From Satyarth Prakash 8th chapter
When we talk of creation, the modern scientific theory of evolution comes to mind. Science believes that species slowly evolved based on the theory of adaptation and survival of the fittest. The common belief is that we the humans have evolved from apes. Also, many would believe that all this process has simply happened by itself without some power actually making it happen.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati in his scriptures “Satyarth Prakash” & “Rig Vedadi Bhaashya Bhumika” has explained all of this phenomenon based on the teachings of Vedas and other Vedic writings, specially the 6 schools of Philosophy.
Many questions have been answered.
- There are 3 eternal entities in this universe. These are: God, Souls and Nature. God is one, formless, all knowing, all powerful and ever present. Souls are infinite, one in each body and go through the phenomenon of rebirth or salvation and get involved in enjoying the nature which has consequences of happiness or unhappiness. Nature is also eternal and changes form. There is famous mantra in Rigveda( 1.164.20) which explains this by stating that there are 2 birds who are sitting on a tree. One tastes the fruits and bears the good/bad consequences and the other just watches and judges. The tree is the nature, the bird tasting the fruit is the soul and the judge is God. A seal depicting this has been found in the excavations from Mohan jodaro.
- Reasons for creation: Essentially there is cause and effect relationship. If something has been created, there must be a creator and there must be a purpose.
Three reasons(causes) have been mentioned.
The first is God, who is the efficient cause(Nimitt kaaran) and does not get involved in enjoying the creation and pervades in the entire universe, was there before the creation and will always be there and does not take birth or die.
The second is nature, which is the material cause(upaadan kaaran). It is what the creation is made from. When the nature is in unmanifest form, it is uniform and invisible. This is independent from God. God merely uses this to create the universe.
The third is the ordinary cause( Saadhaaran Kaaran). These are the souls who have the necessary knowledge, power, tools, body parts and other things necessary for creating anything. The souls can be efficient cause also in ordinary sense.
- The process of creation: The whole creation is about 4-billion-year-old each time. Before creation, the nature was homogenous and invisible. It is supposed to have 3 qualities. There are: white(sattva/intellect), red(rajas/energy) and dark(tamas/matter). In this state, there were no heavenly bodies, nothing to enjoy, no one to enjoy, life, death, day or night. God, by his/her (no gender), inherent nature, started this process and there was a massive explosion (like a big bang theory). Including the souls, 24 karan or tools were created in succession for the use of souls. The first 3 were semi-physical and are the Mahatatva( thought and still relatively uniform) followed by Ahankara (individuality/form, now more physical), the 5 subtle elements (sight, taste,smell,touch and sund) and mind(tanmaatra or the power behind the senses and physical elements). The rest 15 are physical or external tools. These are 5 senses and 5 body parts and 5 physical elements( the ether, air, fire, water and then solids in succession). The 25th is the nature in it’s original form where all of this came from. This body like ours is made from nature and soul lives in it and uses these above-mentioned tools for its functioning. Both are useless without each other. Death is defined as the departure of soul from the body. Soul takes with it the sanchit karma in suble body (suskhma Shashir) made of the above-mentioned invisible elements which stay with the soul in the next birth. Freedom of actions with sanskars are designed to improve upon this package each time the soul goes through the cycle of birth. When these sanskars ends, the cycle of birth ends and then the soul achieves salvation (only humans). The next cycle of creation begins from the stage where it dissolved the last time (ether, air, fire, water or solids).
According to Vedas and Vedic teachings, first humans were created (probably in Tibet, which was the first part to dry up, possibly around 40-50 million years ago when the Indian plate collided with Asian plate). As per Yajurveda and the Brahaman literature, first creation was of asexual nature, in which hundreds of young couples were created,
capable of subsequent procreation by sexual reproduction. From Tibet, then different people moved to different areas. We know that the British formulation of Aryan invasion theory has been repeatedly refuted by solid proofs. This sort of discussion brings a serious question in the modern mind. However, we all know that there are several reasons to accept the Vedic view. First of all, there is intense degree of perfection in the nature. The examples are complexity of the life forms, its functioning with astonishing co-ordination at a molecular level, formation of seed form in plant and animal life and formation of full trees and bodies with extreme preciseness when the conditions are appropriate. Departure of soul leads to demise of the body, even though all the body parts are still there. Obviously, some vital force or the master of that body, the Atma has left the body. There is preciseness in the functioning and co-ordination of the heavenly bodies such as rising of sun, rotation of earth on its axis and sound the sun etc. This is what leads to day and night, seasons etc. and is necessary for sustenance of life. We humans are the only beings who are free to act and we are in what is called as the “Karma Yoni”. We are responsible for and have clear consequences for our actions. Other life forms are “Bhog Yoni” with pre-determined actions for a specific purpose and are not responsible for their actions. A human infant and a very young child are essentially incapable of independent existence. All our behavior is a learned behavior. This principle applies to learning of a language or any skill. This is not the case in animal world. The new born of a particular specie essentially knows the basic skills from the time of birth, may it be survival in water, food procuring etc.
Also, as far as the scientific knowledge is concerned, the astronomical and mathematical details were described with amazing preciseness in Vedas and subsequent Vedic literature at a time where there was absolute lack of any knowledge anywhere else on this earth in this area. God, gave Vedas at the inception of humanity similar to a manual which we get when we buy a TV for example. Out of three entities, the knowledge of God and Soul has been given by God in its perfection and the knowledge of nature has been given in its seed form and the humanity has advanced it (God gave us intellect to be able to do that).
Another question commonly asked is that if there is so much unhappiness in life, why did God create this universe. First of all, happiness in life far exceeds any unhappiness. Also, the only way for the soul to do his/her karma is by creation. Also, this is only way, that by good karma, eventually, a soul can achieve salvation. The soul has some inherent qualities. These are desire, hate/love, effort/action, happiness/un-happiness. The only way to fulfil these needs is by creation.
Yet another statement often made is the out of 6 schools of philosophy, 5 don’t believe in God. Swami ji has explained this as follows:
According to Meemansa darshan, no action can be performed without a desire (God’s desire in creation).
As per Vaisheshik darshan, every action performed takes time.
Nyaya Darshan mentions that there is need for a material for any action.
Yoga Darshan mentions of the ordinary cause (knowledge, tools etc) for any action to be performed.
Sankhya Darshan mentions that no action can be complete unless the different elements come together.
Finally, the Vedant Darshan (which became the basis of the neo-vedantic belief) says that with all of the about things coming together, there can be no creation unless there is a creator or the efficient cause.
So, it clear that all 6 schools of philosophy essentially complement each other and have to be taken together to understand the concept of God and creation. It is unfortunate the these have been misunderstood or misinterpreted by people to fulfil their own belief or purpose by not taking them together. This is similar to some one quoting part o someone’s statement and mis interpret it.
There are a few more mis concepts which should be cleared about the universe. There is some belief that the earth is sitting on a Shesha Naag. This is a misunderstanding since Shesha means what remains. Actually only God remains after the dissolution and so becomes the basis for next creation and it’s sustenance as well. There is also belief that earth is sitting on the horns of a bull. This again is a mis conception since Uksha (bull) is another name for Sun and since life can not sustain without Sun, there is logic to this belief once understood properly. This has been mentioned in the Rigveda.
The 5 elements namely ether, air, fire, water and earth along with moon stars and sun is where life sustains and so these 8 together all called Vasus.
Finally, it clear that the same God was present in the last creation and gave the same Vedic knowledge as at present and the cycle of same knowledge will continue through the subsequent creations.
Creation consists of 14 time divisions called manvantars. Each manvantar is
further divided in 71 chatur yugas, making approximately 1000 chaturyugas
in entire creation. Each chaturyuga has 4 yugas, the satyuga, about 1.6
million years, treta, about 1.2 million years, the dwapar, about .8 million years and finally the kalyuga, about .4 million years, thereby making it total of 4 million years for one chaturyua. So, with 1000 chaturyugas, it makes the creation 4 billion years. Since this is the 28th chaturyuga of the 7th manvantara called the Vaivasvat Manvantar, about 2 billion years have passed (about ½ the creation).