable assumptions.”

== Vedic Observer ==
Big Bang has been another theory that at first is applauded as the answer to the questions, yet with time is found to be too faulty, typical of the ever-changing scientific process that starts with one theory and in time gives way to something else. It is even admitted by science that the cause of the creation is “almost supernatural”. So it is still a mystery–why is there anything instead of nothing? But unfortunately it is still the theory found in the schools textbooks.

The formation of universe is best explained by the “Vedas” which is present at the time of universe creation. The “Vedas” are like a manual for universe. It explains the functionality and formation of universe. In science you cannot go outside the creation to find its cause. However, the [[Vedic_creationism|Vedic creationism]] does indeed take us to the point before there was anything at all in the cosmic creation. That is the difference. The Vedic version points out that the cause of the creation is indeed outside the universe, just as an architect for a building may be living outside the building, someplace else rather than within it. Science still owes a lot to religion. Science still accepts that we have a “uni-verse”, a single system governed by a single set of laws. This admittedly is based on the religious concept of one God, one creator, and thus one system of laws, and a single source from which everything began. That is what the Vedanta Sutras explain, that the Absolute Truth is “He from whom all else manifests.” So to me, the faults found within the scientific creation theories only lends further credence to a Divine Source for the material manifestation. It also shows that there are many answers that can be found by researching the Vedic version of the Divinely guided creation. And unlike us Human beings, whose imperfections are sometimes very costly (the bridge of the Delhi Metro rail collapsed recently, causing heavy damage, one death and 15 injuries), God’s creations do not have such anomalies (imagine the consequences if God had made a small error while designing the orbits of planets in the solar system – there would have been a collision of planets!)

== Quotes from renowned scientists on creation ==
Many renowned scientists acknowledge the need for an existence of an intelligent creator behind the universe, quite unlike the statements from the Big Bang Theory:-

*“There is a perfect brain behind all the natural physical laws”. – Albert Einstein

*“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man…” – Albert Einstein

*“It is the perfection of God’s works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity” – Isaac Newton

*Sir Isaac Newton further continues to say that “Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowels) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two four legs or two wings or two arms on the shoulders & two legs on the hips one on either side & no more?. Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eyes of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to believe that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power”.

* “If you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to believe in God” – Lord Kelvin

*The story of Newton and his Atheist Friend: Once Newton engaged a craftsman and had a nice model made of the “Solar System” which would even depict the movement of the planets on the push of a lever. He then called over one of his friends who happened to be an atheist and showed him the model. His friend expressed his appreciation at the craftsmanship and asked whose work it was. Newton promptly replied that the model just ‘came up by itself’. His friend laughed at the answer and when Newton insisted on that answer, the friend remarked that Newton must be kidding. Then Newton pointed out that this was the same explanation that was being given by the scientists (including the friend) for the origin of the ‘actual’ solar system which was much obviously much more complex than this one!

*Newton used this situation to drive home the point that there is an intelligent creator behind everything, and that nothing can come up on its own, due to random molecular combinations or some big bang.

Authored by [[Authors#giridharagopaladas|Giridhari Gopal]] and [[Authors#Vivek|Vivek Devarajan]]
Edited by [[Authors#Lndasa|L Narasimha Rao]]

Is the world a giant hologram?

= Is the world a giant hologram? =
== Synopsis ==
The world as we perceive it, is that real in the absolute sense or is it a three dimensional projection of a relative reality. Here comes “another” astronomical hypothesis which proposes the latter. But as we compare this theory with [[Bhagavatha_cosmology|cosmology]] of Srimad Bhagavatam we find some parallels.

== Observation ==
For many months, the GEO600 team-members had been scratching their heads over inexplicable noise that is plaguing their giant detector. Then, out of the blue, a researcher approached them with an explanation. In fact, he had even predicted the noise before he knew they were detecting it. According to Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, GEO600 has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time – the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into “grains”, just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. “It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time,” says Hogan.

If this doesn’t blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: “If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.”

== The Hypothesis ==
The idea that we live in a hologram probably sounds absurd, but it is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing. It has also been surprisingly helpful for physicists wrestling with theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.

The holograms you find on credit cards and banknotes are etched on two-dimensional plastic films. When light bounces off them, it recreates the appearance of a 3D image. In the 1990s physicists Leonard Susskind and Nobel prizewinner Gerard ‘t Hooft suggested that the same principle might apply to the universe as a whole. Our everyday experience might itself be a holographic projection of physical processes that take place on a distant, 2D surface.

The “holographic principle” challenges our sensibilities. It seems hard to believe that you woke up, brushed your teeth and are reading this article because of something happening on the boundary of the universe. No one knows what it would mean for us if we really do live in a hologram, yet theorists have good reasons to believe that many aspects of the holographic principle are true.

Susskind and ‘t Hooft’s remarkable idea was motivated by ground-breaking work on black holes by Jacob Bekenstein of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and Stephen Hawking at the University of Cambridge.

[http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html Read-More]

== Parallels from Bhagavatam ==
An striking similarity exist in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Srimad Bhagavatam has a flat earth concept in which the earth is situated at the center of the universe and other planetary entities moving in axis relative to earth. The fifth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam depicts the bhuloka as a two dimensional flat surface divided into concentric islands and oceans. Although this may contradict our basic understanding of our everyday experience. It still offers an consistent model in which all major phenomenon can be explained. It is also interesting to note that the same scripture also refers the earth as ”ghola” meaning sphere in a different place. But this theory of a hologram seems to add more weight to the [[Bhagavatha_cosmology|Bhagavatha cosmology]]. Dr.Richard Thompson a vedic physicist proposes four reasonable interpretations of [[Bhagavatha_cosmology|Bhagavatha cosmology]]. The first two are two dimensional views of a three dimensional cosmology.

== Conclusion ==
The Vedic literatures have lot of information encoded in them, but it requires a qualified scholar to give proper interpretation to them. Nevertheless it gives us a hope and direction on uncharted regions of science. It may be of help for the clueless modern astronomers and atomic physicists who have been groping in the dark spinning new theories every now and then backed by their severely limited instruments.


The Universe of the Vedas

by Sadaputa Dasa

At first glance, the [[vedic_cosmology:bhagavatha_cosmology|Srimad-Bhagavatam cosmology]] might seem like fantasy. Here are four ways to make sense of it all.
The inquisitive human mind naturally yearns to understand the universe and man’s place within it. Today scientists rely on powerful telescopes and sophisticated computers to formulate cosmological theories. In former times, people got their information from traditional books of wisdom. Followers of the Vedic culture, for example, learned about the cosmos from scriptures like the Srimad-Bhagavatam, or Bhagavata Purana. But the Bhagavatam’s descriptions of the universe often baffle modern students of Vedic literature. Here Bhaktivedanta Institute scientist Sadaputa Dasa (Dr. Richard Thompson) suggests a framework for understanding the Bhagavatam’s descriptions that squares with our experience and modern discoveries.