Nothing is ever created, declare the Vedas. Things and beings only manifest from the un-manifest and then return to it.

This great truth is enshrined in the image of Vishnu, named Padmanabha.

Reclined on the serpent Sesha, he sprouts a lotus from his navel, in which manifests Brahma – the Creator.

So does Brahma create?

No.

Brahma only causes expression of potential of the beings resting in Vishnu, who is in a conscious slumber known as Yoganidra.

When the residual, unspent, collective Karma of these beings of a previously annihilated Universe precipitates into One Resultant Desire, Vishnu is caused to arise from his slumber.

This single desire sets the ball rolling.

Using this desire as blue-print for a new Universe; Vishnu first becomes the total mind called Brahma, loaded with collective residual desires of all these beings and pulsating with their potential.

This event is marked by a giant lotus sprouting out of Vishnu’s navel – like an umbilical chord - that gives birth to Brahma.

Subsequently Vishnu becomes Vishva (Cosmos in idea) by entering into and dynamiting his eight fold material nature (Ego, Intellect, Mind, Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) – Maaya. Thus providing subtle and gross material for the bodies of the beings and their worlds.

So far there is just One desire. This has stirred Vishnu, manifested the Total Mind (Brahma) and dynamited material nature.

The Second desire, child of the first, is that ‘The One Mind should become many’.

With the manifestation of another desire Time is born instantly, it being only a perceived interval between two thoughts.  

(It is a fact known and experienced that when mind is reduced to a single thought perception of Time ends)

Brahma – the total mind – fully comprehends the scope of desires and potential of all the beings to be manifested. He is also equipped with complete knowledge of objects of these desires.

This knowledge is called the Veda. Based on this knowledge, Brahma fashions a given Universe.

From the Second desire onwards all the worlds in the Universe and all the beings within are manifested (not created) as per the gross physical laws and subtle karmic laws, exactly on the lines of blue-print etched in the Cosmic Mind (Brahma or Hiranyagarbha).

All the various kinds of beings assuming their destinies through Brahma, rush to their own chosen fields of action as per their karmic tendencies.

Impelled by their Karma and Maaya, beings live out their destinies. They entertain multiple thoughts and desires experiencing all aspects of Time therefore.

When endless thoughts and perception of Time alter the texture of beings’ original desires to an extent that they no longer match their previously chosen body, they have to assume another that is in tune with the new tendencies gathered in order to live them out.

Thus the experience of Death is born, which is suffered by all beings under the influence of Desire and Time. Helplessly dragged by their tendencies caused by their own Karma, these beings experience Death repeatedly in countless births and bodies.

On the same note, when the Universe starts falling short of the utility it was manifested for, its configurations shake. It starts disintegrating into its original elements to return to un-manifest.

The eight-fold material nature of Vishnu folds upon itself.

Earth dissolves into Water – water is consumed by Fire – fire is sucked up by Air – air is engulfed by Space – space is absorbed in Mind – mind in Intellect and intellect in Ego, the original concept of ‘I’.

This ‘I’, the wonderful Maaya of Vishnu becomes one with him.

Simultaneously, Brahma; the cosmic mind manifested previously as the resultant of the collective tendencies of beings has nothing more left to express to these since they have lived and exhausted all the flavors of his expression over and over again in countless births.

The beings have acquired new Karma and Desires that are beyond this Brahma’s comprehension. He does not know the Veda of them.

These beings are now ready for a new Brahma and Universe.

His purpose served, Brahma returns in Vishnu. Time, Space and Death seize to be at this point.

The beings too, loaded with fresh batch of desires gathered over an unimaginably huge span of time in innumerable births enter Vishnu to rest. Just like the falcon, which rushes to its nest in the evening with folded wings after a long tiresome day.

They rest peacefully in their source till their residual Karma stirs up again and knocks.

The compassionate Vishnu feels compelled to wake up and sprout another Padma (lotus) from his Naabhi (navel) to become Padmanabha again.