Sunday, January 22, 2012
I am not a religious person. I believe in no ‘devils’ and hence I find no need for ‘god’. Upanishads, the ancient Indian book, tries to answer what god means in a different way, and somehow I happen to like it. Again the poetry of Upanishads is open to interpretation, and each individual can interpret it in the way they like. Religious thoughts did not attract me to the ‘Upanishads’, rather I found it as a window to the mind of our ancestors. I expected mythologies, rituals, 330 million gods. Isn't that what Hinduism is all about? But, what I found was something that I did not expect. Yes there were rituals; yes there were mythologies, but they only acted as spice to a rich underlying philosophy coming out of the brilliant minds of the bygone era. The philosophies have been passed down the generations for centuries orally and would not have survived without the spices. But what is interesting is the amount of research these people have done on the human psychology at that time. Human beings quest to know why we are here, to know who put us here, when it all began.....the ultimate truth, is probably as old as humans themselves. Even Vedas questioned:
1. THEN was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
What covered in, and where? And what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?
2 Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day's and night's divider.
That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.
3 Darkness there was: at first concealed in dark, All was indiscriminated chaos.
All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.
4 Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.
Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the existent's kinship in the non-existent.
5 Transversely was their severing 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
6 Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this
The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?
7 He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,
Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.
Gods came later? Does that mean they did not create us?