Hiranyagarbha: the Golden Egg

"On mighty waters floated the universal egg of the Golden Womb, Hiranyagarbha, which gave birth to the flame of life, the One Spirit of all the Gods." ~Rig Veda (X.121)

And now I tell you this: this golden egg is the center of your soul.

As the Vedic scriptures speak of Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Egg, so many of the world's creation myths contain the image of a primal egg floating on the waters of absolute Being. This egg is floating on the waters before creation. Yet it is floating inside you, now.

This image is even embedded in the Bible's creation story. In Genesis 1, "the Spirit-Breath of God was stirring the deep." The word for "stirring" is a Hebrew root, "rakaf," describing the ruffling movement of a mother bird sitting on its egg in the nest: a very feminine image of the Creator!

This Golden Egg is a very real experience in deep meditation. Hiranyagarbha is made of pure ineffable Light: the Light that knows its Self, and by knowing its Self becomes its Self, and by becoming its Self, generates the being of every creature in the cosmos. This is how the no-local field of Self-reference and Self-awareness creates every localized particle in the universe out of a spaceless timeless singularity.

On the shell of the egg are runes and letters, scriptures made of the same golden Light as the egg they dance on. Light writes on Light in vibrant pulsations of its own purity. This is the pregnancy of the egg, the fertility of light, the sheer exuberance of the void, yearning to express itself in sheer delight. And this script contains all the names of Allah, all the mantras of the Veda, all the letters of the Torah, all the songs of the Forest: the silent Music of Light before creation.

The egg floats as upon a sea of onyx, the divine blackness of the womb of the void. The music of its Light cannot be contained. It shines out in the darkness, singing golden rays into the silence of no-thing. As these streams of light and sound shine from the surface of the Golden Egg, their infinite vibration slows, becomes opaque, mingling with darkness, eventually condensing into atoms of matter. First as sub-nuclear nutrinos and quarks, their energy is so subtle that, even as particles, they remain songs in the heart of Light. These impulses are both wave and particle, both consciousness and matter. They are the roots of both sacred language and physical science. In the luminous aura emanating from the Golden Egg, heaven and earth, subject and object, spirituality and science, are as yet undivided.

As the Music of Light continues to stream forth, its rays coalesce into the elements, the elements into the dust of galaxies and stars, dragon-fly wings, sand, mist, flowers. This is how every plant in the forest contains a song. For the indigenous peoples of the earth need no written scriptures. They can hear the Music of Light in the trees and herbs around them. Walk in the woods, listen to the singing in the Presence of a seed as you hold it your hand. Hear a leaf in the air. Nestle the curves of your flesh among the roots of an old cedar. The singing of this Presence is green energy: what St.Hildegard of Bingen called "the greening power of the Spirit in creation."

The practice of hearing this silent Music of Light is meditation. The song, the divine name, the mantra, may seem like a mere sound at the level of the physical ear. But this sound is just the material pole of a living spectrum, a beam of energy that extends inward, through subtler fields of creation, toward the Golden Egg at creation's source. And this source is nowhere else but the center of your heart.

Let the sound of the mantra, the healing song, carry you effortlessly within inside, by the grace of the Creator who loves you and draws you to Herself. To follow this golden beam of sound inward is the Word of creation in reverse. In Biblical terms, this practice is Tshuva, "Returning." Follow the golden song down into sweet brilliant darkness, the egg, where God is always singing your name before you are born.

Painting: St. Hildegard of Bingen, 12th C.