Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Creation in Egyptian, Hebrew and Vedic Tradition

The Sanskrit “na” means “waters” it indicates the “primal waters” from which everything came. This is also found in the Egyptian scriptures where everything comes from the “primal waters” and in the Bible it says "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." …………….Genesis 1:1-2
“That which lies within the “waters” and from which everything comes is known as “Narayana” the “nara” meaning “waters” and the “ayana” meaning “dwells” that which “dwells within the waters”. From Narayana comes a lotus upon which Lord Brahma is born who proceeds to engineer the universe and in the Egyptian scriptures a lotus appears from the primal waters from which “Ra” appears who proceeds to engineer the universe.” ………….. James Robinson Cooper
I am happy to say that I am a friend with J. R. Cooper who is an expert etymologist in Sanskrit which is the proto Indo-European language and deeply connects Greek, Latin and many East European languages. It is his above post in Facebook that inspired me to write this short article.
In the discipline of life science, it is common belief that, the origin of life may be traced to formation of protein and according to major theories, this could have occurred in an ambiance of water. This could have been in the ocean or deep sea vents where volcanic activity provides the right energy for formation of bacteria or a pre-packed extra-terrestrial delivery from a water bearing meteor or comet.
In a recent scientific paper, it has been proposed that when You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.  This is the observation of Dr. Jeremy England, Assistant professor at MIT. Complex self-replicating structures can form given the right combination of initial conditions. This same physics can be used to explain how the right temperature and atmospheric conditions and the presence of an attractor (which is atmospheric dust particles) can create self-replicating patterns such as hexagonal shaped snowflakes. Hence the two basic constituents of creation are matter and energy but a third important player who makes the difference between organized forms of matter and life is the organizing principle of replication and evolution which according to spiritual science is patterns in the consciousness field or Akashic field. Now let us go back to scriptures which tried to address this process through the limitation of language.
In the Sumerian mythology the text ‘Enuma Elish’  also invokes waters from which creation takes place.
Suriya or Agni in Vedic mythology and Ra, the Sun god in Egyptian mythology or more directly, the spirit of God which produces light, the very fundamental first creation in the Universe after the Big Bang are all related to a hyper dimensional energy domain which cascades down in creation to form both matter and the energy, which in spiritual tradition is given various names,
In the mythology of Ra, it is believed that he rose out of the waters or ‘Nun’.  In certain other creation myths, Ra emerged from primeval waters known as Ra-Atum and created Tefnut (Moisture) and Shu (Air). From this first divine pair sprang the entire creation. What should be noted is that ‘Tefnut’ and ‘Shu’ though in common language denote moisture and air, it signifies matter and life giving spirit. There is a better word in Sanskrit ‘Prana’ or life force.
The Hebrew Talmud explains that the letter ‘mem’ represents the word of God through which all creation comes into being or the Torah and the open 'mem' represents the revealed Torah and the closed 'mem' represents the Torah’s secrets. In essence ‘mem’ represents water or the womb. water is the womb of Creation. This is the opening verses of Hebrew Torah and Christian Genesis. What is the waters which the scripture talks of? Since the earth’s waters had not yet been created, the waters mentioned here is the womb from which Creation emerged, the place of gestation before the world came into existence.
We can see the helplessness of the authors of these myths struggling to give meaning to a dimension which is beyond human comprehension.
Perhaps the most appealing and candid enumeration of the creation story in spiritual mythology is from the Rig Veda in Mandala 10 and Hymn 129.
I would like to close this article with the English translation of Arthur Llewellyn Basham which appeals to me as it tracks the cosmic dimension:
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 were 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.

Please note the words such as ‘Cosmic water’ and ‘unillumined water’, which have been used in translation. The common denominator is the word ‘water’ which when substituted by ‘consciousness’ gives you a spiritual perspective making it more meaningful.
I have tried to point out the commonality in various mythological tradition regarding the creation story but as long as humanity exists it will continue to probe this great mystery.
Love to you all.

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