Mystery of Dark Energy in Hinduism - Cosmic Interaction of Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Second verse of Purusha Sukta ( of Rigveda) contains the word ‘ yadannenaatirohati’ which gives the idea of smallness of this whole developed and developing creation as the minute manifestation of infinite Purusha. It also gives an indication that the indestructible original element in the form of energy is effluent and only a small part (less than one-fourth) of it is active in the production of universe. The central aim of all Vedic philosophies is to experience all phenomena as limited (partial) manifestation of the same ultimate Reality which is seen as the essence of the universe underlying and unifying the multitude of things and events we observe. It is central to its very nature to manifest Its essence in myriad forms which come into one another without an end. In its phenomenal aspect the cosmos is thus intrinsically dynamic. The word Brahman means growth which is suggestion of life, motion and progress.

The Upanishads refer to Brahmana as unformed, infinite, immortal and moving and Rigveda uses the term Rita to express the dynamic nature of the universe. It anticipate the idea of karma to express the dynamic inter-play of all things and events and emphasizes that without divine  action (karma) of Brahmana the worlds would perish as told in verse 3.24 of Gita:

‘Utseedeyurime loka na kuryaam karma ched aham,

Sankarasya cha kartaa syaam upahanyaam’

which means:

These worlds would perish if God did not perform action. He should then be author of confusion of castes and the destruction of these beings.

In other words, if cosmic dynamism ceased to work through the conscience of man, all human beings would remain engrossed in matter, confused and forgetful of the duties inherent in four graded steps- material, wisdom-cultivating, sense-fighting, and Spirit-attaining required for final emancipation.

Expansion and Contraction of Universe

The idea of periodically, expanding and contracting universe, which involves a scale of time and space of vast proportion arose in ancient Indian science and the concept of evolutionary cosmologies was conceived by ancient Indian seers. One such cosmology is based on powerful thought that Brahmana  transforms Himself into many a small part of His essence into worlds and worlds in turns rhythmically merging into Him and this rhythmical process of One transforming into many and many  returning into one goes on in endless cycles. Our sages identified this rhythmical play with the evolution of the cosmos as the whole. This rhythmical process of creation (rather evolution) followed by destruction (rather dissolution) reveal the intrinsically dynamic nature of the matter where the fundamental particles (the building blocks of matter) are dynamic patterns which do not exist as isolated entities but as integral parts of an inseparable network of fundamental interactions involving a ceaseless flow of energy as a dynamical interplay in which the particles are created and destroyed without end. All these interactions (and the ultimate harmonically united one) denote the dance of creation and annihilation (i.e. energy-dance). Shiva, the cosmic dancer, is the most perfect personification of the dynamic universe from which emerges the general picture of organic, growing, and rhythmically moving cosmos. The metaphor ‘cosmic dance’ has found its most profound beautiful expression in the image of Natraja (dancing Shiva) which depicts all life as part of a great rhythmical process of creation and annihilation as endless cycle. This cosmic dance of Shiva is the dance of creation and destruction involving whole universe, the basis of all existence and all natural phenomena. It shows that the movement and rhythm are the essential properties of matter (and energy),  where all matter ( and energy) here on earth or in outer space is involved in a continual cosmic dance. Jagat or Samsara, which are synonymous for the universe, means that one which is continuously moving. Thus the universe is continuously expanding in all directions.

Concept of Space

This being so there may arise some fundamental questions: Is the cosmos expanding continuously in the already vast limited available space ?; or Is the space also expanding along with the expansion of the universe ?; or Is the space limitless (infinite) one in which the cosmos is expanding continuously ?; or Is the space made of innumerable universes (lokas), each of which is has its own separate sky (space and time) ? All these questions have been addressed elaborately in Veda. The word Neti, referred to therein for cosmos, means unimaginable and limitless. This may be interpreted as infinite space-time structure, where space and time do not have beginning and end. In Sankhya the distinction between space and time has been removed and the infinite time has been considered as intrinsically linked with infinite space leading to the idea of space-time manifold (Dik-kaala) and it is manifested only through motion in space. It is interesting to note that for any materialistic body motion is bi-dimensional in space (it may proceed forward as well as backward in any direction in space) while it is unidirectional in time (it may proceed only forward in time but not in backward time). This difference in spatial and temporal behaviors of motion of a materialistic body is linked with the principle of causality and also with the principle that no materialistic body can travel with velocity equal to or faster than the velocity of light. However, the particles of light always travel with the velocity of light and they can neither been slowed down below this velocity nor be accelerated up to cross this velocity i.e. they are born with this velocity and always move with this velocity. Then why there cannot exist the special type of particles which are born with the velocity faster than light and which always move with the velocity faster than light ?

This question has also been addressed by ancient Indian seers who claimed them to be Trikaaladarshi i.e. capable of seeing past, present and future simultaneously. Such a state is possible only with bi-dimensional motion in time also and this can be visualized only by the signals travelling faster than light.

Sixth verse of Purusha Sukta says that a very small part of infinitely large  unmeasurable and  un-destructible entity is engaged in controlling the whole cycle of creation and annihilation. In the verse

Om bhoorbhuvah svah

of famous Gayatri Mantra (with its origin in Rigveda) the word Bhu means our earth, bhuvas means planetary system and svah is used for all the galaxies moving at very high speed in space. A loud noise (vibrations) is produced as the result of fast motion of billions of galaxies.  When the seers perceived these vibrations (heard this noise) in their trance, they instantly ejaculated OM----OM. Rishi Viswamitra suggested that this noise OM should be accepted as the name of the Creator i.e. Super-Consciousness. This word OM has been there since time unmemorable and will remain always eternally. It is also called Pranav because this perpetual sound by vibrations in the space is the source of energy (i.e. prana) and is balancing the whole energy in the universe.  It is also known as Anahat Naada which means a sound produced without striking and hence its nature is not mechanical and it does not need any medium for its propagation. The speed of its propagation is not limited to the velocity of light because its source is not materialistic and hence it propagates  with infinite velocity in all directions in space and time ( since at this velocity time will no more remain unidirectional) and it pervades the whole universe ( all pervading). Its vibrations are manifested in all living beings as consciousness but it does not mean that this monosyllable OM has been factorized.

Another explanation of the existence of Dark Matter and Dark Energy follows from the  verses of Taittiriya Aranyaka that only one pada of the Lord is this manifested universe and the remaining three padas are outside it. According to the observations and realizations of ancient seers, nearly eighty percent of this universe is yet of unknown nature which remains inactive during the process of creation (rather, evolution). This inactive matter may be treated as dark matter (or dark energy). In Nasadiya sutra of Rigveda also there is a mention of this inactive matter as:

‘Nothing existed prior to creation of universe, neither shape nor size nor kind nor even the light. The impenetrable darkness was filled with an unknown, unmovable fluid which was static and inactive (dark matter). In Samkhya philosophy also it is mentioned:

 ‘Naavastuni vastu siddhi

which means that only life and inert fluid (dark matter) existed before creation. Manusmrti also refers to this inactive (dark) matter:

 In the beginning it was dark, inert, imperceptible, inexpressible unique matter which manifested in various form at various times according to its own will.

Regarding the instantaneous creation of the dynamic universe Rigveda says:

Yadkrandah prathamam prathamaam jaayamaana udyanat’smudraad ut vapureesaat,

Syenasya paksaa harnaasya baahu upastuyam mahijaatamam te arvan.

which mean that Powerful arose with the speed of falcon and several galaxies with central Hirangarbha came into existence from the invisible fluid (dark matter) filled in the space and became the cause of Prakriti with three attributes.

The second verse of Purush Sukta also gives an indication that the indestructible original element in the form of energy is effluent and a small part of it is active in the creation of matter. In the third verse of this Sukta also there is a notable indication that only a small part of the energy, which exists in the form of universal energy, modifies and transforms to create this whole universe and its remaining larger part remains untouched and inactive by this cycle of creation. This sixth verse of Purush Sukta also says that very small part of infinite and un-destructive entity is engaged in controlling the whole cycle of creation and the huge remaining part remains inactive i.e. dark energy.

(Article addressed on Sanskrit- Day, Tika Ram Girls Post-graduate College, Aligarh, India)

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