Consciousness & Creation

The question of creation is a seductive question. I feel myself pulled to its promise of ultimate knowledge and the inconceivable challenge of the problem. But mostly because it offers such a wide canvas to splash my wild theories on.

There are as many creation myths as there are cultures. Seekers have compiled a list on Wikipedia, and I am tempted to read each entry and ponder over it. I have found the myth of genesis a little staid, perhaps because I have been overexposed to it in my catholic schooling and in a world dominated by Abrahamic stories.

Strangely enough, I haven’t heard a lot about The Hindu creation myths despite growing amongst devout Hindus. Like Buddhists, most Hindus around me have been less engaged with the cosmic questions, more with the life in front of them. And unlike Christianity, there is a multitude of creation stories in hinduism. (Ofcourse, we are not satisfied with one form or explanation of a truth)

There is a beautiful creation myth that I read recently which has captured my imagination. It is mentioned in the Brahma-purana, but what I write here is an indirect interpretation. In the story, Vishnu stirs out of his slumber, and a lotus rises from his navel on which Brahma sits. Brahma opens his eyes and becomes aware of his surroundings. In him, rises both a curiosity to know himself and a fear at being alone. In order to sense the world around him, he creates Sanat-kumars and Prajapatis and asks them to have children. The Prajapatis remind him that they need a wife to procreate, and Brahma splits into two to give rise to a woman. He is then enamoured with his own creation and chases the Goddess of his creation.

One dualist interpretation of this story is that what Brahma created was a not a world, but a consciousness of it. The world or the goddess, known as Prakriti or nature always existed, but Brahma created the Purusha who observed it. What we call creation, becomes in this story an awareness or discovery.

To me, the story of Brahma’s curiosity leading to creation is a fascinating one. Mainly because it puts curiosity, intellect and exploration at the heart of creation. This also means that the natural state is to revert from all intellect and go back to a dreamless slumber – and that sounds as exciting to me as being dead.

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