Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I can't read Sanskrit, but I am grateful for translations. Here is the last part of the Hymn of Creation:

Who really knows? Who here will 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 not — the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows — or perhaps, not.

It is quite interesting to read through old pre-Hindu texts and realise just how much perfected agnosticism there is in them. The Indians have a long tradition of skepticism, both against divine and human authority. Even Hinduism, from an empirical perspective, ranges from heavily supernatural and almost polytheistic to agnostic to atheist. Buddhism, that most agnostic of religions, is part of that tradition too.

The more one reads older texts, the more one realises that the philosophers of the classical world borrowed heavily from the philosophers of the earliest civilisations. One goes back in time, and in returning to one's roots, one finds oneself. From whence did all this come? Nobody really knows — or perhaps, not.



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