The Story of creation of universe – Shiv Purana
In the Hinduism, Brahman and its manifestation in individual soul (Atman) is the essence of the Upanishads. Brahman transforms into the world with its magic creative power (Maya). Shiva is also called as Maheshvara, when he is represented as the personification of fullness of Brahman. Shakti, Shiva’s wife represents in her many forms of energy of universe.
In Shiva Purana, Brahma ji explained to sages that at the time of Great Dissolution, all the mobile and immobile objects of the world were dissolved and everything gets enveloped in darkness. No celestial body existed. No demarcation of the day and the night existed. There was no fire, no wind, no earth and no water. There was no unmanifest primordial being. The whole firmament was one complete void. There was no Dharma or Adharma, no sound, no touch, no smell, no colour and no taste. It is mentioned in the Vedas as “The Existent and the Brahman” is alone present. (Chapter 6: 1-7)
It is said, That Being, then after sometime, wished for a second and hence created that form of Isvara of pure nature. The manifest form of the formless Being is Shiva. Isvara then created the physical form Shakti from his body. This Shakti is called by various names - Pradhana, Prakriti, Maya, Guṇavati, Para. Shakti is the mother of Buddhi Tattva (The cosmic Intelligence), Vikar-rahit (without modification). She is the prime cause and the mother of the three deities. (1 Chapter 6: 4-20)
The manifested form of Shiva holds the Ganga on His head, the crescent moon on His forehead, has three eyes and five faces. He is always joyful. He has ten arms. He holds the trident. He is as pure and white as camphor. His body is entirely dusted with the ash. He together with Shakti, simultaneously created the holy centre called Shivaloka, called as Kashi. It is the seat of salvation. (Chapter 6: 25-28)
Shiva Shakti wished to create another being. Thereupon a person came into being who was the most charming, calm with Sattva Guṇa, the ocean of immeasurable majesty and endowed with patience. He had the lustre of sapphire. He was having a golden form and features. He wore two excellent silk garments of golden colour. Shiva said to Him, “You will be famous as Vishnu by name as you are all-pervasive. You will have many other names conferring happiness on devotees. Saying so, Shiva bestowed on him the Vedas through his nostrils. Then Shiva Shakti vanished. (Chapter 6: 38-44)
Sri Vishnu performed a terrible penance, for a long time, following the path of meditation and became enlightened. He was delightfully surprised. “O what is that True entity?” Due to exertion done in penance, water-currents of various sorts began to flow from the body of Vishnu. The divine waters pervaded the entire void. A mere contact with the same has been destructive of sins. Vishnu, being exhausted went to sleep amidst the waters. He was in that blissful state of delusion for a long time. As approved in the Vedas, his name came to be established as Narayana (Having water as abode). (Chapter 6: 49-54)
Then, from Prakriti came into being the Mahat (cosmic Intellect), from Mahat the three Guṇas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). Ahaṃkara (the cosmic ego) arose therefrom in three forms according to the three Guṇas. The essences, the five elements, the senses of knowledge and action too came into being then. All these principles originating from Prakriti are insentient. but not the Puruṣa. These principles are twenty-four in number. (Chapter 6: 56-59)
Shiva said to Vishnu in Shiva Purana:
“Although Nirguṇa, I am Saguṇa too and the author of dissolution, maintenance and creation. I am the supreme Brahman without decay and change. Existence, Knowledge and Bliss are my characteristics. I am Niṣkala (Nirguṇa) for ever. For the activities of creation, maintenance and dissolution I manifest myself in the three forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. Shiva and Rudra shall not be considered different. As gold metal turned into ornaments, there is no difference in the material content. You two (Vishnu & Brahma) are born of Prakriti but not this one (Rudra). This goddess Uma, Parmeshwari is the Prakriti. Her Shakti, the goddess of speech, shall resort to Brahma. Another Shakti also will be arising out of the Prakriti. That Shakti will resort to Vishnu in the form of Lakshmi. Another Shakti Kali will surely share my part. O Vishnu, you shall carry on your activities with the co-operation of Lakshmi. O Brahma, with the cooperation of the goddess of speech, the part of Prakriti, you shall carry on joyfully the activity of creation, according to my direction. I shall have the co-operation of Kali, the part of my beloved, the greatest of the great and shall carry out the excellent activity of dissolution in the form of Rudra. You shall be happy after the creation of the world consisting of the four Varnas and their ancillaries—the four Ashramas (stages of life) and various sorts of other incidental activities. You shall contribute to the welfare of the world making use of your knowledge and perfect wisdom. am the author of creation, protection and dissolution by the attributes Rajas etc. I am different from these Guṇas and directly beyond Prakriti and Puruṣa. I am the supreme Brahman, the eternal, the endless, the perfect and the unsullied. Vishnu has Tamas within but Sattva outside. He is the protector of the three worlds. Rudra who causes dissolution of three worlds has Sattva within but Tamas outside. Brahma who creates the three worlds has Rajas both within and without. This is the position of the Guṇas in the three deities. Shiva is spoken of as different from the Guṇas.” (Ch-9/Sh.13-20, 27-28, 34, 41, 45-47, 50-53, 58-61)
The span of life of the deities - A thousand sets of the four-yuga periods constitute one day of Brahma. The period of night is also similar. Further measurement of time is based on this calculation. Thirty such days (days and nights) constitute one month and twelve months, one year. The span of life of Brahma is hundred such years. One year of Brahma constitutes one day of Vishnu. Vishnu lives for hundred years in his own calculation. One year of Vishnu constitutes one day of Rudra. When a hundred-year period passes, Rudra assumes the form of Nara (supreme Man). He stays like that as long as the breath is retained by Sadashiv. When He exhales, he merges into Shakti. In the case of all living beings, Brahma, Vishnu, Hara, Gandharvas, serpents, Rakshasas, etc., twenty-one thousand six hundred respirations constitute the period of one day and one night. Six respirations constitute the period of time one Pala. Sixty such Palas constitute one Ghaṭi. Sixty Ghaṭis constitute one day and one night. (6 x 60 x 60 = 21600). There is no limit to the number of respirations of Sadashiv. It is my directive that you should preserve this form and maintain all the activities of the created worlds by means of these different Guṇas so long. (Ch-10/Sh. 15-24)
Shiva (Nataraja) is the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for Brahma ji to start the process of creation afresh. This new creation is harmonized and preserved by Vishnu ji, obviously by the force of trinity in the singularized and unique entity originated from that Mahadeva.
The left foot of Nataraja is elegantly raised, the right foot tramples illusion and ignorance. The upper left hand holds a flame, The upper right hand holds an hourglass drum or 'dumroo'. It is believed Shiva's drum produces the first sounds of creation. As ripples of sound course through matter, it comes alive and radiates all around Shiva. But even as he creates and makes matter alive, Shiva is dancing within a ring of fire, signifying the destruction he will soon bring about. In the Hindu religion, Nataraja represents the endless cycle of birth and death.
The divine dance of Nataraja exists in five forms which shows the cosmic cycle from creation to destruction – Srishti (creation, evolution), Sthiti (preservation, support), Samhara (destruction, evolution), Tirobhava (illusion) and Anugraha (release, emancipation, grace).
Modern Science on Creation of the Universe:
Fritjof Capra in his bestseller book "The Tao of Physics", (First published in July 11, 2012) mentions: "Modern physics has also shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of living creatures but is also the very essence of inorganic matter. For modern physicists, Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter."
Physicists now know that every type of subatomic particle has a corresponding subatomic antiparticle. The processes of creation and destruction continue to occur in the world of particles in a very complicated way. This is testimony of continual rhythm of creation and destruction which is parallel to the divine dance of Nataraja.
Modern Science discovered that the universe is made of matter. The smallest unit of the matter is atom. Atom is composed of 5 fundamental particles (protons, neutrons, electrons, photons and neutrino) and 4 fundamental forces (electromagnetism, gravity, and the strong and weak nuclear forces). Sixth subatomic particle was discovered after 50 years of search in 21st century and named as “Higgs Boson”. The Higgs boson, or “God particle,” is believed to be the particle which gives mass to matter.
Photons are the most well-known; they carry the electromagnetic force. "Gluons carry the strong nuclear force and reside with quarks inside of protons and neutrons. The weak force, which mediates certain nuclear reactions, is carried by two fundamental particles, the W and Z bosons. Protons and neutrons are made up of fundamental particles of matter called quarks. Electrons are another type of fundamental particles of matter called leptons. Bosons are fundamental particles that carry forces between fundamental particles of matter. As per modern science, mass is nothing but a form of energy.
Reference: Shiva Purana, Second Samhita - Rudra-saṃhita: Sṛṣṭi-khaṇḍa, Chapter - 6, 9 and 10.