Thursday, October 22, 2009

Carl Sagan On Indian Cosmology

I stumbled across this video of the famous astronomer Carl Sagan explaining the ancient Indian view of the universe. He starts by quoting the wonderful hymn of creation, the Nasadiya, from the Rig Veda (10.129). A little later he says, ‘Hinduism is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, no doubt by accident, to scientific cosmology’. I feel a little presumptuous correcting the great Carl Sagan but here I feel I am justified in doing so. Buddhism too taught all these ideas. Indeed the Buddha’s idea about the ultimate origin of the universe is one up on the Hindu one because it attributes it to natural causes rather than to a divine being.


yuri said...

Hm... Natural causes or divine being. I do not think it is that simple. Samsara IS the result of cause-effect «natural» pattern. But what gives it the quality of existence, be it illusory existence?.. Observings it! Samsara «exists» because there is something Unborn, Undivided... etc. Something beyond cause and effect relationship. It is silly to ask which one was there first - samsara or that Shining Mirror — that is pure consciousness. They exist in unity. «I am He who exists from the Undivided... Therefore I say, if he is, he will be filled with light, but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness”. I think these words of Jesus from Thomas' gospel could be about that. It may be about our consciousness which is based upon and is part of Universl Consciousness. But Universal is not divided, so what will happen when we get free from being only “part”, from the concept of “me”?! ;)

Susmita Barua said...

My post just disappeared. Bhante I liked your profile and Yuri's comment.