Creation Myths of India

Buddhist
Buddhists have little to say about the origins of life. They are less concerned about the origins than they are about saving oneself and attaining nirvana. To the Buddhists, we can never know what happened in the beginning.

To the Buddhists, seeking the origin of life is like the parable of the poison arrow. A man is shot with a poisoned arrow, so he goes to see his doctor. Before the doctor can remove it, the man wants to know where the arrow came from (where the universe came from), who shot the arrow (arguing whether god exists), why the arrow was shot (why god created the universe) … and on and on. If you keep the poison arrow under your skin while you continue to ask these questions, you’ll die before you get the answer.

To Buddhists, there is no conflict between religion and science. Rather, they can be used together to help us understand our world.

Hindu
To Hindus, the universe is governed by a triumvirate – the Creator, Brahma; the Sustainer, Vishnu; and the destroyer, Shiva. Periodically, avatars of Vishnu come to earth. To the Hindus, this correlates closely with the theory of evolution put forth by Darwin.

In Hinduism, we are all God’s creations. God is both within his creations and also outside, observing from a distance. All animals, all humans contain a divine spark.. To the Hindus, time is cyclic and represented by the wheel of Time, the Kala Chakra.

Jainism
The universe is eternal. It was never created, and it will exist forever. While it is eternal, it is also changeable, passing through a series of cycles. Each cycle can go upward or downward, and each is divided into six world ages that last thousands of years. Currently, we are in the fifth age of a downward cycle.

Once we reach the lowest level, everything will be lost completely, including Jainism. During the next upswing, Jainism will be rediscovered and reintroduced, only to be lost again after the next downswing.

Sikh
Before there were the heavens and the earth, there is only God and his will. After thousands of years contemplating in the darkness, God’s planning was complete. Everything needed for creation was placed into a shell similar to an egg. When God was ready, the shell burst open, spreading outwards across the cosmos.

Surat Shabda Yoga
This cosmology sees the whole of creation in eight planes of existence (also called regions or eggs) which are above the physical plane. Our physical plane is subject to cycles of creation and destruction.

As with the cosmos, so with the individual. The body, or microcosm, includes a number of bodies, each suited to its individual region. Karma and reincarnation play a strong part in their beliefs.