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Creation Hymn

The non-existent was not; the existent was not at that time.

The atmosphere was not nor the heavens which are beyond

What was concealed? Where? In whose protection?

Was it water? An unfathomable abyss?

There was neither death nor immortality then.

There was not distinction of day or night.

That alone breathed windless by its own power.

Other than that there was not anything else.

Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning.

All this was an indistinguishable sea.

That which becomes, that which was enveloped by the void,

that alone was born through the power of heat.

Upon that desire arose in the beginning.

This was the first discharge of thought.

Sages discovered this link of the existent to the nonexistent,

having searched in the heart with wisdom.

Their line [of vision] was extended across; what was below, what was above? There were impregnators, there were powers: inherent power below, impulses above.

Who knows truly? Who here will declare whence it arose, whence this creation? The gods are subsequent to the creation of this. Who, then, knows whence it has come into being?

Whence this creation has come into being; whether it was made or not; he in the highest heaven is its surveyor. Surely he knows, or perhaps he knows not.

Destijds was noch het Niet-Zijn, noch het zijn,

Geen luchtruim was, geen hemel boven. –

Wie hoedde toen de wereld, en in wie was zij besloten?

Waar was de diepe afgrond, waar de zee?

Niet dood bestond toen, noch onsterfelijkheid,

de nacht was niet geopenbaard, noch ook de dag.

Slechts ademde, windstil, in diepe oorspronkelijkheid

het Ene, buiten welke geen ander was.

Door duister was geheel het Niets bedekt,

een oceaan, van licht gespeend, in nacht verloren,

Toen werd, wat in de schaal verborgen was,

het Ene, in de pijngloed van de kracht geboren.

Hieruit ontsproot als eerste vrucht

het zaad van alle kennis, liefdes kracht. –

De wortel van de wereld in het Niets werd vorsend

door zieners in de drift van ’t hart gevonden


To Night

With all her eyes the goddess Night looks forth

approaching many a spot:

She hath put all her glories on.

Immortal, she hath filled the waste, the goddess

hath filled height and depth:

She conquers darkness with her light.

The goddess as she comes hath set

the Dawn her sister in her place:

And then the darkness vanishes.

So favour us this night,

O thou whose pathways we have visited

As birds their nest upon the tree.

The villagers have sought their homes,

and all that walks and all that flies,

even the falcons fain for prey.

Keep off the she-wolf and the wolf;

O Night, keep the thief away:

Easy be thou for us to pass.

Clearly hath she come nigh to me

who decks the dark with richest hues:

O morning, cancel it like debts.

These have I brought to thee like kine.

O Night, thou child of heaven,

Accept this laud as for a conqueror.

To Dawn

She hath shone brightly like a youthful woman,

stirring to motion every living creature.

Agni hath come to feed on mortals’ fuel. She hath

made light and chased away the darkness.

Turned to this all, far-spreading, she hath risen and

shone in brightness with white robes about her.

She hath beamed forth lovely with golden colours,

mother of kine, guide of the days she bringeth.

Bearing the gods’ own eye, auspicious lady, leading

her courser white and fair to look on,

Distinguished by her beams, Dawn shines apparent,

come forth to all the world with wondrous treasure.

Dawn nigh will wealth and dawn away the foeman:

prepare for us wide pasture free from danger.

Drive away those who hate us, bring us riches:

pour bounty, opulent lady, on the singer.

Send thy most excellent beams to shine and light

us, giving us lengthened days, O Dawn, O goddess,

Granting us food, thou who hast all things precious,

and bounty rich in chariots, kine, and horses.

O Dawn, nobly-born, daughter of heaven, whom

the Vasisthas with their hymns make mighty,

Bestow thou on us vast and glorious riches.

Preserve us evermore, ye gods, with blessings.