How Many Universes?

Multiverse - Nature - Sept 2014 I wrote a Blog Post with the title “How Many Universes Make A Multiverse – The Story of Bhetala” inspired by a story narrated by Sage Vasishta in the first part of the Sixth Chapter: Nirvana in Yogavasishta. The Link to the Post dated Nov 4, 2009 is here. The metaphor described was as follows:


“Think of the universe that we are all living in to be a humongous fruit.

There is a bough with thousands of those fruits.
There is a tree with thousands of such boughs.
There is a wood with thousands of such trees.
There is a mountain with thousands of such woods.
There is an island with thousands of such mountains.
There is a huge globe (mahi peetha) with thousands of such islands.
There is a huge star system with thousands of such globes.
There is a heavenly egg with thousands of such star systems.
There is a sea with thousands of such heavenly eggs.
There is an ocean with thousands of such seas.
Thousands of such oceans will be the waters in the stomach of a man.
That man’s name is Vishnu.

Another great man wears a necklace of a hundred thousand of Vishnus.
His name is Rudra.

Millions of Rudras shine in the form of hair-follicles on the body of a very great man. His name is Aditya (= one who has been there right from the beginning; sun).
He is none other than the Supreme Consciousness.

He illuminates all the universes of my gargantuan conception.
He is the Brahman with attributes.
He has also an absolute form that is much more fundamental.
The qualities of ‘doership’ and ‘experiencership’ which seem to exist in the Brahman with attributes do not at all affect the Absolute Brahman.

The star you are referring to is the Brahman with attributes.”


The Scientists of the University of Hawaii published the most detailed map of the Universe in Sept 2014.

“The supercluster of galaxies that includes the Milky Way is 100 times bigger in volume and mass than previously thought, a team of astronomers says. They have mapped the enormous region and given it the name Laniakea — Hawaiian for ‘immeasurable heaven’.”

A Video of the Structure of the Universe can be seen here.

2 thoughts on “How Many Universes?

  1. In a response to a question about the nature of time, Ramesh Balsekar once said:

    What happens in a dream, your personal dream? The moment before the dream starts there is no time for [you]. The moment the dream starts there is space and time. Old men dying, rivers and mountains hundreds of thousands of years old-all that happens in the personal dream which a moment before was not there.
    Exactly the same thing happens when you wake up-the manifestation is there, the space is there, and the time is there. Space and time are the basis for the manifestation to appear. The mystic has been saying for years and now the physicist is saying it-no object exists unless it is observed. For the three-dimensional object extended in space to be observed, the observation needs time. So unless there is space, the three-dimensional object cannot be extended, and a three-dimensional object extended in space doesn’t exist unless it is observed in time. Space-time is the basis for the manifestation and its functioning. Space-time comes along with the manifestation. The dreamed manifestation, a moment before the dream starts, doesn’t exist. When the dream starts, things exist. [Who Cares?!]

    This ties in with the possibility, stated in the conclusion of your Beyond Advaita post, that every creature (mind) imagines and inhabits its own universe. I would think that one can, within the dream state, quite easily generate entire worlds larger than the Solar System, to say nothing of Earth. In the dream universe, there is no beginning or end, or center. How can there be? One recalls the line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.”

    As for cosmological theories, what do you think of the notion – advanced by theoretical physicist Alexander Vilenkin, if I recall correctly – that all eventualities have not only already occurred but have occurred an infinite number of times? It seems to me that nothing less would be worthy of Totality and a Manifestation that arises from unlimited creativity.

    • Thank you for the comments.

      Re: The theories of Physicists:

      Prof. A. Vilenkin is a great Physicist. I have a high regard to his theories.

      Paula Marvelly and myself discussed some time in 2011 re: the theories on the origin of the universe. Perhaps it is still relevant. I am copying below a part from the answer to her first question on what was there before Big Bang:

      “Because of the fact that the cyclic model is so much in resemblance with what the Eastern religions conceived of about the universe – repeated creations and dissolutions – this theory received some criticism as being influenced by religious thought. There are other theories also based on the ‘strings’ that postulate multiple universes or multiverse.

      Michio Kaku compares the multiverse to a bubble bath. Each bubble represents a universe. ‘There are multiple universes bubbling, colliding and budding off each other all the time,’ he conceives. One big advantage of a multiverse concept is that it solves the problem of why the laws of physics in our universe seem to be fine-tuned to allow life and us sitting comfortably here. ‘If you change the mass of the proton, the charge on the electron, or any of an array of other constants, we’ would all be dead.’ Why is this so? Did someone create this special universe for us? ‘The multiverse explains the problem without resorting to the supernatural. If there are infinite universes, each one can have different physical laws, and some of them will have those that are just right for us.’

      Then there is a suggestion that the universe is made up of Planck-size, space-time atoms, which keep on coming together, form universes, break up and bounce off. However, it did not get much acceptance. More recently a lone physicist came up with an idea of the application of Lie groups to answer the origin of the universe.

      Whatever may be the theory, what we have to appreciate is that they are all basically conjectures, concepts. All concepts are thoughts. We may have more faith in a particular concept because it satisfies certain logical and other predictive criteria we may have set as a priori conditions. As Robert M. Pirsig said in his famous book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, ‘The ancients had their ghosts to explain things and we have atoms now!’ or something to that effect.

      Therefore, if the Big Bang is a concept, what could exist prior to this concept? Will it not be another concept, devised and designed through some logic that you feel comfortable to be with and convincing at a given point of time?

      The ancient sages also conceived of different models to explain the origin of the universe. Some of these look pretty unconvincing and even hilarious to us. But the point to be remembered is that the sages too in the end said that the whole issue of a universe being there at all, or someone creating a universe, itself is a ‘conception’; simply, an imagination. No ‘thing’, including a universe, is actually ever there. These are the Nondualists of ajativada, ‘nothing is ever born’ school. …..”


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