At the time of Newtonian physics, space was considered purely three-dimensional, measured in three axes viz X, Y, Z. Time was considered separate from space, and as a single line that was infinite in both directions.
All this changed when Einstein introduced the theory of special relativity, which showed that time and space are interconnected; and that time is a dimension of specific events that take place not only along the coordinate of space but at different points of time. This led to the concept of a four-dimensional space-time continuum. One cannot curve space (space is curved due to gravity) without involving time. Thus, time also has a shape.
According to Stephen Hawking, time is pear-shaped. This is because everything including light bends due to gravity. Thus an event taking place very far away would be seen on Earth after millions of years (the time light took to reach Earth) and the light would have been bent while traversing billions of galaxies.
To put this simply, in Newtonian terms, imagine a three-dimensional space filled with innumerable dots representing points of time. Thus time, whether past, present, or future, would be represented in these innumerable dots within the framework of the three-dimensional space. Mathematically, this may not be entirely accurate, as Space itself is curved; however, for explanation purposes, it serves as a good model. Thus, if one were to cover space at the speed of light time would stand still, and vice-versa.
This allows the Avatar to access the happenings both in time (kala) and space (akasha or desha), as there is no such thing as past, present or future in the physics of Consciousness where He operates. As a power, it manifests as the siddhi of prapti.
The ancient Hindu scripture, the primary Upanishad, Isha Vasya Upanishad, describes the space of pure Consciousness as below:
tad-ejati tan-naijati tad dūre tadvantike |
tad-antarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasyāsya bāhyataḥ || 5 ||
That moves and That moves not. That is far off, That is also near. That is the inner space of all this, and That is also the outer space of all this.
The ancient Vedic seers or Rishis were adept in the concepts of space-time.
In the Vedic tradition, ‘KALABHAIRAVA’ has been denoted as the Lord of Space and Time, or the energy that controls space and time.
The word ‘kala’ stands for time, and the word ‘bhairava’ is derived from:
- Bha – denoting ‘Bharana’ or maintenance of the world
- Ra – denoting ‘Ravana’ or withdrawing of the world
- Va – denoting ‘Vamana’ or projection of the world
Thus, Kalabhairava is one who brings about the Srishti, Sthiti, and Samhara (creation, maintenance, and destruction) of the Universe.
Akasha – the Energy of Space
‘Akasha’ is a Sanskrit word denoting the fifth and most subtle of the natural elements known to us – ether or space.
Most people are familiar with the first four natural elements: air, fire, earth and water. The fifth element, variously referred to as space, ether or spirit, is in reality, the parent element from which the others spring, and into which they all ultimately dissolve. Akasha is described in the Vedic scriptures as the Cosmic Ocean of energy, containing all possibilities.
It is not a coincidence that one of the definitions of Akasha is ‘spirit’ or Consciousness. Ancient mystics understood that space is nothing but Consciousness and every molecule in the universe carries the possibility for Consciousness.
Modern science echoes the voice of the Vedas
The post-Einsteinian explosion in modern science has opened new vistas in the understanding of energy, the interchangeability of matter and energy, and the concept of Consciousness as the substratum of the universe.
The ancient Vedas, which give a precise description of the origin of our Universe, state that in the very beginning, the universe was just a gaseous mix. Following this, there was a period of torrential rains which resulted in the cooling and formation of Earth, followed by the evolution of various forms of plant and animal life, and finally the human being.
ākāśādvāyuḥ vāyorāgniḥ agner āpaḥ adbyaḥ pṛithivī I pṛithivyā ouśadhayaḥ ouṣhadhīyo-annam annāt puruṣaḥ II ~ Taittriyopaniṣad, Brahmānanda Vallī
From Ether emerged Air, from Air appeared Fire, from Fire came Water, from Water came Earth. From Earth came vegetation, from vegetation came food, and from food came the human being.
The Miller-Urey Experiment
By the 1950s, scientists around the world were earnestly exploring the origin of life and the kind of environment that led to its emergence.
In 1953, Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey, working at the University of Chicago, conducted an experiment that has now come to be known as a classic investigation that resulted in some of the most interesting findings on the origin of life.
In the ‘Miller-Urey Experiment’, scientists Miller and Urey simulated the experimental conditions that scientists believed were present during the formation of our planet. This experiment showed that organic compounds such as amino acids, which are the building blocks of life, could have been created from inorganic compounds that existed during the early stages of our planet, and which are known to exist in outer space even today.
Significantly, the conditions described here are almost identical to those described in the Rg Veda several thousand years ago.
What is the nature of Consciousness?
The most exhaustive research to date in the Western world has been set forth by Ervin Laszlo, Nobel Prize nominee and 2001 winner of the Japan Peace Prize. In his breakthrough work on the nature of Cosmic Consciousness, Dr. Laszlo echoes the ancient Vedic seers when he describes an energy field that records and transmits all the information generated by any event, organism or object.
Dr. Laszlo and his fellow researchers postulate that the Big Bang creation model is insufficient to explain many conundrums of quantum physics. He offers an alternate theory: that the Big Bang is only one of many phenomena that sprang from a meta-universe or ‘metaverse’, which has always existed and will continue to exist.
“The most fundamental element of reality is the quantum vacuum, the energy information-filled plenum that underlies, generates, and interacts with our universe and with whatever universes may exist in the metaverse.”
The Universe is far too efficient to be operating without creative intelligence. If not for this field, evolution would be random, and the highly narrow combination of conditions, which support life on planet Earth, would be beyond the possibility of coincidence. Dr. Laszlo calls this force the Akashic Field, pointing out that the ancient Rishis exactly describe the qualities and abilities he has observed first-hand. In his book, Science and the Akashic Field, he states:
“In the Sanskrit and Indian cultures, Akasha is an all-encompassing medium that underlies all things and becomes all things. It is real, but so subtle that it cannot be perceived until it becomes the many things that populate the manifest world. Our bodily senses do not register Akasha, but we can reach it through spiritual practice. The ancient Rishis reached it through a disciplined, spiritual way of life, and through yoga.”
Akasha: The Single Source of Everything that Exists
Dr. Laszlo goes on to quote the great sage of India, Swami Vivekananda, who says:
“According to the philosophies of India, the whole universe is composed of two materials, one of which they call Akasha.
It is the omnipresent, all-penetrating Existence. Everything that has form, everything that is the result of combination, has evolved out of this Akasha. It is the Akasha that becomes the air, the liquids, and the solids; it is the Akasha that becomes the sun, the earth, the moon, the stars, and the comets; it is the Akasha that becomes the human body, the animal body, the plants, every form that we see, everything that can be sensed, and everything that exists. At the beginning of creation, there is only this Akasha. At the end of the cycle, all melt into the Akasha again, and the next creation similarly proceeds out of this Akasha.”
Swami Vivekananda adds: “In Akasha, all attributes of the manifest world merge into a state that is beyond attributes: the state of Brahman. Although it is undifferentiated, Brahman is dynamic and creative. The cycles of samsara, of being-to-becoming and becoming-to-being, are the Leela (divine play) of Brahman: its plaof ceaseless creation and dissolution.”
Dr. Laszlo observes that this perspective is new to Western thinking, which holds that the ultimate nature of reality is material. However, he acknowledges that modern Western science has stumbled upon this truth in its own way: “What the new physics describes as the unified vacuum – the seat of all the fields and forces of the physical world – is the most fundamentally real element of the universe.”1
In this quantum vacuum, which the Vedic tradition calls Brahman, you can see the analogy of the Cosmic Ocean. Every quark, every particle of energy, leaves an imprint of its being-to-becoming, as well as the reverse journey.
The Whole that emerges from the Whole
The Upanishads are the most ancient sacred scriptures in the history of the world, revealed by Lord Shiva, the Cosmic Consciousness, to the seers of the Vedic tradition, at a time when human civilization was still in its infancy in most other parts of the world. They are the very voice of the Cosmos, the breath of Mahadeva, grasped intuitively by the seers during altered states of consciousness.
The Upanishads are the distilled essence of the Vedas, containing the most sublime yet intimate revelations about the highest Truth and nature of the Self, the Universe, and the Divine.
The Isha Upanishad opens with an invocation that reveals the depth of Vedic wisdom:
auṁ pūrṇamadaḥ pūrṇamidaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇamudacyate I pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate II
The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism Nithyānanda Paramashivam explains:
The Whole, the Cosmos, comes from the Whole. Even when it emerges, It does not get separated; it continues to be established in the Whole. When It goes back, it goes back to the same Whole. Out of the Whole, came out the Whole. Even if the Whole is removed from the Whole, the Whole remains as Whole.
From the Infinite, sprang this universe and many other universes. Yet no proof exists as to how the universe was created. The stories of creation in various religions and cultures point towards a Supreme Energy that created the universe and is responsible for its smooth functioning.
Science talks about the Big Bang that caused the universe, but the same theory does not explain how Big Bangs still continue. For every Big Bang that creates new stars and galaxies in some part of the universe, there is a black hole somewhere else, resulting in the disappearance of stars and galaxies. For every birth there is death; for the unborn there is eternity.
Yet how did the original birth happen? Vedic wisdom reveals to us that the birth of the universe never did happen. Taitirriya Upanishad declares – satyam jnanam anantam brahma – truth, reality or pure knowledge, infinity is Brahman, the Source of everything.
So, the universe is always there. There is no Creator or Created apart from that unborn Consciousness, Brahman – which is Truth or ‘Isness’ (satyam), which is knowledge Itself (jnanam), which is infinite (anantam), which is beyond time and space (nithyam), and is verily the essence and source of everything that exists.
- Reference: Laszlo, Ervin, Science and the Akashic Field, second edition, Inner Traditions 2007