Everything in our universe, from microcosm to macrocosm goes round in circles. Whether it be the planets which move around the Sun or the electrons of an atom that circle the nucleus.
Planets circling the Sun
Electrons revolve around Nucleus
In the Indian tradition life itself is cyclical, transmigrating from one body to another. It is aptly called Kala Chakra, as Time itself is cyclical.
Zeru, Shunya, Bindu
In Indian concept, Shunya, zero which is represented as a circle has great significance.
Mathematics has developed to what it is today, due to zero. This zero, Shunya, was one of India’s significant contribution to the world of Mathematics.
Many Millennia ago, the ancient Indian Rishis understood and expressed Zero as Shunya. Infact, the concept of Shunya existed in India, right from the time of Creation. Bindu is a point of singularity, also known as Hianyagarbha, from which the whole of Creation arose. Bindu is not exactly nothing, but consists of everything.
See our short film : Big Bang Cosmic Egg:
It is only after the acceptance of Indian numerals including zero that science in Europe grew in leaps and bounds.
Mathematics and Science have developed to what it is today, due to zero.
Albert Einstein was aware of the great contributions of India in the fields of science and mathematics, which made him declare,
Albert Einstein – A Caricature
More on this in our book, Brand Bharat – Roots in India.
Infinity and Adi Shesha
Apart from zero, infinity also has its origin in India. From one abstract concept of zero, Shunya, the Indian mind reached out to the abstract on other end of the spectrum which is the concept of Anantha, Infinity.
Narayana, the primordial divinity, who lies in the cosmic water in a quiescent state, is always depicted in a reclining form on the bed of a coiled snake called Adi Sesha in literature, sculpture and all other art forms.
Why is this coiled snake called Adi Sesha? Is there any scientific purport to this naming?
To unravel this enigma we should go to the understanding of the root of the word Adi Sesha.
“Adi” means prior or beginning and “Sesha” means remnants.
Thus Adisesha denotes the remains at the beginning, remnants of the previous creation.
Adisesha as a coiled serpent represents the endless cycles of creation and dissolution through its ability to uncoil and lengthen and coil back again or withdraw.
Adisesha and Narayana thus are symbolic of the state of the cosmos between any 2 successive cycles of creation.
The endlessness of these cycles have been brought forth through the name Anantha Sesha, also associated with the snake.
Anantha means infinite and there are well over infinite number of such cycles of creation and dissolution and recreation once again.
This Anantha and the symbol of the coiled serpent in this ancient Indian thought perhaps go to form the basis for the symbol ∞ for infinity and the root for the word infinite too.
Anantha and Infinity
All these are indicative of the cyclical nature of Creation, as against the linear concept propounded in the last hundred years.
The process of Creation is cyclical, a circle, whereby a universe is created, maintained and destroyed and then recreation happens again.
Purusha, Prakrithi and Triguna
While the Supreme Consciousness if represented as Purusha, Male, Creation is represented as Prakrithi, Female.
Prakriti represented as Woman
In the Ocean of Consciousness represented by the primordial waters in which Narayana is floating, the three gunas which as aspects of Prakriti are inherent. The three gunas include Satva, Rajas and Tamas.
Primordial nature is thus said to be a Trigunatmika Prakrthi or a 3 characteristic based Nature.
The Triguna – Satva, Rajas, Tamas
More on this in our book and film, Creation – Srishti Vignana.
Triguna – Passion, Compassion and Dispassion
Passion, Compassion and Dispassion are the three qualities pertaining to the triguna.
In the macrocosm, Prakriti manifests these three qualities which can be linked to the three Gunas as well as the functions of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Passion is derived from Rajo Guna, Compassion from Satva Guna and Dispassion from Tamo Guna. When three qualities, gunas are in harmony, life attains fullness.
Passion – Creation, Compassion – Sustenance, Dispassion – Dissolution
Creation requires Passion, Sustenance required Compassion while Dissolution requires dispassion.
In the functions of Trinity, Brahma who performs Creation is known to display great passion. Passion leads to growth and expansion. The etymological root of the word Brahma Brah, means to expand or grow.
Vishnu whose role is to protect is known for His great Compassion whereby He descends on earth multiple times on earth to protect mankind.
Shiva who is represented as a Yogi, is the very embodiment of dispassion, staying aloof from the Creation, and hence represents the dissolution aspect of Prakriti.
How all this sublime knowledge flows so gracefully both in physical and subtle dimensions. Which is why, knowledge in Indian thought is embodied by the divinity Sarasvati. Saras means gracefully flowing. Knowledge flows through the expanse of the cosmos, incessantly and gracefully like waves.
In Daily Life
In our daily lives, we find that these qualities of Passion, Compassion and Dispassion is a circle. We need to work passionately, be compassionate with those whom we work and also with entire animate and inanimate Creation, but be dispassionate about the results. This is the upadesha of Bhagavad Gita. This way there is a balance between the three. In attaining this balance, Mind plays a vital role.
The three qualities of Passion, compassion and Dispassion are best exemplified by woman.
This conference aptly, beautifully, gracefully brings out the circle of life.