The following is an example of a mystical hymn from the vedas. It has what appears to be a general surface meaning and clearly hints at a deeper meaning.
Atharvaveda, Hymn 15:1—The Vrātya
1. There was a roaming Vrātya.1 He roused Prajāpati to action. || 2. Prajāpati beheld gold2 in himself [atman] and engendered it. || 3. That [tat] became unique [ekam = one, single, solitary], that became distinguished [lalāma], that became great [mahat], that became excellent (or pre-eminent) [jyeṣṭha], that became Devotion [brahma], that became holy Fervour [tapas], that became Truth [satya]: through that he was born. || 4. He grew, he became great [mahat], he became Mahādeva. || 5. He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Lord [īśā]. || 6. He became Chief Vrātya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. || 7. His belly is dark-blue, his back is red. || 8. With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say.
1. vrātya āsīd īyamāna eva sa prajāpatiṃ sam airayat || 2. sa prajāpatiḥ suvarṇam ātmann apaśyat tat prājanayat || 3. tad ekam abhavat tal lalāmam abhavat tan mahad abhavat taj jyeṣṭham abhavat tad brahmābhavat tat tapo ‘bhavat tat satyam abhavat tena prājāyata || 4. so ‘vardhata sa mahān abhavat sa mahādevo ‘bhavat || 5. sa devānām īśāṃ pary ait sa īśāno ‘bhavat || 6. sa ekavrātyo ‘bhavat sa dhanur ādatta tad evendradhanuḥ || 7. nīlam asyodaraṃ lohitaṃ pṛṣṭham || 8. nīlenaivāpriyaṃ bhrātṛvyaṃ prorṇoti lohitena dviṣantaṃ vidhyatīti brahmavādino vadanti.
1. व्रात्य vrātya: one might say literally “nomad,” which has come to be associated with a kind of “outcaste,” or perhaps wandering monks, but in the Atharvaveda the Vrātya seems to be identified as one with the “Supreme”, and is “represented as being in all the quarters” (hence perhaps the later association with the four caste system, but perhaps not as “outcaste” so much as all castes or beyond caste). The term comes from vrata-ya, where vrata means: Rule, adherence; Sphere of action; Way of life, conduct; etc., which may bring the concept of Tao to mind.
2. सुवर्ण suvarṇa, from su-varṇa, lit. “beautiful color”. Varṇa is also the term used for the castes, the caturvarṇa (lit. “four colors”).