Science tells us that the Big Bang took place 13.7 billion years ago. The universe began with this Big Bang. Scientists believe that a vast amount of energy was jammed into a very tiny point, which they call a Singularity. This extremely dense point exploded with unimaginable force, creating all the billions of galaxies of our vast universe. This event is called the Big Bang. Yes, the universe started about 13.7 billion years ago, but there is very little understanding of what really happened at that moment of the Big Bang. The current explanation given by science has many limitations, some of which are:
1. There seems to have been a vast amount of energy stored in that tiny point. The question is, from where did this energy come? It could not have come from nothing. There must be a source behind this tiny point, which provided this energy. It is therefore important to understand this energy source.
2. The energy source was present at the time of the Big Bang. The question is, where is that energy source right now? It must be somewhere because the universe is still expanding, and this requires continuous energy. So, from where is this energy for the expansion of the universe coming?
3. The point which exploded was tiny, but it was still an entity. It must have been something. Unfortunately, nothing is known of this tiny entity. What were its characteristics and properties? What was its profile? Was the tiny point a physical entity as science tells us, or was it something else? How did this entity become the universe we see around us?
4. According to scientists, this tiny point became the physical universe we see around us. Is this the correct process of evolution? There may be some intermediate steps before the physical universe is observed. If yes, what are they?
So, you can see that the current understanding of the Big Bang theory has many shortcomings and limitations. It does not answer many key questions. Since science is unable to answer these questions, it does make the Big Bang sound very mysterious. Something happened 13.7 billion years ago, because of which we now have this huge and complex universe. In this essay, we will use the teachings of Vedanta to answer the questions raised above. Based on these teachings, in this essay I have given a different and fresh perspective to the Big Bang theory. To answer the questions raised earlier, I have divided the essay into the following sections:
- Source of the Big Bang
- Where Is the Source Now?
- Profile of the Tiny Point
- Big Bang—A Fresh Perspective
1. Source of the Big Bang
What is the source of the Big Bang? What was there before the Big Bang? Logically, whatever was there before should be the source of the Big Bang. This is not an easy question for scientists to answer. Why? Space, time, and this universe started with the Big Bang. In a way, the knowledge of science only started with the Big Bang. Then again, thinking logically, this massive and complex universe could not have come from nothing. There must have been something before the Big Bang. Since science does not have an answer, we must look elsewhere. Vedanta has the answer.
Vedanta teaches us that SatChitAnanda/Brahman or Self-Awareness was present before the Big Bang. These terms—SatChitAnanda/Brahman and Self-Awareness—are synonyms, and we will be using these terms interchangeably. SatChitAnanda is unchanging; it is uncaused and uncreated. This means that SatChitAnanda was present in the past, it is present now, and it will also be there in the future. It has always been there and will always be there, and it will remain unchanging. Nothing in this universe meets this definition. All the objects in this universe are born, and they must die at some stage. This applies even to the universe. The universe was born 13.7 billion years ago; before that there was no universe. The only thing which has always been present is SatChitAnanda.
Please read the essay “Analyzing Awareness” for a detailed explanation in our website. This Self-Awareness is non-dual, it is full, and it is complete. It does not need anything for its existence. It is self-sufficient. The only thing it does is radiate Awareness. It is like a bulb shining with Awareness. This Awareness is the most powerful force in the universe. It is the substratum of everything in the universe. As explained in the above-mentioned essay, Awareness has many different awesome powers. We list a few of them here:
- Power of the Knower: this power allows the subject to perceive the object.
- Power of the Known: this power manipulates Awareness to become any object.
- Power of Knowing: this intelligence or power decodes what each object is.
- Power of Infinite Energy: Self-Awareness is the source of infinite energy.
- Power to Create Time: Awareness is the source of Time. For an explanation, read the essay “Understanding Time” in my book, Science Meets Vedanta.
All the possible powers are present within Awareness. As mentioned earlier, the Big Bang required a tremendous amount of energy—this energy came from SatChitAnanda or Self-Awareness. How come this amount of energy is stored in Self-Awareness? I have given a detailed explanation in the essay “Awareness—The Infinite Energy Source” at the website. If you have time, you must read this essay. Yes, infinite energy is available within Self-Awareness. If you interpret it correctly, even Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity will support this fact.
2. Where Is the Source Now?
The energy source of the Big Bang is SatChitAnanda. Space and time started with the Big Bang. Since then, 13.7 billion years have passed. So where is SatChitAnanda located at this moment? This is where the confusion starts. Scientists believe that since space and time started with the Big Bang, they continue to grow from that remote point. All their thinking and understanding of space is based on this premise. This is unfortunate as this has created a bottleneck in the proper understanding of space. The Big Bang moment is now 13.7 billion years ago. Yes, 13.7 billion years ago, space and time started from the Big Bang moment, but now that location is the outer edge of the universe; it is not the starting point of space.
Besides, this source, SatChitAnanda, cannot be located at the Big Bang moment, which is 13.7 billion years away. It cannot be hanging around at this remote location at the outer edge of the universe. So where is SatChitAnanda located at this moment? If you are a student of Vedanta, you can answer this question easily. SatChitAnanda is your innermost core and located within each living being. At the Big Bang moment 13.7 billion years ago, SatChitAnanda was the source of space. If SatChitAnanda is our innermost core then, logically, space must start from our innermost core.
Does space really start from our inner core? Is there any way to show this? Yes. If you study external objects by studying the amount of time light takes to reach us from different objects, you will conclude that the starting point of space is the observer within you. The objects which are farther away will take more time to reach us than objects which are closer to us. For example, light from the sun takes eight minutes to reach us while light from the tree outside the window will take about 10 microseconds (10-6) to reach us. As the distance reduces, the time taken for light to reach us also reduces. If you extrapolate this backward, the only logical place for light to take zero seconds to reach us is the observer, who is watching all these objects. This Observer is outside space and time and is synonymous with SatChitAnanda. It does show that your inner core is the starting point of space. This is an important conclusion and science must try and understand this fact. Space starts with SatChitAnanda and this is our inner core.
So, the current location of the start of space is our inner core or SatChitAnanda. The infinite energy within SatChitAnanda is available for the expansion of space “out there.”
3. Profile of the Tiny Point
According to scientists, 13.7 billion years ago the Big Bang happened, in which the tiny point exploded to initiate the creation of this universe. Science has never explained what this tiny point was—what was the profile and characteristic of this tiny point? The only aspect mentioned is that this tiny point was loaded with energy. If you want to get the complete picture of what really happened, you need to understand properly what this tiny point was. Since science is silent on this subject, we need to depend on Vedanta once again. We must understand the creation principles as taught by Vedanta. Vedanta teaches that the universe is made up of the following three bodies:
- Cosmic Seed Body
- Cosmic Subtle Body
- Cosmic Gross Body
The cosmic seed body creates the cosmic subtle body. Then the cosmic subtle body is the source of the cosmic gross or physical body.
We need to first understand the cosmic seed body. We are all familiar with seeds for flowers, plants, and many other things. It is always mysterious how a plant comes out of such a tiny seed. It does seem that a potential plant or the blueprint of that plant is already stored within this seed. When the seed germinates, all aspects of the plant come out. If the seed is of a rose plant, only a rose will grow and nothing else. This is what the blueprint tells the seed—a rose plant from a rose seed. If this is true for plants, then why not for the universe? This is only logical. This is what Vedanta teaches us. Yes, there was a cosmic seed body for the universe. The tiny point at the time of the Big Bang was this cosmic seed body. It functioned like any other seed we know of. The full universe germinated from this cosmic seed, just like a rose plant comes out from a rose seed.
1. The cosmic seed body is the sum total of all the individual seed bodies. You have a seed body, I have a seed body, every living being has a seed body. In fact, every object (living + nonliving) in the universe has a seed body. Each individual seed body has a blueprint which is based on its history. Some of the information contained in each seed body is as follows:
- Past history
- Personality traits or vasanas
- Pending karmas, which still need to fructify
The cosmic seed body is the cumulative total of all the past histories, personality traits, and pending karmas. Based on this totality, the cosmic body has an inbuilt blueprint, having all the required information about the universe, right from its birth to its end. The information of all the galaxies, stars, planets, living beings, etc. is all stored in the cosmic seed body. All this is present in the cosmic seed body.
2. The cosmic seed body is a fully functioning universe of individual seed bodies. It is almost impossible to speculate how this seed body universe functions. Knowing Nature, it must be well regulated and well organized. It must be understood that the seed body is not a physical thing. It is very subtle. It is even more subtle than the subtle body like the mind. As we have shown, the tiny point was the cosmic seed body. This cosmic seed body is not a physical entity. It is a subtle entity. Add soil and water, any plant seed will start to germinate. In the same way, the cosmic seed body is waiting to germinate.
4. Big Bang—A Fresh Perspective
The Big Bang really happened when the cosmic seed body started to germinate. Just like a plant shoot starts coming out of a seed, in the same way the cosmic seed body started to germinate under the right conditions. Nobody knows what these right conditions were. One can only speculate. One thing is certain, it did happen because the cosmic seed body started to germinate with the Big Bang.
What came out of the cosmic seed body? This cosmic seed body germinated and grew into the subtle body and gross body to play out the blueprint that was contained within. The seed body is the driving force and is the cause of the creation of the subtle body and the gross body. The seed body is the source of everything in the universe.
For living beings, the mind is the subtle body and comes out of the individual seed bodies. The mind is made up of waveforms called vrittis (vritti means “whirlpool”), just like the waves in a pond. All the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions coming from various sources like the senses, emotions, and memories are waveforms in the mind.
Just like there is a subtle body for living beings, there is also a cosmic subtle body for the universe. In Vedanta, the term for the cosmic subtle body is Hiranyagarbha. In Sanskrit, this means “golden egg.” A “golden egg” from which the physical universe manifests. The cosmic subtle body is made up of vrittis representing all the individual minds. Also, all the vrittis representing individual objects, galaxies, stars, planets, etc. are present within the cosmic subtle body. Nothing is missed out. You can only imagine the complexity of the waveforms or vrittis within the cosmic subtle body.
As the universe grows, new waveforms are being created and existing waveforms are being updated, increasing the complexity of the cosmic waveform. The object waveforms within the cosmic waveform interact with each other to play out the blueprint of individual objects. If you think about it, there is a fully functioning universe made up of cosmic waveforms. The substratum of these waveforms is Intelligence—it is made up of Intelligence. These intelligent waveforms are smart and know what they are doing.
Need for Observer?
To see the physical universe, you need an observer. Without an observer, there is no physical universe; there is only the subtle universe made up of waveforms. This does sound strange, but it is a fact. We are so used to seeing the physical universe “out there” that we do not think about this issue.
Let us take an example. You are looking at the tree in front of you. This tree is a physical tree; there is no doubt about this. Now, you turn your back to the tree so that you can no longer see it. The question to ask is: does the physical tree exist? Interesting question. You cannot be sure because you do not see the tree. Observation is a must for the existence of the tree or any physical object. It does mean that the observer is a prerequisite for observing any physical object. If your back is toward the tree, it does seem that the tree does not exist in the physical form. This applies to all physical objects you do not see or perceive. A question: what is the format of the objects which you do not observe? It cannot be physical, so the only correct answer is that all objects that are not seen physically exist as vrittis in the mind. They exist as waveforms in the subtle body. This explanation is supported by quantum physics. Quantum physics teaches us that every object in the universe has a particle and wave duality. This matches with the teaching of Vedanta—subtle objects (wave) and physical objects (particle). Quantum physics also confirms that the wave collapses in the presence of an observer.
It does seem that, in the presence of the observer, the vrittis collapse to become the physical universe. That is why the observer is a prerequisite for any physical object. Let us apply this logic to the Big Bang moment. Was there an observer at the time of the Big Bang to witness the physical explosion of the tiny point? The most likely answer is that there was no observer present at the time of the Big Bang. What does this mean? Since there was no observer, it means that there was no physical object at the time of the Big Bang—only the subtle universe made up of waveforms was present. This logic does indicate that the physical blowup at the Big Bang moment never happened. What really happened at the Big Bang moment is that the cosmic seed body started to germinate, and the cosmic subtle body started to play out the blueprint. Only when individual minds with observers were available did the physical universe start to manifest itself. When was the first observer available to perceive the universe? No one knows.
The interesting conclusion is that the Big Bang as described by science never happened because there was no observer to see the explosion. As explained, without an observer there cannot be any physical universe. What really happened was that the cosmic seed body started to germinate within the cosmic subtle body at the time of the Big Bang. The cosmic seed body continues to play out the blueprint within the cosmic subtle body. The individual observer collapses a portion of the cosmic waveform to experience the physical universe “out there.” Please note, the individual observer collapses only a portion, never the entire cosmic waveform. This is a fact because no one can perceive the entire universe in one shot; one perceives just a small portion at any given time.