1. Did all forms of life occur naturally? Or was there some entity that created them?

(Bhagwat Gita Ch 8)

Hindus believe that there is one ultimate reality and call it Brahman (with an N, different from Brahma). The word Brahman is variously translated as Ultimate Reality, God, Absolute Truth etc as some of HIS attributes. Eternal Reality (Brahman is real) and the delusory realm of names and forms is HIS lower nature (prakriti). The world of names and forms that we experience through our five senses, eyes, smell, touch, hearing etc is an illusion which is only sustained by HIM. Like an ocean sustains waves, so does Brahman sustains the phyisical world. As waves have no existance independant of the ocean, as waves or nothing but a delusion playing on top of the ocean and as waves are the ocean as seen by us, so is this world a part and yet a lower nature of Brahman. As waves are perishable and ever changing while ocean seems to be permanent, so the physical world is constantly changing while its creator is permanent and never changing.

(Bhagwat Gita Ch 9.)

The Eternal Reality projects its desire and the world is born. All this world is pervaded by the Eternal Reality. The world is ever changing, it has matter and it has Self (or soul). The Eternal Self shines thorugh living beings and we understand it as Self. Life or forms of life as we call them consist of a form (matter) and a Self. While matter or form changes constantly, the self remains the same. The world (called Sansara) is created by Brahman and then at the end of time, it gets absorbed back in Brahman and Brahman goes back to sleep.

However, a desire arises and Brahman wakes up and projects the desire and the world is created again. Thus cycle of creation, sustainence and then destruction of the world is a constant cycle that has been happening endlesslely and will continue endlessely as Brahman is eternal.

(Purana)

Brahman plays three roles and these roles have been given three names of God, Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva the destroyer.

Brahma starts the creation cycle and creates both matter and Self (souls).

Shiva comes in when the world is to be wound back into Brahman to be recreated again later.

Vishnu sustains and runs the universe while it is ine existence.

Vishnu

Vishnu has ten avatars or reincarnations (Dashavataras – Dasha meaning ten). A reincarnation is when the God comes on earth and lives like any other being showing them though HIS example of how to lead life.

Hindus have no problem with the current scientific theiories of a Big Bang creating the world and Evolution contantly evolving life on earth. (ref : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashavatara)

The ten Avataras are :

  1. Fish (Matsaya)
  2. Giant tortoise (Kurma)
  3. Boar (Varaha)
  4. Half man, half lion (Narsimha)
  5. The Dwarf (Vamana)
  6. Warriar with an Axe (Parshurama)
  7. Ideal Man (Rama )
  8. Warriar cum prince with a mace (Balarama, incarnatio of Shesha, the snake representing Time)
  9. Krishna/Buddha (Highest developed Intellect)
  10. On a White Horse with a sword to destroy choas and evil (kalaki)

The order of the ancient concept of Dashavataras has been interpreted to be reflective of modern Darwinian evolution.

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