A few days ago, while waiting for the incipient new year, I took a break from waiting and perused my daily conglomeration of Google news alerts. I have Google watching for news on a variety of things for me. Bigfoot and Sasquatch, of course, alien invasions, naturally, weird news, understandably, and science in general, for light reading.
An article on Phys.org caught my attention. It is titled, “Our universe: An expanding bubble in an extra dimension.” Ah, I thought, astrophysicists and cosmologists blowing theoretical bubbles, just the thing to fill my idle time with! The article is a gloss of a paper published by five researchers in theoretical astrophysics and cosmology at the Institution for Physics and astronomy, at Uppsala University, Sweden. The article is also illustrated with an image created by one of the authors.
That image shows a bunch of galaxies floating on the surface of a bubble. The article says that bubble is expanding, and that that expansion is proposed to be in an extra dimension, beyond the usual three we know and have come to love. The article throws in a bunch of stuff about how the researchers tie this higher order dimension into general relativity theory, quantum mechanics, string theory. I thought, “Tie everything together with string?”
But then I thought,”The universe is a bubble? Where have I heard that before?”
“In Hindu metaphysics, of course!”, I immediately shot back, ducking at the speed of my thought.
This visible, touchable, smell-able universe we live in is called the pinda in Hinduism. It exists in, is manifested in, a higher order dimension, which is called the “anda” in Hinduism. Anda means egg. Eggs are bubbles.
There is a higher order dimension in which the anda exists, the “brahmanda”, the egg of Brahma, the creator god of the Hindu trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Those three gods are the product of an even higher order reality, which is called the “parabrahmanda”, beyond the egg of Brahma. Bubble eggs are no longer involved. The parabrahmanda is not describable in words, probably not even mathematics, and there are dimensions higher than that.
It gets better. There are more than one egg of Brahma. There are an infinite number of them, being created, existing, then disappearing eternally: frothy bubbles in the substrate of reality.
As said in an article about the possibility of multiple universes on EarthSky.org, “In this picture, our universe is one bubble in a frothy sea of bubble universes.”
First declaimed on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:
For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here: