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Purusha Sooktam


The Purusha Suktam in praise of Lord Vishnu is one of the Pancha Sooktams of the Vedic tradition.

Sahasra Sheershaa Purushah: Sahasraakshas Sahasrapaath
Sabhoomim Visvatho Vruthvaa Athyathishta Dhasaangulam

1. A thousand heads has the Universal man, Purusha; as also a thousand eyes and a thousand feet He has. He spreads over the earth on all sides and beyond it as far as ten fingers can count. [Infinite numbers, without a beginning or end.]

Purusha Ye’ve’dhagum Sarvam Yath Bhootham Yascha Bowyam
Uthamru Thathvath Esaanah: Yadhannenaathi Rohathi

2. Purusha, the Man, is all that has been in the past,all that is coming and all that exists now. He is the ruler of immortality, as He comes out beyond everything and grows through food.

Ethaa Vaanasya Mahimaa Athojyaa Yaaguscha Poorushah
Paadhosya Visvaa Bhoothaani Thripaadhasyaa Mruthandhivi

3. What we see here is all the greatness of this Purusha, the Man, and is yet more than this. All creatures of this universe is only a quarter of Him and the other three quarters are what is remaining immortal in Heaven.

Thripdoorthva Udhaith Purushah: Paathos -e’haabhavaath Punah
Thatho Vishvang Vyakraamath Saasanaana Sane Abhi

4. This three fourths of Purusha arise beyond the universe. One fourth of him only arose again and again here on earth. Thence, as He spread in all directions, appeared all those creations that eats food and that which eats not on this earth.

Thasmaadh viraadajaayatha Viraajo Adhipoorushah: |
Sajaatho Athyarikshatha Pascaadhbhoomim -athopuraha

5. From him the brilliant Viraaj was born, from Viraj came the primal Purusha.
When he was born, he spread beyond the earth, on all the sides to create all beings.
[Viraj is the Female principle, which with the primal Purusha produces the concrete universe. In the Atharvaveda She is an independent creative principle identified with Brahma, with speech and with Prajapathi.]

Yath purushena Havishaa Dhevaayakyamath anvatha
Vasanthoasya Aseethaajyam Greeshma Idhmas Saradhdhavihi

6. When the Devas (Celestial Angels) spread on the sacrificial offerings with Purusha as oblation, spring was its ghee [melted butter] summer the fuel, autumn the oblation.

Sapthaasyaasan Pari dhayah: Thrissabtha Samidhah Krithaah
Dhevaayath Yagnyamthan Vaanaah: Abhathnan Purusham Pasum

7. Seven Devas were the sticks that enclose the place of Yajña (Sacrificial Fire rituals), thrice seven [21] philosophical principles were made the fuel sticks; the Devas performed the Yajña and they bound the Purusha as the cow at the Yajña.

Tham Yagnyam Bharhishi Prowkshan Purusham Jaathamagrathah
Thena Devaa Ayajantha Saadhyaa Rushayaschaye

8. As the sacrifice on the Yajña they besprinkled the Purusha, born in the beginning. With him the Devas performed the Yajña along with Saadhyas (other Devas) and the Sages.

Thasmaath Yagnyaath Sarvahuthah: Sambrutham Brushadhaajyam

Pasoogusthaagus Chakre Vaayavyaan Aaranyan graamya -aschaye

9. From that sacrifice completely offered, formed the cream and ghee [melted butter]. He made it the beasts and birds of the air, of the forest and those of the villages.

Thasmaath Yagnyath sarvahuthah: Ruchassaamaani Jaggire
Chandaagumsi Jaggire Thasmaath Yajusthasmaath ajaayatha

10. From that sacrifice completely offered were born the verses (Rg Veda) and
the Saaman Melodies (Saamaveda). The Chhandhas metres were born from it.
From it was born the Sacrificial formula (Yajurveda).

Thasmaadhasvaa Ajayantha Yekecho Bhayaadhathah
Ghavoha Jaggire Thasmaath Thasmaath jaathaa ajaavayah

11. From this [Yajña] the horses were born and those that have one row and
two rows of teeth. Cattle were born from it. From it were born goats and sheep.

Yath Prusham Vyadhadhuhu Kathidhaavya kalpayan
Mukamkimasya Kowbhahoo Kaa Vooroo Paadhaa uchyethe

12. When they created this Universal Purusha, into how many forms did they make him? What was the form of his mouth? What was his two arms? What are his thighs and feet called?

Brhaahmanosya Mukmaaseeth Bhaahoo Raajanyakruthah
Uruthathasya Yadhvaisyah: Pathbyaagum Soodhro Ajaayatha

13. His mouth formed the Brahmin (teacher or Priest), his two arms were made the Rajaanya (Kshathriya or warrior), his two thighs the Vaisyaa (traders or Agriculturist) and from his feet the Soodhra (worker or servant) was born.

Chandramaa Manso Jaathah: Chakchos Sooryo Ajaayatha
Muka -adinthrascha -agnischa Praanaath Vaayurajaayatha

14. His mind (manas) formed the moon, from his eye became the sun, from his mouth came Indra and Agni, from his breath Vaayu (wind) was born.

Naabhyaa Aaseetha -anthariksham Seershnodhyows Samavarthatha
Pathbhyaam Bhoomir Dhisasrothraath – Thathaa Loghagum Akalpayan

15. From his navel arose the open sky, from his head the heaven originated, from his feet the earth was formed, the directions came from his ears. Thus did they create all the worlds.

Vedhaahametham Purusham Mahaantham – Aadhithyavarnam Thamasasthu Paare
Sarvaani Roopaani Vichithya dheerah: Naamaanikruthvaa – Abhivadhan Yathaasthe

16. The Purusha, is the creator of all forms and is given all the names. As we know his great qualities, He is all powerfull, beyond darkness, bright like the Sun performing all actions.

Dhaathaa Purasthaath Yamuthaajahaara – Sakrapravidhvaan Prathisaschathasrah
Thamevam Vidhvaanamrutha Iha Bhavathi – Naanyapanthaa Ayanaayavidhyathe

17. He who understands this Purusha, whom Brahma called Paramathma,
whom Indira saw in all four directions, attains Moksha [liberation] in this birth.

Yaggnena Yaguamayajantha dhevaah: – Thaani Dharmaani Prathamaanyasan
Thehanakam Mahimaanassajanthe – Yathra Poorve Saadhyassanthi Devaah

18. The Devas who worshipped this Purusha, by this Yajña and by all the Dharma,
attained high levels in Svarga. All persons performing this Yajña shall reach similar status.

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