Ek Aakhri Baar…

Kehte hai,

Zindagi mein bohut log milenge,

Jinse hum khushiyaan baat sakte hai –

“Unhe apne paas rakhna”

Par main dhundhti hu usse,

Jisse apni khamoshiyaan baat sakoon-

Apni dil ki tanhaiyon ko khulke bayaan kar sakoon.

Koi mila tha,

Jisse bin kahe,

Sab keh jaati thi.

Ek puraane kitaab ki panne ki tarah,

Lagta tha wo.

Par mutthi khulte hi,

Ret ki tarah -phisalkar ojhal ho gaya

Baithi rahi main

Uske intezaar mein,

Aaj bhi, aakhen taras rahe hai

Usse dekhne ke khaatir,

Ek aakhri baar…

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“I want to be a Robert Langdon when I grow up. It seems like he knows everything. Pfft!”

Nasadiya: The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty

There was neither non-existence nor existence then.

There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.

What stirred?

Where?

In whose protection?

Was there water, bottlemlessly deep?

There was neither death nor immortality then.

There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day.

That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse.

Other than that there was nothing beyond.

Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning,

with no distinguishing sign, all this was water.

The life force that was covered with emptiness,

that One arose through the power of heat.

Desire came upon that One in the beginning,

that was the first seed of mind.

Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom

found the bond of existence and non-existence.

Their cord was extended across.

Was there below?

Was there above?

There were seed-placers, there were powers.

There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.

Who really knows?

Who will here proclaim it?

Whence was it produced?

Whence is this creation?

The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.

Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Whence this creation has arisen

– perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not –

the One who looks down on it,

in the highest heaven, only He knows

or perhaps even He does not know.

Translation by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty. From the Book “The Rig Veda – Anthology”