HiranyaGarbha Suktam

A Vedic hymn on Creation

Sujatha R
6 min readFeb 19, 2024

A Rig Vedic song of praise.. Of Cosmic Intelligence, Creation, and Life..
Ode to that Architect!

“At first prevailed that Golden Orb.. That mighty creator firmly held the earth and the heavens.. breathed life and motion into this world.. caused the ice capped mountains, the oceans and the directions..”

“O Prajapati! Fulfill our desires!”

हिरण्यऽगर्भः सम् अवर्तत अग्रे भूतस्य जातः पतिः एकः आसीत्

सः दाधार पृथिवीम् द्याम् उत इमाम् कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम

The language in the Suktam reminded me of Tagore’s Jana Gana Mana and Ananda Loka.. The Universe in ecstasy and joy..

Have taken the Devanagari word split from theveda.org and meanings from the references provided at the end of the post.

The TV show ‘Bharat ek khoj’ had Hindi version of the Suktam towards the end of each episode. I have included the nostalgic lyrics at the end..

https://esawebb.org/images/carinanebula3

The Pronoun Usage..

Noticed the pronoun usage throughout the song.
He who.. He whom.. He by whom.. He whose..
यः यम् येन यस्य..

कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम.. Whom else do we pray to?

Another way of looking at this phrase कस्मै देवाय would be..Let us pray to that “ देव..”

And what could be this कस्मै देवाय? The क God?
This takes me to the sound space and the topology of the and sounds.. I often wondered.. The question words all began with and the link pronouns with . I vaguely recollect Dr. Sampad Mishra’s words providing an answer..

“The vowel sounds are meditative and free flowing. The consonants are churned out by means of rubbing and friction. It is not a coincidence that happens to be the first consonant.”

indeed is a croaky high-pitched sound..The croaking frogs, the cooing of cuckoos.. cock a doodle of the rooster.. kaw of the crow..

Like a chisel cutting carving out the कs.. And words such as कर्कश harsh, र्ता रणं क्रिया कार्यं all emerge from this space. Creation indeed sparks from cutting and chiseling.

The creator’s beeja mantra क.. And some great works began with क.. Meghadoota’s kaschit kanana and Shankaracharya’s Kallolollasitha, to kickstart a good beginning.

And in this Suktam.. There is curiosity.. There are thoughts on creation.. And the intense language of and pronouns. perhaps refers to the God of Creation as I read in a post.

And the verses themselves.. Is it describing creation outside? Is it describing the architect and the architecture of the inner world? Cellular Reproduction? Breaking of the embryonic waters? Creation of thoughts? Or all of them?

On frequent words..

Like the frequent GenAI that we hear today, this song on creation is seen with जनिता/generate and जातः/born.

बृहतीः/big, महिऽत्वा/having been mighty, विश्व/universe,
सम् अवर्तत/prevail in all directions

Have highlighted the pronouns and the repeating phrase in the hymn.

हिरण्यऽगर्भः सम् अवर्तत
अग्रे भूतस्य जातः पतिः
एकः आसीत्
सः दाधार पृथिवीम् द्याम् उत इमाम्
कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥ 1 ॥

At the very beginning अग्रे, prevailed the golden egg हिरण्यऽगर्भः, the lord पतिः of all the beings. He held the sky and the earth.. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

यः आत्मऽदाः बलऽदाः
यस्य विश्वे उपऽआसते प्रऽशिषम् यस्य देवाः
यस्य छाया अमृतम् यस्य मृत्युः
कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥ 2 ॥

He who bestows life and power आत्मऽदाः बलऽदाः
He whose words are commandments for the troop of देवाः.. He whose reflection छाया, is both in death and immortality -मृत्युः अमृतम्.. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

यः प्राणतः निऽमिषतः महिऽत्वा
एकः इत् राजा जगतः बभूव
यः ईशे अस्य द्विऽपदः चतुःऽपदः
कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥ 3 ॥

He who rules over this moving world राजा जगतः.. by his magnificence महिऽत्वा both in the living and the slumber.. He who rules over all the beings द्विऽपदः चतुःऽपदः.. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

यस्य इमे हिमऽवन्तः महिऽत्वा
यस्य समुद्रम् रसया सह आहुः
यस्य इमाः प्रऽदिशः .. यस्य बाहू इति
कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥ 4 ॥

Whose greatness has caused the Ice capped mountains महिऽत्वा हिमऽवन्तः.. And they sayआहुः.. whose majesty causes the oceans and the juices समुद्रम् रसया.. Whose arms are these spatial directions .. बाहू प्रऽदिशः.. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

येन द्यौः उग्रा.. पृथिवी च दृळ्हा
येन स्वरिति स्वः स्तभितम्.. येन नाकः
यः अन्तरिक्षे रजसः विऽमानः ॥ 5 ॥

By him, the heavens and the earth are held firm.. He who holds the light and measures the cosmic waters.. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

यम् क्रन्दसी इति अवसा.. तस्तभाने इति अभि
ऐक्षेताम् मनसा रेजमाने इति
यत्र अधि सूरः उत्ऽइतः विऽभाति ॥ 6 ॥

To whom.. This earth and the heaven trembling क्रन्दसी in joy, for he holding and protecting them. They glance at him gratefully with their illumined minds ऐक्षेताम् मनसा, as the Sun shines over them.. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

आपः ह यत् बृहतीः विश्वम् आयन्
गर्भम् दधानाः जनयन्तीः अग्निम्
ततः देवानाम् सम् अवर्तत असुः एकः ॥ 7 ॥

When the cosmic waters गर्भ wrapped the mighty Universe बृहतीः विश्वम्.. then sparked the अग्नि, and then rose the sole breath of the देवाs.. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

यः चित् आपः महिना परिऽअपश्यत्
दक्षम् दधानाः जनयन्तीः यज्ञम्
यः देवेषु अधि देवः एकः आसीत् । ॥ 8 ॥

He who held the water, and with his mighty dexterity दक्षम् generated the यज्ञम्.. He who is the God among the Gods.. He who is the unparalleled एकः. May we offer our oblations to this क..

~

मा नः हिंसीत्
जनिता यः पृथिव्याः यः वा दिवम्
सत्यऽधर्मा
जजान
यः च अपः चन्द्राः बृहतीः जजान ॥ 9 ॥

He who has generated जनिता and begotten earth, the heavens, and the waters.. He who holds the Universe by its laws.. May he not harm us मा नः हिंसीत्

~

प्रजाऽपते न त्वत् एतानि अन्यः विश्वा जातानि परि ता बभूव ।
यत्ऽकामाः ते जुहुमः
तत् नः अस्तु वयम् स्याम
पतयः रयीणाम् ॥ ॥ 10 ॥

O प्रजाऽपते! If not for you, these worlds could not have been in the past, present, and future. We invoke you to fulfill our desire.

Bharat Ek Khoj: Title & Closing Song

Naasadiya Sukta, Rigveda 10.129.1
नासदासीनन्नोसदासीत्तानीम नासीद्रोजो नो व्योमा परो यत।
किमावरीव: कुहकस्यशर्मन्नम्भ: किमासीद्गगहनं गभीरम्।।


सृष्टि से पहले सत् नहीं था,
असत् भी नहीं
अंतरिक्ष भी नहीं,
आकाश भी नहीं था।
छिपा था क्या, कहां,
किसने ढका था।
उस पल तो अगम, अतल
जल भी कहां था।
नहीं थी मृत्यु,
थी अमरता भी नहीं।
नहीं था दिन, रात भी नहीं
हवा भी नहीं।
सांस थी स्वयमेव फिर भी,
नहीं था कोई, कुछ भी।
परमतत्व से अलग, या परे भी।
अंधेरे में अंधेरा, मुंदा अंधेरा था,
जल भी केवल निराकार जल था।
परमतत्व था, सृजन कामना से भरा
ओछे जल से घिरा।
वही अपनी तपस्या की महिमा से उभरा।
परम मन में बीज पहला जो उगा,
काम बनकर वह जगा।
कवियों, ज्ञानियों ने जाना
असत् और सत् का, निकट सम्बन्ध पहचाना।
पहले सम्बन्ध के किरण धागे तिरछे।
परमतत्व उस पल ऊपर या नीचे।
वह था बटा हुआ,
पुरुष और स्त्री बना हुआ।
ऊपर दाता वही भोक्ता
नीचे वसुधा स्वधा
हो गया।।
सृष्टि ये बनी कैसे,
किससे
आई है कहां से।
कोई क्या जानता है,
बता सकता है?
देवताओं को नहीं ज्ञात
वे आए सृजन के बाद।
सृष्टि को रचा है जिसने,
उसको, जाना किसने।

सृष्टि का कौन है कर्ता,
कर्ता है व अकर्ता?
ऊंचे आकाश में रहता,
सदा अध्यक्ष बना रहता।
वहीं सचमुच में जानता
या नहीं भी जानता।
है किसी को नहीं पता,
नहीं पता,
नहीं हैं पता,
नहीं हैं पता।

HiranyaGarbha Stotram, Rigveda 10.121.1

हिरण्यगर्भ: समवर्तताग्रे भूतस्य जात: पतिरेकासीत्।
स दाधारं पृथ्वीं ध्यामुतेमां कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम्।।


वो था हिरण्यगर्भ, सृष्टि से पहले विद्यमान
वहीं तो सारे भूत जात का स्वामी महान
जो हैं अस्तित्वमान, धरती- आसमान धारण कर
ऐसे किस देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर।
जिसके बल पर तेजोमय है अम्बर
पृथ्वी हरी-भरी, स्थापित, स्थिर
स्वर्ग और सूरज भी स्थिर।
ऐसे किस देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर।
गर्भ में अपने अग्रि धारण कर, पैदा कर,
व्यापा था जल इधर-उधर, नीचे ऊपर
जगा जोे देवों का एकमेव प्राण बनकर,
ऐसे किस देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर।
सृष्टि निर्माता, स्वर्ग रचयिता, पूर्वज रक्षा कर
सत्य धर्म पालक, अतुल जल नियामक रक्षा कर।
फैली है दिशाएं बाहु जैसी उसकी सब में, सब पर
ऐसे ही देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर।
ऐसे ही देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर..।

-Vasant Dev

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Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Patterns, Linguistics, Sanskrit et al..