In the ancient Vedic creation myths, we see an easy understanding of mystic paradoxes that are so much a part of the later tradition.  They communicate a sense of play and delight at absurdity.   They recognize that logic only explains so much.

These lines are from the Rig Veda, composed c. 1200 BCE


From the first woman, the first man was born, and from the first man, the first woman was born.

When you gods took your places there in the water with your hands joined together, a think cloud of mist arose from you like dust from dancers.

When you gods like magicians cause the worlds to swell, you drew forth the sun that was hidden in the ocean.

There was neither non-existence nor existence then; there was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.  What stirred?  Where?  In whose protection?  Was there water, bottomlessly deep?

There was neither death nor immortality, there was no sign of night or day

All this was water.

Poets, seeking in their hearts with wisdom found the bond of existence and non-existence.

Was there below?  Was there above?

Who really knows?  Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced?  Whence is this creation?  The gods came afterwards with the creation of this universe.  Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Whence this creation has arisen–perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not–the One who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows–or perhaps he does not know.

The Rig Veda 10:72 & 10:129

Translated by Wendy Doniger

Tags: History of Yoga, Eric Shaw Yoga, Yoga Philosophy