What is the 'Big Bang' of Vedic Cosmology?

What is the ‘Big Bang’ of Vedic Cosmology?

In 1927 modern scientists came up with The Big Bang Theory in an effort to explain how the universe came to be. Scientists believe that the universe started very small which then started to rapidly expand after a big explosion. This formed the galaxies, stars and the universe we have today.

The Vedas however have been aware of these concepts for many millennia. Thousands of years ago the Rig Veda was written and talks about a theory very similar to the modern day “Big Bang”. Vedic Cosmology has a vast and comprehensive understanding of our universe that far surpasses those theories put forth by modern scientists.

In the years before 3000 BCE there lived 400 Vedic rishis who were the scientists of their time. Their intuition, questions and observations were recorded and the four Vedas were born with the primary being Rig Veda.

Vedic time

Coinciding with the Vedic scripts, are the Puranas. They are ancient Sanskrit writings that offer explanations on how the universe was created and by whom. Vedic cosmology is one of topics dealt with in the Puranas. The following similarities can be found between the Puranas and modern day science.

  • The date of “The Big Bang” – The Puranic date puts the event at 13.819 billion years ago. Modern science has estimated the date to be around 13.801 billion years ago. 
  • The formation of our solar system – The Puranic date is 4.563 billion years ago whereas modern science estimates the time to be around 4.567 billion years ago.
  • The most recent mass extinction of earth – The Puranic date puts the event at 251.152 million years ago. Modern scientists have estimated the event to be at around 251.9 million years ago.

Taking these similarities into consideration, Vedic time closely matches the timeline that modern scientists have come up with. The Puranas also accurately describe other major events that scientists have only recently been considering such as:

  • The ultimate demise of our sun.
  • The stages of fetal development in the womb.
  • The first time there was life on Earth.
  • The universe and its cyclic nature.
  • The time stars were originally formed within the universe.

Alan Watts, a Harvard professor praised the Vedic point of view for its concepts in physics space and time.

The Big Bang event

In the Bhagavata Purana, Lord Vishnu (The Preserver), is described as a spider and the universe as the web. Before the creation of the universe, Vedic cosmology describes it as being a singularity where all the elements that make up the universe was compressed into a material called pradhāna.

The process that created pradhāna is known as Panchikaranam. The term means the interaction between the five. The five represent the primordial elements which are:

  • Akash – space/ether
  • Vayu – air
  • Tejas – fire
  • Apah – water 
  • Prithvi – earth

The Bhagavata Purana and other Vedic texts explain that “The Big Bang” was created by the Superconsciousness. This is different to modern science that is unable to explain what caused the event to take place. In other words the “Big Bang” is set off by Sri Vishnu through His will. As he exists beyond the three dimensional time and space, the universe can be compared to Vishnu’s dream:

yaḥ kāraṇārṇava-jale bhajati sma yoga-nidrām ananta-jagad-aṇḍa-saroma-kūpaḥ

Within the Vedic texts we see that the universe is in a continual unending cycle. This cycle of formation / creation and destruction spans 333 trillion years. This means that the “Big Bang” event is not a once off occurrence, but will happen over and over again.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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