The Secret of Vishwaroopam
“Udayji, my son who is doing his major in science has been asking me to remove the Vishwaroopam picture from the drawing room. He says his friends who visited my house teased him as superstitious. I am a follower of your articles and have read the book Why Am I a Hindu? Can you help me understand the concept of Vishwaroopam scientifically and rationally so that I can convince my son? Please help me…” Sathananth Raja from Kaula Lumpur.
“What, according to you, is Vishwaroopam?” I asked Raja.
Raja said: “The 11th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita says that Lord Krishna (Vishnu) showed His universal form (Vishwaroopam) exclusively to Arjuna.”
“Viswharoopam is also mentioned in other scriptures like Vishnudharmottara Purana, Agni Purana, Aparajita Prichcha, Devta Murti Prakarana, RoopManadana, Hayagreev Samhita etc. In Ramayana, when Mandodari was trying to convince Ravana mentions about Vshwaroopam.”
“Oh – I didn’t know that. So many people have seen Vishnu’s Vishwaroopam?”
“Puranas say that Vishnu has several roopas (forms). Many such as Yasoda, Bhishma, Duryodan, Karna, Utanga and others saw similar forms of Vishnu, though not exactly Vishwaroopam. Again, it is not necessary that the Vishwaroopam has to be in the same pattern. For instance, Arjuna perceived it as scary (ghora) and Sanjaya perceived the same as peaceful (Shantha)!”
“But everything was Vishnu’s forms only, right? Vishnu is our supreme God.”
“The majority of the population around the world does not believe in Gods like Vishnu. For them, including your son, you will need to explain who or what is Vishnu in a logical manner.”
“Could you please explain the concept of Vishnu?”
“It is clearly explained in all the verses that describe Vishnu…”
“Udayji, I used to tell many mantras including the one starts with ‘Shaanta-Aakaaram Bhujaga-Shayanam’. I also recite Sahasranama. I taught these verses to my son when he was young. But now he refuses to recite those hymns. However, I don’t know its real meaning…I just recite it for the sake of it…”
“Those verses are self-explanatory. It explains what Vishnu is. The sky and ocean are akin to a human eye which is blue in colour and represents infinity or the limitless. For starters, Vishnu is shown as blue in colour to understand infinity. Vishnu is lying on a serpent called Anantha which again means limitless or infinity. Why serpent? It is a creature that is similar to the coiled structure of galaxy. The abode of Vishnu is the ksheera saagaram (ocean of milk) or Milky Way galaxy, which is our galaxy. ”
“Yes, I remember reading it in your article – Secret of Krishna. ( http://www.udaypai.in/the-secret-of-krishnas-birth/ ) And the creator Brahma is born out of Vishnu’s naval, representing the umbilical code of birth…” Raja exclaimed.
“The creator concept is just a belief. It is not scientific. Sanatan Dharma is based upon science. Brahma is our ancestor and representative of the energy of creativity, for which you need wisdom (Sarawati). There is a popular notion that it was Vishnu’s four-armed form which gave birth to Brahma. It is not correct. Purusha Sukta (in Rig-Veda) Verse 5 confirms that Brahma is being born NOT from Vishnu, but from Vishnu’s Vishwaroopam form.”
– Rig-Veda, which dates back to 7000 years ago, says that its face, brain, hands and legs have spread over the universe and everything in the universe works under its guidance and control. Again, Purusha Suktam starts with saying that the great being has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes and thousands of legs. It manifests the world. And then it says Purusha extends beyond ten fingers! (I will explain about the significance of ten fingers later.) The Purusha Sukta is a precise description of the evolution of the Cosmos/universe. It simultaneously talks about the movement and stillness. In Physics, we have learnt that motion and immobility are two things that are relative to each other.
“Okay Udayji, I understand now. So Vishwaroopam is the gigantic universal form of the Lord Vishnu”
“Now, the cosmic consciousness and its manifestation (attributes) as entire cosmos/universe have a name in Sanskrit. It is called Brahmam. With the limited brain of human beings, it would be almost difficult to understand the intrinsic awareness and consciousness called Brahmam. Hence our ancestors have illustrated a symbolic and personified form of Brahmam. It is called Vishwaroopam. Vishnu is a symbol of Brahmam. Vishwaroopam is its expanded form.”
“Oh, wonderful, that’s why Vishwaroopam is shown as a form of Vishnu…”
“Yes, it has another name too – Prapancha Purusha”
“What does that mean?”
“Prapancha = universe or cosmos. Purusha = in a human form. The universe in (almost) human form or shape. It is Vishwa roopam. Vishwa = Prapancha = universe or cosmos. Roopam = form or shape.”
“Udayji, in between, I have a doubt: ‘Purusha’ means Man, right? So, the universe is represented by Man?”
“Purusha also means human being. It can be interpreted as Vishnu alone is male, and all the rest as prakriti (female). But Purusha has many meanings. Purusha = pura + usha = the dawn-light (usha) of the city of the body (pura). Pu + rusha = one whose passions are refined. Or Puru + sha = filled with wisdom and happiness. Let’s take it as human form…”
“Okay, so coming back to Vishwaroopam…”
“Yes, Bhagawad Gita clearly defines Vishwaroopam as: ‘Na-antham Na Madhyam Na Puna-s-tava-aadim’. There is no end, there is no beginning, and there is no middle to all this. Brahmam itself is Vishwaroopam. All animate and inanimate things of the universe are part of it. It is the infinite universe, without a beginning or an end. It contains peaceful as well as wrathful forms…”
“Yes, Lord Krishna himself tells in Bhagavath Gita that for seeing the universal person, one needs the divine eyes (divya chakshu). I have read many things, but not in the logical way that you explain things. Vishwa roopam or Virat roopam is the cosmic or universal form of God. The Ultimate truth and real face of this universe. This one single form defines the whole universe.”
“The message is very clear and loud here. Our ancestors were able to perceive various energies in the nature, their inter relationships and cross relations. Though the visible world is physical in nature, they were able to understand the energies that sustain the macrocosm…”
“Now, I understood somewhat about Vishwaroopam. But how will I explain to my son about only people with divya chakshu can see or realize it?”
“Can you ask your son about latest String theory?”
He messaged to me after some time: “String Theory predicts our universe has 11 dimensions.”
According to superstring theory, all of the elementary particles in the universe are composed of vibrating, one-dimensional mathematical objects known as strings. The theory does not explicitly state what the strings are made of or where they come from; rather, they are proposed as geometric ideals.
“But our ancestors said there are 14 dimensions. Most of our scriptures talk about billions of galaxies in the universe and the 14 worlds (2×7). Those are worlds within worlds or can be called planes or centers. In science, these planes are called dimensions. The scriptures say that the 14 dimensions may be accessed by human beings when he/she accesses the consciousness.”
“But how is Vishwaroopam linked to String theory?”
“All verses in our scriptures talk of Brahmam (the energies) which is everywhere, indestructible, which takes the form of different objects and is sustaining the universe. This notion is very similar to the strings of energy that pervade the entire universe as per the String Theory…”
According to Vedic scriptures, space inside our universe is multidimensional. It says different planetary levels have different time scales. Relativity of time is elaborately described in the Vedic literatures. Our ancestors like Rishi Kanad had travelled to subatomic world and said that things are made of Anu (atom). The entire universe is made up of same atom.
Vishnu is Parama (Supreme) Purusha. It is the source and the basis of all creation; it manifests itself in all of it. All creation is his body – the Vishwaroopam. He encompasses it. According to Vedic physics, space inside our universe is multidimensional. According to Vedic physics, different planetary levels have different time scales. Relativity of time is elaborately described in the Vedic literatures.
“Udayji, you said you would explain about ‘Purusha extends beyond ten fingers’?”
“Here we have to read what Sāyaṇacharya taught us. The ten fingers here are the digits. In ancient world count was done using the ten fingers of human hands. They are the basis of count, of all mathematics, of all the logic and science built on mathematics. However, mathematics is limited when it comes to analyzing Purusha (Vishnu). He is transcendent, and beyond such limited understanding.”
“Ok. Can anybody see Vishwaroopam?”
“Yes, of course. But you need to realize Brahmam. Or somebody like Krishna should provide you divine eyes.”
“How to realize Brahmam?”
“It is a normal process when you shed the sense of ‘I’ or personal ego. We know that my world can exist only when my personal ego exist.”
“Udayji, it is difficult to digest and shedding ego is impossible.”
“On the contrary, it is simple. You do it every day when you are in deep sleep; your ego is merged with your consciousness. The world doesn’t exist for you then. Similarly, when you cross-over your ego when you are awake, you will realize the experience of Brahmam, and then you become one with Brahmam. That means when you merge your ego into the infinite, you become enlightened and see the whole universe as a manifested version of infinite consciousness. This is the real meaning of Vishwaroopa darshan. This is expressed in human form with multiple limbs and heads for ordinary people like us to understand.”
For our Sanatan Dharma ancestors, Science was same as Religion and they promoted free thoughts. The distinction between Science and Religion was a foreign concept for Hindus which we have blindly ingrained in our culture from the barbaric, uneducated and selfish invaders from the Europe and the Middle East.
Please educate your children with the logical and scientific side of Hinduism rather than filling up their mind with superstitions and blind beliefs. Ask them to understand the meaning of verses before reciting it.
There are more than 2000 scriptures in Sanatan Dharma – it is impossible to read and understand all those scriptures. Those are all interlinked, inter-related and cross-connected. At least, we can stop quoting out of context from any scriptures. If you quote something stand-alone from those scriptures without understanding the whole meaning, it would be a big mistake and it would be totally illogical, confusing and complex.