Much has been written about the 129th suukta of the 10th mandal of the Rig Veda. It has been given a special name too… the ‘naasadiiya suukta‘, because it begins with the words ‘naasadiiya..” Here’s one more interpretation… mine. Useful or not, it is something I wish to put into words. WordPress is a good place for that.
First lets look at an oft-quoted poetic translation, extracted from AL Basham’s book, ‘The Wonder that was India : A Study of the History and Culture of the Indian Sub-continent Before the Coming of the Muslims’. In the 1963 Edition, this translation occurs on page 249.
Then even nothingness was not, nor existence, there was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it, where was it, in whose keeping, was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?
There there was neither death nor immortality nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The ONE breathed windlessly and self-sustaining, there was that ONE then, and there was no other.
At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness, all this was only unillumined water.
That ONE which came to be, enclosed in nothing, arose at last, born of the power of heat.
In the beginning desire descended on it – that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom know that which is is kin to that which is not.
And they have stretched their cord across the void, and know what was above and what below.
Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces, below was strength and over it was impulse.
But, after all, who knows and who can say whence it all came and how creation happened?
The gods themselves are later than creation, so who knows truly whence it has arisen?
Whence all creation had its origin, HE whether HE fashioned it or whether HE did not,
HE, who surveys it all from highest heaven, HE knows – or maybe even HE does not know.