Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

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Kush
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Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Kush » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:21 am

A friend recently brought my attention to this piece from the Rig Veda. It is remarkably contemporary in thought. The Rig Veda is the oldest of the 4 vedas and written around 1500 - 2000 BC.


Nasadiya Sukta (Hymn of Creation)

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?

Then 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 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.
Your private life will suddenly explode - Leonard Cohen
Steven
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Re: Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Steven » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:27 pm

Hi Kush,

Thanks for posting this creation narrative. Enjoyed reading it and compared and contrasted
it with the one that starts with: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
No time or desire to write out my thoughts on this. Most readers here wouldn't be interested,
anyway.
Tony
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Re: Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Tony » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:42 am

Hello Kush and Steven,

Thank you for the posting and comments.

In this day and age many people don't have time to stand back from their busy lives and think of what life is actually all about so such posts remind us of our place in the universe. I may be misquoting Leonard Cohen here but I believe he wrote, 'We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky.'

I have read some of the works of Joseph Campbell who wrote about mythology in various cultures and they are very thought provoking and interesting. Here is a Wikipedia link if you are interested.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell
Steven
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Re: Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Steven » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:49 pm

Hi Tony,

Am in agreement with your post. Busyness also prevents people from experiencing a state of
wonderment. I too have read some of Campbell's works and have a collection of his talks on audio
tapes.
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Kush
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Re: Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Kush » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:28 am

Thanks Tony and Steven - Joseph Campbell is a new name for me. I will check out some of his writing.
Busyness also prevents people from experiencing a state of wonderment.
I agree with this very much. Being busy is a good thing for me but it also prevents me from reading and doing stuff that I enjoy doing just for the heck of it. In recent years I have become more active hiking and backpacking and try to spend a week or two each year at a national park cut off from world with no internet connection and sometimes no cell connection either.

I thought I would wait until I had more concrete thoughts on these verses before responding but I never really did. The piece speaks for itself. The lack of certainty in the thoughts expressed is remarkable for something written so long ago. I am not religious myself but have great respect for the place where all religions and religious thoughts come from (both mainstream and lesser known ones) - to me they are completely logical for the time and place of their origin and the knowledge base in existence at the time. I think it was Leonard Cohen who said "Religion is one of the great organizing principles".
Your private life will suddenly explode - Leonard Cohen
Steven
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Re: Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Steven » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:52 pm

Hi Kush,

You'll probably find Campbell's writings to be intriguing. You may also want to check
out the PBS series The Power of Myth that debuted in 1988. Joseph Campbell is
featured in it with host Bill Moyers. I haven't seen it since the year it was released,
but recall having enjoyed it then. I'm not endorsing anything that Campbell has said
or written.
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Kush
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Re: Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Kush » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:09 pm

Thanks Steven. Will definitely check it out...although I tend to progress slowly and have a long list of to do and to read but I usually will find something of value in most things ... :).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFIP0b8nacI

let us walk
let us search
let us examine
let us see


I am currently reading a book Biomimicry - Innovation inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus - highly recommend it

Happy July 4th to you and everyone else who will celebrate tomorrow...
Your private life will suddenly explode - Leonard Cohen
Steven
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:32 am

Re: Nasadiya Sukta - Rig Veda

Postby Steven » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:04 pm

Hi Kush,

Enjoyed the video. It makes for a great tie-in to the book you recommend. Will get ahold of a copy.
Hopefully, I'll be able to read it within the next month. The topic is of interest to me. Read up
about the book after seeing your post. Thanks for recommending it. Coincidentally, after reading
your follow-up post in this thread regarding wonderment-busyness, have been observing bat flight
maneuverability in the sky at dusk, with wonder and enjoyment. Thought of your post. :) To
the best of my knowledge, aviation engineers haven't come remotely close to replicating bats'
remarkable flight ability. Have no idea if bats have an appearance in the text of the book.
Will surely learn much from it. May you find much wonder and joy, Kush, amidst busyness,
hiking, backpacking, etc.

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