Chapter 30 — Vasishta Describes the Universe, the Cosmic Egg (Brahmanda)

Vasishta speaking:—

Within a moment they passed beyond the regions of the earth, air, fire, water and space and the tracks of the ten planetary spheres. They reached boundless space from where the universe appears like an egg. Under its vault they saw millions of luminous particles floating in the air, like innumerable bubbles floating on the waters of the unlimited ocean of the sphere of Consciousness. Some particles were going downward, and others rising upward; some turning round, and others appeared to their understanding to remain fixed and immovable. These different motions were only apparent as they saw them from different sides. Here there were no ups or downs, no upside or below, and no going forward or backward. Here there are no directions as men know. There is only one indefinite space in nature, as there is only one consciousness in all beings. Yet everything moves in its own way, just like wayward children take their own course.

Rama said, “Tell me sage, why do we refer to up and down, forward and backward, if there is no such thing in space and nature?”

10 Vasishta said:—

There is only one space enveloping all things. The worlds seen in the infinite and indiscernible womb of emptiness are like worms moving on the surface of water. 11 All these bodies that move about in the world by their lack of freedom are thought to be up and down relative to our position on earth. 12 So when there are ants on an earthen ball, all its sides are reckoned below that are under their feet, and those as above which are over their backs. 13 Such is this ball of earth in one of these worlds, covered by vegetables and animals moving on it, and by gods, demons and men walking upon it. 14 It is also covered by cities, towns and mountains and their inhabitants and productions, like a walnut by its shell.

15 Like elephants appearing as pigmies in the Vindhyan Mountains, these worlds appear as particles in the vast expanse of space. 16 Everything anywhere is produced from and exists in space. It is always all in all things, which are contained like particles in it. 17 Such is the pure empty space of Divine Consciousness which, like an ocean of light, contains these innumerable worlds which are forever revolving in it like the countless waves of the sea.

18 Some of these are hollow within, and others are as dark as the darkness in the end of a kalpa age. They are all moving about in the ocean of emptiness like the waves of the sea. 19 Some are forever whirling about with a jarring noise that is neither heard or known to anybody. It is like the motion of men addicted by their nature to earthly pursuits.

20 Some worlds are growing in form, as if they were newly created. In their development, they are like sprouts from seeds newly sown in the ground. 21 Some are melting away like icicles in heat, or like the mountains that melt at the dissolution of the world from burning sun and heavenly fire. 22 Others have been continually falling downward without reaching any ground, until at last they dwindle and melt into Divine Intellect. 23 Others are fixed in the air like miniscule animals in water that are moved to and fro by currents but without any sign of motion or sensation in them. 24 Again, nothing is stable in nature. Everything is as changing as people alter and add to the acts and customs enjoined in the Vedas and scriptures.

25 There are other Brahmas and other patriarchs, and many Vishnus and many Indras, one after the other. We have different kings of men, and sometimes no ruler of them.

 26 Some in this multiform creation are like men or lords of others, and some are creeping and crooked living beings on earth. Some kinds are as plenty as the waters of the ocean, and others have become extinct. 27 Some are as hard as solid stones, and others are as soft as poor insects and worms. Some are of godly figures, such as the giants, while others are of puny human forms. 28 Some are quite blind and are suited to darkness. Others are suited to light. Some to both. 29 Some are born as gnats sucking the juice figs. Others are empty within and fly about and feed upon the air.

30 The world is filled with creatures beyond the conception of even yogis. Even we cannot form even a guess of all the beings that fill infinite space. 31 This world is the sphere for these living beings, but the great emptiness that spreads beyond is so extensive that the gods Vishnu and others are unable to measure it even if they were to traverse it for the whole of their lives. 32 Every one of these ethereal globes is encircled by a belt resembling a golden bracelet, and each has an attractive power like the earth to attract other objects.

33 I have told you all about the grandeur of the universe to my best knowledge. I have no knowledge or power to describe anything beyond this. 34 There are many other large worlds, unseen by others, rolling through the immense space of vacuum, like giddy yaksha demons revel in the dark and dismal deserts and forests.