Hiranyagarbha (devanāgarī: हिरण्यगर्भः hiraṇyagarbha) is a Sanskrit word that means the "golden womb" or "golden egg". It is the source of creation of the Universe in Indian philosophy.
There are different accounts of the initial creation. After Mahāpralaya, the great dissolution of the Universe, there was darkness everywhere. Everything was in a state of sleep. There was nothing, either moving or static. Then Svayambhu, Self-manifested Being arose, which is a form beyond senses. It created the primordial waters first and established the seed of creation into it. The seed turned into a golden womb, Hiranyagarbha. Then Svayambhu entered in the egg, and it is called Vishnu because of entering. Once in the Egg, he becomes the germ of Brahmā, who is incubated there. After having continued for about a (divine) year in the egg, Brahmā divided it into two parts by his mere thought, and with these two shells he formed the heavens and the earth; and in the middle he placed the sky, the eight regions, and the eternal abode of the waters.
Sometimes, Hiranyagarbha is used as the name of Brahmā or the supreme deity (Prajāpati). In the Rig-veda Hiranyagarbha “is said to have arisen in the beginning, the one lord of all beings, who upholds heaven and earth, who gives life and breath, whose command even the gods obey, who is the god over all gods, and the one animating principle of their being.”
See also Mundane egg