Updated: January 25, 2024
Vigyan Bhairava Tantra The verse says that the ultimate reality of Bhairava cannot be known in terms of space or direction, nor it can be understood by any attribute or designation. Ultimate reality is incomprehensible and appears in infinite forms, whatever we might call those infinite forms. Maya, illusions, projections, fluctuations in the deeper reality, the universe experiences itself in infinite ways, infinite forms and phenomena. So let's try and do a little reflection on this idea. OK. And also try to understand how we are the creators of the conceptual universe.
So let's maybe take the example of water. Water in the ocean. Water as a whirlpool water as a glacier water as statues made by ice water jars made of ice with the water inside and the water jars are floating in the ocean. And then I also think of water vapor and think of rainbows. And let's see how innumerable appearances arise from one reality, from one reality. So when we take the example of water, for example, the atomic structure of hydrogen and oxygen, then that implies the arrangement of protons, neutrons and electrons according to the current scientific model. And according to that model, my hydrogen has one proton one electron while oxygen has eight protons, eight neutrons and eight electrons. And each of these gasses, hydrogen and oxygen are inflammable. They can be used to create fire. Yet, when you combine them, then they put out the fire as water, hydrogen and oxygen are inflammable gasses because they can react with oxygen and other oxidizing agents to produce heat and light water.
On the other hand, is anti-inflammatory because it is a product of the combustion reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. And it does not react further with oxygen or other substances. Why water puts out fire and oxygen and, and hydrogen which make up the water create fire? Why that happens? You can come up with all explanations of how but why that happens is actually a qualia miracle. One creates fire and one puts out the fire. And furthermore, these atoms are made of gluons and quarks and quarks are the fundamental components of subatomic particles, which in turn are, you know, force carrying particles that bind quarks together by the strong force.
That is gluons are the force carrying particles. And a neutron consists of three quarks. Two, what are called down quarks and one up quark, the quarks are held together by gluons that constantly exchange color charge between them, et cetera, et cetera. Now are these elementary particles that make say hydrogen oxygen, other elements, everything from uranium to you know, to carbon are these particles actually the ones that make up all the elementary particles, all the elementary particles on the periodic table, are they actually physical structures? And according to current theory in science, this is not really fully settled as a question.
The standard model of particle physics says that elementary particles are the smallest and simplest constituent of matter and energy and they are not composed of other particles. However, some physicists have proposed that elementary particles may have an internal structure or substructure, which is much smaller and currently not accessible to our perceptual apparatus even through sophisticated instruments. So we cannot definitely say that particles are physical structures but particles do have mass and energy and one when they're unmeasured, they exist as waves. So does that imply the creation of matter from nothingness? So this question has been debated by scientists and philosophers and theologians for centuries. And right now, there are many different ways of understanding what it means to create matter from nothing and different perspectives on whether it is possible or not for nothing to become everything because that's where the way it seems. One way of understanding matter creation from nothing is based on the doctrine of Creatio ex nihilo which means creation out of nothing in Latin. And this is the belief that matter is not eternal but had to be created by some other Divine Creative Act.
Frequently referred to as God, this is a theistic answer to the question of how the universe comes to exist. And it implies that God is the ultimate source of everything that exists. Another way of understanding matter creation from nothing is of course based on the theory of quantum mechanics, which describes the behavior of particles and energy at the smallest scales. And according to quantum mechanics, particles can appear and disappear spontaneously in empty space as long as they obey certain conservation laws. So this is known as quantum fluctuations, quantum fluctuations are the impermanent appearance and disappearance of virtual particles that arise from a quantum field and that these arise and disappear based on something called the the uncertainty principle.
And this also implies that matter can emerge from nothing without violating so-called natural laws. However, this does not explain how the universe as a whole came into being or where there is more matter than antimatter in the universe. There's a third way to understanding matter creation from nothing. And it's based on the current theories of cosmology which studies cosmology studies the universe as presumably beginning with a Big Bang, a state of extremely high density and temperature where all matter and energy were compressed into a single point. This point also known as singularity is considered is considered to be a boundary of space time beyond which our physical laws break down. And therefore, it is not clear what caused the Big Bang or what existed before it.
Some cosmologists have proposed that the Big Bang was triggered by quantum fluctuations or that it was preceded by another universe or a multiverse. So all these hypotheses imply matter creation from nothing. And there are different ways of explaining how nothing becomes everything. Now going back to the verse in in the, in the tantras, you know, in the Vigyan Bhairava Tantra it says the ultimate reality of Bhairava cannot be measured in terms of space or direction, nor it can be understood by any attribute or designation.
Now, going back to our example of water and the rainbow, you know, the rainbow is an interaction between photons and water, water vapor, but photons are elementary particles too. So what the heck is going on are elementary particles experiencing themselves as the rainbow, as the whirlpool, as the ocean, as the ice cubes, as the statues made of ice, as the innumerable jars made of ice floating in an ocean of water and riding along whirlpools. Is it all one thing on one non thing? And you know, we took the example of hydrogen and oxygen, but you could take any atom and you come to the same same conclusion.
What is that conclusion that everything that we call the physical universe and that includes our bodies with their minds comes from a singularity that cannot be conceived or perceived but gives rise to infinite modes of perception and cognition in infinite, almost infinite species, too, too numerous to count that are all ultimately coming out of nothingness, nothing less. And so nothingness is the multiverse, nothingness creates the multiverse. And you and I are one aspect of that nothingness looking at itself in a totally unique way out of infinite ways you or the universe looking at itself in a unique way. Nobody has that experience other than you, the unique experience of the universe. No one. And who is that you, you are the singularity experiencing itself in a combination of qualia experiences that is totally unique to you.
So isn't that's almost an incomprehensible mystery but no matter which model, you try to understand the truth of this verse comes through that the ultimate reality is inconceivable and not perceivable but gives rise to infinite modes of conception and perception. Knowing this is freedom, by the way, knowing this is freedom. It is the meaning of Aham Brahmasmi, you are the universe..