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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

The all seeing lord or does not He know Footnote ref 1


style="text-align: justify;">with regard to the wonderful mystery of the origin of the world are found is the 129th hymn of R.V.x.

1. Then there was neither being nor not-being. The atmosphere was not, nor sky above it. What covered all? and where? by what protected? Was there the fathomless abyss of waters?

2. Then neither death nor deathless existed; Of day and night there was yet no distinction. Alone that one breathed calmly, self-supported, Other than It was none, nor aught above It.

3. Darkness there was at first in darkness hidden; The universe was undistinguished water. That which in void and emptiness lay hidden Alone by power of fervor was developed.

4. Then for the first time there arose desire, Which was the primal germ of mind, within it. And sages, searching in their heart, discovered In Nothing the connecting bond of Being.

6. Who is it knows? Who here can tell us surely From what and how this universe has risen? And whether not till after it the gods lived? Who then can know from what it has arisen?

7. The source from which this universe has risen, And whether it was made, or uncreated, He only knows, who from the highest heaven Rules, the all-seeing lord--or does not He know [Footnote ref 1]?

justify;">The earliest commentary on this is probably a passage in the S'atapatha Brahma@na (x. 5. 3.I) which says that "in the beginning this (universe) was as it were neither non-existent nor existent; in the beginning this (universe) was as it were, existed and did not exist: there was then only that Mind. Wherefore it has been declared by the Rishi (@Rg-Veda X. 129. I), 'There was then neither the non-existent nor the existent' for Mind was, as it were, neither existent nor non-existent. This Mind when created, wished to become manifest,--more defined, more substantial: it sought after a self (a body); it practised austerity: it acquired consistency [Footnote ref 2]." In the Atharva-Veda also we find it stated that all forms of the universe were comprehended within the god Skambha [Footnote ref 3].

Thus we find that even in the period of the Vedas there sprang forth such a philosophic yearning, at least among some who could


[Footnote 1: _The Rigveda_, by Kaegi, p. 90. R.V.x. 129.]

[Footnote 2: See Eggeling's translation of _S'.B., S.B.E._ vol. XLIII. pp. 374, 375.]

[Footnote 3: _A.V._ x. 7. 10.]


question whether this universe was at all a creation or not, which could think of the origin of the world as being enveloped in the mystery of a primal non-differentiation of being and non-being; and which could think that it was the primal One which by its inherent fervour gave rise to the desire of a creation as the first manifestation of the germ of mind, from which the universe sprang forth through a series of mysterious gradual processes. In the Brahma@nas, however, we find that the cosmogonic view generally requires the agency of a creator, who is not however always the starting point, and we find that the theory of evolution is combined with the theory of creation, so that Prajapati is sometimes spoken of as the creator while at other times the creator is said to have floated in the primeval water as a cosmic golden egg.

Eschatology; the Doctrine of Atman.

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