Nasadiya Sukta-s are 129th hymn of 10th Mandala of Rg Veda (10:129). Nasadiya i.e. not the unreal, expounds core of mysticism revolving around entire cosmology of origin of the universe, beginning of cosmic cycles of mortality, eternlity of these cycles, doctrine of cause and effect vs. Karma and Karmaphala etc. Let us scrutinise these Sukta-s, all seven in number, in an effort to come to grips of the intrinsic mysticism enormity of which invites suspicion of their being atheistic or even agnostic. One may very well infer, those apprehensions affirm, precision and religious neutrality of the highest order associated with these Sukta-s.
SUKTA – 1
Nasadasinno Sadasittadanim Nasidrajo No Vyoma Paro Yat I
Kimavarivaha Kuha Kasya Sarmannambhaha Kimasidgahanam Gabhiram II 1 II
Then existed neither ‘entity’ nor ‘non-entity’, neither Vayu nor it’s cause Akasa. How was it then veiled into ignorance ? Who had veiled it, what and how ? Where was it’s abode ? Under whose scrutiny ? Was there any universe and beyond then ? Was there any differentiation between ‘Sat’ and ‘Asat’ ? Did ‘Viveka’ i.e. discriminative cognition exist then to differentiate between Sat and Asat ? Who was in possession of this discriminative cognition ? Had cosmic cycles of existence and non-existence commenced alternately ? All these questions hidden in the Sukta point fingers towards existence of an intense mysticism perfect in all aspects. This mystical entity or non-entity imparted sufficient wisdom upon us to pose those queries !!!
SUKTA – 2
Na Mrtyurasidamrtam Na Tarhi Na Ratrya Ahna Asitpraketah I
Anidavatam SvadhayaTadekam Tasmaddhanyanna Paraha Kincanasa II 2 II
There was then neither dis-incarnation through demise nor immortality in absence of incarnation. Discrimination between bright and dark too, did not exist either. There the only One, Supreme and Absolute One, existed absolutely on His own independent of transformational manifests. The Supreme and Absolute One, self-sustained and universally encompassing, is the only one and none other as all others may exist withi His Being alone. He transcends even cosmicity of Kala i.e. eternal time.
SUKTA – 3
Tama Asittamasa Gulhamgre Praketam Salilam Sarvamaidam I
It was only darkness encapsulated in darkness in the midst of utter darkness. Entire gamut of manifestations existed in it’s subtle form indistinguishable from the unmanifest Absolute and Supreme. Radiance of effulgence had not yet eroded absence of effulgence. The Unmanifest yet capable of manifesting, ensconced within The Absolute, now was rendered conscious of being unmanifest albeit endowed with the faculty to manifest. Intuitively prodded by this cognition, the Unmanifest is now poised into the action of manifesting itself.
SUKTA – 4
Kamastadagre Samavartatadhi Manaso Retaha Prathamam Yadasit I
Sato Bandhumasati Niravindanahradi Pratisya Kavayo Manisa II 4 II
Once rendered conscious of being endowed with the faculty of manifesting Himself, poise to manifest appeared. It was the cause of Mana i.e. mind coming into existence. Mana now transformed into an abode of desires and aspirations to experience objects of various experience. That constitutes driving force behind all Karma-s i.e. actions to be undertaken. Seers attained to the ultimate state of cognition i.e. Asamprajnyat Samadhi, perceive differentiation between the manifest and unmanifest, mutable and immutable, mortal and immortal, eternal and transient. When the precise state of Viveka-Khyati i.e. enlightened cognition dawns upon, Seers are amply capable of perceiving relative existence of every cosmic constituent and how much to indulge themselves in.
SUKTA – 5
Tirascino Vitato Rasmiresamadhaha Svidasidupari Svidasit I
Retodha Asanmahimana Asantasvadha Avastatprayatiha Parastat II 5 II
Effulgence of the Supreme Absolute pervaded all over, in every being as well as non-being. He is universal and ubiquitous, immutable and immortal, intensely involved yet absolutely detached. Universal ubiquitary rendered Supreme Absolute core of entire existence as well as non-existence, Supreme Master of the universe. This universe comprises of the world below characterised by cycles of mortality, joys, miseries, asceticism and enlightenment as well as higher ones identified with emancipated ones endowed with divine glory and supreme bliss. They are not only supremely enlightened but also self-engrossed too. It also symbolises incarnation as Avatara through descendance and embodiment into the world of mortality as well as ascendance onto higher planes after ultimate liberation i.e. Moksa. Dwelling in the Supreme Abode, they are exposed to all divine attributes of the Supreme Brahma for cognition, intuition and perception. Intuitive impulse from the above and strength of action in the world below enabled perpetuation of cosmic cycles of mortality.
Ko Addha Veda Ka Iha Pra Vocatkuta Ajata Kuta Iyam Visrstiha I
Arvagdeva Asya Visarjanenatha Ko Veda Yata Ababhuva II 6 II
None is aware of beginning of cosmic cycles of mortality through Karma-s and Karmaphala. Multiplicity, diversity of Karma-s and respective Karmaphala-s is yet another mystical riddle yet to be unravelled. By revealing their ignorance through such posers, Deva-s submit themselves to the cosmic phenomenon of Karma and Karmaphala. It is also affirmed albeit indirectly, cosmic creation precedes coming into being of Deva-s. Yet another enigmatic riddle is how Karma-s remain associated with performer of the Karma even after dis-embodiment till it’s redemption. Yet another riddle is that how Atma-s i.e. Cetana-s are identical to similar to diametrically dis-similar in their propensities, dispositions and inclinations. Yet another enigmatic riddle is that how dispositions vary from time to time in the same life-span. Phenomenon of ‘original’ creation may be far beyond their comprehension. It constitutes quite a natural corollary, whether the Supreme Absolute i.e. Param Brahmatma is conscious of the phenomenon of ‘original’ creation.
Iyam Visrstiryat Ababhuva Yadi Va Dadhe Yadi Va Na I
Yo Asyadhyaksaha Paramevyomantso Anga Veda Yadi Va Na Veda II 7 II
Enormity of yet another enigmatic riddle is whether Param Brahma i.e. Supreme Absolute Himself is conscious of commencement of creation, origin of cosmic cycles of mortality, cause of it’s eternity, His own origin etc. The enigma turns all the more mystical if it turns out eventually, He has no answers to those posers. If He is not, then who else is purported to be conscious of all that ? Quite rationally, being the omniscient Supreme Cause of entire existence, Param Brahma is expected to be conscious of all causes being in-dweller of the highest abode. But the mysticism is augmented several fold when it is revealed, even He may not be conscious of all that. Even the contrarian view may be rational if it is accepted, beginning of cosmic cycles of mortality never existed at all. In such a scenario, scope of definition of ‘Omniscience’ is restricted to being conscious of only what all existed excluding all that never existed. Unknowable is not purported to fall in the domain of omniscience. Emancipation from cosmic cycles of mortality is granted by the Param Brahma even if He may not be conscious of it’s beginning if at all it ever existed. Cycles of Karma and Karmaphala are Anaditva i.e. devoid of beginning. So is it established with a certain degree of finality.
These Sukta-s are so deeply bereft of any religious connotations that even attracted epithets like “agnostic” and “atheist”. That is an affirmation of their being absolutely objective to the core and acceptable to all hues of opinion. Owing to their precise objectivity, Nasadiya Sukta-s have enjoyed wide acceptability globally and curiosity for further study. Quite enigmatically, it sounds like first hand eye-witness narration of the absolute position about ultimate existence and derivations thereof in true essence of Vedanta Darsana. Exposition begins with entirely open-ended posers that include every possibility with respect to existence or non-existence.
When all posers and revelations are linked accurately, an interesting and familiar scenario emerges that probably expounds intent and rationale of entire Maya i.e. creation and annihilation. Man, satiated with loneliness, wishes to raise his own family, enjoy their joys, sorrows and pranks, raise his progenies with respect to their education and further development, punish errant ones, be loved and pampered by them etc. On a ginormous cosmic scale, Param Brahma aspires to be many, experience by way of beholding trials, tribulations and travails of His progenies i.e. Jivatma-s on the plane of universe Himself dwelling in the state of solitude, impartial and non-indulgent towards all as Head of His Universal family. At the end of his life, man dies to be born again driven by his Karma-s to repeat the cycle again and again with different families every time. On the contrary, it is Param Brahma who initiates annihilation of His Maya known as Pralaya, only to raise yet another universal cosmic family after a prolonged interregnum that we know as Prabhava !! Ostensibly, Jivatma is a toy or victim of Maya while Param Brahmatma, Master of His Maya.