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Creation And Man Teaching – Difference In Christianity And Hinduism

Conception of creation and man in Hinduism is entirely different from Christianity. The Hindu teaching on creation (projection) was far ahead of time even for the modern era. The Hindu thought existed thousands of years before Bible and Jesus.

Christian theological notions or semitic thought has a linear conception of time, according to which time is like a line with an A and a B as its ends and creation began at or near point A and will end at B. God, a Being outside the process, is at the helm of it. He created many kinds of living beings, and over and above them all, He created man in His own image. When He accomplished this end of creation, He was satisfied, and He left all the rest of creation for man’s enjoyment. What His purpose was in all this is anybody’s guess. There is also the idea, that, later, man went against the Almighty and as a consequence, was in danger of being damned and destroyed, had it not been for God’s mercy of atoning for his sins by the blood of His Son. Thus after man’s sinning, a purpose is created for the rest of human history, although we cannot think of any purpose for events that took place before his sinning.

The Hindu conception of creation and man is different from Christianity. In Hinduism creation has no beginning. It is a cyclic process in which a long period of manifestation of the worlds with and without sentient beings takes place, followed by an equally long period of dissolution or withdrawal of the world system into their causal condition. This process repeats itself indefinitely. Hence there is no beginning but only repetition. 

Whatever exists goes back into the germinal condition and, after a period of abeyance, comes out again. This cosmic process is called Srishti, ‘projection from a latent condition,’ which differs in meaning from the word ‘creation’ which conveys the idea of an absolutely new beginning. The point to be noted is that, in this scheme, there is nothing like a beginning or a culmination.

As per Hinduism, the earth sphere or Bhu is not the only dimension; the universe is immensely vaster than the sense-world revealed by even the most powerful telescopes.
Bhu includes all the planets, stars, and galaxies, in fact all spheres of which the normal human senses, by themselves or with the aid of instruments, can be aware of. In fact the Hindu thinkers speak of fourteen such dimensions (Lokas), of which Bhu is the midmost, occupied by beings at a certain stage of evolution. There are seven dimensions of an order lower than Bhu (Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Rasatala, Talatala, Mahatala, Patala) and six higher (Bhuva, Suva, Maha, Jana, Tapa, Satya).

So man (Jiva) occupying the Loka called Bhu can evolve into higher and higher stages of refinement until in Satyaloka he attains unity with the Supreme Spirit. So, from the point of view of Vedantic thought, there is no meaning in speaking of man as the culmination of creation. Man is a link in the evolution of the Spirit. When the growth possible in the earth sphere is complete, the Jiva goes to other spheres for further evolution.

The process of manifestation (Srishti) and dissolution (Pralaya) is an eternal process, in the nature of things, or is a part of the all-inclusive existence that is the Divine. All that we can say is that it is His self-expression; it is not for the attainment of any extraneous purpose. Creation is therefore described as Lila, a spontaneous and sportive upsurge of the Supreme Being.

Source excerpts from an article by Srimat Swami Tapasyanandaji Maharaj (1904 to 1991), Vice President of the Ramakrishna Order in the May 2018 edition of Vedanta Kesari Magazine.