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Most dominant philosophy in Hinduism is that God is everywhere and in everything. I want to understand this in more detail. As per science we know that around us there are two distinct things: Space-Time and matter-energy (or simply stuff).

The stuff (matter-energy) is made of atoms and sub-atomic particles which are existing on space-time.

A nice way to understand this is by comparing space-time to a stage and stuff (matter) to the actors on the stage.

Science still doesn't know what exactly is this "space" made of. Also they do not know what is "time."

Now my question is what exactly does Hinduism (Advaita Vedanta) refer to as God in the above space-time-matter analogy? Is God the stage or is He the actor and why?

I want proper answers with proof from scriptures, not individual opinions or views.

  • Even the Vedas/Upanishads fail to answer this. They merely say parabrahma is that which is beyond the known as well as the unknown. One can only improve one's understanding of it through continuous sadhana and penance. There are no ready answers. – user1195 Apr 22 '16 at 7:35
  • God is the energy. Energy is everywhere. Energy condensed is matter. The Universe is filled with dark energy and dark matter. In other words, scientist have found that all of the Universe is permeated by an energy that they cannot explain. Similarly you can think of God as permeating everything. God condensed is Vyakta, and God in his pure form is Nirguna according to Advaita. Good question. – Sai Apr 22 '16 at 16:25
  • If God is energy, according some energy is always lost in the conservation of energy principle... so God is lost or losing his potency while creating this universe or running this universe.. by this you can conclude he is not energy.. – Prasanna R Feb 22 at 5:25
  • God would be the stage, the actor and you, but not everyone would agree that 'God' is the right word. There is no such thing as 'proof from the scriptures'. The proof has to be experiential or at worst metaphysical. The advaita view would be that the actors and stages you speak of are like a dream. This would be the reason why science cannot make sense of time and space. the study of which is actually not science but metaphysics. A simple answer would be that advaita does not endorse the idea of God, but this issue is complicated by the many ways the word may be used. . . – PeterJ Feb 22 at 13:47
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God has 2 prominent energies as per Bhagavad-Geeta; 1. Material energy and 2. Spiritual Energy.

The space-Time and matter both come under the material energy. Space-Time is subtler form and matter is gross.

God can be realized in 3 ways 1.Brahman 2. Paramatma and 3. Bhagawan. In Gaudiya-Vaishnav philosophy ; Acaryas explain this by giving an analogy of sun. for example Sun is out there in sky and his radiance is everywhere; i.e. sun is present in a form of his energy(rays) in my house; but I cant say that sun has entered my house. So similarly Lord in form of Paramatma enters all the atomic,subatomic particles(material energy) and also enters in spirit souls(spiritual energy). Lord therefor in His unmanifested form (His plenary expansion as Paramatma and Brahman) is present everywhere.

By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.

Krishna in very next verse explains that even though He is present everywhere; still He is aloof from this cosmic manifestation.

Just like how Government's Governance(energy) pervades entire province but Head of state; say PM or President(analogous to Personal aspect of God) cannot be present everywhere.Please note; this is a crude example, do not take in literal terms.

So God is present in everything and everyone but Not personally; He is present in a form of one of His manifestation.

However since God is in everything; does not imply that everything is god(as per Gaudiya-Vaishnava philosophy and I guess some of other Vaishnava sampraday as well). In this way He pervades everything.

So According to me its neither stage nor Actors on stage that may be compared to God

  • Nice answer.... – Amit Saxena May 18 '16 at 7:19
  • "for example Sun is out there in sky and his radiance is everywhere; i.e. sun is present in a form of his energy(rays) in my house; but I cant say that sun has entered my house" Sun rays might be everywhere but sun itself is not there which means Sun is finite so this analogy cannot be applied on God who is infinite. "However since God is in everything; does not imply that everything is god" Using the above logic, it is clear that everything is indeed God because he is infinite and present everywhere. – Chinmay Sarupria Nov 3 '16 at 6:54
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    @ChinmaySarupria My views are little different. I believe that Everything is His energy and He pervades the universe by His Energy. As a follower of Vaishnavism I believe He is a person and He is not personally present Everywhere;Evethough if He choses He can. :) – Vishal prabhu lawande Nov 3 '16 at 7:27
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    This is more clear answer !! We should Surrender to lord Krishna !!! :-) – Shree Krishna Nov 3 '16 at 10:47
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    Well Vedas say this "Salutations to him [Rudra] who is in canal water to him who is in streams. Salutations to him who is in water of a pool and to him who is in the water of a lake. Salutations to him who is in the water of river and to him who is in the water of the pond. Salutations to him who is in the water of well and to him who is in the water of spring. Salutations to him who is in the clouds and who is also in lightning." This clearly means God is indeed present everywhere and everything is indeed God. – Chinmay Sarupria Nov 3 '16 at 16:20
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Vedas state "Sarvakhalvidam Brahman" which means "Everything is Brahman." So, everything is Brahman in the absolute level. Chandogya Upanishad states:

सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म तज्जलानिति शान्त उपासीत अथ खलु क्रतुमयः पुरुषो यथाक्रतुरस्मिल्लोके पुरुषो भवति तथेतः प्रेत्य भवति स क्रतुं कुर्वीतः । [Chandogya Upanishad.]

III-xiv-1: Verily, all this universe is Brahman. From Him do all things originate, into Him do they dissolve and by Him are they sustained. On Him should one meditate in tranquillity. For as is one’s faith, such indeed one is; and as is one’s faith in this world, such one becomes on departing hence. Let one, therefore, cultivate faith.

Explanation:

The explanation why is it so is given in Aitreya Upanishad [2.6.1] which states :

He (the Self) wished, “Let me be many, let me be born. He undertook a deliberation. Having deliberated, he created all this that exists. That (Brahman), having created (that), entered into that very thing. And
having entered there, It became the formed and the formless, the defined and the undefined, the sustaining and the non-sustaining, the sentient and the insentient, the true and the untrue. Truth became all this that there is. They call that Brahman Truth. Pertaining to this, there occurs this verse. In the beginning all this was but the Unmanifested (Brahman). From that emerged the manifested. That Brahman created Itself by Itself. Therefore It is called the self-creator.

For the statements from Veda Samhitas itself, the best place would be look at the Sri Rudram hymn of YajurVeda which establishes omnipresence of Brahman by so many verses. 16th chapter of Shukla YajurVeda or 4.5.1 -4.5.11 of Krishna YajurVeda is the Sri Rudram hymn. Sri Rudram calls Brahman by the name of Rudra. The relevant verses from that hymn are:

7th Anuvaka:

नमः काट्याय च नीप्याय च । नमस्सूद्याय च सरस्याय च । नमो नाद्याय च वैशन्ताय च । नमः कूप्याय चावट्याय च । नमो वर्ष्याय चावर्ष्याय च । नमो मेघ्याय च विद्युत्याय च । नम ईध्रियाय चातप्याय च । [YajurVeda 4.5.7]

Salutations to him [Rudra] who is in canal water to him who is in streams. Salutations to him who is in water of a pool and to him who is in the water of a lake. Salutations to him who is in the water of river and to him who is in the water of the pond. Salutations to him who is in the water of well and to him who is in the water of spring. Salutations to him who is in the clouds and who is also in lightning.

9th Anuvaka:

नमो गोष्ठ्याय च गृह्याय च । नमस्तल्प्याय च गेह्याय च । नमः काट्याय च गह्वरेष्ठाय च । नमो हृदय्याय च निवेष्प्याय च । नमः पाँसव्याय च रजस्याय च । नमः शुष्क्याय च हरित्याय च । नमो लोप्याय चोलप्याय च । नम ऊर्व्याय च सूर्म्याय च । नमः पर्ण्याय च पर्णशद्याय च । [Yajurveda 4.5.9]

Salutations to him [Rudra] who is of the form of one who lives in stable and to him who lives in homes. Salutations to him who sits on the cot and to him who lives in ornamental houses. Salutations to him who lives in thorny bushes and who lives in caves. Salutations to him who is in deep still waters and to him who is in snow drops. Salutations to him who is in speck of dust and who is in the dust from mud. Salutations to him who is in dried piece of wood and who is in wet stem. Salutations to him who is in firm floor and who is on turf. Salutations to him who is on flat land and to him who is on tides in the river. Salutations to him who is in green leaves and who is in dried leaves.

And the 3rd Anuvaka states:

नमः ककुभाय निषङ्गिणे स्तेनानां पतये नमः । नमो निषङ्गिण इषुधिमते तस्कराणां पतये नमः । नमो वञ्चते परिवञ्चते स्तायूनां पतये नमः । नमो निचेरवे परिचरायरण्यानां पतये नमः । नमः सृकाविभ्यो जिघांसद्भ्यो मुष्णतां पतये नमः । नमोसिमद्भ्यो नक्तंचरद्भ्यः प्रकृन्तानां पतये नमः । नम उष्णीषिणे गिरिचराय कुलुञ्चानां पतये नमः ।  [YajurVeda 4.5.3]

Salutations and salutations, To him [Rudra] who is the best, To him who holds the sword, And to him who is the leader of the thieves. Salutations and salutations, To him who holds bows ready to shoot, To him who has the quiver, And to him who is the leader of the dacoits. Salutations and salutations, To him who cheats, To him who is the greatest cheat, And to him who is leader of those who steal by cheating. Salutations and salutations, To him who goes inside to steal, To him who goes outside
to steal,
And to him who is the leader of thieves who steal in the forest. Salutations and salutations, To him who defends themselves with arms. To him who troubles others, And to him who is the leader of peasants who steal from their master. Salutations and salutations, To him who holds the sword, To him who prowls in the night to steal, And to him who is the leader of those who murder and steal. Salutations and salutations, To him who wears the turban, To him who lives in the forests, And to him who is the leader of those who steal in houses and fields.

So, from the above statements it is clear that everything that exists is God/Brahman himself.

We can find further statements like in Narayana Sukta of Taittaria Aranyaka YajurVeda:

यच्च किञ्चिज्जगत्यस्मिन् दृश्यते श्रूयतेऽपि वा ।
अन्तर्बहिश्च तत्सर्वं व्याप्य नारायणः स्थितः ॥ ५॥ [Taittariya Aranyaka 10.13]

Whatsoever there is in this world known through perception or known through report, all that is pervaded by Narayana within and without.

Also in Rudra Sukta of Taittariya Aranyaka:

सर्वो वै रुद्रस्तस्मै रुद्राय नमो अस्तु । पुरुषो वै रुद्रः
सन्महो नमो नमः । विश्वं भूतं भुवनं चित्रं बहुधा जातं जायमानं च यत् । सर्वो ह्येष रुद्रस्तस्मै रुद्राय नमो अस्तु ।। [Taittariya Aranyaka 10.24]

All this verily is Rudra. To Rudra who is such we offer our salutation. We salute again and again that Being, Rudra, who alone is the light and the Soul of creatures. The material universe the created beings and whatever there is manifoldly and profusely created in the past and in the present in the form of the world, all that is indeed this Rudra. Salutations be to Rudra who is such

Also the Rudra Suktam states:

रुद्राय नमः कालाय नमः । [Taittariya Aranyaka 10.18]

Salutation to Rudra who is in the form of Time.

Similarly Purush Sukta states:

पुरुष एवेदं सर्वं यद्भूतं यच्च भव्यम् ।
उतामृतत्वस्येशानो यदन्नेनातिरोहति ॥२॥ [RigVeda 10.90.2]

This Puruṣa is all that yet hath been and all that is to be; The Lord of Immortality which waxes greater still by food.

Similarly YajurVeda 5.5.9 states in a single sentence as:

यो रुद्रो अग्नौ यो अप्सु य ओषधिषु ।
यो रुद्रो विश्वा भुवना विवेश तस्मै रुद्राय नमो अस्तु ।।

“The Rudra in the fire, in the waters, in the plants, the Rudra that hath entered the whole world, to that Rudra be homage”

Similarly Shwetashwatara Upanishad [3.11] States:

सर्वाननशिरोग्रीव सर्वभूतगुहाशयः ।
सर्वव्यापि स भगवान् तस्मात सर्वगत शिव।।

All faces are His faces; all heads, His heads; all necks, His necks. He dwells in the hearts of all beings. He is the all−pervading Bhagavan. Therefore He is the omnipresent Shiva.

Thus from the above Veda statements, it is clear that everything that exists is Brahman (including Time Matter Beings, etc..).

In a nutshell the Hymn of YajurVeda Sri Rudram itself summarizes it as:

नमो रथेभ्यो रथपतिभ्यश्च वो नमः नमः सुतायहन्ताय, रथकारेम्यो नमो नमःअश्वेभ्यो अश्वपतिभ्यश्चभो नमो नमः।। [YajurVeda 4.5.2,3]

Salutation to him who is chariot, who is rider of chariot, who is charioteer and who is maker of Chariot, who is the horses and lord of the horses.

Thus Brahman himself is maker of chariot, he himself is that chariot itself, he himself is the Rider of Chariot and he himself is the Charioteer and he himself is the horses of that chariot.

In other words He is both the actors, stage, performer and observer, and everything that exists.

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    Yes the Sri Rudram verses aptly answers this question by saying that the supreme being is everywhere from the smallest to the largest object etc – Rickross Nov 3 '16 at 6:17
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    Nicely explained excellent answer. – SwiftPushkar Nov 3 '16 at 7:58
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Here are two passages that describe the relation between the universe and Brahman.

This entire universe is a manifestation of God.

It is only the Bhagavan, the Pure Consciousness, who is variously called Parabrahman, Paramatma, Parameswara, and Purusha, who has manifested Himself as the world of objects, the individual seers in it and the instruments through which they see.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana, III.32.26

This universe is an expression of the Supreme Spirit, apart from whom it has no separate existence. It is sometimes manifest, and sometimes not. Just like the rays of the sun, this universe shines forth from Him without being different.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana IV.31.16

Brahman is both the stage and the actor.

2

I will say based on Yogic tantra which was written by our great ancient Siddhas - Thirumoolar, Agathyar, Bhogar etc.. Pranan or in Tamil - VASI is the ultimate life energy sustaining the universe and also human life. It exists in all five elements of nature - Space, fire, water, air, Earth.

"Varuvathum povathum vasi agum, vanil varum athuve agum" -

To support this - Upanishads also convey that - it is the Pranan which digests our food and converts it into vitamins, minerals etc. - which is why Lord Krishna says in Gita that he digests the food in stomach. Since this Earth is also one of manifestation of Pranan, a Yogi is able to attain Samadhi below the soil of Earth and remain there for n number of years without food/drinks.

In ordinary water which is not boiled, Pranan energy is more higher. Third, Pranan is responsible for maintaining 37C in human body, and finally Pranan is the Cosmic energy which is prevading entire Cosmos and also in the air along with oxygen.

Thus, whatever we see including tree, soil, water, living and non-living entity are manifestations of Pranan

And what is Pranan? Nothing but energy form of supreme personality of God!

If you want to understand intellecutually about God - refer yogic way of Siddhas which will set the platform for Bhakti, and surrender to supreme!

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I am providing only scriptural references that Brahman is everywhere. This is mentioned in different scriptures

1.sadeva soumyaidam agra aasid ekam eva advitiyam.(Chhandogya Upanishad 6/2/1)

'Only the One who is ever-existing is seen everywhere who is One and without a second.

  1. Sarvam evam ajam saantam anantam dhruvam avyam (Yogavasishtha Ramayana 126/98)

Everything is form of that birthless motionless infinite changeless Truth.

  1. Sa Ishwaro vyasti-samasti-rupah (Vishnu-Puran, 6/5/86/97)

God is in of all micro and macro forms.

  1. sa tvam triloka-sthitaye swa-maayayaa(Bhagavatam 10/3/13)

You are present everywhere in the lokas by your maya

5.PutraVaryaadishu vikalesu sakaleshu va aham eva(Sariraka Adhyaasa Bhashya)

In all wives and sons I am present.

6.Eka eva hi bhutaatma bhute bhute avasthitah(Panchadashi 15/8)

The same Atmaa is oresent in every being.

  1. Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma (Chandogya Upanishad)

Everything if this workd is Brahman.

  • IswashaIdyam sharvam brahma (Iswashya Upanishad) (Important) – Prasanna R Feb 22 at 5:26
  • @PrasannaR There are so many others also:) – user17294 Feb 22 at 17:07

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