(Last Updated on : 10/01/2009)
Cosmology in Indian philosophy is regarded as the seed of all creation. This primal germ is the world egg floating on the primeval waters of chaos, the principle of the cosmos of life. Cosmology in Indian philosophy is therefore considered as the architect of Visvakarman, the firstborn of the universe, the creator and sire of the world. The concept of desire, will, self-consciousness, mind, 'vak' or the word, all these relate to the qualities of the infinite intelligence, the Gos who is the entity of Omnipresent, the Almighty, and the selfless soul and is the sire of the cosmology.
According to an ancient conception, Brahman is the tree and the wood out of which heaven and earth are made. Some views advocate that the gods created the world by the power of, sacrifice and this view has its origin at a later stage of Vedic thought which later initiated the idea of cosmology, the theory of creation.
The Indian Philosophy determines that the architect of the world is the Narayana who is resting on the eternal Ananta. It is the Narayana, the god of Genesis who once said, "Let there be light".. and there was light. The moment he felt to create the worlds there was the worlds, water, light, etc. This according to Indian philosophy is the reason behind the seed of creation and also is the science of cosmology.
According to Rig Veda, "the universe is a cosmic egg that cycle between expansion and total collapse. It expanded from a concentrated form -a point called a Bindu. The universe, as a living entity, is bound to the perpetual cycle of birth, death, and rebirth". The Vedic intellectuals were not oblivious of the fact of the philosophical problems of the origin and nature of the world. The intellectuals in their search for the first ground of all changing things resemble the ancient Greeks. The Vedic contemplators also looked upon water, air, etc as the ultimate elements out of which the variety of the world is composed. Water is said to develop into the world through the force of time, sarhvatsara or year, desire or kama, intelligence or purusa, warmth or tapas. Sometimes water itself is derived from night or chaos, tamas, or air. 'The world ground is said to be the 'asat', or the non-existent, with which is identified Aditi, the infinite. The existents are called 'diti' and the 'aditi' is the non-existents. The cosmic forces originate from the infinite. The cosmic force sometimes said to be the source of the infinite itself. These theories were associated with the non-physical and physics by alliance with religion which formed the very base of Cosmology in Indian philosophy.
According to the belief of cosmology, the entire cosmos is assumed to be the creation of Varuna, Indra, Agni and Viswakarman. Though people of different thought receive the formulation of the cosmos in different ways, but the later stages of research had helped to satisfy the quest for the actuality. The primary question that comes to mind at the monotheistic level that whether the universe is the creation of God without the presence of any pre-existent matter or the presence of His power acting on eternally pre-existent matter. These views are depicted in the Vedic hymns. Regarding the creation of the cosmos the Vedas enunciates that Hiranyagarbha arose in the beginning from the great water that pervaded the universe. He evolved the beautiful world from the shapeless chaos that was all that existed. But the real source of the water, the force or law of development that led to his rise is not elaborated with definite evident. The view of Manu emphasizes the fact that God himself is the creator of the chaos and deposited a seed in it that became the golden germ in which He Himself was born as the Brahma or the Creator God. The Nasadiya hymn, which is translated by Max Muller, is a representation of the most advanced theory of cosmology. The theme stands for the presence of one Absolute, the union and the mundane entity which is responsible for the creation of the universe. The Absolute itself is neither the self nor the other, is neither the self-consciousness or the presence of "I", nor unconsciousness of the type or the presence of "not-I" and refers to a transcending consciousness. This belief regards three steps of creation, when translated into modern terms, they are cited as: (1) the Highest Absolute (2) the bare self-consciousness, (3) the limit of self-consciousness in the form of another. The stages are merely logically and not chronologically consecutive.
The hymns of Rig Veda also throw light on the theory of cosmology. It defies any conception of the unreality of the world. The entire cosmology is not referred to as a purposeless phantasm, but is just the evolution of God. Though the later Indian thinkers distinguish five elements- ether or 'akasa', air, fire, water and earth, the Rig Veda asserts only one- water as the primeval matter from which others slowly developed and is regarded as the secret of cosmology according to Indian philosophy.