Let me start by saying that I am an atheist. Most people – a lot of Indians at the very least (I know) have found my thoughts very non-Indian. Well I was born in a very moderate Hindu family and I studied in a Catholic school. If that was not enough I have travelled across India and substantially around Europe.
My search for what Hinduism is – led to critical review of what religions really are. And last time i thought of it was “ancient control mechanism which were justified before the evolution of civil laws”…. i know that’s a mouthful.
So where does creation hymn come in. Well its a part of Rig Veda.. the first of the Veda (Sacred Hindu texts that for a long time were not accessible to the general population). I came across this translation and something inside me just clicked. You have to remember that Rig Veda goes a long long time back – at least around 2500 BC. To me, it adds to my atheistic view of the world and universe as such. If this thought existed before any of the religions, do we have to believe in such obviousness just for the sake of believing ? Here it goes:
Not even nothing existed then
No air yet, nor a heaven.
Who encased and kept it where?
Was water in the darkness there?
Neither deathlessness nor decay
No, nor the rhythm of night and day:
The self-existent, with breath sans air:
That, and that alone was there.
Darkness was in darkness found
Like light-less water all around.
One emerged, with nothing on
It was from heat that this was born.
Into it, Desire, its way did find:
The primordial seed born of mind.
Sages know deep in the heart:
What exists is kin to what does not.
Across the void the cord was thrown,
The place of every thing was known.
Seed-sowers and powers now came by,
Impulse below and force on high.
Who really knows, and who can swear,
How creation came, when or where!
Even gods came after creation’s day,
Who really knows, who can truly say
When and how did creation start?
Did He do it? Or did He not?
Only He, up there, knows, maybe;
Or perhaps, not even He.
This translation was done by V. V. Raman. He’s a professor at University of Rochester and i found him on WordPress 🙂