Cosmologies of India

  • John McKim Malville
Reference work entry

From the viewpoint of modern astrophysics, cosmology is the study of the history, structure, and dynamics of the universe. Many of the traditional cosmological concepts of Indian culture have general counterparts in astrophysical cosmology. For example, the parallelism of the macrocosm and microcosm is an important concept for both approaches; our terrestrial physics is mirrored in the stars, galaxies, and distant quasars. Gravity and other long range forces thread the entire universe. The geometry of Indian temples, cities, and pilgrimage landscapes often replicates the larger cosmos.

Modern physical science relies heavily on quantitative measurement, and according to the architectural traditions of India, the structure of home, temple, and city are based upon a shared religious symbolism, which involves the bringing of cosmic order out of primordial chaos partly through the act of measurement (Zimmer 1946; Malville 1992). Measurement as cosmogenesisis asserted in many texts of...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John McKim Malville

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