The Formation of the Universe

By Desmond Yeoh SC

Shri YukteswareIn the beginning, there was only emptiness or nothingness. There was only the One, with no separation. There was no separate being. This nothingness is called God in Christianity or SAT in Yoga. All there was; was Love and Bliss (Ananda)[1].

Then, It (SAT) thought: ‘May I be many; may I grow forth’ (Aitareya Upanishad). From this emptiness, emanated the creative sound of Om, referred to as Amen in Christianity. In the bible, it was mentioned that in the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The vibration from OM created Time, Space and the Atom (Anu). Only with Time, can there be change and only with Space, can there be separation. The Atom, can only arise because of Time and Space. As Time and Space are merely ideas and concepts, so is the Atom. Therefore, the entire Universe are merely ideas, like the dreams we have during sleep.

The creative force is referred to as Shakti. This Shakti energy is blissful (Ananda) and also makes the Universe conscious (Chit)- So Chit is Universal Love and Omnipresent Consciousness. In Christianity, Chit or the Universal Love is the equivalent of the Holy Ghost. Paramhansa Yogananda described this as the Cosmic Consciousness, the One consciousness which is omnipresent. The atoms, under the influence of Chit forms Chitta. Our feelings arise from Chitta and therefore, Chitta is also referred to as the Heart.

Within Chitta, two opposing forces exist; the first one is the force that draws the Universe back to God. It is the Wisdom that seeks out the truth and is called Buddhi or Sattva. This force which attracts One back to the source is Love. God or SAT is Love. This is the Force of Attraction which sends out rays of light to clear away the darkness. This rays of light are called the Sons of God in Christianity. The enlightened beings who have transcended the idea of separation and removed the veil of Maya are the manifestation of these rays of light and are thus aptly described as the Sons of God.

The second force pushes away from God towards separation or Materialism. It is a Force of Repulsion. The force is attracted to the enjoyment of the material world. This force is not bad but is necessary for creation. This is why the Buddha said that we are caught in the cycle of birth and death because of our DESIRES.

We can observe this two opposing forces within ourselves. The Force of Repulsion draws us towards externalities; towards enjoyment and distractions. The Force of Attraction encourages us to look within in order to seek out Truth. Man is make in the likeness of God (Parambrahma) and by looking within, he understands himself, and by understanding himself, he understands God.

It also draws us towards Divine Beings so that we can learn from them. While meditating, the Force of Repulsion whispers and cajoles us to do this and that. The Force of Attraction tells us keep our attention within, relax and enjoy the silence, if only for a moment more. This observation came to me while I was meditating. The Force of Repulsion whispered to me to quickly stop meditating and write this insight down lest I forget. This shows how creative the Force of Repulsion can be!

Both forces also manifest themselves as desire (Raga; Force of Attraction) and aversion (Dwesha; Force of Repulsion). Desire causes us to chase after objects, distractions and entertainment while aversion causes us to try to avoid or get rid of the things we dislike, including other human beings. These two forces keep us enmeshed in the material world as we continue to run after or away from objects of the senses. The only way to overcome this is to develop equanimity. The Bhagavad Gita states, “He who is tranquil before friend and foe alike, and in (encountering) adoration and insult, and during the experiences of warmth and chill and of pleasure and suffering…that person is very dear to Me”.

This Force of Repulsion is called Manas. Manas causes the idea of a separate and illusory self (the Ego). In Christianity, the Son of Man refers to the Ego. For the illusory self to be sustained, Ignorance (Avidya) of the Truth of Oneness is required and this is also part Maya. Maya is also referred to as Darkness because is cast a veil over the Universe that prevents the Ego from seeing the Spiritual Light. Again, Maya is not evil but necessary for creation. In summary, Maya is only Ignorance and the idea of the existence of a separate self. This separate self is an illusion but is also part of creation. So Buddhi is Wisdom while Maya is ignorance, the absence of wisdom.

Paramhansa Yogananda likened the illusion created by Maya as a movie. He said:

“This show has a purpose: that you learn how to play the various parts of the life movie without identifying your Self with your role. It is important to avoid identification with pain or anger or any kind of mental or physical suffering that comes. The best way to dissociate yourself from your difficulty is to be mentally detached, as if you were merely a spectator, while at the same time seeking a remedy. Don’t expect to attain unalloyed peace and happiness from earthly life. This should be your attitude: no matter what your experiences are, enjoy them in an objective way, as you would a movie”.

“It doesn’t matter whether we scrub floors, or whether we are the leaders of great nations; unless we know that we are merely playing a part on the stage of time, we will suffer from the dualities inherent in the consciousness of being identified with these different stations and conditions. Stage actors do not bemoan their particular parts, but enact their roles to the best of their ability, knowing they are temporary portrayals. Do you see? It is only when we take life too seriously that we suffer”.

The Force of Repulsion manifest itself as five aura electricities (Pancha Tattwa) which can be viewed as the blueprint or root causes of creation. This manifestation is the Causal Body of creation. The Causal Body then develops the Astral Body which then finally develops the Physical Body.

I use the word ‘creation’ but it is important to note that there is no separate Creator. God or SAT is Omnipresent like the Sea that exist in every wave or like the clay that is used to make a variety of dolls. The Chandogya Upanishad explains it this way; “Just as, my dear, by one clod of clay all that is made of clay is known, the modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the truth is that all is clay; Just as, my dear, by one nugget of gold all that is made of gold is known, the modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the truth is that all is gold…”.

The Truth Seeker on the path will first experience Ananda, the ethereal bliss which is the nature of SAT. As no joy in the material world can compare to this absolute bliss, Maya loses its hold on him.  Eventually, through Chit, the universal consciousness, he is able to penetrate and understand anything he so desires, including the creative sound of Om and the creation of the Universe. The understanding gained through experience (not just mere knowledge or belief) enables him to see his Real Self and thus he merges with God or SAT, which in the only one true existence. Paramhansa Yogananda said, “I know I am but a figure in God’s dream movie, as you are also. Someday, when we cease to be actors on the screen of life, we shall realize that our forms are but shadows interspersing the cosmic beam of God’s omnipresence, and that the only thing in the manifested universe which is real is the light of the Infinite Christ”.

Swami Vivekananda said, “When the soul has realised that everything is full of the Lord, of Brahman, it will not care whether it goes to heaven, or hell, or anywhere else; whether it be born again on this earth or in heaven. These things have ceased to have any meaning to that soul, because every place is the same, every place is the temple of the Lord, every place has become holy and the presence of the Lord is all that it sees in heaven, or hell, or anywhere else. Neither good nor bad, neither life nor death — only the one infinite Brahman exists”.

As Man is made in the likeness of God, there are clues left within us which clearly points to the fact that the Ego is merely the idea of a separate self which is the cause of all our suffering. This leads us to attaining Aparokshajnana (true comprehension). The most obvious clue is our dream state. In our dream, everything is unreal and yet, we are not able to recognise that until we awake. Swami Sri Yukteswar wrote in ‘The Holy Science’:

“When man compares his ideas relating to gross matters conceived in the wakeful state with his conception of ideas in dream, the similarity leads him to conclude that this external world also is not what it appears to be”.

“When he looks for further explanation he finds that all his wakeful conceptions are substantially nothing but mere ideas caused by the union of five objects of sense with the five organs of sense (eyes, ears etc) and the medium of five organs of actions (hands, feet etc)”.

“The union is effected by the operation of Mind (Manas) and Intelligence (Buddhi). Thus it is clear that all conceptions which man forms in his wakeful state are mere inferential Parokshajnana (inferences) – a matter of inference only”.

The other clue is our wandering mind. Our mind hops between the past and future (Time) so that we see ourselves in our minds as a separate self. That separate self which we see in our mind’s end helps Maya to sustain the idea of a separate self.

From this knowledge, we can see that to penetrate the veil of Maya, we need to rid ourselves of the idea of separation. The Buddhist Heart Sutra tells the story of how the Bodhisattva Avalokestesvara did this and I wrote about this in ‘A story inspired by the Heart Sutra’.

All will eventually see that God or SAT is unconditional love and bliss. We are also in our deepest core, unconditional love and bliss but Maya creates the idea of separation and blinds us from this Truth. We seek for these in the material world but can never find them there. We then realise that the material world can never grant us what we seek and thus losses its appeal. Paramhansa Yogananda explained:

“Some people die still yearning for perfect human love; others die dreaming of attaining perfect happiness through wealth and fame. But they are all deceived, for to own this whole earth and be adored by all its people is meagre gain compared to our loss when we behave as prodigal mortals. To perceive God and be united with His omnipresence is to own the whole cosmos with its myriad entertainments and ever new immortality. God is love, God is joy. Ownership of the whole earth is nothing in comparison; and it would be fraught with sorrows; even at death the delusion of it being wrested from you would torture you”.

“It is difficult to forsake any earthly happiness that is present and active in the consciousness and that sways the mind with the influence of habit. It is hard to give up the known sense pleasures of the present for unknown pleasures that may arrive in the future. This is the reason why millions of people would rather eat, drink, and try to be merry today than take the trouble to meditate and make an investment for a future of lasting happiness.”

“When this mental state arises in the devotee—when he thinks that he would rather die in sense indulgence than look for an unknown happiness in the bleakness of self-control—he should reason in the following way: “I lack spiritual imagination and spiritual experience; that is why I think that the present sense happiness is the only happiness worth possessing. Let me rather believe in the truthful words of the scriptures and of my guru. Let me meditate deeply and attain cosmic consciousness, then I shall see the difference between everlasting divine happiness and the temporary enjoyment of sensory entertainment”.

When the world loses its appeal when we finally discover that whatever joy we can gain from the world pales in comparison to the bliss of Oneness with the Divine, we then single-mindedly gravitate towards SAT and finally merge into unconditional love and bliss; our true nature. Swami Sri Yuktesware wrote in ‘The Holy Science’:

“When all the developments of ignorance are withdrawn, the heart, being perfectly clear and purified, no longer merely reflects the Spiritual Light but actively manifests the same, and thus being consecrated and anointed, man becomes Sannyasi, free or Christ the Saviour”.

“When man thus entering into the spiritual wold becomes the Son of God, he comprehends the Universal Light – the Holy Ghost – as a perfect whole, and his Self as nothing but a mere idea resting on a fragment of the Aum Light. Then he sacrifices himself to the Holy Ghost, the altar of God; that is, abandons the vain idea of his separate existence, and becomes one integral whole”.

“This, being one with the universal Holy Spirit of God the Father, he becomes unified with the Real Substance, God (or SAT). This unification of Self with the Eternal Substance, God, is called Kaivalya”.


[1] Many people who had a near death experience (“NDE”) reported feeling profound and ethereal peace and bliss. Please see the article on NDE to learn more.

%d bloggers like this: