Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dark matter is the 7th Wind (of the Seven wind currents) of the Cosmos of the Hindu Thought.

Recent weeks were abuzz with the talk of the discovery of Dark matter as a bridge between galaxies. Dark matter is abundant. It is everywhere. No one knows its composition. Yet its presence is known from the way it has a hold on things around it – to say in layman's words. It affects the gravitational force of the celestial bodies. By this it is inferred that it has some force of its own (or derived as per the explanation in Hindu Thought) with which it is able to exert an influence on the galaxies that are strewn around. Recent discovery shows that the dark matter is behaving like a grid and a guide to the galaxies in their journey across space.

Two clusters of dark matter (in blue) around a galaxy.

Before going further, I would like to remind the reader that I am layperson, having no qualification to speak on science matters. But I am able to see some commonality in certain matters with Hindu concepts, which I am writing down here.  On the recent report on dark matter, I am seeing a commonality with a concept called Saptha Vaayu (seven currents of wind) of the Hindu Thought.

According to Hindu Thought there are 7 currents of wind or air. The description about the seven currents of Saptha Vaayu can be found in Mahabharatha (Shanthi parva, chapter 328), in the 4th chapter of Siddhantha Shiromani and in the 2nd chapter of the Surya Siddhantha . The Vishnupurana also speaks about it and Vishnu Sahasranama identifies Vishnu as "Vaayu vaahana" – the one who is the carrier for wind or the one who makes the wind flow.

These winds are 7 in number (Saptha Vaayu). My previous article on Saptha Vaayu can be read here:-

Seven types of air-currents.

The seven currents of wind as categorized in Siddhantha Shiromani alongwith the explanation given in Mahabharata are as follows:-
The 7 types along are as follows:-
(1) AavAha :- This current helps in making the clouds float.
(2) PravAha :- This current becomes life itself as Praana.
(3) UdvAha :- This carries water from oceans and convert them into clouds.
(4) SamvAha :- This moves around the clouds and makes them pour down as rainfall.
(5) VivAha :- This is a wild current that shatters clouds and breaks them. (cyclones come under this category)
(6) ParivAha :- This is a current that sustains the Akash Ganga – the heavenly bodies move in particular course on account of this current.
(7) ParAvAha :- This is the current that overtakes everything at the time of end of Kalpa. All matter and all souls will be carried by this current. The other air currents also get fixed in this current.

The first 5 are within the earth's sphere and the 6th and the 7th currents are moving across the space guiding the planets and galaxies to move in specific paths. The 6th current causes the celestial bodies to go in rotational paths whereas the 7th current guides them to move in paths across the Space – whose destination is not known to Science.

Counting from last to first, the sequence shows how creation is sustained from outer space to earth. The Paraavaha is the carrier for all beings, both tangible and intangible to sustain and proceed from infinity to finite existence. (vAha means carrier, flowing etc, from which the word vAhana is derived). ParAvAha is the carrier that goes throughout the Para – the entire the stretch from creation to delusion. This stretch measured in time scale is equal to 100 years of Four faced Brahma which is equal to 311040,00,00,00,000 years. ({4,32,00,00,000 ,a day of Brahma + 4,32,00,00,000, a night of Brahma} X 360 days X 100).

According to Ved Vyasa, Saptha Vaayu is the breath of Vishnu's nostrils. One breath goes to the length the above mentioned number of years. Like this every breath of Vishnu signifies a continuous flow of winds in which worlds are formed, sustained and destroyed countless number of times. The Vaayu / air  that goes to the full extent of Para is Paraavaaha. The description of dark matter as constituting more than 80% of all the matter in the Universe and being spread throughout the Universe and also becoming the grid basis in which galaxies are sustained and led in their path fits well with Paraavaha Vaayu, the Ultimate Vaayu that is the base component of God's breath.

The next in line, Parivaha helps in the sustenance of tangible universe at finite existence. The others come in the picture in further progression of creation that has its final resting place at earth as air and in our lungs as Prana.

Sages illustrated this sequence in the form of an Ashwatha tree seen form our level as upside down with roots in heavens (outer space) and branches in the earth – which is the final place of creation. There may be several explanations for why they compared creation with the Ashwatha tree in upside down position. But a fact about that tree that is of interest in the present context is that this tree produces huge amounts of oxygen that is found concentrated under the branches. Oxygen is the sustainer for life at the final levels of creation. Life has branched out severally on earth, thereby making the sages visualize the Ashwatha branches at the earth with its base in the sky.

The life energy for the branches come from above – from the roots. Similarly the final levels of air are at the earth where the first and the long lasting air flows from outer space. The 7th Vaayu (Paraavaha) is comparable to the roots of this Ashwatha tree – spanning from infinity and carrying forth the sap throughout the regions where the Ashwatha has spread. This current is similar to the Dark matter with numerous veins that make it possible for matter to move forth.

Looking at why these currents are symbolized as Vaayu, it appears that no other term best describes them. Vaayu – the term for air or wind – is also the term that is signified as resembling the Ultimate God , the Supreme Brahman. (Brahman means that which is big and keeps growing). Vaayu is Prathyaksha Brahman – the tangible Brahman or God. It is everywhere – within our body and outside our body. It is the substratum on which we reside and it is also the in-dweller without which we are lifeless. It is known by the popular name Prana. Prana is the only ultimate life giver.

If we look at the way a baby is born, life starts when this Vaayu (air) enters the lungs and initiates the process of breathing. If death means cessation of breath, birth means beginning of breath. That is why we consider only the first cry of the baby as the time of birth. However it does not mean that the baby was lifeless before Vaayu (Prana) enters its lungs. The baby is very much alive while inside the womb, even without Prana, the vital breath! What sustains the baby with life while inside the womb is exactly similar to how the Universe(s) are held in the Cosmic Egg of Brahman, identified as Narayana (meaning of Narayana is in whom  everything rests and who rests in everything – a meaning similar to how Vaayu, the air is identified by Upansihads as Prathyaksha Brahman)

That means the Universe(s) with countless galaxies are indeed like the fetus that is still growing and full of life. By this logic, every star cluster that we see is sustained with life (not the life as we say in common usage) thanks to the sap supplied by the umbilical cord that arises from Narayana's navel.

How the sap is being distributed to every nook and corner of the Universe can be understood by the concept of Paraavaha Vaayu (dark matter).

How matter in the Universe is guided to form their own systems for furthering the Creation process is facilitated by Parivaha Vaayu- (Gravitational force).

Let us now look at the description of the 6th and 7th Vaayu as told in texts and why I compare them with Gravity and dark matter respectively. The 6th current is mentioned in Surya Siddhantha (2nd chapter) in three verses. These verses identify three factors as being important in planetary motion. They are Sheegroccha (perigee), Mandhoccha (apogee) and Paata (nodes). These three are identified as deities that make the planets go form west to east or from left to right and vice versa (rotational). Therein it is mentioned that a wind called Pravaha carries the planets in this motion. .  (The Surya Siddhnatha mentions it as Pravaha which seems to be a mistaken word in the course of rewriting them down the ages. It must be Parvaha).

The description given in Mahabharatha gives a better understanding of this concept. Mahabharata says that the 6th current obstructs the linear movement of celestial bodies and thus guides them into rotational orbits. Bheesha lying on the arrow -bed, gives the narration as told by Vyasa to his son Suka:-

"The sixth wind bears all celestial waters in the firmament and prevents them from falling down. Sustaining the sacred waters of the celestial Ganga, that wind blows, preventing them from having a downward course. Obstructed by that wind from a distance, the Sun, which is really the source of a thousand rays, and which enlightens the world, appears as a luminous body of but one ray. Through the action of that wind, the Moon,  after waning, wanes again till he displays his full disc. That wind is known, O foremost of ascetics, by the name Parivaha"

  Gravitational force is indicated by this description. The 6th current is gravity exerted at different levels. Any body in the Universe will have to undergo a turn -around or a folding in its course of movement. This current got manifest some time after creation started. As per Hindu Thought, initially creation proceeded without any differentiation. Only when there is a differentiation and variation, can there be multiplicity and branching out. It didn't happen initially. However after some time a 'wind' blew and stirred up the matter that was proceeding without differentiation. This resulted in collision of particles, folding up and revolutions. As per the description of Mahabharata, the 6th current obstructed the path of the Sun or the Moon which made them revolve in orbits. Therefore I theorise that the 6th current is the Gravitational force that is found all over the Universe in some measures making the particles go in orbits. This enables the birth of atoms and birth of worlds so that cyclical environment is created for life to form and die in endless cycles. By this it is also known that Gravitational force was not there at the moment of creation and sometime after creation. This current was the second born.

Parivaha wind hypothesizes that the path of the Universe itself is circular or rotational like the potter's wheel.  

There is a central axis around which all Universes rotate. 

The following illustration shows a single path with a central axis.

One can hypothesise infinite number of paths both horizontally and vertically in this formation. The rotational path ensures continuous to and fro motion that is needed for a never ending cycle of birth and death or creation and destruction. This is best described in the concept of Nataraja.

Details of these can be read here:-

Cosmic egg- Nataraja and Chakratthazhwar in unison!

For the current article, I am emphasising that the 6th current called as Parivaha is the force of gravity that makes all the objects – including the Universes to go in rotational course. The source of this force or current rests with the central axis which can be characterised as the tip of the God's finger as in Vishnu's image holding the Chakra (disc)

So even if we are able to identify the source of gravity, for the entire universe, we will not be 'seeing' God. We will be only seeing his finger tip!

We cannot 'see' Him, even if man manages to detect the source of Dark matter, for it will only show the design of God's game – of where we go within the frame of that game board. But if man manages to map the game board with dark matter forming the grid pattern, he will understand that there is nothing called randomness or uncertainty or even Free will!! Seen from outside the system the game board will look like a well planned maze. But a person standing within the game board, at any point of that maze cannot see that but understand / hypothesize that. By this I come to say that with every new discovery related to dark matter, it will be new step in coming closer to accepting God (Brahman) as the ultimate Creator.  

Scientists have found out that distant galaxies are guided by the dark matter which not only acts as an undergird for the galaxies but also a highway  by which galaxies are guided to move in specific directions. This is expressed with reference to the 7th and the last wind called Paraavaha by Vyasa. Here is what he says:-

The first born wind was Paraavaha – which carried all that were created. It carried both the entities of initial creation, namely Prakruthi and Purusha.

The 7th Vaayu is described as follows by Mahabharatha.

"That wind which takes away the life of all living creatures when the proper hour comes, whose track is followed by Death and Surya's son Yama, which becomes the source of that immortality which is attained by Yogins of subtile sight who are always engaged in Yoga meditation, by whose aid the thousands of grandsons of Daksha, that lord of creatures, by his ten sons, succeeded in days of old in attaining to the ends of the universe, whose touch enables one to attain to Emancipation by freeing oneself from the obligation of returning so the world, that wind is called by the name of Paravaha. The foremost of all winds, it is incapable of being resisted by anybody."

This description includes Jivas also! That means both Prakruthi and Purusha are guided by the 7th Vaayu. The dark matter detected by science may not be uniform or similar at all places. It has another important purpose of being a carrier or transporter of departed souls from one realm to another. Hindu scriptures speak of 2 routes in this context, one is called Pithru yana – the realm in the region below the plane of our existence and another is called Deva yana – the realm which is in the region above our plane of existence. There are specific routes to these realms. A jiva departing in Uttarayana (northern course of Sun) will be carried by the Paraavaha going to Devayana. Bheeshma waited for that course to come in line with earth so that he could be carried to the Devayana.

This topic on route of Devayana and Pithru yana  is by itself vast which I will write later. Those who can read Tamil can have an idea about it by reading my Tamil articles in the following links:

-          Jayasree



Invisible dark matter skeleton of universe detected for the first time
Washington, July 10, 2012
First Published: 15:03 IST(10/7/2012)
Unknown territory: Here's what scientists call dark matter, found 5 billion light-years away from Earth.

Scientists have announced a discovery that confirms a key prediction in the prevailing theory of how the universe's current web-like structure evolved.

A team led by a University of Michigan physics researcher has, for the first time, directly detected part of the invisible dark matter skeleton of the universe, where more than half of all
matter is believed to reside.

The map of the known universe shows that most galaxies are organized into clusters, but some galaxies are situated along filaments that connect the clusters. Cosmologists have theorized that dark matter undergirds those filaments, which serve as highways of sorts, guiding galaxies toward the gravitational pull of the massive clusters.

Dark matter's contribution had been predicted with computer simulations, and its shape had been roughed out based on the distribution of the galaxies. But no one had directly detected it until now.

"We found the dark matter filaments. For the first time, we can see them," said Jorg Dietrich, a physics research fellow in the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

Dark matter, whose composition is still a mystery, doesn't emit or absorb light, so astronomers can't see it directly with telescopes. They deduce that it exists based on how its gravity affects visible matter. Scientists estimate that dark matter makes up more than 80 percent of the universe. To "see" the dark matter component of the filament that connects the clusters Abell 222 and 223, Dietrich and his colleagues took advantage of a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.

The gravity of massive objects such as galaxy clusters acts as a lens to bend and distort the light from more distant objects as it passes. Dietrich's team observed tens of thousands of galaxies beyond the supercluster. They were able to determine the extent to which the supercluster distorted galaxies, and with that information, they could plot the gravitational field and the mass of the Abell 222 and 223 clusters. Seeing this for the first time was "exhilarating," Dietrich said.

"It looks like there's a bridge that shows that there is additional mass beyond what the clusters contain. The clusters alone cannot explain this additional mass," he said.

Scientists before Dietrich assumed that the gravitational lensing signal would not be strong enough to give away dark matter's configuration. But Dietrich and his colleagues focused on a peculiar cluster system whose axis is oriented toward Earth, so that the lensing effects could be magnified.

"This result is a verification that for many years was thought to be impossible," Dietrich said.

The team also found a spike in X-ray emissions along the filament, due to an excess of hot, ionized ordinary matter being pulled by gravity toward the massive filament, but they estimate that 90 percent or more of the filament's mass is dark matter.

The findings have been published online in Nature and will appear in the July 12 print edition.

Found: Dark matter string between galaxy clusters
PTI Jul 6, 2012, 05.54AM IST
WASHINGTON: For the first time, astronomers have discovered a giant string of invisible dark matter across the universe between a pair of galaxy clusters. The universe is thought to be filled with such strings of dark matter, a mysterious substance that cannot be seen, only sensed through its gravitational pull.

Scientists have made many attempts earlier to find dark matter filaments, which are predicted by theories that suggest galaxy clusters form at the intersections of filaments. Dark matter is thought to make up 98% of all matter in the universe. Now, scientists find a giant filament that forms a bridge between two huge clusters called Abell 222 and Abell 223, which lie 2.7 billion light-years away.
"This is the first time (a dark matter filament) has been convincingly detected from its gravitational lensing effect," said Jorg Dietrich ,an astronomer at the University Observatory Munich in Germany.

"It's a resounding confirmation of the standard theory of structure formation of the universe. And it's a confirmation people didn't think was possible at this point," Dietrich said. Many astronomers thought detecting filaments would have to wait until telescopes became significantly more advanced, but Dietrich and his colleagues benefited from the rare spatial geometry of this cluster, which allowed them to detect signs of what's called weak gravitational lensing.