top of page

Rigveda - Hymn 81 - To Viśvakarman (‘The All-Maker’) - The Beginning of Life, Asking God for Wisdom

The seer, our father, sacrificing all these worlds,

Sat on the high priest’s throne:

Pursuing wealth by [offering] prayer, he made away

With what came first, entering into the latter things.

2 What was the primal matter? [a] What the beginning?

How and what manner of thing was that from which

The Maker of All, see-er of all, brought forth

The earth, and by His might the heavens unfolded?

3 His eyes on every side, on every side his face,

On every side his arms, his feet on every side—

With arms and wings he together forges

Heaven and earth, creating them, the One God!

4 What was the wood? What was the tree

From which heaven and earth were fashioned?

Ask, just ask, those of you who are wise in heart, on what did He rely

That He should [thus] support [these] worlds?

5 Teach us Your highest dwelling-places, [b] the lowest too;

[Teach us] these, Your midmost, Maker of All:

Teach Your friends at their offering, O God, You are self-strong;

Offer sacrifice Yourself to make Your body grow!

6 Maker of All, grown strong by the oblation,

Offer heaven and earth in sacrifice Yourself!

Let others hither and thither, [c] distracted, [let them] stray,

But for us let there be a generous sponsor and supporter.

7 Today, let us invoke the Lord of Speech,

Maker of All, inspirer of the mind,

To help us at the [time of] sacrifice.

Let him take pleasure in all our prayers,

Bring us all blessing, working righteously to help us!


a. Adhiṣṭhāna: derived from the Sanskrit root ‘adhiṣṭha’ meaning ‘to stand upon’; denotes an object on which something stands.

b. Dhāma, Sanskrit. A specific location thought to be infused with the light of divine power.

c. Hither and Thither, Archaic English. To be in various directions or places, especially in a disorganized way.

Hindu Scriptures

Hindu Scriptures / translated from Sanskrit by R. C. Zaehner, copyright © 1966 J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



bottom of page