Hiranyagarbha

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Brahma Garbhodakaśāyī-ViṣṇuOne Brahmāṇḍa, with Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu
Click an area to go there. This is one of many material universes, Brahmāṇḍa, which expand from Mahā Viṣṇu when He breathes.

Hiraṇyagarbha (Devanagari: हिरण्यगर्भः ; literally the 'golden womb' or 'golden egg', poetically rendered 'universal germ') is the source of the creation of the Universe or the manifested cosmos in Indian philosophy,[1] it finds mention in one hymn of the Ṛigveda (RV 10.121), known as the 'Hiraṇyagarbha Sūkta', suggesting a single creator deity(verse 8: yo deveṣv ādhi devā eka āsīt, Griffith:"He is the God of gods, and none beside him."), in the hymn identified as Prajāpati. The concept of the golden womb is again mentioned in Viswakarma suktha Rg 10-82.

The Upaṇiṣad calls it the Soul of the Universe or Brahman,[2] and elaborates that Hiraṇyagarbha floated around in emptiness and the darkness of the non-existence for about a year, and then broke into two halves which formed the Svarga and the Pṛthvi.

In classical Purāṇic Hinduism, Hiraṇyagarbha is a name of Brahmā, so called because he was born from a golden egg (Manu Smṛti 1.9), while the Mahābhārata calls it the Manifest.[3]

Post-classical yoga traditions consider Hiranyagarbha as the originator of yoga.[4][5]

Creation[edit]

Matsya Purāṇa (2.25-30) gives an account of initial creation. After Mahāprālaya, the great dissolution of the Universe, there was darkness everywhere. Everything was in a state of sleep. There was nothing, either moving or static. Then Svayambhu, Self-manifested Being arose, which is a form beyond senses. It created the primordial waters first and established the seed of creation into it. The seed turned into a golden womb, Hiraṇyagarbha. Then Svayambhu entered in the egg.

The Nārāyaṇa Sūkta exclaims that everything that is, visible or invisible, all this is pervaded by Nārāyaṇa within and without.

The Īśvara Upaniṣad says that the universe is pervaded by Īśvara (God), who is both within and without it. He is the moving and the unmoving, He is far and near, He is within all these and without all these.

The Vedānta Sūtra further states that Brahman is That from Whom this Universe proceeds, in Whom it subsists, and to Whom, in the end, it returns.

The Saṃkhya school holds that there are only two primary principles, Puruṣa and Prākṛti, and creation is only a manifestation or evolution of the constituents of Prākṛti due to the action of Puruṣa's Consciousness.

The Bhagavata states that Nārāyaṇa alone was in the beginning, who was the pious of principles of creation, sustenance, and dissolution (also known as the Hindu Trinity of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva) - the Supreme Hari, multi-headed, multi-eyed, multi-footed, multi-armed, multi-limbed. This was the Supreme Seed of all creation, subtler than the subtlest, greater than the greatest, larger than the largest, and more magnificent than even the best of all things, more powerful, than even the wind and all the gods, more resplendent than the Sun and the Moon, and more internal than even the mind and the intellect. He is the Creator, the Father Supreme.

The Manu Smriti says: In the beginning, all this existence was one undifferentiated, unmanifested, indefinable, unarguable and unknown in every way. From this condition arose the Universe of 'name and form' (Sanskrit: nāmarūpa), through the medium of the Self-existent Creator, Svayambhu.

Hiraṇyagarbha Shaligram Shila For Altar[edit]

One who dwells in the womb (garbha) of the world (Hiranya). The Upanishad declares: All these are in-dwelt by the Lord. The Golden Universe is an idiom in Sanskrit where gold means objects of fulfilment and joy. One who dwells in them all is Hiranyagarbhah. The term can also mean as He who, having become first the Creator, has come to he considered as the womb of all objects. Hiranyagarbhah is the term used in the Vedanta for the "creator".

Hiraṇyagarbha Sūkta[edit]

The Hiraṇyagarbha Sūkta of the Ṛkveda declares that God manifested Himself in the beginning as the Creator of the Universe, encompassing all things, including everything within Himself, the collective totality, as it were, of the whole of creation, animating it as the Supreme Intelligence.

Sanskrit Verse[edit]

हिरण्यगर्भः समवर्तताग्रे भूतस्य जातः पतिरेकासीत ।
स दाधार पृथ्वीं ध्यामुतेमां कस्मै देवायहविषा विधेम ॥
hiraṇyagarbhaḥ samavartatāgre bhūtasya jātaḥ patirekāsīta |
sa dādhāra pṛthvīṃ dhyāmutemāṃ kasmai devāyahaviṣā vidhema ||

य आत्मदा बलदा यस्य विश्व उपासते प्रशिषं यस्यदेवाः ।
यस्य छायामृतं यस्य मर्त्युः कस्मै देवायहविषा विधेम ॥
ya ātmadā baladā yasya viśva upāsate praśiṣaṃ yasyadevāḥ |
yasya chāyāmṛtaṃ yasya martyuḥ kasmai devāyahaviṣā vidhema ||

यः प्राणतो निमिषतो महित्वैक इद्राजा जगतो बभूव ।
य ईशे अस्य द्विपदश्चतुष्पदः कस्मै देवाय हविषाविधेम ॥
yaḥ prāṇato nimiṣato mahitvaika idrājā jagato babhūva |
ya īśe asya dvipadaścatuṣpadaḥ kasmai devāya haviṣāvidhema ||

यस्येमे हिमवन्तो महित्वा यस्य समुद्रं रसया सहाहुः ।
यस्येमाः परदिशो यस्य बाहू कस्मै देवाय हविषाविधेम ॥
yasyeme himavanto mahitvā yasya samudraṃ rasayā sahāhuḥ |
yasyemāḥ paradiśo yasya bāhū kasmai devāya haviṣāvidhema ||

येन दयौरुग्रा पर्थिवी च दर्ळ्हा येन सव सतभितं येननाकः ।
यो अन्तरिक्षे रजसो विमानः कस्मै देवायहविषा विधेम ॥
yena dayaurugrā parthivī ca darḻhā yena sava satabhitaṃ yenanākaḥ |
yo antarikṣe rajaso vimānaḥ kasmai devāyahaviṣā vidhema ||

यं करन्दसी अवसा तस्तभाने अभ्यैक्षेतां मनसारेजमाने ।
यत्राधि सूर उदितो विभाति कस्मै देवायहविषा विधेम ॥
yaṃ karandasī avasā tastabhāne abhyaikṣetāṃ manasārejamāne |
yatrādhi sūra udito vibhāti kasmai devāyahaviṣā vidhema ||

आपो ह यद बर्हतीर्विश्वमायन गर्भं दधानाजनयन्तीरग्निम ।
ततो देवानां समवर्ततासुरेकःकस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥
āpo ha yada barhatīrviśvamāyana garbhaṃ dadhānājanayantīragnima |
tato devānāṃ samavartatāsurekaḥkasmai devāya haviṣā vidhema ||

यश्चिदापो महिना पर्यपश्यद दक्षं दधानाजनयन्तीर्यज्ञम ।
यो देवेष्वधि देव एक आसीत कस्मैदेवाय हविषा विधेम ॥
yaścidāpo mahinā paryapaśyada dakṣaṃ dadhānājanayantīryajñama |
yo deveṣvadhi deva eka āsīta kasmaidevāya haviṣā vidhema ||

मा नो हिंसीज्जनिता यः पर्थिव्या यो वा दिवंसत्यधर्मा जजान ।
यश्चापश्चन्द्रा बर्हतीर्जजानकस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥
mā no hiṃsījjanitā yaḥ parthivyā yo vā divaṃsatyadharmā jajāna |
yaścāpaścandrā barhatīrjajānakasmai devāya haviṣā vidhema ||

परजापते न तवदेतान्यन्यो विश्वा जातानि परि ताबभूव ।
यत्कामास्ते जुहुमस्तन नो अस्तु वयं सयाम पतयोरयीणाम ॥
parajāpate na tavadetānyanyo viśvā jātāni pari tābabhūva |
yatkāmāste juhumastana no astu vayaṃ sayāma patayorayīṇāma ||

Translation in Hindi[edit]

वो था हिरण्य गर्भ सृष्टि से पहले विद्यमान
वही तो सारे भूत जाति का स्वामी महान
जो है अस्तित्वमान धरती आसमान धारण कर
ऐसे किस देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर

जिस के बल पर तेजोमय है अंबर
पृथ्वी हरी भरी स्थापित स्थिर
स्वर्ग और सूरज भी स्थिर
ऐसे किस देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर

गर्भ में अपने अग्नि धारण कर पैदा कर
व्यापा था जल इधर उधर नीचे ऊपर
जगा चुके व एकमेव प्राण बनकर
ऐसे किस देवता की उपासना करें हम हवि देकर

ॐ ! सृष्टि निर्माता, स्वर्ग रचयिता पूर्वज रक्षा कर
सत्य धर्म पालक अतुल जल नियामक रक्षा कर
फैली हैं दिशायें 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

Translation in English[edit]

In the beginning was the Divinity in his splendour, manifested as the sole Lord of land, skies, water, space and that beneath and He upheld the earth and the heavens.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that who bestows soul-force and vigor, whose guidance all men invoke, the Devas invoke whose shadow is immortal life and death.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that who by His greatness became the One King of the breathing and the seeing, who is the Lord of man and bird and beast.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that through whose glory the snow-clad mountains rose, and the ocean spread with the river, they say. His arms are the quarters of the sky.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings ?

It is that through whom the heaven is strong and the earth firm, who has steadied the light and the sky's vault, and measured out the sphere of clouds in the mid-region.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offering?

It is that to whom heaven and earth, placed in the light by his grace, look up, radiant with the mind while over them the sun, rising, brightly shines.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

When the mighty waters came, carrying the universal germ, producing the flame of life, then dwelt there in harmony the One Spirit of the Devas.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that who in its might surveyed the waters, conferring skill and creating worship - That, the God of gods, the One and only One.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

Mother of the world - may that not destroy us who with Truth as his Law made the heavens and produced waters, vast and beautiful.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

Lord of creation! No one other than thee pervades all these that have come into being.

May that be ours, for which our prayers rise, may we be masters of many treasures!

-- (RV 10:121) [Ralph T.H Griffith]


1. HIRANYAGARBHA was present at the beginning ; when born, he was the sole lord of created beings; he upheld this earth and heaven,

-let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

2. (To him) who is the giver of soul, the giver of strength, Whose commands all (beings), even the gods obey, Whose shadow is immortality, whose (shadow) is death,

-let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

3. (To him) who, by his greatness, has verily become the sole king of the breathing and seeing world, who rules over this aggregate of two-footed and four-footed beings,-

let us offer Worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

4. Through whose greatness these snow-clad (moun- tains exist), whose property men call the ocean with the rivers, whose are these quarters of space, whose are the two arms,

--let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

5. By whom the sky was made profound and the earth solid, by Whom heaven and the solar sphere were fixed, who was the measure of the water in the firmament,-

let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

6. Whom heaven and earth established by his pro- tection, and, shining brightly, regarded with their mind, in whom the risen sun shines forth,

-let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

7. When the vast waters overspread the universe containing the germ and giving birth to AGNI, then was produced the one breath of the gods,

-let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

8. He who by his might beheld the waters all around containing the creative power and giving birth to sacrifice, he who among the gods was the one supreme god,-

let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

9. May he do us no harm who is the parent of the -earth, or who the unerring support (of the world) begat the heaven, and who generated the vast and delightful waters,

-let us offer worship with an oblation to the divine KA.

10. No other than thou, PRAJAPATI, hast given existence to all these beings ; may that object of our desires for which we sacrifice to thee be ours, may we be the possessors of riches.

[H. H. Wilson]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Hiranyagarbha britannica.com.
  2. ^ The Philosophy of the Upanishads, by Paul Deussen, Alfred Shenington Geden. Published by T. & T. Clark, 1906. Page 198.
  3. ^ The Mahābhārata, Book 12: Santi Parva. Kisari Mohan Ganguli, tr. Section CCCIII The Mahabharata.
  4. ^ Feuerstein, Georg (2001). The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice. Arizona, USA: Hohm Press. p. Kindle Locations 7299–7300. ISBN 978-1890772185. 
  5. ^ Aranya, Swami Hariharananda (2000). "Introduction". Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati. Calcutta, India: University of Calcutta. p. xxiv. ISBN 81-87594-00-4. 

References[edit]