Monday, February 15, 2016

Hymn to Kāla

A hymn to Kāla or Time. From Atharva Veda (Book 19, Hymn 53).

Prolific, thousand-eyed, and undecaying, a horse with seven reins Time bears us onward.
  Sages inspired with holy knowledge mount him: his chariot
   wheels are all the worlds of creatures.
This Time hath seven rolling wheels and seven naves immorality
   is the chariot's axle.
This Time brings hitherward all worlds about us: as primal Deity is he entreated.
On Time is laid an overflowing beaker: this we behold in many a place appearing.
  He carries from us all these worlds of creatures. They call him Kāla in the loftiest heaven.
He only made the worlds of life, he only gathered the worlds
   of living things together.
Their son did he become who was their Father:
  no other higher power than he existeth.
Kāla created yonder heaven,
  and Kāla made these realms of earth.
By Kāla, stirred to motion,
  both what is and what shall be expand.
Kāla created land;
  the Sun in Kāla hath his light and heat.
In Kāla rest all things that be:
  in Kāla doth the eye discern.
In Kāla mind, in Kāla breath,
  in Kāla name are fixt and joined.
These living creatures, one and all,
  rejoice when Kāla hath approached.
Kāla embraces Holy Fire, the Highest, Brahma in himself.
  Yea, Kāla, who was father of Prajāpati, is Lord of All.
He made, he stirred this universe to motion,
  and on him it rests.
He, Kāla, having now become Brahma,
  holds Parameshthin up.
Kāla created living things and, first of all, Prajāpati.
  From Kāla self-made Kasyapa, from Kāla Holy Fire was born.
From Kāla sprang the Waters, sprang the regions, Brahma,
  Holy Fire.
The Sun ascends by Kāla,
  and in Kāla sinks again to rest.
By Kāla freshly blows the wind, mighty through Kāla is the
  Earth: on Kāla rests the mighty Sky.
In Kāla erst the text produced what is and what is yet to be.
  From Kāla sprang the Richas, and from Kāla was the Yajus born.
They formed in Kāla sacrifice, eternal portion for the Gods.
  In Kāla the Gandharvas and Apsarasas and worlds abide.
Atharvan and this Angiras in Kāla are supreme o'er heaven.
  Both this world and the world that is most lofty, the pure
   worlds and pure intermediate spaces,—
Yea, having conquered all the worlds by Brahma, Kāla as God
  Supreme is supplicated.

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