Cosmologies of India

  • John McKim MalvilleEmail author
Living 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 a home, temple, and city is based upon a shared religious symbolism, which involves the bringing of cosmic order out of primordial chaos partly through the act of measurement (Malville, 1992; Zimmer, 1946). Measurement as cosmogenesisis asserted in many texts of...


Black Hole Shadow Casting South Axis Vernal Equinox Hindu Temple 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Astrophysical and Planetary SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderColorado