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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

From Uttanapada Footnote ref 9


style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: Macdonell's _Vedic Mythology_, p. 11.]


Cosmogony--Mythological and philosophical.

The cosmogony of the @Rg-Veda may be looked at from two aspects, the mythological and the philosophical. The mythological aspect has in general two currents, as Professor Macdonell says, "The one regards the universe as the result of mechanical production, the work of carpenter's and joiner's skill; the other represents it as the result of natural generation [Footnote ref. 1]." Thus in the @Rg-Veda we find that the poet in one place says, "what was the wood and what was the tree out of which they built heaven and earth [Footnote ref. 2]?" The answer given to this question in Taittiriya-Brahma@na is "Brahman the wood and Brahman the tree from which the heaven and earth were made [Footnote ref 3]." Heaven and Earth are sometimes described as having been supported with posts [Footnote ref 4]. They are also sometimes spoken of as universal parents, and parentage is sometimes attributed to Aditi and Dak@sa.

Under this philosophical aspect the semi-pantheistic Man-hymn [Footnote ref 5] attracts our notice. The supreme man as we have already noticed above is there said to be the whole universe, whatever has been and shall be; he is the lord of immortality who has become diffused everywhere among things animate and inanimate,

and all beings came out of him; from his navel came the atmosphere; from his head arose the sky; from his feet came the earth; from his ear the four quarters. Again there are other hymns in which the Sun is called the soul (_atman_) of all that is movable and all that is immovable [Footnote ref 6]. There are also statements to the effect that the Being is one, though it is called by many names by the sages [Footnote ref 7]. The supreme being is sometimes extolled as the supreme Lord of the world called the golden egg (Hira@nyagarbha [Footnote ref 8]). In some passages it is said "Brahma@naspati blew forth these births like a blacksmith. In the earliest age of the gods, the existent sprang from the non-existent. In the first age of the gods, the existent sprang from the non-existent: thereafter the regions sprang, thereafter, from Uttanapada [Footnote ref 9]." The most remarkable and sublime hymn in which the first germs of philosophic speculation


[Footnote 1: Macdonell's _Vedic Mythology_, p. 11.]

[Footnote 2: R.V.x. 81. 4.]

[Footnote 3: Taitt. Br. II. 8. 9. 6.]

[Footnote 4: Macdonell's _Vedic Mythology_, p. 11; also R.V. II. 15 and IV. 56.]

[Footnote 5: R.V.x. 90.]

[Footnote 6: R.V.I. 115.]

[Footnote 7: R.V.I. 164. 46.]

[Footnote 8: R.V.X. 121.]

[Footnote 9: Muir's translation of R.V.x. 72; Muir's _Sanskrit Texts_, vol. v.p. 48.]

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