This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Danakeli August 5, 2019 at 2:27 am.
- December 28, 2018 at 2:28 pm #6742DanakeliParticipant
We hear in the Vedic texts that there are uncountable (infinite # of ?) material universes packed up like innumerable mustard seeds in a bag. We hear some are much bigger than the one we’re currently inhabiting & that their Lord Brahmas have many more heads than our 4-headed Brahma.
What is the need or purpose of so many universes? Is not the infinite pool of all possible ideas available in our universe (whether anyone taps into some of those ideas or not)?
- This topic was modified 8 months ago by Danakeli.
- January 1, 2019 at 4:44 am #6744AshishParticipant
A bigger universe means that it is possible to create more finer distinctions, or what we call the smallest ‘atom’ can get smaller. Accordingly, there is more variety or subtle distinctions. Just like in an Impressionist painting the picture is hazy and drawn with broader strokes, but in Classical art the paintings get more realistic and detailed. Similarly, we can say that our universe has lesser detail relative to the larger universes. If in our universe four social orders are a natural principle, then in other universes it is possible that there are greater number of social divisions.
- January 2, 2019 at 12:47 am #6748DanakeliParticipantParticipant
I see. Not all universes are created equal.
- August 1, 2019 at 8:24 pm #7262DanakeliParticipantParticipant
Revisiting this thread after a long time…
I recently found some interesting writing about the multi universes from Laghu Bhagavatamrta by Srila Rupa Goswami (translated by Gopiparanadana Prabhu). Here’s some verses discussing the size of the material universes.
By the potency of the Personality of Godhead there exist virtually innumerable universes of many different kinds, each full of variety.
By the manifold potencies of Lord Hari, some of these universes extend one billion yojanas in width.
Others are ten billion, ten trillion, or ten quadrillion yojanas across.
Inside some of these universes, twenty planetary systems have been created. Inside others there are fifty, seventy, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or even a hundred thousand planetary systems.
Brahma and the other planetary rulers appear in various forms in these different universes. They are served by thousands of the most excellent opulences. In some of these universes the demigods led by Indra live for a hundred maha-kalpas, and demigods like Brahma live for a hundred trillion maha-kalpas.
By contrast, the Visnu-dharmottara Purana says that all the universal spheres are of equal size and have similar living entities.
Thus: “O king, all the universal eggs are equal in form. They each contain the same volume of space and are inhabited by comparable creatures.”
According to Sri Kurma Purana, “When two scriptural statements conflict, one should not assume that one or the other lacks authority. Rather, one should seek an elucidation that reconciles the two statements.”
Indeed, Lord Hari sometimes annihilates all the universes simultaneously.
This is stated in Sri Visnu-dharmottara Purana: “These unlimited universes I have described to you are all destroyed simultaneously by the Lord of the universe. He then remains situated in His own nature during a period of time called His night.”
After thus destroying all the universes, He once again creates new ones. Sometimes He makes them dissimilar, and sometimes He makes them similar.
In SB 2.5.10, Srila Prabhupada curiously says, “It is understood from the revealed scriptures that the Brahmājī of this universe is younger than all the other Brahmās in charge of the many, many universes beyond this.” [I wonder which “revealed scriptures.”]
- August 2, 2019 at 2:30 am #7264AshishParticipant
They can be same size and different sizes, and there is no contradiction.
Think of a virtual reality headset. There can be many virtual reality headsets which have the same size — if you look at them from the outside. But depending on the program loaded in the game that the virtual reality headset is showing, one ‘universe’ can seem bigger than another.
The difference arises not because of the virtual reality headset. It is due to the program or game loaded into the headset. If the game is simple, then you are probably playing inside a fortress trying to find the enemy, save some princess, take some hidden gold, etc. Your ‘universe’ is confined to that fortress. But if the game is complex, then you are traveling between planets and galaxies, seeing different places in the universe, and your ‘universe’ is very big.
What we call the ‘universe’ is like that virtual reality headset. The soul is not ‘inside’ the universe. It is just being shown a vision. The vision can be simple or complicated. If it is complicated it seems that the universe is bigger. It depends on how much information has been packed into the program. If you pack less, then it is small; if you pack more it is very big.
Finally, the multiple universes in Vedic philosophy have nothing to do with ‘multiverse’ in modern science. They are two completely differnet ideas. In the ‘multiverse’ phenomena, the universes are constantly dividing and expanding with every thing you experience. Therefore, in one universe there is a version of Danakeli who did not ask this question and did not see the response. In this universe she asked and saw a response. So Danakeli is not one person. She is rather infinite — and constantly increasing — number of personalities at every moment.
- August 3, 2019 at 11:02 pm #7265DanakeliParticipantParticipant
This virtual reality analogy is very helpful. Thank you. And I will be sure not to conflate the multiple universes in Vedic philosophy w/ the strange multiverse idea, which I didn’t actually understand before.
One followup question RE the soul not being ‘in’ a universe but merely being shown a vision which one calls ‘the universe’…
Is it correct if we expand this fact to other areas of our perception which we currently feel we’re ‘in’? For ex., we say “I am in a body,” or “I am in a building,” etc. Technically, is it more correct to say “The soul is never inside anything; rather, everything—from bodies to buildings to universes—are merely visions/phenomena.” If this is correct, what about our saying “The soul is carried to another destination.” Would it be more correct or precise to say that the soul has had the ‘channel’ he was watching get changed to another? I am thinking of the BG verse which says the soul is immovable (2.24). Do we ever ‘go’ anywhere? Even ‘back to Godhead?’
- August 4, 2019 at 2:38 am #7267AshishParticipant
Yes, my understanding is also that the soul doesn’t ‘move’, as in from different parts of the world. It is merely the sense of proximity to things that makes it think that it is inside the world. This proximity to things is an illusion. Just like right now you are not ‘near’ your computer. I mean even your body is not near the computer. The body and the computer are conceptually different things and in the conceptual space they are far apart. But they are interacting with each other. By this interaction a proximity is created. So, real proximity and apparent proximity are different.
There are three kinds of real distance/proximity. The first is emotional distance/proximity. When we are attached to something, we feel we are close to them. The second is the conceptual proximity, just like two tables are conceptually similar so they are near. A table and chair are far because they are conceptually different. The third is the relational proximity. As a father, I’m close to my child because there is a relation. As a citizen, the relation is not that close. These are three real types of distance/proximity. Then there is the physical proximity which is an illusion. Just like you think you are in America. That is a total illusion. You are just interacting with certain things, which are interacting with other things, and they collectively create the illusion called ‘America’. If you closely interact, then the proximity increases, distance decreases.
In modern science, especially relativity, there is this idea that force and space-time are the same thing. But they still assume a space-time and then overlay matter on it. So, they are separating the two, but in some sense they realize that they cannot truly separate them. We are saying something different. There is a real space of relations, concepts, and emotions. Then from this real space an illusory perceptual space is created which makes us think we are close.
This is as far as matter is concerned. Then the relation between matter and soul. The same principle applies. If we interact closely with matter we think we are near to it, and from the nearness we think we are inside the body, inside this world, etc. When we stop interacting, the world disappears. So, the soul is not inside anything. It is just interacting with these things, and that interaction creates the sense of proximity/distance, which is an illusion.
Does it mean that we never ‘go’ to Godhead? Yes, in a sense. We just interact with the spiritual world, and by the same measure, we think we are inside the spiritual world. The stronger you interact the closer you are. So, this proximity is created by the ‘force’ of interaction. Factually God and we are different emotionally, conceptually, and relationally. This difference means we are far apart. But by a strong force of interaction we can seem to be very close. Thus, if this force is increased, then even in this world we can interact with God. It would seem we are very close to God. The principle of attraction and how it creates proximity is the same everywhere.
- August 5, 2019 at 2:27 am #7302DanakeliParticipantParticipant
Thank you for this elaboration involving the three types of real space vs. illusory space, the principle of attraction & the force of interaction. This thread has nicely given me an improved perspective & understanding of how to decrease the illusory proximity I have to matter & increase my proximity to Krishna.
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