We are continuing our meditations on creation stories from around the world that invite us to consider the Ground of being in all of nature.

Prayer ritual, photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels.

The Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu Scriptures, addresses God by saying, “Although you are one, you spread throughout the sky and the planets and all space between.” Is this reality also what the biblical writer is singing about who declares, “the Spirit of the Lord fills the whole universe?”

An ancient poem from the Hindu Scriptures tells of the primacy and the depths inherent in our relationships with the rest of Creation. 

If hundreds of suns were to rise at once into the sky, their radiance might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form.

Photo of child celebrating Holi, by Neeraj kumar from Pexels.

O Lord of the universe, O universal form, I see in your body many, many arms, bellies, mouths, and eyes, expanded everywhere, without limit. I see in you no end, no middle and no beginning.

You are the original Personality of Godhead, the oldest, the ultimate sanctuary of this manifested cosmic world…. O limitless form! This whole cosmic manifestation is pervaded by you!

Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in me.

O son of Kunti, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into my nature and at the beginning of another millennium, by my potency, I create them again.

Bower shrine to Ganesha, by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels.

There is no end to my divine manifestations. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of my infinite opulences.

Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of my splendor…. With a single fragment of myself I pervade and support this entire universe.

Everywhere are his hands and legs, his eyes, heads and faces, and he had ears everywhere. In this way the Supersoul exists, pervading everything.

I enter into each planet, and by my energy they stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables. It is understood that all the planets are floating in the air only by the energy of the Lord. The Lord enters into every atom, every planet, and every living being. 

Exuberant children, photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels.

Hindu scholar Iyengar comments that all creation is Brahman. How different is that from Christians talking about the “Cosmic Christ,” that the whole universe it another Christ and each being in it?  Or the Jewish teaching that the “image of God” is to be found in the whole universe? 

The Vedas reveal that creation is not a mechanical construction: it is a supreme spiritual act revealing divine splendor.  In the Biblical tradition, this “divine splendor” is named as doxa or glory and it is everywhere—”the whole earth is full of God’s glory.”  The Cosmic Christ is a way to name this numinosity or “sheen” (Aquinas) that every creature carries. 

Hildegard of Bingen puts it this way: “There is no creature that lacks a radiance.”

Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 39f.

Banner Image: The Festival of Holi as photographed by Yogendra Singh, via Pexels.

Do these teachings from Hinduism and elsewhere remind you of the omnipresence of the divine in all creation, all of nature?  And that it is all opulent and beautiful and glorious and radiant?  What follows from that?

Recommended Readings

One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths

Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

Stations of the Cosmic Christ
By Matthew Fox and Bishop Marc Andrus.

This is a book of meditations on the Cosmic Christ, accompanying the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Together, these images and meditations go far beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross to inspire a spirit awakening and understanding of the cosmic Christ Consciousness, Buddha consciousness, and consciousness of the image of God in all beings, so needed in our times.
“A divinely inspired book that must be read by every human being devoted to spiritual and global survival. It is cosmically brilliant.” — Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

Upcoming Events

Join Matthew Fox for a thought-provoking 7-week course: Answer the Call for an Uncommon Life Through the Mystical Teachings of St. Hildegard, Tuesdays, 6/15 to 7/27. While the course has begun, registration remains open, with recordings of past classes available. Learn more HERE.

Join Rabbi Rami Shapiro and Rev. Matthew Fox for a 1.5-day Virtual Teach-in on “Cosmic Wisdom and the Divine Feminine: Lost Insights for an Emerging World.” Friday, June 25, 4:00 PM to
Saturday, June 26, 2:30 PM Pacific (GMT/UTC-7). Enroll HERE.

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15 thoughts on “Hinduism and the Divine Splendor of Creation”

  1. Avatar

    “Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in me.”

    The above quote from this D. M. and the rest of this D.M. indicates that the main religions and spiritual traditions of the world are all legitimate expressions helping us to get to “heaven.” It is claimed that Indian Sri Ramakrishna was the first holy person to get in writing that all religions and traditions (indigenous peoples) will get us to “heaven.” Interesting the late Fr. Bede Griffiths, the American Benedictine mystic, went to live in India to study Hinduism because he saw that studying Hindu spirituality led him to deeper understandings of the mystical messages of his Roman Catholicism. We are ONE, that is, we are Cosmic as this D. M. and other Matt Fox work depicts. Br. Wayne Teasdale, who was a student of Griffiths, penned The Mystic Heart which showed the universal spirituality of all the major religions that Sri Ramakrishna expounded. I am pleased to read about Hindu spirituality and I know the D. M.’s have brought to attention Bede Griffiths and Wayne Teasdale before.

    1. Avatar

      In addition to my comment I want to add that thirteen years ago when I was trying to get information out about Wayne Teasdale’s synthesis of information in his book, THE MYSTIC HEART Discovering A Universal Spirituality In The World’s Religions, that the book became mysteriously absent from a local library shelf.

    2. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Thank you for your comment Gary! I have read and enjoyed very much THE GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA. And, of all things I was talking with a Catholic priest last week about Fr. Bede Griffiths, and how the Christian presence affects the Hindu community at large. We concluded that Hindus are more able than Christians to embrace and emphasize the common elements of the two religions, while most Christians reject even common elements of other religions, and rather focus on the differences. BUT Matthew is the master at showing commonalities, especially when it comes to the whole mystical tradition, which reaches across all faiths. That’s what his book, ONE RIVER, MANY WELLS is ALL about. You should get it if you don’t already have it!

  2. Avatar

    Pantheism vs Panentheism: If the Universe is Brahman, that is Pantheism and different from the understanding that God is “present everywhere filling all things” as an Eastern Orthodox prayer says. And in Buddhism, I have been reading “No Death, No Fear” by Thich Nhat Hanh, and as I understand him, we are all God and individual manifestations such as ourselves come and go like waves in the ocean, i.e the individual and unique “me” is not permanent because there is only one self, not many. How is this compatible with the Judeo-Christian understanding that we are created in God’s image but we are not God? How is this compatible with the teaching on Theosis, that “God became man so that man might become God”, we become by grace what Jesus is by nature? And finally, if the Universe is God’s body, then how is Jesus “Emmanuel”-God with us-if we are all God?

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      Brahman consists of three aspects, which are Shiva, Vishnu  and Brahma. Shiva and Vishnu are One Spiritual Entity, the Uncreated Infinite. Brahma was created and is the World Soul who manifests as the Universe. The Universe is essentially an undifferentiated mass of light. But because Brahma sinned against the Uncreated Infinite the material universe became manifested as a less-than-divine illusion.  

    2. Avatar

      It’s a language problem. Self Realization and/or Enlightenment is about you trusting your Self and coming to your own conclusions. Different people attempt to explain the unexplainable differently. A teacher can only lead us so far and then we have to go beyond reason. The Image and Likeness of God is Universal Consciousness as far as I can tell. What is so bad about going back to the mind of God when the physical body dies?

    3. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Carol, yours is a hard question. But let me try and answer it for you. When we look around us in the world we see many particular things: trees, and chairs, people and insects, asphalt streets and grass trimmed yards–and of course I could continue to list all of the particular things that are in our world and I would die before I finished. Now what if I told you that all of these particular things at there most basic level are the same thing–not similar but THE SAME THING? It is true and scientifically proven. It is what we call the atomic nature of the universe. You see whether we tall of stars or the sun or a bicycle or a car, everything is made up of subatomic particles. If I can understand this–and I do as a layman–its not much of a jump for me to see God as separate from us, and yet ONE at the same time, and the same goes for Jesus, and the same for us with each other…

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        Thank you Richard, but I am still not understanding the implications of this for the doctrine of the Incarnation. Are you saying that Jesus is just another human and not the Word of God made flesh who came to dwell among us?

        1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
          Richard Reich-Kuykendall

          Carol, when it comes to the incarnation I see it in terms of panentheism. Pan = all; en = in; theism = God. So the doctrine of panentheism is that God is in all things, and all things are in God. So, [and this is just my belief] I believe that God was in Christ reconciling the world to him/herself, but I also believe that in a parallel way God is incarnate in each us, for God is in all things. “Beloved, now are we the sons [and daughters] of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

  3. Avatar

    Paramahansa Yogananda has been called the father of yoga and meditation in the West.

    Yogananda wrote:

    “There is a distinguishing difference of meaning between Jesus and Christ. His given name was Jesus; his honorific title was “Christ.” In his little human body called Jesus was born the vast Christ Consciousness, the omniscient Intelligence of God omnipresent in every part and particle of creation. This Consciousness is the “only begotten Son of God,” so designated because it is the sole perfect reflection in creation of the Transcendental Absolute, Spirit or God the Father.”

    Yoga: “No other science has detailed the descent of the individualized consciousness of God as the soul into man and its evolutionary and spiritual ascent back into Spirit. In this modern age, Kriya Yoga has been brought forward after being lost in the dark ages, as a definite method to hasten the spiritual evolution of human consciousness and open the inner cerebrospinal pathway of ascension, releasing the soul through the spiritual eye into the kingdom of the Holy Ghost, the Christ Consciousness, and the Cosmic Consciousness of God the Father.”

    “God the Father is the Absolute, Unmanifested, existing beyond vibratory creation. God the Son is the Christ Consciousness existing within vibratory creation; this Christ Consciousness is the “only begotten” or sole reflection of the Uncreated Infinite. Its outward manifestation or ‘witness’ is Aum or Holy Ghost, the divine, creative, invisible power which structures all creation through vibration.”

  4. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    We share a common destiny with all of creation… which is to reveal our true divine radiance… the beauty of that which has already been seeded and sealed within …. that which is already here, now…. that inherent goodness within – which is uniquely and diversely expressed in authentic ways pertinent to each one… whom is a manifestation of creation.

    Pretense is but a shadow of darkness, which humanity has cloaked itself in… in fear of being nakedly exposed.

    Martin Luther King Jr. Once said, which I am paraphrasing here… is that it is our light, not our shadow, our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, radiating beauty, giving of goodness? Actually, who are you not to be. You are a child, a creation, an expression, a reflection, a manifestation of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking and hiding in the shadows and darkness of pretense. We are born to reveal and make manifest the glory of God that is already there within us. It is not in just some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own little radiant light shine…. we unconsciously give people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear of the shadows and darkness… and from hiding under the cloak of pretense… our naked presence liberates others.

    The gospel message says the same thing. No one, when given a lighted candle puts it in a secret place, hiding it in a cellar under a covering…. but rather places it on a lampstand of remembrance… so that those whom enter and come in… into relationship with… may see the light. Let the light so shine forth from within… for it is the glory of God.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank for those encouraging words for us all !!!

  5. Avatar
    Patrick Watters

    The Gita and Upanishads are full of the Universal Christ of we have eyes to see and ears to hear. }:- a.m.

  6. Avatar

    How can a created being begin to understand the nature and properties of an infinite and eternal Creator? Body parts and male/female genders have been used as presumed form, yet we know those have temporal existence and could not have survived since the beginning of creation. Documentation cited as proof could hardly have been compiled at the time of temporal creation. Even the Genesis account is written in the third person. Who was that person, and how could they exist before human creation? Some have said that the Creator, currently named God, provided the documentation, and gave it to Adam. If that were true, why would it not be written in the first person?
    Many who have come before us have come to understand that our prime objective is learning to love, even those who are not easy to love. We need to separate the person from their actions and send love to the person without approval of their action. We are one people and able to choose to love. Let us focus more on how to do acts of love as we have been taught.
    We can engulf ourselves in historical claims and gender issues to provide counterbalance, but does that really put love at the front of our purpose for existence?

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Bob, it seems that we are dealing with more than one issue here: the nature and properties of an infinite and eternal Creator, What is the ultimate source of the Genesis creation accounts, and about loving others–and hints in a number of places of gender issues. First of all, the eternal Creator is beyond gender and all form that is how we can say he is omnipresent or everywhere present at the same time. Secondly, we have no way of knowing the source of the Genesis accounts. We can say that ultimately they came from God, but then whence all the contradictions in the two accounts in chapters one through three–that God is ultimately the source must remain an article of faith.). And you are right about our loving each other–and I believe that sometimes we have to do a counterbalance to things, to put things in the right perspective…

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