Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/262

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morphism, we have the famous and sublime speculations of an often-quoted hymn.[1] It is thus that the poet dreams of the days before being and non-being began:—

"There was then neither non-entity nor entity; there was no atmosphere nor sky above. What enveloped [all]? . . . Was it water, the profound abyss? Death was not then, nor immortality: there was no distinction of day or night. That One breathed calmly, self—supported; then was nothing different from it, or above it. In the beginning darkness existed, enveloped in darkness. All this was undistinguishable water. That One which lay void and wrapped in nothingness was developed by the power of fervour. Desire first arose in It, which was the primal germ of mind, [and which] sages, searching with their intellect, have discovered to be the bond which connects entity with non-entity. The ray [or cord] which stretched across these [worlds], was it below or was it above? There were there impregnating powers and mighty forces, a self-supporting principle beneath and energy aloft. Who knows? who here can declare whence has sprung, whence this creation? The gods are subsequent to the development of this [universe]; who then knows whence it arose? From what this creation arose, and whether [any one] made it or not, he who in the highest heaven is its ruler, he verily knows, or [even] he does not know."[2]

Here there is a Vedic hymn of the origin of things,

  1. Rig-Veda, x. 129.
  2. Muir, Sanskrit Texts, 2d edit., v. 357.