Monday, March 15, 2010

Unity in Diversity: Rig Veda(10.129)" nAsadIya sUkta (7)

Unity in Diversity in SanAtana is grounded in the Rig Veda, It may well have originated in the charming humility of the Nasadiya verse :Rig Veda(10.129)
“[In the beginning] there was neither being nor non-being … [but] who really knows? … [for] the gods came afterwards.” This questioning attitude, might also have led to the invention of a god whose name was the interrogative pronoun, [ka.] For the creator once asked Indra, “Who am I?” Indra replied, “Just what you said: Who.” And this is how the creator got the name, Ka or Who.
In all humility, and with due reverence to all the sages and scholars who have interpreted the famous 'nAsadIya sUkta', I have attempted a compilation of some interpretations of the SUkta, adding my own thoughts to the discussions.
It is intended to lay a basis for further meditation on it.All the seven verses will be taken up one by one.To gain consensus on translation, many available ones are given.

Text Interpretations

iyaM visRuShTiryata AbabhUva | yadi vA dadhe yadi vA na |
yo asyAdhyakShaH parame vyomann | so aMga veda yadi vA na veda || 7 ||

Vivekananda:
This projection whence arose,
Whether held or whether not,
He the ruler in the supreme sky, of this
He, O Sharman! knows, or knows not He perchance!

Krishnananda:
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.

Wilson, HH:
He from whom this creation arose,
he may uphold it, or he may not (no one else can);
he who is superintendent in the highest heaven,
he assuredly knows, or if he knows not (no one else does).

Max Mueller:
He from whom this creation arose,
whether he made it or did not make it,
the highest seer in the highest heaven,
he forsooth knows, or does even he not know?

Raimundo Panikkar
That out of which creation has arisen,
whether it held it firm or it did not,
He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
He surely knows - or maybe He does not!

-Translation by Prof. Raimundo Panikkar (Ref. 3, pp 58)
Prof. Raimundo Panikkar, "The Vedic Experience- Mantra-manjari" Pub. by Motilal Banarasidas

dadha - preserve, maintain, uphold; adhyakSha - exercising supervision, superintendent; vyoman - space, sky, ether, heaven; aMga/anga - well, indeed! veda - knows.

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