The Hymn of Creation

Then, was neither existence nor non-existence. Then, was no airy realm and no sky beyond. What covered it and where? What gave shelter? Was water present, the unfathomed depths of water?

Death was neither, nor immortality. And no sign, the divider of day and night.

The Breathless One was breathing on Its own account. There was nothing else whatsoever.

Darkness was then, and concealed in the darkness was the All’s indiscriminate chaos.

The All that existed then was void and formless. The great power of warmth gave birth to the One.

At last rose the desire of a beginning, the Spirit’s primordial seed and germ.

Sages who searched with all their hearts discovered that existence and non-existence are akin. Transversely, was their severing line extended.

What was above it and what was below it then? There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action, and energy up galore.

Who truly knows? Who can explain how creation was conceived and whence it came? The gods came after the world’s making. Who knows its origin?

He, the primal origin of creation, whose eye controls this world in the highest heaven, did he form this all or not? He knows it, or perhaps he knows not.

– The 129th Hymn of the 10th Mandala of the Rigveda

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