Cosmic Egg American Museum

 of Visionary Art - Baltimore,

Maryland USA


The Cosmic Egg






Eros, the Protogonus (‘First-born’), the first complete manifestation of Divinity.


Hindu Creation Myth


The Orphic-Greek Creation Myth is synonymous with the Hindu Creation Myth. In the latter, the Sanskrit term for the Cosmic Egg is Brahmanda ('Cosmic Egg') or Hiranyagarbha (‘Golden Foetus’). This is also described as Brahman, the Soul of the Universe.

The Upanishads describe how the Hiranyagarbha floated around in the dark emptiness of non-existence for about a year, and then broke into two halves which formed the Swarga (‘Heaven’) and Prithvi (‘Earth’). From the Hiranyagarbha was born Brahma, the Manifest (i.e. Eros).

The Matsya Purana describes how, in the beginning (or after Mahapralaya, the great dissolution of the universe), there was darkness everywhere. Nothing existed: all was in a state of sleep or divine potential. Then Svayambhu, Self-manifested Being, came into existence. He caused the primordial waters to appear and placed the seed of creation into them, thereby creating Hiranyagarbha, the golden foetus. Svayambhu then entered the foetus, where he became Vishnu, the Being who pervades the entire universe (or cosmos).

Besides Brahman and Svayambhu, other names given for the self-manifested Universal Being are Narayana, Ishvara and Krishna. In this one and only Being are contained the three great principles of creation, preservation and dissolution, known as the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This Supreme Being is described symbolically as multi-headed, multi-eyed, multi-footed, multi-armed and multi-limbed—the supreme Source, Light and Creator of everything else.








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