It thought, Let me become many, let me grow forth. It sent forth flame (tejas). That flame thought, Let me
become many, let me grow forth. It sent forth water . . . . Water thought, Let me become many, let me grow forth. It
sent forth annam (earth or food).'
(b) The Vishnu Purana 1 says: 'There was neither day nor night nor sky nor earth: darkness, light,
had not come into existence, nor anything else. The essential brahm alone, imperceptible to hearing, etc., and to
intellect, that thing, the Male, existed. For the Supreme from his own nature (form) is Male (Spirit) and Matter (Pradhana,
substance), those are the other two forms of Vishnu.' This book speaks of Janardana ('agitating men') as the one
deity. He took the form of Brahma as creator, that of Vishnu as preserver, that of Siva as destroyer. The gods, demons
and men dwelt all together in the enormous egg, formed of the five elements (ether, air, light, water, earth) and of
intellect. In Manu's Dharmasastra 2 we are told that Brahma came forth from this egg and that he
formed heaven and earth of the eggshells, making all things out of atoms pervaded by his own essence. He made the other
gods as well as everything else. Elsewhere we are told that the self-existent spirit united himself with activity (rajas)
to become Brahma, with goodness (sattva)
to become Vishnu, with darkness (tamas) to become Siva. In these forms he is possessed of attributes (saguna).
(c) In the oldest of the Vedas 1 it is thus written:
'When the non-existent was not and the existent was not, then the atmosphere was not and heaven above was not. What
also existed below? Where, in whose treasury was the water? What was the deep abyss?
'Then death was not, immortality was not, light of night, of day, was not. That one thing breathed breathless of itself:
there was nothing else besides it, whatever there was.
'At first there was darkness enveloped in darkness: unillumined was all this flood. When the emptiness was concealed by
the void, then with might the one thing was born from heat.
'Then first desire arose, the seed of mind, the first which was . . . .
'Who knows for certain, who would here explain? Whence, whence, did this product (the world) originate? The gods were
later than its production: then who knows whence it sprang?
'Whence this product sprang, whether it was created or not, He who is its overseer in the highest heaven, He only knows,
or even He knows not.'
This latter passage is one of the very few which speaks of a personal deity superior to the many