An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Cosmic Dance of Shiva: New Evidence

Here is some new evidence that Universe may be cyclical in the way it expands and contracts! The “Dance of Shiva” as Fritjof Capra talks of this phenomenon in “Tao of Physics”.

A cyclic universe, which bounces through a series of big bangs and “big crunches”, could solve the puzzle of our cosmological constant, physicists suggest.

The cosmological constant represents the energy of empty space, and is thought to be the most likely explanation for the observed speeding up of the expansion of the universe. But its measured value is a googol (1 followed by 100 zeroes) times smaller than that predicted by particle physics theories. It is a discrepancy that gives cosmologists a real headache.

In the 1980s, physicists considered the possibility that an initially large cosmological constant could decay down to the value measured today. But this theory was abandoned when calculations showed that it would take far longer than 14 billion years – the time since the big bang – for the constant to reach the level seen today.

I have found Vasishtha Yoga to have directly touched on this subject as it says:

“After Cosmic dissolution and before the next epoch dawned, the entire objective universe was in a state of perfect equilibrium”
“When the infinite vibrates, the worlds appear to emerge; when it does not vibrate, the worlds appear to submerge: even as when a firebrand is whilred fast a fiery circle appears, and when it is held steady the circle vanishes.”

There are two interlinked processes that are occuring to sustain the entire creation:

1. Creation and Dissolution: Its been called Shiva’s Dance or the Expansion and Contraction of the Universe.. the process however is unmistakeably similar. It occurs at the sub-atomic level and it occurs at the higher cosmic level. This process basically consists of the conversion that goes back and forth between Matter and Energy – subsiding in Potential Energy finally – the “Perfect Equilirium”.
2. Equilibrium within the Creation: The Creation once it has manifested is sustained on the foundation of the equilibrium between the opposites – the Positive and Negative, Good and Evil, Yin and Yang etc.

This is what Carl Sagan – the popular Astro-physicist – had said once:

The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still.

In a subsequent post I will talk about how in one of the scriptures (Srimad Bhagwat), an incident describes the effect of Theory of Relativity in an annectdotal illustration (kind of like that “Twins Paradox“).

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