Wednesday, February 6, 2013



Enquiring minds have always questions regarding the origin of this fascinating universe and the mind behind its functioning and upkeep. This is evident from scriptures wherein extensive discussions are featured on these topics. But because of this metaphysical and mystical nature of the subject matter, the use of symbolic expressions becomes inevitable.
Symbols cannot be understood literally and many of the Upanishadic statements give room for different interpretations because of their deep and hidden meanings. Lord Krishna says that all created beings are compulsorily subject to the changes that the body undergoes. There is no escape from this fact. So, the wise do not grieve over the changes the body undergoes through childhood, youth and age. One who is not troubled by the interlacing changes of pain and pleasure caused by contact with the sensory world is described as a realized soul.

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad while explaining the process of creation states Brahman is the cause of the universe in a unique way for it is the Brahman’s body (universe) that changes into the infinite variety in creation. The Supreme Brahman manifests as the entire universe (sthula sarira) at the time of creation (srishti) and in a subtle form (Sookshma sarira) at the time of dissolution (pralaya). In both states the entire range of creation is with Him. In the manifested form are present the differences caused by name, form, tendencies etc.

All religious philosophies discuss the following topics and give their own views on them:

* The theory of the creation of the Universe--the secret or the mystery of creation is perhaps the starting point of the Spiritual Quest.

*What existed before the universe was created and its nature.

*Human being the microcosm and his relationship with macrocosm, the universe and the creator.

*Soul and what happens to it after death.

February 2009 marked the 200th Birthday of Darwin, whose Theory of Evolution remains controversial amongst Christian religious authorities, who earlier closed all doors to his Theory of Evolution. Religious authorities are now debating whether man was evolved or was created by the higher being. Americans who are predominantly Christians have mixed feelings about evolution. 39 percent surveyed in a gallop poll say that they believe in evolution and only 24 percent surveyed say that they do not believe in evolution. Some 36 percent say that they have no opinion about it. No such gallop poll has taken place amongst Hindus in India.

Ham’s creation museum depicts human beings and dinosaurs living together. Many people dismiss the idea of dinosaurs and humans coexisting. They call it scientifically impossible. According to Bhaagavata Puraana, Brahma impelled by Naaraayana, gave eleven names and eleven forms to Rudra his creation. He gave to each one of these a wife and a habitation and requested them to procreate. The three worlds were soon full of the fierce-looking progeny of Rudra, similar to dinosaurs or demons which filled Brahma with alarm. Thereupon Brahma ordered Rudra to stop procreating and took himself to austerity for the good of the world. Thus there is an indication that there was some sort of monstrous creation earlier which might have coexisted for some time with the latter pleasant creations that evolved for the good of the world.

In Ramayana, in Aranya kaanda, Canto XIV, Slokas 4-33, describe the origin of animates in the past. Accordingly, deer, lion, monkeys and baboons etc are all the progenies of Rishis who had access to both human world and the divine world. Manu, wife of Kashyapa, the divine Rishi gave birth to man. Sruti texts also reveal men from various walks of life—Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras also originated from the different parts of the manifested form of Supreme Spirit, called Virat Puruhs besides other things. This suggests simultaneous and independent creation of animates from identical sources.

If scriptures are wrong about how the world was created, then it must be wrong about everything else said in the scriptures taking away our strong belief in scriptural authority. Upanishads say that the Supreme Spirit is the ultimate cause of this Universe and everything else is dependent upon that one Supreme cause. The Universe was created in a systematic manner according to the will of that Supreme Spirit. All these entities viz., man, matter, time and the celestial abode are dependent upon the will of Supreme Spirit and one has to realize his subservience to that Supreme Spirit. Vedic Rishis believed Supreme spirit is a Spirit of great imagination. Hindus believe that Supreme Spirit is still working and moving and changing the focus of human lives in elevating the spirit in each individual called Jeevaatman, until its absolute union with the Supreme Spirit. Upanishads say that the Supreme Spirit having created the world entered into it as Antaryamin (inner controlling spirit) called Jeevaatman in individuals. This world continues to be in the Supreme Spirit after being created out of it and will merge back in it at the time of Pralaya or dissolution or liberation.

It took 400 years for the Catholic Church to admit Galileo was right. Darwin’s “On the origin of Species” was published in 1859, only 150 years ago. At present hundreds of churches, as a part of Evolution week-end, are revisiting the question of whether man was evolved or created by a Higher Being. The conflict between evolution and divine imagination in creating man is unlikely to be resolved any time too soon. God’s gifts are human minds capable of critical thinking, and the failure to employ this fully is a rejection of the creative power of the Supreme Spirit. Today we have the artificial intelligence far superior to human intelligence in many ways but the fact of the matter is that this is rooted in the human invention by the mind gifted by the Supreme Spirit. Science accepts superiority of human intelligence but not its source.

Hinduism has no conflict with Darwin’s theory of evolution. Scholars believe that the ten incarnations of Vishnu, popularly known as Dasaavataara depict the evolution of life on earth comparing it with the recent evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin:
Epoch Incarnation Darwin’s theory
1 Krita Yuga Fish(Matsya) Life starts in water 600 million to 400 million years ago
2 Krita Yuga Tortoise (Koorma) First amphibian emerges 100 million yrs. ago
3 Krita Yuga Boar (Varaaha) First mammals evolve 60 million yrs. ago
4 Krita Yuga Man-Lion (Narasimha) Our earliest ancestor (Half Man-Half Lion)
5 Krita Yuga Dwarf man (Vaamana) Homo Erectus, upright, yet weaponless
(5-2 million years ago)
6 Tretaa Yuga Man with an axe(Parashurama) Bronze Age; the coming of Ramapithecus; Development of the first weapons, such as the axe. Homo-sapiens--35,000 to 100,000 yrs ago
7 Tretaa Yuga Raama Fully evolved human being
8 Dwapara Yuga Balarama Man with weaponry and agricultural skills
9 Dwapara Yuga Krishna, author of Geeta Man of wisdom with histrionic talents
10 End of Kaliyuga Kalki Yet to come. Marks the end of the present cycle of creation

The avataaras of Rama, Balarama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki can be seen as the continuous process of mental, moral, intellectual and spiritual development of humanity
Klaus K. Kolstenmeier in his survey of Hinduism says: “The three steps of the Vedic Vishnu Trivikrama are philosophically interpreted as symbolic of Vishnu’s transcendence of the most intense human beings”.
Patanjali, the author of the Yoga system of religious philosophy, speaks of the transformation of one genus or species into another. In Sanskrit it is called Jyaatyantara-parinaama. According to him, one genus or species potentially has the ability to evolve into another genus or species when changing circumstances create a suitable environment for such evolution.
One theory states that an embryo of a fish, a pig and human being are all alike. Only timely transformation makes one fish, another pig and another human being—The Embryonic Theory of Earnest Heckle 1860. Of course, this theory is disputed by many.
Dr. Michael Mosley in his recent BBC talk on “Anatomical Clues to Human Evolution from Fish” states “It may seem strange that humans have evolved from fish, but the evidence can be found not just in fossils but also with our own bodies. If you watch closely the video picture of the face developing from a one-month-old embryo to an age of 10 weeks, you will see that the human face is actually formed of three main sections which rotate and come together in an unborn fetus. The way this happens only really makes the sense when you realize that strange though it may sound we are actually descended from fish. The early human embryo looks very similar to the embryo of any other mammal, bird or amphibian, all of which evolved from fish—1. Your eyes start out on the sides of your head, but then move to the middle; 2) the top lip along with the jaw and palate started life as gill-like structures on your neck; and 3) your nostrils and the middle part of your lip come down from the top of your head”.
Science tells us that early life forms on earth were fish or aquatic animals. Then, amphibians such as turtles came. They were followed by animals like boars. After them the first ancestors of man made their appearance. Not quite human; they were a combination of both man and animal. Gradually they evolved into human beings.
The process of repeated creation, continuance and dissolution of the universe goes on for ever and ever in cycles of Kalpa, according to Hindu mythology. One Kalpa is equal to 4,320,000,000 human years.
It is the most remarkable and significant fact of a Universe which started without Consciousness and without individuality in an undifferentiated Universe, the material Universe. Millions of star-clusters from millions of galaxies are inscrutably silent except for one small sized planet (earth), of the medium sized star (the Sun). Whole immensity of Universe shows no sign of life anywhere, and that is from the beginning of our Cosmos since the mysterious moment of Big Bang. Even on the earth, life suddenly sprouted in the recent past and went on flourishing with prolific variety. Everything in this planet of earth organized itself in “units” whether as individual animals or plants or as individual human beings. This remains a big mystery to both religious thinkers and scientists. NASA reported discovery of water on Mars surface in January 2004, which gives possibility of living beings in Mars. Again in August this year Rover “Curiosity” has landed on the red planet Mars to investigate the existence of any microbial life on the planet encouraged by their earlier findings of traces of water. This shows how our knowledge is very limited and confined to planet earth only.
Some of the modern experiments on several extra-ordinary phenomena associated with human Consciousness give clues to science about the presence of unknown forms of energy that show the characteristics of consciousness. Werner Heisenberg one of the founders of nuclear physics, while referring to life says: “Their existence certainly does not indicate the presence of any fundamental substance other than energy, but it shows only action of other kinds of forms which we cannot match with the mathematical form of modern physics. It follows that the mathematical structures of atomic physics are limited in their applicability to certain fields of experience and if we want to describe living or mental process we shall have to introduce yet other concepts which can be linked without contradictions with our existing systems of concepts.
According to one Upanishad, in the beginning the Supreme Spirit alone existed, popularly known as Nirguna Brahman, as the One without a second. It decided to become many. It then created out of itself, Sky, Space or Ether (Aakaasa), Air (Vaayu), Fire (Agni or Tejas), Water (Aap) and earth (Prithvi). A permutation and combination of these five elements with the Supreme Spirit associated with it at every stage has resulted in this world. According to other descriptions in the Upanishads, the original substances created were only three—Tejas(fire), Apaha (water) and Anna (earth), or even two Raayi (matter) and Praana (Sun or fire or energy or spirit). By a combination of these in different proportions the world came into being, the process of Becoming from the Being. It is even under the control of the Supreme spirit, nay, it is no different from him.
According to Hindu scriptures Earth (Kshiti) stands for solids; water (aap) for all liquids; air (vaayu) for all gases; fire (agni) for all visible light and heat and ether (aakaasa) for all pervasive subtle medium through which light waves etc. pass.
The order of evolution from ether to earth does not contradict any of the findings of science. Evolution of the Universe, as science has been able to trace so far, starts from the Nebulas, which is described as a gaseous substance radiating heat and light. The starting point of the scientists, therefore, is a state when according to Hinduism, both air and fire, have come into existence. The process of planet building according to science starts with a separation of masses from the Nebula and is followed by gradual condensation of the detached masses. It is to be noted that the gases (Vaayu) first condenses into liquid (Aap), and then into solid (Kshiti). This is also the order suggested by the Hindu scriptural idea of Evolution.
In the Western World, Religious followers of Christianity, have absolute faith in what is given in the Book of Genesis of the Holy Bible on the subject of Evolution. The first chapter of Genesis says that God created the World in six days and that God created the first two human beings Adam and Eve. He made Adam from dust, thereby implying elements, and Eve from the Adam’s ribs, a secondary product from base elements. The first chapter of Genesis is a rather evolutionary perspective if the six days’ business is considered. You have got the light and the dark, the water and the supporting ground, and the plants and the animals, and the human beings, restricting his handy-work to this small planet, Earth of the medium star, Sun. The rest of the universe remains a big mystery or under investigation by science. Purushasookta of Rigveda says, that we know only one fourth of the Supreme Spirit and three-fourths of it is unknown.

Various Upanishads are not related to the practice and ideology of the particular Veda and therefore hold independent views. Upanishads embrace some of the evolution theories enunciated by modern scientists, on the subject of systematic manner of creation of the Universe—the Darkness and the Light, the Space, the Air, the Water, the Fire, the Earth, the Plants and Animals, and the Human Beings with superior intelligence. In the Upanishadic view human body consists of the five elements, space, air, fire, water and earth that can be called Chetana, bio-electricity. The scientists’ earlier division of the world into elements and their atoms has become meaningless. The atoms are no longer held as ultimate constituents of matter. They have been resolved into energy units. In the analytical approach of a physicist matter has become dematerialized. The findings of modern science confirm the Hindu scriptural view of nature. The five elements in fact are the controlled electricity of the body. The elements being creations roll back during deluge (Pralaya)—earth gets dissolved in water which gets heated up by fire, evaporates into air which disappears in space. Upanishads say, Air is born from Space; from Air Fire; from fire Water; from Water Earth; from Earth Herbs and Food; and, from Food Man. Universe is made up of gross, subtle and casual matter. In gross form, it is elemental, uncompounded and unorganized form which after compounding becomes organized and gives rise to organic life like herbs, food animals, birds, human beings etc.

Evolution of the universe is the process based on the knowledge of the various stages of manifestation of the physical universe from its subtlest source, Supreme Spirit. Hindu philosophy presents the Panchabhootas, as the basis of the manifested universe. They are often grossly mistaken as five separate materials. The word “bhoota’ literally means what has come into being, an entity opposed to the un-manifested (avyakta). Tanmatras means ‘that alone’; hence it stands for an elementary bhoota so long it is not mixed up with others. Upanishads present them clearly as above as five stages of evolution from the subtlest physical energy fields such as 1. Aakaasha (space), originating from Chid-aakaasha, space of sublime Intelligence. Aakaasha gives rise to a grosser, yet subtle field of gaseous matter represented by 2. Vaayu (Air), and at this stage evolves active phase of chemical interaction represented by 3. Agni (fire element), and from this phase emerges grosser liquid matter, signified by 4. Aapah (water) from which state forms the grossest 5. Prithvi (Earth), the solid matter.

There is something strange about these elements. Looking at the electron configuration of all the elements, beginning with the first element, Earth—solid and ending with Aakaasha, Space one can see gradual increase of free electrons in the atomic structure of the elements. Probably the Hindu sages knew something about the variation of free electrons in the atomic structure of these elements. According to Hinduism, at the time of Pralaya the manifested universe will break down into its elements and it will stay in that state until another universe is born and life begins again.

According to Sankhya school of thought, the subtle Panchabhootas are evolved out of three extremely subtle and intangible substances called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Bhagavadgita also says: “There is no such entity in this world or in heaven, where Devas live with shiny bodies, which can be free from the three Gunas born of Prakriti, the material cause (Nature)”, 18-40. “Spiritual Being (Purusha) enjoys three modes (gunas) of material nature by associating with Prakriti. Attachment to the Gunas (due to ignorance caused by the previous Karma) is the cause of birth of the living entity (Jeeva) in good and evil wombs (13-21)”. Before the creation these Gunas are in a state of equilibrium. When they start intermingling and overlapping the state of harmony is lost and creation starts. As a consequence Panchabhootas evolved first.

One may wonder how extremely subtle Gunas through the process of evolution can become the tangible world? Its possibility can be corroborated by the modern physics, which says that something as subtle as energy can be transformed into solid matter. Some physicists are also of the opinion that the primary building blocks of this manifold universe are most probably three types of extremely subtle quarks, a particle that carries a fractional electric charge, a word coined by Murray Gell Mann, an American Physicist in1964.

The nucleus of every normal human cell contains twenty three pairs of chromosomes each of which is a threadlike structure made up of about eighty thousand genes. Since 1953, we know that these genes are made up of DNA (double helix molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid) and at regular intervals along a strand of DNA, one of just four nitrogen based chemicals are attached. These chemicals, abbreviated A, G, C and T are the letters of the genetic code. But science still does not know exactly how this genetic code works, and scientists are still working on methods to properly sequence them. It is hoped that understanding the genetic codes will lay the groundwork for conquering most of the diseases and also solving many of the riddles of life.

Rigvedic Hymn in the tenth Mandala recognizes that this Universe is orderly and that it has a real being. Orderliness (Ritam) and Being-ness (Satyam), emanated from the action of mystic heat (Tapas); then the darkness of the night came into being, from that oceans, and, from the oceans the time-principle (Samvatsara-Year), and the last, the Universe proceeded by this division, day and night. Mystic heat, for Aghamarshana, was the generative urge, the urge to manifest, multiply and concretize. It is this urge that transformed Being to Becoming, unspeakable and unknown unity into the visible multiplicity that we call our world. At the back of it all is “Order” (Rita). This was important discovery; that the Universe is founded on Law (Rita) and that it evolved in an orderly way. Here again, we find not much contradiction between the spiritual and scientific thinking.

It was this discovery that minimized the role of the apparently capricious gods of the early Vedic period and helped India develop not only a philosophy altogether independent of the pantheon, but also an ethics likewise free from theistic influence appealing to scientists.

Purushasookta of Rigveda Samhita describes that Vishnu’s body forms the entire Universe. Also Bhagavadgeeta demonstrates the above fact in the portrayal of Viswaroopa by Lord Krishna. The Supreme Spirit transforms its body into the animate and inanimate objects of the world. This thought gave room to the theory that the Supreme Spirit is the inner controller or Antaryaami in the Vedanta. Science also postulates that out of potential energy matter and life busted forth. The word Vishnu means all pervading in Sanskrit. This can be applied to the Sun god who is everything and contained in everything.

Brihadarayaka Upanishad says the world in the beginning was un-manifest and undifferentiated. There was only the Supreme Spirit perhaps the Primordial Energy, and nothing else besides. The Supreme Spirit was lonely and had no delight. It was in need of company. Then it desired and the desire was indeed great. It immediately became large as if a man and woman were locked in embrace. Being great, it split into two pieces, one was male and the other was female. The female hid herself. But the male insisted on getting at her. In this drama of female withdrawal and male aggression the entire creation came into being. Upanishads indicate there are a male as well as a female component in each individual. The concept of Ardhanaareeswara in Puranas emanated from this.

Before creation, the entire universe was within the body of Purusha or Prajaapati or Virat, undifferentiated from him. He desired for a mate. As a result of his will, he projected out of himself another entity and the female Sataroopa. By their union, not only in the human form, but also in various other forms, all living beings, as described later in Puranas, up to an ant, were created. He, however remained as he was, unaffected. He then realized that the created universe of beings was also he. Later, he created the gods like Agni. Then classification of the gods was made. Agni is Brahmana, the learned class. Indra, Varuna, Soma, Yama and Eesaana are Kshatriyas, the warrior Class. Vasus, Rudras and Aaadityas are Vaisyas, the business class. Poosaan is a Soodra, the working class. The human beings were born out of these four classes of gods and so differed in skills and aptitudes. The Purusha or the Supreme Being also created Dharma or Righteousness (the Cosmic Law) to regulate them all.

Supreme Spirit or Consciousness (Paramaatman) manifests itself as both energy and matter. Matter and energy are nothing but condensed form of Consciousness. According to Einstein, mind and matter are both energies or Praana. Sri Ramana Maharshi said: “The mind is a form of energy. It manifests itself as the world”. Energy is the physical ultimate of matter. All matter is relatively stable form of energy; they last for sometime and appear as energy. Universe is a manifestation of that energy. The sum total of the energy in a substance is always the same. The potential energy is converted to kinetic energy and made use of. Thus we can only change or transform the potential into kinetic but the total energy is constant, only its form is different. Energy is limited manifestation of the Supreme Spirit. That which is manifest is supposed to be one fourth; but un-manifested is three fourths. Upanishads speak of the Supreme Spirit as the primordial energy which through its active forms (Virat Purusha) has undertaken systematic creation of this universe.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishd also declares in its famous Mantra: “That which lies beyond is Plenum (Full, undiminished)--that is primordial energy is full. That which appears as the universe here (kinetic manifestation) is also plenum, equally full and undiminished. Out from plenum, plenum arises. Plenum having been taken out of plenum, what remains is still the same (undiminished) plenum—Poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamaduchyate | poornasya poornamaadaaya poornameva avasishyate || This is in line with the domain of Biology—in the division of single vital cell to many. Here each new cell appears to have the same amount of material as the original one, apparently without any diminution, even when the original is divided many times over.

A wise Hindu philosopher once said human birth is rare; don't waste while you still live, meaning employ it usefully to evolve yourself towards liberation. The modern revolutionary scientists turn this fact inside out. The traditional view is that a human body is a collection of 10 trillion cells which are themselves products of 23000 genes. These numbers radically underestimate the truth. For in the nooks and canaries of every human being and especially in his or her guts, dwells the micro-biome--100 trillion bacteria of several hundred species bearing 3m non-human genes. Humans are not simple organisms but super organisms working together. Bacterial cells and genes are part of the body. These bugs are neither parasites nor passengers; they are members of a Community of which human host is a single dominating member. “Microbes maketh a man” according to science today! Upanishads say:“anoraneeyaam” and “antascharati bhooteshu” meaning smaller than the smallest and that which travels inside every being; can these be these micro-biomes which science talks about today?

You can now understand why our Rishis say the creation of human being and universe follow the same complex pattern. Humans are microcosm and universe is macrocosm. You can compare these two scientific revelations and draw your own conclusions. Are we to presume human liberation automatically involves all his or her Community members of micro-biomes as described above, for the scriptures say that aatman in all the beings are the same? When the Intelligent Creation took place of the seven rishis of highest intelligence and the Universe simultaneously these facts should have also existed and so it was left for the scientists to verify the facts predicted briefly by our sages in divine language. It also shows how insignificant our knowledge is today even though we claim so much to know as earth appears as one pixel in the whole Universe?

Modern science says that all phenomena are manifestation of a universal capacity which is referred to as Energy. But science is yet to gain an all-comprehensive understanding of what energy is. Supreme spirit is at once Intelligence and Energy. Hindu philosophy asserts that everything in the universe is nothing but the manifestation of the one Reality, Satyam, Being, the Supreme Spirit.

The elusive Higgs boson or God’s particle is at last found which gets the universe a little less mysterious and speculative. Higgs boson has two functions: one is to give mass; the other is to prevent the standard model from going into bananas. Physicists at Europe’s Large Hadron Collider confirmed the existence of the long theorized or physicist’s faith based Higgs boson or God’s Particle.

Time magazine came on July 23, 2012 with a sensational article “Faith and Physics in the Cathedral of Science”. The discovery of the Higgs boson is the latest instance in which mathematical equations were developed before the particle was found. The impetus for building the Large Hadron Collider so that the existence of such particles could be confirmed was the faith that theoretical physicists were correct--the faith that involved in advancing the understanding of how elementary particles and forces interact to form our universe. Then why not have faith in our Rishis who were no less scientific and who have come out with different postulations about creation some of which find a ready answer by way of modern scientific explanation. Of course Higgs is an atheist and is too well known unlike the least known Satyendra Bose connected with this research who may not be atheist. May be because of element of faith involved, this is known as God’s particle meaning the truth is known only to God, GOK. So there is nothing strange in our faith about Intelligent creation! The Truth described in Vedas stands for the particle and primordial energy for force. Rhythm in Vedas mentioned signifies orderliness with which particle and force were combined to form our universe.

We tend to consider a stone or metal as inert and lifeless. But today’s science knows that these are tremendously moving energy fields in them that are in a sort of web like relationship with the whole universe. Hindu philosophy compliments this by highlighting the fact that the stone and everything else are nothing but the manifestation of Paraasakti, the transcendental Supreme Brahman, which is at once Energy and Intelligence—Supreme Spirit in active phase.

Human life in the Vedic view has five fold functions. These are: 1. Appropriation (Praana); 2. Rejection or Elimination (Apaana); 3. Assimilation (Samaana); 4. Distribution (Vyaana) and 5. Regeneration (Udaana). As long as there is life in the body these are continually going on. To begin with, Life is a selective process. It appropriates, takes into the system, a certain quantity of material which it needs for building up and maintaining the organism which it operates. Material out of which this sprung up is called Panchbhootas or five elements. What is selected is further assimilated to that form (as for instance blood) in which it can be built into the system. This activity is compared to that of fire, namely combustion so that the result is said to rise up like seven fold flame. The fourth function is also apparent in that assimilated material such as blood, is distributed all over the body, by means of channels radiating from heart to every part of the body. The fifth type serves as link between life in the individual and the Life-universal from which it sprang up, called Brahman in the Vedic language. That function of life, as it were, carries us up to Brahman and enables us to have our stores of life daily regenerated (after deep sleep state) is the fifth function.

Ayurveda (Life-science of Early Indian Tradition and Indian medicine) is regarded as fifth Veda sometimes, but it is more appropriate to consider it as a supplementary Veda (Upa-veda). Ayurveda draws its strength from Sankhya Philosophy of Hindus in its concept of subtle body (Sookshma sareera or linga deha). Constituted by Consciousness, ego, eleven senses and five elements this body is said to survive physical body and transmigrate. In Ayurveda this body is composed of space, air, fire, water, earth and mind: it is also subtle and is carried from one life to another. The fetus is said to be formed as a result of father’s sperm (sattva) and the mother’s blood (rajas) coming together, but not until the subtle body has migrated into this union. While agreeing with Western medical sciences, it stretches beyond to unknown realms.

Important in Ayurveda is the notion of equivalence of macrocosm (Brahmaanda) with microcosm (Pindaanda). The structure of the Individual organism is essentially similar to the Universe. This refers to five primary elements (Panchbhootas) that enter into their composition: Earth (density, solidity); Water (cohesion, liquidity); Air (expansion, movement); Fire (light, heat) and, Aakaasa (space, extension). The body is as material and physical as the world around it:its growth, maturation, decay and disappearance follows the same natural laws. The primary elements combine and modify to produce and maintain inorganic as well as organic world. In the organic world however, the modifications assume a particular pattern, best illustrated in RNA and DNA, collagen, keratin etc., of the human body. The Ayurvedic theory applies equally to human beings as also to the lower animals or even plants about which Upanishads are silent as their thoughts were focused on the growth and spiritual elevation of human beings. There are branches of Ayurveda to treat elephants (Hastyaayurveda), Cows (Gavaayurveda) and horses (Asva-vaidyaka) and there is a discipline which specializes in maintaining and correcting the health of plants (Vrikshaayurveda).

With regard to the relationship between Brahman, the Creator and the World, two views seem to exist in the Upanishads. According to one view—known as Saprapanchavaada—since the world is an evolute of Brahman, it is also Brahman. The other view—called as Nishprapanchavaada—denies the world an existence of its own and asserts the existence of Brahman alone. Science declares independent existence of world from God, though many things remain unexplained scientifically.

Upanishads as indicated above postulate several Theories of Creation, like modern science. The various accounts of creation normally fall into three categories; through Triplicate (Trivrittikaarana) as in Chandogya Upanishad; through Quintuplicate as in Taittareeya Upanishad, and through Virat Purusha (manifested form of Supreme Spirit) in Mundaka and Aitreya Upanishad. Out of the several theories of creation given in the Upanishads, the one given in Mundaka appears to be more enigmatic, typical of Upanishads which needs the guidance of a learned teacher to unlock the secret message, if not inscrutable. It however falls in line with the three categories listed above. The theory of Creation as described in these Upanishads, are given in the Appendix for ready reference.

Charles Darwin’s book, the Origin of Species says, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely breakdown”. Last fifty years have revealed such an ultra-complex world of molecular machinery and cellular systems that Darwin’s Theory has broken down. The Vedas do not speak of Divine incarnations. Only in the much later Puranic period, their mention is made. Lord Krishna mentions about it in Bhagavadgeetaa (IV—7-8). The resemblance between the Divine Incarnations of the earlier period and evolving life forms on earth (from 47-millions-year-old Darwinius masillae to present day human being) is indeed quite striking.

Ancient Rishis and sages believed in the “Rhythm”, cosmic order and “Truth” and went in search of it. There experience is the real foundation of the magnificent edifice called Sanatana Dharma which is appealing to the scientific world more compared to the blind beliefs of many other religions. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Big Bang Theory, Cell Theory etc., appeal alike to scientists and spiritual thinkers of India. Many scientists agree, and see evidence of intelligent design of the Supreme Spirit in the molecules.

Modern sciences including Big Bang Theory opine that the Universe came into being with big explosion. There was nothing before this explosion, no space, no matter, no time. All the matter that exists today in our Universe and the laws of physics that govern our lives evolved out of this explosion. Sanaatana Dharma states that this creation of the Universe resulted from a great void and the creation of material from a primordial energy called Truth in an orderly fashion. This is in line with the Big Bang Theory postulations of the Universe coming into existence in an instant, along with slow accretion of stars and planets from the primordial gas cloud. Perhaps Big Bang Theory may be yet another story to be looked on as Creation myth by even more advanced culture or civilization that could come after ours!

Chaarvaka Darsanam (philosophy) denied the existence of God and Intelligent Creation and argued about the non-existence of God. Some scholars ascertain that Chaarvaka existed in the period beyond Ramayana. This philosophy argued that this world alone is true as also earth, water, light and air. Aakaasa the fifth element was denied. Knowledge was held as function of these four elements and that a body is born by a union of these four elements along with the Aatman. Aatman being connected with the body died when the body died. To those believers of this philosophy the universe was self-born and the idea of God was a product of one’s ignorance and inability to understand the world or science. This philosophy should be pleasing to those who oppose Intelligent Creation.

This lecture has been prepared for Vedanta Class of Sri Ganesha Temple drawing considerable help from following references by N.R. Srinivasan, Brentwood, TN.

1. JK Mukherjee, Mysteries of Death, Fate, Karma and Rebirth, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India.
2. Dr. S.K. Ramachandra Rao, Early Indian Thought, Kalpatharu Research Academy, Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Bangalore, India.
3. Bob Smietana, Darwin Still Divides Believers in the Bible, Tennessean, February, 09.
4. Dr. Anantarangacharya, Selections from the Upanishads, Bangalore, India
6. Swami Harshananda, The Ten Cardinal Upanishads, Ramakrishna Math, India
7. Viswanathan T.R., Sanatana Dharma, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan , Mumbai, India.
8. Swami Chinmayananda, Kathopanishad, Chinmaya Mission Trust, Mumbai, India.
9. Power in Temples, Integral Books, Anandashram, Kerala 671531, India.
10. Dr. M.K. Sridhar, Concept of Incarnation in Hinduism, Souvenir, 2004, The Hindu Temple, Atlanta.
11. S. Bhaskarananda, the Essentials of Hinduism, Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, India.



Truth (Sat meaning Supreme Spirit) alone existed before creation. Sat evolved into this world of names and forms through the three primary elements (Trivritteekarana); Fire (Tejas), Water (Aapaha) and Earth (Anna). All objects of creation including bodies of living beings have come out of these elements through permutation and combination.
Supreme Spirit is the ultimate cause of the world. This Supreme Spirit is Truth (Satya), Knowledge (Jnaana) and Infinite (Ananta). This Upanishad describes five types of Individual beings (Aaatman or Purushas)—Annamaya, Praanamaya, Manoemaya, Vijnaanamaya and Aanandamaya. They are actually the five aspects of the individual Self in bondage described as five Sheaths (Koshas) viz., the physical body, the vital airs and sense organs, the mind, the intellect and nescience responsible for bondage and transmigration. Supreme Spirit created this world out of itself and also entered into it as its inner-self.

This Upanishad says that in the beginning, that is, before the manifested world was created, it was all a state of non existence. From that Non-existent, Existent was born. From Supreme Spirit Space (Aakaasa) was born; from Space, Air (Vaayu) was born; from Air, Fire (Agni) was born; From Fire, Water (Aapah) was born; from Water, Earth

(Prithvi) was born; from Earth, herbs were born; from herbs, food was born; and from food, man was born. Thus, out of Supreme Spirit, five elements, food and up to the human being with five Koshas evolved. This process is known as Quintuplet (Pancheekarana).

First of all, the subtlest of the five elements, Space or Sky (Aakaasa) emerged from Truth (Supreme Spirit) and from it grosser element, the Air (Vaayu) came; a more grosser element Fire (Agni) came from Air; and a still more grosser element Water (Aapah) manifested itself from Fire; and the series ended with the grossest manifestation, the element Earth (Prithvi) coming out of Water. These five elements have been accepted as the fundamentals in the manifested world-of-matter by almost all the philosophers and scientists of the world, according to whom the entire pluralistic phenomenon is the endless variety of combinations and manipulations of these five great elements. It should be noted that this concept came from the earliest Vedic thoughts which was accepted by almost all philosophers and scientists of the world, long after the dawn of First Century. Out of the gross earth rose up the entire world of vegetation and animals, and among them herbs plants and trees are the basic food materials which can maintain the stamina of the individual. The food that is taken in large quantity by the man crystallizes into essence as the seed in him, and a seed fertilizing ovum in the womb of the woman grows into full maturity to be born as an individual called Purusha. Man again is made up of five sheaths as described above. This constitutes the Quintuplet (Pancheekarana) concept of Upanishads. This is also a reverse process on the disintegration of the body.

Prajaapati, the Lord of Creation, desirous of off-spring, performed Tapas (austerity in the form of intense concentration on the process of creation as done in his previous existence) and brought out (of himself) a pair, the Rayi and the Praana to produce creatures on his behalf. Rayi is matter and Praana is the sentient spirit. Rayi is identified with the Moon and Praana with the Sun. The Sun and Moon together are also responsible for the concept of Time. He first created Praana or Hiranyagarbha, the principle person, also called Sootaraatman, the totality of subtle creation. From this Praana others were evolved: Faith (Sraddha), Ether or Sky (Aakaasa), Air (Vaayu), Light or Fire (Jyoti), Water (Aapah), Earth (Prithvi) Sense Organs (Indriyas), Mind (manas), Food (Anna), Strength of Body (Veerya), Austerity (Tapas), Mantras (Vedas), Vedic Rituals (Karma) the various Worlds (Lokas) and Names of Objects of Creation (Naama). At the time of dissolution of the World all these get merged in Purusha even as rivers merge in the ocean.

The five elements like earth and water, mind and senses (at the cosmic level) as also Praana (vital air) are born out of Viraat Purusha, the Cosmic Being, manifested form of Supreme Spirit. All living beings—from the gods right up to animals and even inanimate objects—rivers, oceans, mountains and vegetation have been projected out of Him as revealed in Bhagavadgeeta in the form of Viraat Purusha.

This Upanishad presents an enigmatic description of Creation. In the beginning Supreme Spirit alone existed. He reflected, “Let me create the worlds”. Then he created four worlds; ambholoka (super celestial region of water), Mareechiloka (the heavens with their celestial lights), Maraloka (the mortal Earth) and Aapaloka (the subterranean region of water). Desiring to create protectors of these worlds, he proceeded to create first Viraat Purusha (World-person), an intermediate entity subsisting between Supreme Spirit and the Universe whom he fashioned out of water. From him proceeded the organs of senses, then their corresponding functions and lastly the deities or cosmic powers corresponding to such functions in the Cosmos. Supreme Spirit made Viraat Purusha subject to hunger and subsequently the deities born of him also became subject of the same limitations. On the request from the deities for a suitable locus from which they can act, he created the human body into which they gladly entered. Viraat Purusha along with deities created food articles like corn and animals. Since the body of the Viraat purusha could not live without the presence of the Supreme Spirit he entered into it through the Brahmarandra (the aperture in the crown of the head).

Prakriti (nature) is composed of three extremely subtle substances called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The process of creation starts when Prakriti borrows consciousness from Purusha and starts acting like conscious entity. Primordial matter, Prakriti becomes the world through the process of evolution. The first product is Mahat or cosmic Intellect. Cosmic ego or Ahankaara is the next product of Prakriti. There are three types of cosmic ego —Type 1 Ego in which the Sattva substance is predominant; Type 2 Ego in which Rajas substance is predominant; and Type 3 Ego in which Tamas substance is predominant. From the first substance, five sense organs, the five motor organs and the mind are evolved. From the third five physical substances called Tanmaatras are evolved. The second ego provides the energy to the first and the third to evolve. From the Tanmaatras the five gross elements (Mahaabhutas) are evolved— Space (Aakaasha), Air (Vaayu), fire (Agni), Water (Ap), and Earth (Prithvi). These elements mingle in different proportions following certain rules of permutation and combination and become the manifold Universe.

Eternal Being (Brahman) undergoes twenty-five basic transformations in the following order: Purusha (Spiritual Being, Chetana, Iswara) and the following twenty-four transformations of Adi Prakriti (Total Energy: Mahat) : Mind (Manas); Intellect (Buddhi); Thought Waves (Chitta), and The Conception of Individuality; the five basic elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) ; the five sense objects (sound, touch, sight, taste and smell); the five sense organs( ear, skin, eye, tongue, and nose); and the five organs of action (mouth, hand, leg, anus and urethra).

Mahat is known by various names based on functions performed in the body. It is called mind (Manas) when it feels and thinks; Intellect (Buddhi) when it reasons; Thought Waves (Chitta) when it does the act of remembering and wandering from one thought to another and Ego (Ahankara) when it has the feeling of doer-ship and individuality. These are called Antahkarana, the subtle senses. When Mahat does the functions in the body, it is called Bio-impulse (Vital Force, Praana)

One day of Hiranyagarbha’s life called Kalpa is equal to 4, 320, 000,000 (4.32 billon) human years. Cosmic evolution lasts for one Kalpa. This is followed by an equal period of dissolution. The process of repeated creation, continuance and dissolution of the universe goes on for ever by the will of the Supreme Spirit through the medium of Hiranyagarbha. By the will of the Supreme Spirit, another exalted mortal being appear as Hiranyagarbha by virtue of the extra-ordinary merits earned by him in the previous Kalpa or cycle of creation.
According to Puraanas, the latest revival of the earth planet was 1972 millions years ago. The existing human civilization was reestablished by Vaivaswata Manu 120.533 millions years ago.


Creation According to Hinduism
Posted by The Editor | Feb 20, 2012 | 956 views

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The Material Creation
The material creation in its very first stage is called Pradhana – the eternal, subtle, undifferentiated sum total of all material elements, the un-manifested eternal combination of the three modes of material nature.
Pradhana is sometimes also related to as Saguna-Brahman, since it is basically Brahman but with the presence of the three modes of material nature. Nevertheless, these modes do not yet clearly manifest causes and effects (SB 3.26.10).
The pradhana contains the following 24 elements in a dormant state:
– 5 subtle elements (sound, touch, form-color, taste)
– 5 gross elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth)
– 5 knowledge aquiring senses (ears, skin, eyes, tongue, nose)
– 5 working senses (tongue-mouth, hands, legs, genital, anus)
– 4 internal, subtle senses (mind, intelligence, ego, contaminated consciousness)
Time is considered to be the 25th element; it is the mixing and agitating element. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can be perceived as time (SB 3.26.11-18).
The pradhana or saguna-Brahman becomes then agitated by the time factor which represents the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus and by the influence of the three modes of material nature the creation comes to the level of mahat-tattva, or prakrti, where the elements actually can manifest themselves. The mahat-tattva is the breeding source of all varieties and brings forth all the different material bodies and material objects; it contains all the universes and is the root of all cosmic manifestations. The mahat-tattva is annihilated at the time of the annihilation, the end of Brahma’s life.
Next the Supreme Personality of Godhead impregnates the mahat-tattva with His internal potency which are the living entities. Agitated by the destinations of the conditioned souls the material nature, or mahat-tattva, delivers the cosmic intelligence (Hiranyamaya). The mahat-tattva is thus “lit up” by the sum total of the consciousness of all the conditioned souls (SB 3.26.19-20).
The Chaturvyuha expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, namely Sri Vasudeva, Sri Aniruddha, Sri Pradyumna and Sri Sankarshana occur and take charge of various aspects of the material creation.
In the beginning pure goodness, the Vasudeva stage of consciousness, prevails within the mahat-tattva. This point of creation is controlled by Sri Vasudeva, the Super-knower. Due to the pure goodness the consciousness has the qualities of complete serenity, clarity and freedom from any distraction; one is free from the infringement by material desires. Therefore one can see a reflection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and if one worships Sri Vasudeva one can come to the platform of pure goodness (suddha-sattva), thus understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead (SB 3.26.21).
Through the desire to enjoy and control separately from Krishna, the misuse of independence by the living entities which are impregnated into the material nature, material ego or false ego is caused to spring up from the mahat-tattva in pure goodness. This false ego is endowed with active power of three kind – good (serene), passionate (active), ignorant (dull). From the false ego in different modes of material nature mind, senses, elements as well as all the other ingredients and objects of the material nature are produced. Therefore every object within the material creation is seen as identical with false ego since it has the false ego as its source. Sri Sankarshana controls that false ego and in order to become free from it one is advised to worship Sri Sankarsana. He is worshipped through Lord Siva; the snakes which cover the body of Lord Shiva are representations of Sri Sankarsna, and Lord Shiva is always absorbed in meditation upon Sri Sankarshana (SB 3.26.23-24).
From the false ego in goodness come the controlling demigods as well as the mind. The mind has the quality of not being fixed; due to different kind of desires for sense gratification the mind rejects something as bad and accepts something else as good. The false ego in goodness is controlled by Sri Aniruddha. If one wants to get free from mental disturbances, one has to worship Sri Aniruddha. For this purpose, worship of the moon planet is also recommended in the Vedic literature (SB 3.26.26-27).
From the false ego in passion intelligence, living energy (prana), the five knowledge acquiring sense and the five working senses are created. Intelligence has five qualities: doubt, misapprehension, correct apprehension, memory and sleep. The function of intelligence is to ascertain the nature of an object and thus help the senses to make choices. The intelligence is supposed to control or guide the senses. By intelligence one can understand how things are and if intelligence is properly applied one’s consciousness becomes expanded. This begins with doubt, the first quality of intelligence. One doubts whether ones existence is spiritual or material. Doubt is a very important factor in developing intelligence, even though doubting is improper after receiving information from an authoritative source. Through proper analysis one then finds that things are different from what they seemed to be so far; thus misapprehension, the second quality of intelligence, is detected. Next, after eliminating the wrong understanding one can come to the proper conclusion; this is called correct apprehension, the third quality of intelligence. In this way by intelligence one can understands that one is not the body and one’s consciousness becomes expanded; expansion of consciousness culminates in pure Krishna-consciousness. Beyond the intelligence’s three qualities of doubt, misapprehension and correct apprehension there are also the qualities of memory and sleep. In order to keep the intelligence working properly one must sleep. For being fixed in one’s intelligence one has to worship Sri Pradyumna, who is reached through the worship of Lord Brahma.
Directly related to intelligence in their function are the knowledge acquiring senses which are: Ears, skin, eyes, nose and the tongue.
With the working senses action are performed; there are five working senses as well: Tongue (mouth, speaking), hands, legs, genitals and the anus.
Both, the knowledge acquiring senses and the working senses are depending on the living energy (vital energy, prana), which is also created from the false ego in the mode of passion. The more a person is influenced by the mode of passion the more he can accomplish and acquire. The Vedic scriptures recommend that if one wants to encourage a person in acquiring material possessions, one should also encourage him in sex life. Thus one can see that those who are addicted to sex life are also materially advanced. Sex life or passionate life is the impetus for the material advancement of civilization (SB 3.26.29).
From the false ego in ignorance the five subtle and gross elements, from whom all (perceivable) objects within the material world are made, become manifested; it is presided over by Sri Sankarsana. Therefore   persons who are very dull and very much absorbed in the gross material world worship Lord Shiva who is connected with Sri Sankarsana, in order to obtain gross material sense objects. When the false ego in ignorance is agitated by the sex energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, first the subtle element sound is manifested. The original and very first sound within the creation is the omkara, “OM”, being the sound representation of the Supreme Personality’s Brahman aspect. From sound comes the gross element ether as well as the sense of hearing. Sound has the quality of conveying the idea of an object; therefore it is considered to be the subtle form of an object. Further sound indicates the presence of a speaker, eventually screened form our view, and it also constitutes the subtle form of ether (SB 3.26.32-33).
Ether has the qualities of accommodating the room for external and internal existences of all living entities, the field of activity of the vital air, the senses and the mind.
Ether means room or space, and it evolves from sound vibration. Thus form the original sound vibration “om” the room was created within which the manifestation of the gross elements like air, fire, water and earth (the universe) can take place. In general the ether or sky gives accommodation to the room which the various material bodies of the living entities need for their external and internal existence. The internal existence of a living entity in the material world comprises of vital air (prana), senses and the mind. These ingredients require for their functioning subtle forms which are invisible and rest within ether. In this way ether accommodates the internal existence of the living entities within the material world. With external existence everything is meant that stands in relation with material objects which are external to the material body. By means of sound vibration, talking about a particular object, the subtle form of that object, which sound carries, is created within the mind. These subtle and invisible forms of material objects are given a room within the ether and this is called the external activity of ether. That within ether subtle, invisible forms of material sense objects can exist has been proven by modern science by transmission of television where forms as pictures are transmitted from one place to another by wireless means (SB 3.26.34). Thus it is seen that mental activities or psychological action in terms of thinking, feeling and willing are activities on the ethereal platform. This is very important in relation to the moment of death. On the basis of its reflections (which are influenced by sound vibrations) the mind generates desires for obtaining various sense objects. In fact these desires are unlimited and they all create subtle forms within ether. And of course, they all result in various bodies in order to enjoy these desired situations (desiring a sense object indirectly means desiring all the tools to enjoy it) which are accommodated in their subtle form within ether as well. In this way one can, and in fact by every minute’s desires one actually does create an unlimited number of bodies within the ether, all well equipped to become manifested on the gross level. At the moment when one particular body perishes the opportunity for one of all the subtle forms kept within ether arises to become manifested on the gross plane. This happens according to the level of contamination or desire which was most prominent within the mind at the moment of death. All this is described by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (8.5-8).
From the above it becomes clear that the evolution of various material elements is not something that takes place only once, at the moment of creation. The description of the primary creation is rather a general scheme by which matter is manifested in general, at the moment when creation starts as well as at any stage of the existence of the material manifestation. The difference is, however, that at the beginning of creation the sum total of each element was taken from a dormant state, the pradhana, and made available by the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas later, when the living entities “create” while pursuing various desires they simply receive supplies from that sum total of the material elements.
From ethereal existence, under the influence of time, the subtle element touch and thence air and the sense of touch become manifested.

 After creating subtle forms in the mind which are accommodated in the ether, time separates us from the manifestation of gross forms which we can touch. By the influence of the mode of passion, which is related to air (movement), we endeavor to manifest the form on the gross level. Our sense of proprietorship over action (passion) is due to the activity of air within the material body. Consequently, we will “get in touch” with the gross form of what now is a wishful thought in the mind in due course of time.

Creation started with vegetable kingdom followed by the animal kingdom and lastly human beings. These human beings were of Rajo Guna with incessant passion.  Finally came Seven Manasa putras (Mind born divines) followed by  Asuras, Bhairavas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas etc., described in Puranas.
All living beings were endowed with npower of reproduction so that the souls bound in the cycle of births and deaths could be born assuming new bodies. These jeevas took refuge in Supreme Being at Maha pralaya or great cataclysm. The Bhagawan or Supreme Being goes to Yoganidra then. When he wakes up he starts the whole process of Creation as before with Prakriti or primordial matter as nothing can be created without something—Yathapooravam akalpayat. This primordial matter contains in itself primary and subtle elements.   These subtle elements with the help of primary element   by a process of grossification result in   Microform as living beings and Macroform as the Universe.
This primordial matter undergoes constant change due to the interaction of three strands of nature called 

Sattva (lucidity), Rajas (dynamism) and Tamas (Endropy) and manifests itself in different forms and different names as per the will of the Supreme Being.
The first product of Prakriti is mahat or cosmic intellect. Ahankara or cosmic energy is the second product. From Sattava predominance evolve five sense organs and five motor organs and the mind. From the third Tamas predominance are evolved the five physical subtle essences called Tanmatras.  The second in which Rajas is predominant provides the energy to the first and third to evolve.
The five gross physical elements or Mahabhutas are evolved from the Tanmatras: 1) Akasa—the space element; 2) Vaayu---The Air element; 3) Agni—the fire element; 4) Aaapah—the Water element; 5) Kshiti or Prithve—the Earth element.  These elements mingle in different proportions following certain rules of permutation and combination and become the manifold universe.  Sabda (sound), Sparsa (touch), Rupa(form), Rasa(taste) and Gandha (smell) are also   developed from these Tanmatras.
According to Hindu Philosophy the status of all beings on Creation was one of Co-existence rather than Evolution. But Some Hindus in the past excited by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution   jumped to the conclusion that progressive incarnation from fish  to perfect human being of highest intelligence  was in accordance with  the Theory of Evolution.  But they forget the fact the earliest Avatara was that of Hayagrieva supported by Vajasaneya Samhita.  Today Scienc wehas come out with the theory that fungs could be the ancestor of Human Beings, This goes well with Hindu view point  of Creation supported by Upanishids--all  Sentient  came from Non-sentient  and the same Atman resides in all beings. We have the famous example of Ahalya emerging  out of stone when Rama’s feet touched stone.
Of course we often come across greater controversies in Western View-points also.   In the recent Movie Jurassic World the movie projects the doctrine all creatures evolving from one ancient creature.  The scientific finding refutes this notion as creatures reproduce within kinds. Dogs only make more dogs. Hinduism also supports this view. Another dangerous doctrine repeated in Jurassic World is it insists that this evolutionary process unfolded naturally over millions of years.  All living Beings started simultaneously and co-existed. Scientific findings refute this common concept too. Researchers keep finding original proteins and even intact tissues inside dinosaur fossils claimed to be over 65 million years old. DNA remnants inside dinosaur cells make the third finding. Archeologists have shown that neither proteins nor DNA should last even one million years. Research findings have plenty of evidences as to short-lived Carbon-14 in dinosaur fossils.  The movie explains how iron kept dinosaur protein from decaying. It is speculated that iron with one   chemical with hydroxyl group might   help to preserve proteins but many experiments show these chemicals destroy proteins. People are trying hard to disprove scriptural writings with all sorts of theories. Today as it stands Hindu philosophy on Creation conflates more with science than in other scriptures of modern religions.  In spite of some earlier statements to the contrary Vedas emphatically say the Sun never sets or rises.  This scientific revelation can also be found in Koran,  a later scripture. As history tells Arabs were in close touch with Hindu sages and were not strangers  to  many of their  science revelations and mathematics.

One notable feature in Hinduism is though it ascribes Creation to the Will of the Supreme this is done in a systematic manner at the end of each cataclysm  which we can  say is scientific.