"The Origin of the World
'There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our thoughts.'(Bertrand Russell)....."
"Today scientists, historians, astronomers, biologists, botanists, anthropologists and great thinkers have all contributed vast new knowledge about the origin of the world. This latest discovery and knowledge is not at all contradictory to the Teachings of the Buddha. Bertrand Russell again says that he respects the Buddha for not making false statements like others who committed themselves regarding the origin of the world.
The speculative explanations of the origin of the universe that are presented by various religions are not acceptable to the modern scientists and intellectuals. Even the commentaries of the Buddhist Scriptures, written by certain Buddhist writers, cannot be challenged by scientific thinking in regard to this question. The Buddha did not waste His time on this issue. The reason for His silence was that this issue has no religious value for gaining spiritual wisdom. The explanation of the origin of the universe is not the concern of religion. Such theorizing is not necessary for living a righteous way of life and for shaping our future life. However, if one insists on studying this subject, then one must investigate the sciences, astronomy, geology, biology and anthropology. These sciences can offer more reliable and tested information on this subject than can be supplied by any religion. The purpose of a religion is to cultivate the life here in this world and hereafter until liberation is gained.
In the eyes of the Buddha, the world is nothing but Samsara -- the cycle of repeated births and deaths. To Him, the beginning of the world and the end of the world is within this Samsara. Since elements and energies are relative and inter-dependent, it is meaningless to single out anything as the beginning. Whatever speculation we make regarding the origin of the world, there is no absolute truth in our notion.
'Infinite is the sky, infinite is the number of beings,
Infinite are the worlds in the vast universe,
Infinite in wisdom the Buddha teaches these,
Infinite are the virtues of Him who teaches these.' - (Sri Ramachandra)"
"...The famous Maya text the Popol Vuh states that the world has been destroyed three times by three great cataclysms and that the current world is the fourth world, thus their calendar begins at the end of the last world (18.104.22.168.0 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk’u) in 3114 BC and ends at the completion of the next cycle which is on December 21st 2012. The start date of the Mayan calendar is a topic of debate as it begins far earlier than when most archeologists accept that Mayan civilization began. This leads one to speculate that their calendar was originally of Olmec origin, as most archeologists agree that it was the Olmecs who had the first civilization in Central America around 1500 BC.
“Heaths and stone implements ” found in “Tlapacoya ” in Mexico “dated to perhaps 24, 000 years” show that there were people in the area long before the arrival of the Maya, and it could have possibly been these very people that were mapping out the stars long ago. Bishop Diego de Landa wrote in 1566 that “in his time The Mayas reckoned their calendar from a date which was about 3113 B.C in European chronology. They claimed that 5,125 years had passed before this date in former cycles. This would move the origin of the early Mayas to 8238 B.C ”. If we were to take the Bishops version of events as the truth we would understand that perhaps the Olmec and The Maya civilizations had their origins a great deal earlier than when most archeologists accept. Perhaps this is why their calendar was so detailed, precise and would make up for how it could possibly span such long periods of time. Is it possible then that the origins of the Mayan calendar date back to an age even before the Olmecs?
The Mayan calendar maps out cycles of time that extend far beyond our current accepted version of written history. In fact the Mayan calendar maps out cycles that take 52,000 to complete with pinpoint accuracy. One of the Mayan cycles of time mapped out a cycle that took 26,000 to complete and “is the calendar to indicate when the Earth Mother is going to make the big changes. Because, this land many times it was underwater. And this is going to happen again, because that is part of the natural cycle of the universe ” according to some Mayan priests. Many suppose that the end of the Mayan calendar is a prediction that the world will end. While this may seem ludicrous to most western scholars, the fact is that the Mayan calendar maps out cycles that are so long that they go far beyond our written history and are based on real celestial events."
"The Hymn of Creation
Another attempt at explaining the creation of the universe is found in the Hymn of Creation in the Rig Veda:
Then was neither non-existence nor existence: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
Death was not then, nor was there anything immortal: no sign was there, the Day’s and Night’s divider.
Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminated chaos. All that existed then was void and formless: by the great power of Warmth was born that One.
In the Chandogya Upanishad it says that in the beginning was the Brahman, and through heaven, the earth, and the atmosphere and the three seasons of summer, rains, and harvest he produced the entire universe.
Cosmology is the study of the universe, and humanity’s place in it.
One of the theories put forward by cosmologists is the Big Bang theory. This suggests that about 15,000 million years ago there was a massive explosion. This was the point at which all matter in the universe began; space and time began then too. Over time the universe that we know, and human and animal life, emerged.
This theory is generally accepted by scientists as being the best theory they have to explain the origins of the universe.
If this theory is true, then it could mean that the universe ‘just happened’ and that it did not emerge as a result of the activity of a creator God.
Some people suggest parallels between the process of creation as described in the Hindu sacred texts and the scientific understanding of the universe, especially the Big Bang Theory.
Some scientists have suggested that, following the Big Bang, the process of the expansion of the universe will eventually be reversed and at some distant point in the future will start to contract, eventually imploding into a `Big Crunch’. This could lead to another ‘Big Bang’, with a new universe being formed. This presents a picture of the universe as a process of creation and destruction occurring over vast timespans.
In Hinduism, the Vishnu Purana describes Vishnu as creator, sustainer, destroyer and then re-creator of the universe. This process takes place over a vast period of time called a Kalpa (nearly 9 billion years). The creation, sustaining and destruction of the universe is also told in the stories about Shiva, who is often shown as ‘Lord of the Dance’."
So many stories and theories to the creation of the earth, how can one from a desert dwelling nomadic tribal people be the correct one? I guess it takes faith in order to believe in the unbelievable when there are no facts to support the myth.