Unit One: Ancient Creation Accounts
, 10.129: “Creation Hymn (
[India, Sanskrit, c. 700 BC]
(Ralph T. H. Griffith,
The Hymns of the Rgveda
(1896; reprinted Delhi: Motilal
Banarsidass, 1973), 628-9, 633-634.)
Then was neither non-existence nor existence: there was no realm of air, no sky
What covered it, and where?
and what gave shelter?
Was there, an
unfathomed depth of water?
Death was not then, nor was there anything immortal:
no sign was there, the Day's
and Night's divider.
That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature:
it was nothing whatsoever.
Darkness there was:
at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminate chaos.
All that existed then was void and formless: by the great power of Warmth was born that
Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.
Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the kinship of existence with
Transversely [across the universe] was their dividing line extended: what was above it
then, and what below it?
There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here
and energy up yonder.
Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence
comes this creation?
The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then
whence it first came into being?
He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,
eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.
: Hebrew Creation Myth, Genesis 1:1-2:3 (KJV)
[Israel, Hebrew, c. -1200]
Read Gen 1.1-2.3 from any translation of the Bible.
Voices from the Dust
1 Creation Myths