YV Analogy in Hinduism - Exchange of mind and matter


YV is not written as a systematic text. Its narrative jumps between various levels: psychological, biological, and physical. But since the Indian tradition of knowledge is based on analogies that are recursive and connect various domains, one can be certain that our literal reading of the passages is valid. YV appears to accept the idea that laws are intrinsic to the universe.




In other words, the laws of nature in an unfolding universe will also evolve. According to YV, new information does not emerge out the inanimate world but it is a result of the exchange between mind and matter. It accepts consciousness as a kind of fundamental field that pervades the whole universe. One might speculate that the parallels between YV and some recent ideas of physics are a result of the inherent structure of the mind.

These readings of the YV are confirmed by other texts such as the Mahabharata and the Puranas as they are by the philosophical systems of Samkhya and Vaisesika, or the various astronomical texts. Here is a reference to the size of the universe from the Mahabharata :

The sky you see above is infinite. Its limits cannot be ascertained. The sun and the moon cannot see, above or below, beyond the range of their own rays. There where the rays of the sun and the moon cannot reach are luminaries which are self-effulgent and which possess splendor like that of the sun or the fire. Even these last do not behold the limits of the firmament in consequence of the inaccessibility and infinity of those limits. This space which the very gods cannot measure is full of many blazing and self luminous worlds each above the other.

The Mahabharata has a very interesting passage, virtually identical with the corresponding material in YV, which describes the dissolution of the world. Briefly, it is stated how a dozen suns burn up the earth, and how elements get transmuted until space itself collapses into Wind (one of the elements). Ultimately, everything enters into primeval consciousness.  Here are two little extracts:

The Hindus have divided duration into two periods, a period of motion, which has been determined as time, and a period of rest, which can only be determined in an imaginary way according to the analogy of that has which has first been determined, the period of motion. The Hindus hold the eternity of the Creator to be determinable, not measurable, since it is infinite.




They do not, by the word creation, understand a formation of something out of nothing. They mean by creation only the working with a piece of clay, working out various combinations and figures in it, and making such arrangements with it as will lead to certain ends and aims which are potentially in it.

The mystery of consciousness is a recurring theme in Indian texts. Unfortunately, the misrepresentation that Indian philosophy is idealistic, where the physical universe is considered an illusion, has become very common.

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