Comparing Religions

Origin of Universe

Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism)

This is the famous नासदीय सूक्त the 129th sukta of the 10th mandala of the Rigveda. It has been translated and discussed by many scholars and there have been volumes dedicated to just this one sukta . The current translation is by A.L.Basham, from his book entitled, “The Wonder that was India”.

नासदासीन्नोसदासीत्तदानीं नासीद्रजो नो व्योमापरो यत् ।
किमावरीवः कुहकस्यशर्मन्नंभः किमासीद्गहनं गभीरं ॥ १ ॥
न मृत्युरा॑सीद॒मृतं॒ न तर्हि॒ न रात्र्या॒।आह्न॑।आअसीत्प्रके॒तः ।
आनीदवातं स्वधया तदेकं तस्माद्धान्यन्नपरः किञ्चनास ॥ २ ॥
तम॑।आअसी॒त्तम॑सा गू॒ह्ळमग्रे॑ प्रके॒तं स॑लि॒लं सर्व॑माऽइ॒दं ।
तुच्छ्येनाभ्वपिहितं यदासीत्तपसस्तन्महिना जायतैकं ॥ ३ ॥
काम॒स्तदग्रे॒ सम॑वर्त॒ताधि मन॑सो॒ रेतः॑ प्रथ॒मं यदासी॑त् ।
सतोबन्धुमसति निरविन्दन्हृदि प्रतीष्या कवयो मनीषा ॥ ४ ॥
ति॒र॒श्चीनो॒ वित॑तो र॒श्मिरे॑षाम॒धः स्वि॑दा॒सी ३ दु॒परि॑स्विदासी ३ त् ।
रेतोधा।आअसन्महिमान।आअसन्त्स्वधा।आवस्तात् प्रयतिः परस्तात् ॥ ५ ॥
को।आ॒द्धा वे॑द॒ कऽइ॒ह प्रवो॑च॒त् कुत॒।आअजा॑ता॒ कुत॑ऽइ॒यं विसृ॑ष्टिः ।
अर्वाग्देवा।आस्य विसर्जनेनाथाको वेद यत।आअबभूव ॥ ६ ॥
इ॒यं विसृ॑ष्टि॒र्यत॑।आअब॒भूव॑ यदि॑ वा द॒धे यदि॑ वा॒ न ।
यो।आस्याध्यक्षः परमे व्योमन्त्सो।आंग वेद यदि वा न वेद ॥ ७ ॥

Then even nothingness was not, nor existence. There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it. What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

Whence all creation had its origin, he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, he, who surveys it all from highest heaven, he knows – or maybe even he does not know.

The last line summarises the scepticism and spirit of questioning that is built in the framework when rishis set out to define the religion. Astronomer Carl Sagan quoted it in discussing India’s “tradition of skeptical questioning and unselfconscious humility before the great cosmic mysteries.”

Abrahamic Religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)

Genesis Chapter 1

  1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
  3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
  4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
  5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
  6. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
  7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
  8. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
  9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
  10. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Here it seems there is no doubt on creation process.

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