The Hymn of Neither Death nor Immortality — Nasadiya Sukta

February 21, 2023

In seeking to unravel the mystery of creation, the Nasadiya Sukta(ná ásat, or “not the non-existent”) from Rig Veda stands out as one of the most profound and enigmatic hymns ever composed. This ancient poem poses more questions than it answers, but its central theme is clear: life emerges out of nothingness, and eventually returns to nothing. In this blog post, we will explore the meaning of this remarkable hymn in detail, and consider what it tells us about the nature of existence.

The poem begins with a series of rhetorical questions, as the poet seeks to understand the origin of creation. Who knew? From where was it born? Was there a creator or was it spontaneous? These questions remain unanswered, but what is certain is that nothing existed before creation. Even so, something was present before all else: Nasadiya Sukta or the Hymn of Neither Death nor Immortality. This hymn serves as a reminder that our existence is fragile and ever-changing, and it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the complexity of life.

The Nasadiya Sukta does not provide easy answers about the mystery of creation, but it offers a comforting reminder that no matter what death has in store for us, we will never truly be extinguished. We are part of something larger and more complex than any one life can express. Our future may be uncertain and our mortality certain, but Nasadiya Sukta reminds us to embrace each moment as it comes, for there is beauty in the seeking and in the unknown.

In these uncertain times, let Nasadiya Sukta be a reminder that life is an unfolding mystery, and all we can do is embrace it with open arms. Whether death or immortality awaits us, Nasadiya Sukta encourages us to live life fully and without fear, knowing that the creation of something new can come out of even the darkest moments. So let Nasadiya Sukta be our guide, and may we find solace in the uncertainty that lies ahead.

The Nasadiya Sukta reminds us that death is not an ending, but a beginning. It urges us to seek what lies beyond this life and to seek knowledge that will help us to understand the mystery of creation. Let Nasadiya Sukta be our source of strength and courage in these times of uncertainty, and may we find comfort in its timeless message.

No matter what life throws at us, Nasadiya Sukta holds the key to unlocking a new perspective and a new way of looking at the world. We can take solace in the fact that no matter what happens, death will not be the end, but instead, it will open doors to greater possibilities and hope. Let Nasadiya Sukta guide us as we seek to create something beautiful out of whatever life brings our way. May Nasadiya Sukta be our reminder to keep seeking and never give up, no matter how hard the journey. Let it bring us to hope in times of despair and light our way through the darkness. Nasadiya Sukta promises us that we need not fear death or immortality, for there is always something new to explore and discover. Embrace the unknown and be brave enough to step into the unknown, for Nasadiya Sukta will always be there to guide us. Let Nasadiya Sukta be our inspiration to never give up, no matter how hard the journey may seem. Let Nasadiya Sukta open our hearts and minds to new possibilities.

This stirring hymn promises us that there is always something new to discover and explore, no matter how dark the path may seem. The Nasadiya Sukta is an inspiration to keep moving forward, even when the journey seems difficult. Let this ancient hymn be our reminder to stay curious and open-minded, for it will guide us through life’s many challenges.

1. Then even non-existence was not there, nor existence, There was no air then, nor the space beyond it. What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping? Was there then cosmic fluid, in depths unfathomed?

2. Then there was neither death nor immortality nor was there then the torch of night and day. The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining. There was that One then, and there was no other.

3. At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness. All this was only unillumined cosmic water. That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing, arose at last, born of the power of knowledge.

4. In the beginning desire descended on it – that was the primal seed, born of the mind. The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom know that which is, is kin to that which is not.

5. And they have stretched their cord across the void, and know what was above, and what below. Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces. Below was strength, and over it was impulse.

6. But, after all, who knows, and who can say Whence it all came, and how creation happened? the gods themselves are later than creation, so who knows truly whence it has arisen?

7. Whence all creation had its origin, the creator, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, the creator, who surveys it all from highest heaven, he knows — or maybe even he does not know. — Rigveda 10.129 (Nasadiya Sukta; Tr: Basham)

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