Recently we in our alumni email group caught up in a heated discussion about god and miracles. Since I was in vacation this was a good opportunity to brush up my vedanta. So, when a discussion started about Ishaavaasyopanishad, well, specifically about the first Shloka
Ishaavaasyam Idam Sarvam Yatkincha Jagatyaam Jagat||
Tena tyaktena bhunjithaah. Maa gridah kasya svit dhanam||
Well, during the reading, I couldnâ€™t but help think about the ramifications of M-Theory (another link) on the whole concept of Brahman, Maaya and Isha. So, I refreshed my Shankaracarya and found something rather interesting.
Shankaracarya took great attention to the logic of his arguments. Instead of saying something is so just because Vedas said so, he tried to come up with analogies and logical tools to provide an explanation, sometimes terming them as proofs. So, it is only natural to try to extend those logical steps to include new realizations of how things are.
While not all M-Theorists agree about multi-verses, they do agree that the laws of physics of this universe are not necessarily applied anywhere else in the 11 dimensional space. One of the significant achievement of M-Theory is explaining the singularity away from Big-Bang. But that would make it quite viable that such brane collisions happen more than once and could give rise to multiple universes.
So, how could one relate this possibility of differing fundamental laws being applied in different universes/branes/boundaries to Advaita?
The fundamental assumption in Advaita is that Brahman is the primordial, omnipotent, featureless, (not that, not that) presence (Nirguna). Isha is the manifestation of Brahma on Maaya. Furthermore, Isha is responsible for creating the universe, and is the causation. (Of course, the ultimate causation is Brahman). The universe is the effect of this, and at the same time, is a projection of Isha (Brahman by association) on Maaya.
When there are multiple universes with differing laws of physics, one could take two possible arguments. The first one is to say that Isha manifests universe in multiple ways with differing laws. But, a logical explanation will be to assume that in a multi-brane state (sthiti) it is quite possible to have multiple manifestations of Brahma on the branes. Ohhâ€¦ my, this could even lead to the assumption that Branes are actually the causation of Maya. So, these manifestations of Brahma could be considered as different Isha, each of which is omnipotent, omniscience in the corresponding universe (or Brane if it had never collided with another one. I agree, I havenâ€™t found a good enough explanation of what happens to the Ishas when a collision occurs. Survival of the fittest?)
It is like a hall of mirrors that has different mirrors with different surface geometry. Each one reflects you in different ways while all is you. (See, I too can come up with Shankaracaryanesque analogies.) One has to acknowledge the complexity of Hindu philosophy though. It is possible to come up with an esoteric definition with the help of as many Shlokas as you like using the Vedas and Upanishads.
I am sure one of those Frijtoff Capra likes will run with this or a similar take to provide more proof that the ancient philosophies actually did solve all the problems.
If somebody is still not clear, I do not subscribe to this idea. This is one of those thought plays you do instead of masturbating J