Brahmā, Vişņu, Śiva

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In a worldless timeless lightless great emptiness
  Four-faced Brahma broods.

nasad asin, no sad asit tadanim;
nasid raja no vioma paro yat.
kim avarivah? kuha? kasya sarmann?
Ambhah kim asid, gahanam gabhiram?

na mytur asid, amrtam na tarhi.
na ratria ahna asit pratekh.
anid avatam svadhaya tad ekam.
tasmad dhanyan na parah kim canasa.

tama asit tamasa gudham agre;
apraketam salilam sarvam a idam.
tuchyenabhu apihitam yad asit,
tapasas tan mahinajayataikam.

Of a sudden sea of joy surges through his heart –
  The ur-god opens his eyes.
  Speech from four mouths
  Speeds from each quarter.
  Through infinite dark,
  Through limitless sky,
  Like a growing sea-storm,
  Like hope never sated,
  His Word starts to move.

Stirred by joy  his breathing quickens,
  His eight eyes quiver with flame.
His fire-matted hair  sweeps the horizon,
  Bright as a million suns.

From the towering source of the world
  In a thousand streams
Cascades the primeval blazing fountain,
  Fragmenting silence,
  Splitting its stone heart.

kamas tad agre sam avartatadhi
manaso retah prathamam yad asit?
sato bandhum asati nir avindan
hrdi pratisya kavayo manisa


  In a universe rampant
  With new life exhalant,
  With new life exultant,
  Vishnu spreads wide
  His four-handed blessing.
  He raises his conch
  And all things quake
  At its booming sound.
  The frenzy dies down,
  The furnace expires,
  The planets douse
  Their flames with tears,
  The world’s Divine Poet
  Constructs its history,
  From wild cosmic song
  Its epic is formed.
  Stars in their orbits,
  Moon sun and planets –
  He binds with his mace
  All things to Law,
  Imposes the discipline
  Of metre and rhyme.

  In the Manasa depths
  Vishnu watches -
  Beauties arise
  From the light of lotuses.
  Lakshmi strews smiles -
  Clouds show a rainbow,
  Gardens show flowers.
  The roar of Creation
  Resolves into music.
  Softness hides rigour,
  Forms cover power.

tirascino vitato rasmir esam:
adhah svid asid, upari svid asit?
retodha asan, mahimana asan;
svadha avasat, prayatih parastat.

Age after age after age is slave to a mighty rhythm –
  At last the world-frame
  Tires in its body,
  Sleep in its eyes
  Slackens its structure,
  Diffuses its energy.
  From the heart of all matter
  Comes the anguished cry –
  ‘Wake, wake, great Shiva,
  Our body grows weary
  Of its law-fixed path,
  Give us new form.
  Sing our destruction,
  That we gain new life.’


  The great god awakes,
  His three eyes open,
  He surveys all horizons.
He lifts his bow,  his fell pinaka,
  He pounds the world with his tread.
From first things to last  it trembles and shakes
  And shudders.
The bonds of nature are ripped.
The sky is rocked by the roar
Of a wave of ecstatic release.
  An inferno soars – 
  The pyre of the universe.

Shattered sun and moon, smashed stars and planets,
  Rain down from all angles,
  A blackness of all particles 
  To be swallowed by flame,
  Absorbed in an instant.
  At the start of Creation
  There was a dark without origin,
  At the breaking of Creation
  There is fire without end
In  an all-pervading sky-engulfing sea of burning
  Shiva shuts his three eyes.
  He begins his great trance.

ko adha veda? Ka iha pravocat,
kuta ajata, kuta iyam visrstih?
arvag deva asya visajanena:
atha ko veda yata ababhuva?

iyam visrstir yata ababhuva;
yadi vasa dadhe yadi van na:
yo asyadhyaksah parame vioman
so anga veda, yadi va na veda.

© Rabindranath Tagore