A Hindu Creation Myth
This is not the first world, nor is it the first universe. There have been and will be many more worlds and
universes than there are drops of water in the holy river Ganges. The universes are made by Lord Brahma
the Creator, maintained by Lord Vishnu the Preserver and destroyed by Lord Shiva. Since the universes
must be destroyed before they can be recreated, Lord Shiva is called the Destroyer and Re-creator. These
three gods are all forms of Supreme One and part of the Supreme One. The Supreme One is behind and
After each old universe is destroyed nothing is left but a vast ocean. Floating on this ocean, resting on the
great snake Ananta, is Lord Vishnu. Some say that a lotus flower springs from his navel and from this comes
Lord Brahma. And it is from Lord Brahma that all creation comes.
How dies Lord Brahma create? Some tell of how he grows lonely and splits himself in two to create male
and female. Then he becomes one again and human beings are created. In the same way he creates all the
other living things, from the great animals to the tiniest insects. Others say that everything comes from
different parts of Lord Brahma's body. All the different animals and all the people come from his mouth,
arms, thighs and feet. Everything comes from one - Lord Brahma, who is part of the Supreme One - so
everything is part of the Supreme One. For this universe, this world and this Lord Brahma, like all those
before and all those to come, will be destroyed by Lord Shiva.
How long is the life of a universe? Its length is beyond imagination. One day to Lord Brahma is longer than
four thousand million of the years that we know. Every night when Lord Brahma sleeps the world is
destroyed. Every morning when he awakes it is created again. When the Lord Brahma of this universe has
lived a lifetime of such days the universe is completely destroyed by Lord Shiva.
Everything disappears into the Supreme One. For an unimaginable period of time chaos and water alone
exist. Then once again Lord Vishnu appears, floating on the vast ocean. From Lord Vishnu comes forth Lord
Brahma of the new universe and the cycle continues for ever.
Om! --This syllable is this whole world.
Its further explanation is: --
The past, the present, the future -- everything is just the word Om.
And whatever else that transcends threefold time -- that, too, is just the word Om. (Mandukya Upanisad)
Nada Brahma -- sound, the creator God. India is rich with creation myths from its long spiritual and
philosophical history. India has spawned many religions and sects: most consider "Om" the generative
creative sound that encompasses all. It is Omnipresent. "Sound or vibration works through the various levels
of density from Brahma to audible sound and becomes the basis of matter" The Chandogya Upanishad, cited
below, chronicles this manifestation process.
The essence of things here is the earth. The essence of the earth is water. The essence of water is plants.
The essence of plants is a person (purusa). The essence of a person is speech. The essence of speech is the
Rg (hymn). The essence of the Rg is the Saman (chant). The essence of the Saman is the Udgitha (loud
The Rg is speech. The Saman is breath. The Udgitha is the syllable "Om." (Chandogya Upanishad)
Eastern traditions also espouse a relationship between creation and vibration. The story of Purusa in the Rg
Veda correlates to the creation of heaven and earth. The Vedas say the God Purusa divided into a thousand
parts, and embraced. By logical extension, in a universe formed from sound, Purusa divided must exist as
millions of frequencies in eternal resonance.