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The Tablets of Light

The Tablets of Light consist of the sacred texts of Atenists. In addition to the Hymns below, other text include, but are not limited to: Hymns of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, Hymns of Pharaoh Thutmose III, Teachings of the Supreme Pharaohs, and others.

Hymns to Aten

THE GREAT HYMN

Your appearing is beautiful
in the horizon of heaven,

The Living Aten, the beginning of life;
you rise in the horizon of the east,
you fill every land with your beauty.

You are very beautiful, brilliant
and exalted above earth.

Your beams encompass all lands
which you have made.

You are the sun, you set their bounds,
You bind them with your love.

You are afar off, but your beams are upon the land;
you are on high, but the day passes with your going.

You rest in the western horizon of heaven,
and the land is in darkness like the dead.

They lie in their houses, their heads are covered,

Their breath is shut up, and eye sees not to eye;

Their things are taken, even from under their heads, and they know it not.

Every lion comes forth from his den,
and all the serpents then bite;
the night shines with its lights,
the land lies in silence;
for he who made them is in his horizon.

The land brightens,
for you rise in the horizon,
shining as the Aten in the day;
the darkness flees,
for you give your beams,

Both lands are rejoicing every day.

Men awake and stand upon their feet,
for you lift them up;
they bathe their limbs,
they clothe themselves,
they lift their heads in adoration of your rising,
throughout the land they do their labours.

The cattle all rest in their pastures,
where grow the trees and herbs;
the birds fly in their haunts,
their wings adoring your ka,
all the flocks leap upon their feet,
the small birds live when you rise upon them.

The ships go forth north and south,
for every way opens at your rising.

The fishes in the river swim up to greet you,
your beams are within the depth of the great sea.

You created conception in women,
making the issue of mankind;
you make the son to live in the body of his mother,
you quiet him that he should not mourn,
nursing him in the body,
giving the spirit that all his growth may live.

When he comes forth on the day of his birth,
you open his mouth to speak,
you do what he needs.

The small bird in the egg, sounding within the shell,
you give to it breath within the egg,
to give life to that which you make.

It gathers itself to break forth from the egg,
it comes from the egg, and chirps with all its might,
it runs on its feet, when it has come forth.

How many are the things which you have made!

You created the land by your will, you alone,
with peoples, herds and flocks,
everything on the face of the earth that
walks on its feet,
everything in the air that flies with its wings.

In the hills from Syria to Kush,
and the plain of Egypt,
you give to every one his place,
you frame their lives,
to every one his belongings,
reckoning his length of days;

Their tongues are diverse in their speech,
their natures in the colour of their skin.

As the divider you divide the strange peoples.

When you have made the Nile beneath the earth,
you bring it according to your will
to make the people to live:

Even as you have formed them unto yourself,
you are throughout their Lord,
even in their weakness.

O Lord of the land that rises for them.

Aten of the day,
revered by every distant land,
you make their life,
you placed a Nile in heaven
that it may rain upon them,
that it may make waters upon the hills
like the great sea,
watering their fields amongst their cities.

How excellent are your ways!

O Lord of eternity,
the Nile in Heaven is for the strange people,
and all wild beasts that go upon their feet.

The Nile that comes from below the earth
is for the land of Egypt,
that it may nourish every field.

You shine and they live by you.

You make the seasons of the year
to create all your works;
the winter making them cool,
the summer giving warmth.

You make the far-off heaven,
that you may rise in it,
that you may see all that you made
when you were alone.

Rising in your forms as the living Aten,
shining afar off and returning.

The villages, the cities, and the tribes,
on the road and the river,
all eyes see you before them,
you are the Aten of the day over all the land.

You are in my heart,
there is none who knows you,
excepting your son Akhnaten;
you cause that he should have understanding,
in your ways and in your might.

The land is in your hand,
even as you have made them;
You shine and they live,
and when you set they die;
for by you the people live,
they look on your excellencies until your setting;
they lay down all their labours
when you set in the west,
and when you rise, they grow.

....... * .......

Since the day that you laid the
foundations of the earth,
you raised them up for your son
who came forth from your substance,
the king of Egypt, living in Truth,
lord of both lands, Akhnaten,
son of the sun, living in Truth, Akhenaten,
great in his duration;
Nefer'neferu'Aten
Nefer'iti, living and flourishing
for ever eternally.

Based on the translation of Griffith, as quoted by Sir Flinders Petrie in A History of Egypt (1899), Vol. 2, pp. 215-218.

A HYMN OF PRAISE

A Hymn of Praise to Aten when he rises like a great falcon in the heights of the Two Horizons. Homage to you, Aten, Beautiful One of every day! You shoot up at sunrise without fail - how many are your works, O Great Creator. Your radiance is in your face, and as far as bright copper metal it does not resemble your splendours.

Self-existent One, you moulded your members into physical forms; giving birth, but he was not born; One by himself by reason of his power or abilities, Traverser of Eternity, He who is over the ways of millions of years, maintaining his Divine Form.

As are the beauties of the celestial regions even so are your beauties. More brilliant is your complexion than that of heaven. You sail across the heavens, all faces look at you as you go, though you yourself are hidden from their eyes.

You manifest the symbol of your power at break of day in beams of light, strong is your Divine Boat under your majesty. In a little day you journey over a road of millions and hundreds of thousands of minutes. When your day passes, you set.

The hours of the night likewise you make to fulfil themselves. No interruption takes place in your toil. All eyes direct their gaze upon you, they cease not to do so. You quickly rise up early in the morning, your sparkling rays flash in the eyes.

Praise be to you, O Aten of the day, Creator of mortals and Creator of their life. Praise be to you!

You are like a Great Hawk whose feathers are many-coloured, you, O Creator, who raise yourself up from non-existence! He exists by his own power, he was not born, he who dwells in the heights. Humankind cries out joyfully at his rising and at his setting likewise. He is the fashioner of what the ground produces, conqueror of the Two Lands, from the great one to the little one.

You, Mother, splendid over all gods and men, artificer, gracious one, exceedingly great, progressing in her work. The cattle cannot be counted. The strong herdsman, driving his strong beasts, you provide shelter for them.

He provides the sustenance for their life, springing up, traversing the course of the Creator, manifesting himself and raising up his beautiful form. He illumines the Two Lands with his Divine Symbol the Disc, he is the primeval substance of the Two Lands. He made himself.

He looks on what he has made, the One Lord, bringing along into captivity countless lands every day, observing those who walk about upon the earth; shining in the sky he performs transformations by day. He makes the seasons from the months. He loves the heat of summer.

He loves the cold of winter. He makes every member of the body to droop. He embraces every land. All of creation cries out in adoration of him when he rises daily.

His son Akhnaten says, "I am the representative of the throne of Aten for the earth and overseer of works in his sanctuary which, as his beloved son, the Lord of the Two Lands, the giver of life, which Aten made for you. My Lord appointed me to be the officer in charge of the great city of God and all its monuments and treasures.

"I keep watch diligently, I serve the office of director strenuously, performing the laws of the heart of Aten. I know how to teach you so as to have rest upon the Truth, making you great to do it upon the earth. I am truth who abominates false words and deeds.

"I never take pleasure in any conversation wherein are words of exaggeration and lies. I take pleasure in your affairs."

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(The above Hymn is based on the British Museum Stele No. 475-9 published by Pierret, Recueil, tome I., p. 20 and by Birch, Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. VIII: p. 143 ff.)
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A HYMN TO ATEN WHEN HE RISES ON THE HORIZON AND WHEN HE SETS

Praise be to you, O Aten, who rises as the One God in the circle above the earth.

You are adored. Your beauties are before my eyes, and your splendour falls upon my body.

You go to your setting in the Divine Boat with fair winds, and your heart is glad. The hearts of your worshippers rejoice.

You stride over the heavens in peace, all your foes being cast down.

The stars and the planets which never rest sing hymns to you, and the stars which never vanish glorify you as you set to rest in the horizon of the celestial heights.

You are beautiful at morning and at evening, O Living Lord, the Unchanging One, my Lord.

Homage to you who rise in the east and set in the west in your beauty.

You rise and shine across the sky, O you who are crowned king of the gods.

They sky pays homage to you, and law and Truth embrace you at morning and evening.

Joyfully you stride over the heavens and the great watery abyss in the heavens is content. Your enemies are cast down headlong, their arms and hands are cut off, and your dagger has severed the joints of their backbone.

Aten comes like a cool wind, his Boat advances and comes into port.

The winds of the South, the North, the West and the East praise you, O divine substance, from whom all forms of life spring forth.

When you speak earth is flooded with silence, O Self-Existing One, who dwell in heaven before ever the earth and the mountain came into being.

O Shepherd, O Lord, O Self-Existent One, Creator of all things, you make the tongue of all the spirit beings. You have made all that spring forth from the waters, and you shoot up from them over the land of the pools of the Divine Lake.

Let me breathe the air which comes from your nostrils and the north wind which is from the Mother. Glorify my spirit, and make divine my soul.

O Lord of the gods, you are worshipped at setting in peace, and are exalted because of all your wondrous works, shine upon my body each day.

A HYMN TO ATEN, WHEN HE RISES IN THE EAST

Praise be to you Aten, Lord of rays, who rise on the horizon day by day! Shine with your beams of light upon the face of those who speak truth, who sing hymns to you at dawn, and adore you in the evening. Let their souls appear with you in heaven. Let them sail out in the Divine Boat and arrive in port, and let them cleave their way among the stars that never vanish.

Praise be to you, O Aten, who are the Creator, the Self-Existent One!

When you rise and send forth your beams upon the lands of the South and the North, you are beautiful, yes, you are beautiful, and all the spirits rejoice when they see you, the King of Heaven.

The denizens of the underworld come to meet you, they bow before you in homage at the sight of your Beautiful Form.

I would come before you daily to be with you and to behold your Beautiful and Divine Symbol. Let me be neither prevented nor repulsed.

Grant that when I look upon your beauties my members may be made young again, even as are the members of your favoured ones.

I am one who worship you on earth. Let me enter the Eternal Land in the Everlasting Country. O my Lord, I beseech you to decree this for me.

Praise be to you who rise in the east as Aten on your horizon and rest in the west!

You pass over the sky, all eyes observe your course, you yourself being unseen. You show yourself at dawn and at evening daily.

The Divine Boat of your Majesty goes forth like a mighty ship, your beams fall upon every face, your variegated lights and colours cannot be numbered, and cannot be comprehended.

May I go forward as you advance without pause, and in a moment pass over untold leagues and as you sink to rest even so may I.

You are crowned with the majesty of your beauties, you fashion your members as you advance, and produce them without the pangs of labour in the form of Aten, and rise up into the heights.

Grant that I may come into the everlasting heaven and the mountain where your favoured ones dwell. Let me join myself to those who are holy and perfect in the divine Other World, and let me appear with them to behold your beauties in the evening. I lift my hands to you in adoration when you the living One set. You are the Eternal Creator and are adored at your setting in heaven.

I have given my heart to you without wavering, O you who are the mightiest of all.

(Based on the Papyrus of Ani, sheets 18 and 19)
Hymns of Pharaoh Amenhotep III (Hymns 1-7, more to be added soon)

Hymn 1
1 Aten is on my head like a crown, and I shall never be without Him.

2 Plaited for me is the crown of truth, and it caused Your branches to blossom in me.

3 For it is not like a parched crown that blossoms not;

4 For You live upon my head, and have blossomed upon me.

5 Your fruits are full and complete; they are full of Your salvation.

Hymn 2
1 I am putting on the love of Aten.

2 And His members are with Him, and I am dependent on them; and He loves me.

3 For I should not have known how to love Aten, if He had not continuously loved me.

4 Who is able to distinguish love, except him who is loved?

5 I love the Beloved and I myself love Him, and where His rest is, there I am as well.

6 And I shall be no stranger, because there is no jealousy with Aten the Most High and Merciful.

7 I have been united to Him, because the lover has found the Beloved, because I love Him that is the Son, I shall become a son.

8 Indeed he who is joined to Him who is immortal, truly shall be immortal.

9 And he who delights in the Life will become living.

10 This is the Spirit of Aten, which is not false, which teaches the sons of men to know His ways.

11 Be wise and understanding and awakened. Praise be unto Aten.

Hymn 3
1 No man can pervert Your holy place, O my God; nor can he change it, and put it in another place.

2 Because he has no power over it; for Your sanctuary You designed before You made special places.

3 The ancient one shall not be perverted by those which are inferior to it.

4 You have given Your heart, our Lord, to Your believers.

5 Never will You be idle, nor will You be without fruits; For one hour of Your faith is more excellent than all days and years.

6 For who shall put on Your grace and be rejected?

7 Because Your seal is known; and Your creatures are known to it.

8 And Your hosts possess it, and the elect archangels are clothed with it.

9 You have given to us Your fellowship, not that You were in need of us, but that we are always in need of You.

10 Shower upon us Your gentle rain, and open Your bountiful springs which abundantly supply us with milk and honey.

11 For there is no regret with You; that You should regret anything which You have promised; Since the result was manifest to You.

12 For that which You gave, You gave freely, so that no longer will You draw back and take them again.

13 For all was manifest to You as God, and was set in order from the beginning before You. And You, our Lord have made all. Praise be unto Aten.

Hymn 4
1 I praise You, Our Lord, because I love You.

2 O Most High, forsake me not, for You are my hope.

3 Freely did I receive Your grace, may I live by it.

4 My persecutors will come but let them not see me.

5 Let a cloud of darkness fall upon their eyes; and let an air of thick darkness obscure them.

6 And let them have no light to see, so that they cannot seize me.

7 Let their designs become hardened, so that whatever they have conspired shall return upon their own heads.

8 For they have devised a plan, but it was not for them.

9 They prepared themselves maliciously, but they were found to be impotent.

10 Indeed my confidence is upon Aten, and I will not fear.

11 And because Aten is my salvation, I will not fear.

12 And He is as a woven crown upon my head, and I shall not be shaken.

13 Even if everything should be shaken, I shall stand firm.

14 And though all things visible should perish, I shall not die; because Aten is with me, and I with Him. Praise be unto Aten.

Hymn 5
1 As the wind glides through the harp and the strings speak,

2 So the Spirit of Aten speaks through my members, and I speak through His love.

3 For He destroys whatever is alien, and everything is of Aten.

4 For thus it was from the beginning, and will be until the end.

5 So that nothing shall be contrary, and nothing shall rise up against Him.

6 Aten has multiplied his knowledge, and He was zealous that those things should be known which through His grace have been given to us.

7 And His praise He gave us on account of His name, our spirits praise His blessed spirit.

8 For there went forth a stream, and it became a river great and broad; indeed it carried away everything, and it shattered and brought it to the Temple.

9 And the barriers which were built by men were not able to restrain it, nor even the arts of them who habitually restrain water.

10 For it spread over the surface of all the earth, and it filled everything.

11 Then all the thirsty upon the earth drank, and thirst was relieved and quenched – for from the Most High the drink was given.

12 Blessed, therefore, are the ministers of that drink, who have been entrusted with His water.

13 They have refreshed the parched lips, and have aroused the paralysed will.

14 Even living persons who were about to expire, they have held back from death.

15 And limbs which have collapsed, they have restored and set up.

16 They gave strength for their coming, and light for their eyes.

17 Because everyone recognised them as belonging to Aten, and lived by the living water of eternity. Praise be unto Aten.

Hymn 6
1 As is the course of anger over wickedness, so is the course of joy over the Beloved; and brings in of its fruits unhindered.

2 My joy is Aten and my course is towards Him, this path of mine is beautiful.

3 For there is a Helper for me, Aten. He has generously shown Himself to me in His simplicity, because His kindness has diminished His dreadfulness.

4 He became like me, that I might receive Him. In form He was considered like me, that I might put Him on.

5 And I trembled not when I saw Him, because He was gracious to me.

6 Like my nature He became, that I might understand Him. And like my form, that I might not turn away from Him.

7 The Father of knowledge is the Word of knowledge.

8 He who created wisdom is wiser than His works.

9 And He who created me when yet I was not knew what I would do when I came into being.

10 On account of this He was gracious to me in His abundant grace, and allowed me to ask from Him and to benefit from His sacrifice.

11 For He it is who is in-corrupt, the perfection of the worlds and their Father.

12 He has allowed Him to appear to them that are His own; in order that they may recognise Him that made them, and not suppose that they came of themselves.

13 For towards knowledge He has set His way, he has widened it and lengthened it and brought it to complete perfection.

14 And has set over it the traces of His light, and it proceeded from the beginning until the end.

15 For by Him He was served, and He was pleased by the Son.

16 And because of his salvation He will possess everything.

17 And the Most High will be known by His holy ones:

18 To announce to those who have songs of the coming of Aten, that they may go forth to meet Him and may sing to Him, with joy and with the harp of many tones.

19 The Seers shall go before Him, and they shall be seen before Him.

20 And they shall praise Aten in His love, because He is near and does see.

21 And hatred shall be removed from the earth, and with jealousy it shall be drowned.

22 For ignorance was destroyed upon it, because the knowledge of Aten arrived upon it.

23 Let the singers sing the grace of Aten the Most High, and let them bring their songs.

24 And let their heart be like the day, and their gentle voices like the majestic beauty of Aten.

25 And let there not be anyone who breathes that is without knowledge or voice.

26 For He gave a mouth to His creation: to open the voice of the mouth towards Him, and to praise Him.

27 Confess His power and declare His grace. Praise be unto Aten.

Hymn 7
1 Open, open your hearts to the exultation of Aten, and let your love abound from the heart to the lips.

2 In order to bring forth fruits to Aten, a holy life; and to talk with watchfulness in His light.

3 Rise up and stand erect, you who sometimes were brought low.

4 You who were in silence, speak, for your mouth has been opened.

5 You who were despised, from henceforth be lifted up, for your Righteousness has been lifted up;

6 For the right hand of Aten is with you, and He will be your Helper.

7 And peace was prepared for you, before what may be your war.

8 Hear the word of truth, and receive the knowledge of the Most High.

9 Your flesh may not understand that which I am about to say to you; nor your garment that which I am about to show you.

10 Keep my mystery, you who are kept by it; keep my faith, you who are kept by it.

11 And understand my knowledge, you who know me in truth; love me with affection, you who love;

12 For I turn not my face from my own, because I know them.

13 And before they had existed, I recognised them; and imprinted a seal on their faces.

14 I fashioned their members, and my own breasts I prepared for them, that they might drink my holy milk and live by it.

15 I am pleased by them, and am not ashamed by them.

16 For my workmanship are they, and the strength of my thoughts.

17 Therefore who can stand against my work? Or who is not subject to them?

18 I willed and fashioned mind and heart, and they are my own. And upon my right hand I have set my elect ones.

19 And my righteousness goes before them, and they shall not be deprived of my name; for it is with them.

20 Pray and increase, and abide in the love of Aten;

21 And you who were loved in the Beloved, and you who are kept in Him who lives, and you who are saved in Him who was saved.

22 And you shall be found in-corrupt in all ages, on account of the name of your Father. Praise be unto Aten.