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Text analysis: The creation myth

The anthem of origin, from Rigveda (one of the four Vedic scriptures):

“Then there was no being or non-being, no sky was, not the sky above.

What covered everything? Where and in what care was the water and the bottomless abyss? Then neither was death, immortality either; then was not the sign of day or night;

THE ONE windless breathed in itself, and except that there was nothing else to be found. It was dark; and everything here was water, at first hidden by the darkness, inseparable. What was empty, surrounded by emptiness,

THE ONE was born of the inner glow. The desire first moved in this: it was the very first seed in the spirit; the seers who piously researched in the heart, in the non-being, found the friendship of the being. […] ”

TEXT ANALYSIS In the following exercise, you will deepen your knowledge of Hinduism by doing a text analysis of the anthem of origin in Rigveda. Using the template’s four different steps of the text analysis, you will draw conclusions about the text’s view of origin and time.

  1. What is the text about? What conclusions do you draw from the anthem’s view of origin and time?
  2. To whom / to whom is the text addressed? What is its purpose? Perspective?
  3. Interpret the original hymn and compare it with the creation account in Genesis 1: 1–31. [(If you have a Bible, it is the first chapter in the book, if not you can go to and search in Genesis 1.) Where is the creator in the hymn? Compare with the Bible’s creation account.
  4. What are your own thoughts and reflections if you allow them to associate freely?

Last Updated on June 6, 2022

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