Creation Hymn

There was neither non-existent nor existent then.
There was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
What stirred? Where? In whose protection?
Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?

There was no death then, nor yet immortality;
Of day and night there was no sign.
The One, breathless, breathed by its own impulse.
But apart from it was nothing beyond.

Darkness was there hidden by darkness,
And all was water indiscriminate.
Then that One which came to be, enclosed by void,
Arose, born of heat's power.

In the beginning desire descended upon that One—
Desire, the primal seed of mind.
Sages who have searched their heart's thought with wisdom
Know the bond of existence in non-existence.

A line severed existence from non-existence.
What was above it then, and what below?
Then seeds were sown and mighty forces arose:
Below was impulse, and strength above.

But who really knows, and who can say
Whence this creation was born and how it came to be?
Even the gods came after its emergence,
So who can tell whence it first arose?

He from whom this creation came,
Whether he formed it all or whether he did not,
He who looks down from the highest heaven,
He knows—or perhaps he knows not.

Rig Veda 10.129


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