Then neither Being nor Not-being was, Nor atmosphere, nor firmament, nor what is beyond. What did it encompass? Where? In whose protection? What was water, the deep, unfathomable?
Neither death nor immortality was there then, No sign of night or day.
That One (tad ekam) breathed, windless, by its own energy (svadha): Nought else existed then.
In the beginning was darkness swathed in darkness; All this was but unmanifested water.
Whatever was, that One, coming into being, hidden by the Void, Was generated by the power of heat (tapas).
In the beginning this [One] evolved, Became desire, first seed of mind (manas). Wise seers, searching within their hearts, Found the bond of Being in Not-being.
Their cord was extended athwart: Was there a below? Was there an above? Casters of seed there were, and powers; Beneath was energy, above was impulse.
Who knows truly? Who can here declare it?
Whence it is born, whence is this emanation.
By the emanation of this the gods only later [came to be]
1 Quoted from: Hindu Scriptures. Selected, translated and introduced by R.C. Zaehner. Dent: London/Dutton: New York 1966, pp. 11f; the following quotations with pp. in the text from this edition.
APPENDIX 2 ® BASIC TEXTS
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this emanation hath arisen, Whether [God] disposed it, or whether he did not, Only he who is its overseer in highest heaven knows, [He only knows.] or perhaps he does not know!
FROM THE INDIAN UPANISHADS: brhadaranyaka upanishad i ,3.2 (pp. 34f)
From the unreal lead me to the real! From the darkness lead me to the light! From death lead me to immortality!
When he says, 'From the unreal lead me to the real, by the unreal [he means] death, by the real immortality. [When he says,] 'From death lead me to immortality, he means, 'Make me immortal'. And when he says, 'From darkness lead me to the light, by darkness [he means] death, and by light immortality. [When he says,] 'From death lead me to immortality', he means, 'Make me immortal'.
'From death lead me to immortality!' There is nothing obscure about that.
brhadaranyaka upanishad iii, 9.26 (ibid. p.59)
'[Sakalya said:] 'On what are you and [your] self (atman) based?' [Yajnavalkya said:] 'On the in-breath.' 'On what is the in-breath based?' 'On the out-breath.' 'On what is the out-breath based?' 'On the "diffused" breath.' 'On what is the "diffused" breath based?' 'On the "upper" breath.' On what is the "upper" breath based?' 'On the "concentrated" breath.
This Self (atman) - [what can one say of it but] "No, no!" (neti-neti). It is impalpable, for it cannot be grasped; indestructible, for it can not be destroyed; free from attachment, for it is not attached [to anything], not bound. It does not quaver nor can it be hurt.
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