Then, neither the non-Real (asat) nor the Real (sat) existed. There was no sky then, nor the heavens beyond it. What was contained by what, and where, and who sheltered it? What unfathomed depths, what cosmic ocean, existed then?
Then, neither death nor deathlessness existed; Between day and night there was as yet no distinction. That ONE (tad ekam), by Its own power (svadha) breathlessly breathed.
In the beginning, darkness lay wrapped in darkness; All was one undifferentiated (apraketa) sea (salila). Then, within that one undifferentiated Existence, [Something] arose by the heat of concentrated energy (tapas).
What arose in That in the beginning was Desire (kama), [Which is] the primal seed of mind (manas). The wise, having searched deep within their own hearts, Have perceived the bond (bandha) between the Real (sat) and the unreal (asat).
They (the wise) have stretched the cord (rashmi) of their vision [to encompass the Truth],
And they have perceived what is higher and lower: The mighty powers [of Nature] are made fertile By that ONE who is their Source. Below [i.e., secondary] is the creative Energy (svadha), And above [i.e., primary] is the Divine Will (prayati).
[But, after all,] who knows, and who can say whence it all came, or how this creation came about? The gods, themselves, came later than this world’s creation, so who truly knows whence it has arisen?
Whence all creation had its origin, only He, whether He fashioned it or not— He, who surveys it all from highest heaven—He knows. Or perhaps even He does not!
All this is He—what has been and what shall be. He is the Lord of immortality. Though He has become all this, in real- ity He is not all this. For truly, He is beyond the world. The whole series of universes—past, present, and future—express His glory and power; but He transcends His own glory. All beings of the universe form, as it were, only a portion of His being; the greater part is invisible and unchangeable. He who is beyond all predicates appears as the relative universe; He appears as all sentient and insentient beings.