brahmāṇḍa

(‘the egg of Brahman’)

How this world in which we live and move and have our being, has been created, has always remained a mystery to the human mind. The Hindu sages have always felt that only the śāstra or the revealed Word, can solve this mystery. However, the accounts of creation given in the Vedas, the Upaniṣads, the smṛtis and the purāṇas are so different—though there are also some common points—that it becomes rather difficult to take as authoritative any one account. That is why commentators on these works stress the point that the main purport of all these works is to point towards God, the creator and the need to know him.

According to the Manusmṛti (1.7-13) Svayambhū, the Self-existent Being, desi-rous of creating the world, brought out water from himself. He laid the seed over it which developed into a golden egg from which he himself was born as Brahmā, the Creator. This golden egg is called brahmāṇḍa. Brahmā (also called Hiraṇya-garbha) split it into halves and constructed svargaloka (heaven), bhūloka (earth) and antarikṣa (the intervening space). In some works, the number of worlds created is listed as fourteen.