In primeval times, a maiden,
Beauteous Daughter of the Ether,
Passed for ages her existence
In the great expanse of Heaven,
. . . . . . . . . . .
Seven hundred years she wandered,
Seven hundred years she laboured,
Ere her first-born was delivered.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Ere a beauteous duck descending,
Hastens toward the water-mother.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Lightly on the knee she settles,
Finds a nesting-place befitting,
Where to lay her eggs in safety,
Lays her eggs within, at pleasure,
Six, the golden eggs she lays them,
Then a Seventh, an egg of iron . . . . .”
(Kalevala, Rune I.)
1. The Lha which turns the fourth is subservient to the Lha of the Seven, they who revolve driving their chariots around their Lord, the One Eye. His breath gave life to the Seven; it gave life to the first.
2. Said the Earth: — “Lord of the Shining Face; my house is empty . . . . send thy sons to people this wheel. Thou hast sent thy seven sons to the Lord of Wisdom. Seven times doth he see thee nearer to himself, seven times more doth he feel thee. Thou hast forbidden thy servants, the small rings, to catch thy light and heat, thy great bounty to intercept on its passage. Send now to thy servant the same.”
3. Said the “Lord of the Shining Face”: — “I shall send thee a fire when thy work is commenced. Raise thy voice to other Lokas; apply to thy father, the Lord of the Lotus, for his sons . . . . thy people shall be under the rule of the Fathers. Thy men shall be mortals. The men of the Lord of Wisdom, not the Lunar Sons, are immortal. Cease thy complaints. Thy seven skins are yet on thee . . . . thou art not ready. Thy men are not ready.”
4. After great throes she cast off her old three and put on her new seven skins, and stood in her first one.
5. The wheel whirled for thirty crores more. It constructed rupas: soft stones that hardened; hard plants that softened. Visible from invisible, insects and small lives. She shook them off her back whenever they overran the mother.
* Only forty-nine Slokas out of several hundred are here given. Not every verse is translated verbatim. A periphrasis is sometimes used for the sake of clearness and intelligibility, where a literal translation would be quite unintelligible.
. . . . After thirty crores she turned round. She lay on her back; on her side . . . She would call no sons of Heaven, she would ask no sons of Wisdom. She created from her own bosom. She evolved water-men, terrible and bad.
6. The water-men terrible and bad she herself created from the remains of others, from the dross and slime of her first, second, and third, she formed them. The Dhyani came and looked — The Dhyani from the bright Father-mother, from the white regions they came, from the abodes of the immortal mortals.
7. Displeased they were. Our flesh is not there. No fit rupas for our brothers of the fifth. No dwellings for the lives. Pure waters, not turbid, they must drink. Let us dry them.
8. The flames came. The fires with the sparks; the night fires and the day fires. They dried out the turbid dark waters. With their heat they quenched them. The Lhas of the High, the Lhamayin of below, came. They slew the forms which were two- and four-faced. They fought the goat-men, and the dog-headed men, and the men with fishes’ bodies.
9. Mother-water, the great sea, wept. She arose, she disappeared in the moon which had lifted her, which had given her birth.
10. When they were destroyed, Mother-earth remained bare. She asked to be dried.
11. The Lord of the Lords came. From her body he separated the waters, and that was Heaven above, the first Heaven.
12. The great Chohans called the Lords of the Moon, of the airy bodies. “Bring forth men, men of your nature. Give them their forms within. She will build coverings without. Males-females will they be. Lords of the Flame also . . . . “
13. They went each on his allotted land: seven of them each on his lot. The Lords of the Flame remain behind. They would not go, they would not create.
14. The Seven Hosts, the “Will-born Lords,” propelled by the Spirit of Life-giving, separate men from themselves, each on his own zone.
15. Seven times seven Shadows of future men were born, each of his own colour and kind. Each inferior to his father. The fathers, the boneless, could give no life to beings with bones. Their progeny were Bhuta, with neither form nor mind. Therefore they are called the Chhaya.
16. How are the Manushya born? The Manus with minds, how are they made? The fathers called to their help their own fire; which is the fire that burns in Earth. The Spirit of the Earth called to his help the Solar Fire. These three produced in their joint efforts a good Rupa. It could stand, walk, run, recline, or fly. Yet it was still but a Chhaya, a shadow with no sense . . . .
17. The breath needed a form; The Fathers gave it. The breath needed a gross body; the Earth moulded it. The breath needed the Spirit of Life; the Solar Lhas breathed it into its form. The breath needed a Mirror of its Body; “We gave it our own,” said the Dhyanis. The Breath needed a Vehicle of Desires; “It has it,” said the Drainer of Waters. But Breath needs a mind to embrace the Universe; “We cannot give that,” said the Fathers. “I never had it,” said the Spirit of the Earth. “The form would be consumed were i to give it mine,” said the Great Fire . . . . Man remained an empty senseless Bhuta . . . . Thus have the boneless given life to those who became men with bones in the third.
18. The first were the sons of Yoga. Their sons the children of the Yellow Father and the White Mother.
19. The Second Race was the product by budding and
expansion, the A-Sexual from the Sexless.* Thus was, O Lanoo, the Second Race produced.
20. Their fathers were the self-born. The self-born, the Chhaya from the brilliant bodies of the Lords, the Fathers, the Sons of Twilight.
21. When the Race became old, the old waters mixed with the fresher waters. When its drops became turbid, they vanished and disappeared in the new stream, in the hot stream of life. The outer of the first became the inner of the second. The old Wing became the new Shadow, and the Shadow of the Wing.
22. Then the second evolved the Egg-born, the third. The sweat grew, its drops grew, and the drops became hard and round. The Sun warmed it; the Moon cooled and shaped it; the wind fed it until its ripeness. The white swan from the starry vault overshadowed the big drop. The egg of the future race, the Man-swan of the later third. First male-female, then man and woman.
23. The self-born were the Chhayas: the Shadows from the bodies of the Sons of Twilight.
24. The Sons of Wisdom, the Sons of Night, ready for rebirth, came down, they saw the vile forms of the First Third, “We can choose,” said the Lords, “we have wisdom.” Some entered the Chhaya. Some projected the Spark. Some deferred till the Fourth. From their own Rupa they filled the Kama. Those who entered became Arhats. Those who received but a spark, remained destitute of knowledge; the spark burned low. The third remained mind-less. Their Jivas were not
* The idea and the spirit of the sentence is here given, as a verbal translation would convey very little to the reader.
ready. These were set apart among the Seven. They became narrow-headed. The Third were ready. “In these shall we dwell,” said the Lords of the Flame.
25. How did the Manasa, the Sons of Wisdom, act? They rejected the Self-born. They are not ready. They spurned the Sweat-born. They are not quite ready. They would not enter the first Egg-born.
26. When the Sweat-born produced the Egg-born, the twofold and the mighty, the powerful with bones, the Lords of Wisdom said: “Now shall we create.”
27. The Third Race became the Vahan of the Lords of Wisdom. It created “Sons of Will and Yoga,” by Kriyasakti it created them, the Holy Fathers, Ancestors of the Arhats. .
28. From the drops of sweat; from the residue of the substance; matter from dead bodies of men and animals of the wheel before; and from cast-off dust, the first animals were produced.
29. Animals with bones, dragons of the deep, and flying Sarpas were added to the creeping things. They that creep on the ground got wings. They of the long necks in the water became the progenitors of the fowls of the air.
30. During the third Race the boneless animals grew and changed: they became animals with bones, their Chhayas became solid.
31. The animals separated the first. They began to breed. The two-fold man separated also. He said: “Let us as they; let us unite and make creatures.” They did.
32. And those which had no spark took huge she-animals unto them. They begat upon them dumb Races. Dumb they were themselves. But their tongues untied. The tongues of their progeny remained still. Monsters they bred. A race of crooked red-hair-covered monsters going on all fours. A dumb race to keep the shame untold.
33. Seeing which, the Lhas who had not built men, wept, saying: —
34. “The Amanasa have defiled our future abodes. This is Karma. Let us dwell in the others. Let us teach them better, lest worse should happen. They did . . . .
35. Then all men became endowed with Manas. They saw the sin of the mindless.
36. The Fourth Race developed speech.
37. The One became Two; also all the living and creeping things that were still one, giant fish-birds and serpents with shell-heads.
38. Thus two by two on the seven zones, the Third Race gave birth to the Fourth-Race men; the gods became no-gods; the sura became a-sura.
39. The first, on every zone, was moon-coloured; the second yellow like gold; the third red; the fourth brown, which became black with sin. The first seven human shoots were all of one complexion. The next seven began mixing.
40. Then the Fourth became tall with pride. We are the kings, it was said; we are the gods.
41. They took wives fair to look upon. Wives from the mindless, the narrow-headed. They bred monsters. Wicked demons, male and female, also Khado (dakini), with little minds.
42. they built temples for the human body. Male and female they worshipped. Then the Third Eye acted no longer.
43. They built huge cities. Of rare earths and metals they built, and out of the fires vomited, out of the white stone of
the mountains and of the black stone, they cut their own images in their size and likeness, and worshipped them.
44. They built great images nine yatis high, the size of their bodies. Inner fires had destroyed the land of their fathers. The water threatened the fourth.
45. The first great waters came. They swallowed the seven great islands.
46. All Holy saved, the Unholy destroyed. With them most of the huge animals, produced from the sweat of the earth.
47. Few men remained: some yellow, some brown and black, and some red remained. The Moon-coloured were gone forever.
48. The fifth produced from the Holy stock remained; it was ruled over by the first divine Kings.
49. . . . . Who re-descended, who made peace with the fifth, who taught and instructed it. . . . . .