Hiranyagarbha - Mystery of Golden Womb in Vedic Cosmology

The Nasadiya Sukta talks of a Golden hued womb, an indescribable power or energy center, Hi­ranyagarbha, which is in oscillation. It equates it to a type of activity, a breathing activity, which expresses itself in the form of a pulsating Hiranyagarbha.

What makes the Hiranyagarbha pulsate ?

The Rig Veda speaks of 2 forces, one which is an externally pushing force and the other, a force which holds back or holds in. The tug of war between these opposing forces goes on for a period, not known for how long, as time is at a standstill because both space and concept of time do not exist. This is an intervening period between 2 Brahma, creation cycles, when time is immeasurable.

The seer, Rishi Hiranyastupa Angirasa has described the interplay between the forces as a battle between Indra and Vrtra in the Rig Vedic hymns 1.32 and 1.33. During this tug of war between the 2 kinds of opposing forces, at a particular moment, Indra, the externally pushing force overcomes Vrtra, the holding back force, causing the Hiranyagarbha to open up and the Universe springs into being. The Hiranyagarbha explodes and spews out man­ifested matter, from which formed the galaxies, stars and rest of the Universe.This brings forth many Mandakini or galaxies.

Indra is considered in Indian thought and Veda, as the "Divine Mind" associated with the performing of all actions -physical, mental and sublime. The origin of the Universe as we have seen, is de­scribed as having come from seeds of mind which grew from the first seed of mind and spread in all directions, creating pressures of concentration and diffusion which finally caused the glowing energy center Hiranyagarbha, to manifest matter and explode as a result of the imbalance in forces created. This tallies very well with the notion of Indra.

While one meaning for Vrtra is "dragon", if we look at the etymological dictionary of the Sanskrit language, compiled by Rishi Yaska, many thousand years ago, he clearly describes Vrtra as "a cloud that is sticking together."Thus very clearly Vrtra seems to be a resistive force that is opposing the seeds of mind from spreading and acting.

Activities inside Hiranyagarbha

This description of Vrtra aptly suits the role described in the text for Vrtra of holding the Hiranyagarbha together and preventing it from breaking open. The Rig Veda thus explains the activities inside the Hiranyagarbha as an interplay between 2 forces,

1. an externally pushing force,Indra and

2. Vrtra, a force, which holds back or holds in, keeping the Hiranyagarbha together and pre­venting it from exploding.

This breaking open of the Hiranyagarbha has been called as Brahmand a Visphotak or Universal Explosion which finds a similarity in the modern concept of the Big Bang. The Indian texts thus talk to us not only of what happened during Creation but also what happened before Creation. The answers to the unending and unsolved quest of mankind could perhaps come from cutting edge scientific research, as well from the depths of the Indian knowledge system that has been with us for 5000 years and more.

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