The Purusasuuktam

Dear Friends,

In the wake of the great interest shown now for the elimination of the monstrous caste distinctions among the Hindu people in which, interestingly enough  some Brahmins scholars are very actively involved I hasten to publish the Purusha Suukta which forms the foundation for the so-called  Vedic Varnasrama Dharma. Readers are requested to compare this with that available in Marapiyal of Tolkaappiyam where there is NO MENTION of Brahmins and Sudras and where the ANtanaaLar are NOT the Paarppaars but rather individuals who have attained high status in spirituality.

However  my main purpose here  is rather different: it is to show that the language which stands out as enigmatic from the point of view of  Vedic  Language is a kind of Ancient Tamil something LATER than Sumero Tamil. Now I just give the main TEXT following   Swami Harshananda and where I have also added a Tamil version. The exegetical explanation that would show this as a variant of SumeroTamil will be provided later.

Loga

Some Relevant Background Information

1. The Purusasukta is an integral part of Riigveda Samhita (10.7.90.1-16) . It also appears in the Taitriiya Aranyaka (3.12.13), the Vajasaneyii Samhita (31.1-6), the Saamaveda Samhita (19.6). Apart from this , an expalantion of some parts of this hymn is also found in the Satapatha BrahmaNa, the Taitiiya BrahmaNa and the Svestaasvatara Upanisad. The Mudgalopanisad gives a nice summary of the entire Purusasukta. The contents of the Sukta have largely been reflected in the Bhaagavata (2.5.35 to 2.6.1 -29) and in the Mahabharata ( Moksadharma Parva 351 and 352) also

2.
The Purusasukta is rather difficult text to comprehemd and hence to expound in a way that appeals to the modern mind accustomed as it is, to the ways of the physical sciences. The difficulty aries mainly out of three factors:

a. It is a part of the Rgveda which itself appears to be an enigmatic text, due to its hoary antiquity.

b. As an extension of this, is the archaic language which does not lend itself easily to interpretations based on the grammar of classical Sanskrit.

c. Our difficulties are further compounded by the various terms and concepts, which, though closely allied to the Vedic rituals, appear to be symbolic and esoteric.

The TEXT

Santimantra

Om/ tacchamyoraavrniimahe/ gaatum yajnaaya/ gaatum yanjapataye/ daivii svatirasu nah/ svatir maanusebhyah/ uurdhvam jigaatsu bhesajam/ sam no astu dvipade/ sam catuspade/

Om santih santih santih

µõ/ ¾îºÁ¢¦Â¡Ã¡Å¢÷½£Á¦/  ¸¡Ðõ ÂÉ¡Â/ ¸¡Ðõ  ÂÉÀ¾§Â/ ¨¾Å£ ž¢ÃÍ ¿/ ž¢÷ Á¡Û¦ºÀ¢Â/°÷òÐÅõ ¢¸¡ðÍ §Àºõ/ ºõ §¿¡ ¾¢Å¢À¡§¾/ ºõ ºÐÀ¡§¾/

µõ º¡ó¾¢ º¡ó¾¢ º¡ó¾¢

We Pray  to God who dispels our sorrows and gives us the fruits of rituals. We pray to Him to get the results of our yajna (rites and rituals) as also for the good of the yajamaana or the scrificer. May we attain the same kind of good that the gods (in heaven) get! May all the human beings also attain to auspiciousness! In future also, let all  the evils of life  be dispelled! May the human beings as also the  domestic animals under our care be happy!

The Prusasuktam

1.

Om/ Sahasra-sirsa purusah/ sahasraaksah sahasrapaat/ sa bhuumin visvato urtvaa/ atyatisthad dasaangulam//

µõ ºÃ-º£÷º ÒÕ/ ºÃ¡ìº ºÃÀ¡ò/ º¡ âÁ¢ý Åŧ¾¡ °÷òÅ¡/  «¾¢Â¾¢¾ð ¾º¡íÌÄõ//

The Purusa (or the Primeval Being) has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet. He has enveloped this world from all sides and has (even) transcended it by ten angulas or inches.

2.

Purusa evedam sarvam/ yad bhuutam yac ca bhavyam/ utaamrtatvasyesanah/  yadanneenaatirohati/

ÒÕº ±¦Å¾õ º÷Åõ/ ¡ò â¾õ Â¡î º¡ ÀÅ¢Âõ/  ¯¾¡õ÷¾Å¢¦ÂºÉ/ ¡¾ý§ÉÉ¡¾¢¦Ã¡¾¢/

All this is verily the Purusa. All that which existed in the past or will come into being in future (is also the Purusa). Also , he is the Lord of immortality. That which grows profusely by food (is also Purusa)

3.

Etaavaanasya  mahimaa/ ato jyaamsca puurusah/ paado'sya visva bhuutaani/ tripaadasyaamrtam divi/

²¾¡Å¡É Á¸£Á¡/ «§¾¡ Âõº ÒÕº/ À¡§¾¡«Â ŢŠ⾡ɢ/ òâÀ¡¾Â «õ÷¾õ ¾¢Å¢//

So much is his greatness . However, the Purusa is greater than this. All the beings form only a quarter (part of) him. The three-quarter part of his . is immortal, is establisheð in heaven

4.

Tripaaduurdhva udaitpurusah/ paado'asyehaabhavaatpunah/ tato visvaan vyakraamat/ saasanaanasane abhi/

òâÀ¡à÷òÅ ¯¨¼òÒÕº/  À¡§¾¡«¦Â¡Å¡òÒÉ /¾§¾¡ Ţšý ùÂìÃÁò/ º¡ºÉ¡Éº§É «À¢//

The Purusa with the three quarters (of his being) ascended above. His one quarter here became (this world) again again. Then he pervaded this world comprising a variety of sntient beings and insentient objects.

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2.

5.

Tasmaad viraadajaayata/ viraajo adhi puurusah/ sa jaato atyaricyata/ pascaad bhuumimatho purah//

¾Á¡ò Ţáð ¡Â¾/ Ţᦡ «¾¢ ÒÕº/ º¡ ¡¦¾¡ «òÂ÷º¢Â¾/ Àº¡ð âÁ¢Á¦¾¡ ÒÃ//

From Him (The Adhipurusa or the Primeval Being) was born the Viraat (the immense being). Making this Viraat as the substratum (another) purusa (or being ) (was born). As soon as he was born, he multiplied himself. Later , he created this earth and then, the bodies (of the living beings)

6.

Yatpurusenaa havisaa/ devaa yajnamatanvata/ vasanto asyaasidaajyam/ grisma idhmas saraddavih//

¡òÒÕ¦ºÉ¡ Å¢¡ / §¾Å¡ ÂÉÁ¾ýž/ ź󦾡 «Âº¢ò¾¡Âõ/ ìâÁ ­òÁ¡ ºÃò¾Å¢//

Then the devas (gods or beings of light) performed a yajna (or sacrifice), using the purusa as the havis (or sacrificial material) , for that yajna , the Vasanta(spring) became the aajya(ghee), the Griisma(summer) served as idhma(foggots of wood) and the sarad (autumn) filled the place of havis (oblatory meterial like the purudaasa or rice-cake)

7.

Saptaasyaasan paridhyah/ trissapta samidhah krtaah/ deva yadyajnam tanvanaanaah/ abadhnan Órusam pasum//

ºô¾¡Â¡ºý Àâ¾¢Â/ òâºô¾ ºÁ¢¾ ì÷¾¡/ §¾Å¡ ÂòÂÉõ ¾ýÅÉ¡É¡/ «ÀòÉý ÒÕºõ ÀÍõ//

For this (yanjna or sacrifice) there were seven paridhies (fuel pieces serving as borders). And  twentyone items were made samit or sacrificial fuel sticks. When the devas were performing this yajna or sacrifice, they tied the purusa (himself) as the pasu (sacrificial animal)

8.

Tam yajnam barhisi prauksan/ purusam jatamagratah/ tena deva ayajanta/ saadhyaa rsayasca ye//

¾õ ÂÉõ À÷¢º¢ ô¦Ãªìºý/ ÒÕºõ ¡¾Áìþ/ ¦¾É §¾Å¡ «Âó¾/ º¡¾¢Â ÷º ¦Â//

The devas, the saadhyas and the rsis performed the sacrifice by using that Purusa as the means of yajna, the Purusa who had been born in the beginning, after sprinkling him with water by the barhis( sacrificial grass)

9.

Tasmaad yajnaat sarvahutah/ sambhrtam prsadaajyam/ pasumstaamscakree vaayavyaan/ aaranyaan  graamyaasca ye//

¾Áò ÂÉ¡ò º÷Ť¾/ ºõô÷¾õ ôú¡òÂõ/ ÀÍõ¾¡õºì§Ã Å¡Âù¡ý/ ¬Ãñ¡ý ìáÁ¡º ¦Â//

From that yajna (or acrifice) wherein the Cosmic Being was himself the oblation, was produced the prsadaajya( or curds mixed with ghee). Birds flying in the air, wild animals of the forest as also the domesticated animals of the village were also produced.

10.

Tasmaad yajnaat sarvahutah/ rcassaamnaani jajnire/ chandaamsi jajnire tasmaat/ yajustasmaad ajaayata//

From that yajna (or sacrifice) wherein the Cosmic Being was hmself the oblation, were born the rks (the mantas of the Rgveda) and the saamans (the mantras of Saamaveda). From that (yajna) the metres (like Gayatrii) were born. From that (yajna again) the yajus (the Yajurveda) was born
 

11.

Tasmat asvaa ajaayanta/ ye ke cobhayaadatah/ gaavo ha jajnire tasmat/ tasmaajjaataa ajaavayah//

¾Áò «Å¡ «¡yaó¾/ ¦Â ¦¸ ¦º¡À¡¼¾/ ¸¡¦Å¡ É¢¦Ã ¾Áò/ ¾Á¡¡¾¡ «¡ÅÂ//

From that were born the horses, as also animals (like donkeys and mules) which have two rows of teeth. From that were born the cattle. From that (again) were born goats and sheep

12.

Yatpurussam vyadadhuh/ katidhaa vyakalpayan/ mukham kimasya kau baahuu/ kaavuuruu paadaaucyate//

¡òÒÕºõ ù¼¡Ð / ¸¾¢¼¡ ù¸øÀÂý/ Ó¸õ  ¸¢Á ¦¸ª À¡Ü/ ¸¡çÕ À¡¾¡¯î¦¾/

(Now , some questions are raised by the sages:) When the gods decided to (mentally) sacrifice the Viraatpurusa (and produce further creation) in how many ways did they do it? What became of his face or mouth? What became of his two armas? What became of the two thighs? What were (the products of) the two feet called?

13.

Braahmano'sya mukhamaasiit/ baahu raajanyah krtah/ uuru tadasya yad vaisyah/padbhyaam sudro ajaayata.

À¢Ã¡Á§½¡Â Ó¸õÁ¡£ò/ À¡¤ á¡É¢Â ì÷¾/ °Õ ¾¼Â ¨ÅîÂ/ À¡òÀ¢Â¡õ Ýò§Ã¡ «¡Â¾//

His face (or the mouth) became the braahmana. His two arms became the raajanya (or the ksattriya) His two thighs became the vaisya. From his two feet the sudra was born
 

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3

14.

Candramaa manaso jaatah/ caksossuriya ajaayata/ mukhad indrascaagnisca/ praaNaad vaayur ajaayata/

ºóòÃÁ¡ Áɦº¡ ¡¾/ ºì§º¡Ýâ «¡Â¾/  Ó¸ò ­ó¾¢Ãº¡ìÉ¢º/ À¢Ã¡½¡ò Å¡Ô÷ «¡Â¾/

From his mind was born the moon. From his two eyes was born the sun. From his mouth were born Indra and Agni. From his breath was born the air

15.

Naabhyaa aasid antariksam/ sirsno dyaus samavartata/ padbhyaam bhumir disas srotraat/ tathaa lokam akalpayan/

¿¡À¢Â¡ ¬º¢ò «ó¾Ã¢ìõ/ º¢÷¦É¡ ¾¢Âù ºÁÅ÷¾¾/ À¡òÀ¢Â¡õ âÁ¢÷ ¾¢º¡ ¦Ã¡òáò/ ¾¾¡ §Ä¡¸õ «¸øÀÂý/

From (his) navel was produced the antariksa (the space between the earth and the heaven).  Dyuloka (or heaven) came into existence from his head. The bhuumi (or the earth) evolved out of his feet, and the dik (or spacial directions) from his ears. Similarly (the gods) produced the worlds (too)
 

16.

Vedaahametam purusam mahaantam aaditayavarNam tamasastu paaree/
sarvaani ruupaani vicitya dhirah naamaani krt'bhivadan yadaaste/

§Å¾¡õ§Á¾õ ÒÕõ Á¡ó¾õ ¬¾¢òÂÅ÷½õ ¾ÁÐ À¡§Ã/
÷Å¡É¢ åÀ¡É¢ Å¢º¢ò ¾£Ã ¿¡Á¡É¢ ì÷òÀ¢Å¾ý ¾¡¦¾//

" I know (through intuitive experience) this great Purusa (the Primeval Being), the wise one, who, having created the various forms and the nomenclatures (for those forms) deals with them by those names, and who is beyond darkness and is brilliant like the sun"

17.

Dhaata purustaad yamudaajahaara sakrah pravidvaan pradisaacatasrah/
tamevam vidvaan amrta iha bhavati naanyah pantha ayanaaya vidyate/

¾¡¾ ÒÕ¾¡ò ÂÓ¾¡¡¡Ã ºìà ôÃÅ¢òÅ¡ý ôþ¢¡º¾Ã/
¾õ±Åõ Å¢òÅ¡ý «õ÷¾ ­ Àž¢ ¿¡ý Àó¾ «Âɡ Ţò¦¾//

In the ancient days , Prajaapati praised him. Indra who knows all the four quarters also spoke about him. Anyone who knows him thus, will become immortal even in this life. For attaining liberation there is no other path (than aknwledge of this Purusa)
 

18.

Yajnena yajnamayajanata devah taani dharmaaNi prathamaanyaasan/
te ha naakam mahimaanas sacante yatra puurvee saadhyas santi devaah/

¡¦ÉÉ ÂÉÁ¡ɾ §¾Å  ¾¡É¢ ¾÷Á¡½¢ ôþÁ¡ý¡ºý/
¦¾ ¿¡¸õ Á¸¢Á¡É ºó¦¾ ¡òà â÷§Å ¡ò¡ ºó¾¢ §¾Å¡/

The gods worshipped (prajapati in the form of )yajna through yajna (or sacrifice). Those very processes became the prime dharmas  (or laws guiding mankind). Those great ones attain that heaven where the ancient devas and sadhyas live
 

(to continue) 3

4.

19.

Adbhyas sambhuutah prthivyai rasaacca , visvakarmanas samavaratataadhi/
tasya tvastaa vidadhad ruupameti, tatpurusaasya visvamaajaanamagre//

«òÀ¢Â ºõâ¾ ôâ¾¢ù¨Â áîº, ŢŸ÷ÁÉ ºÁÅþ¾¡¾¢/
¾Â òž¡ Å¢¼¾ð åÀ¦Á¾¢, ¾òÒա ŢÅÁ¡¡ÉÁì§Ã//

The Vitaatpurusa manifested himself from out of (the all-pervading) water as also the essence of the element of earth. This Viraatpurusa was (actually) born out of the greatness of Paramapurusa, the Creator. The (Paramapurusa known as ) Tvastaa engaged himself in the act of creating (the fourteen worlds), (which form the expanded ) figure (of the Viraatpurusa). (thus) the entire creation (related to the Viraatpurusa) came into existence in the very beginning of
creation

20.

Vedaahametam purusam mahaantam, aadityavarnam tamasah parastaat/
tamevam vidvaan amrta iha bhavati, naanyah panthaa vidyate'yanaaya//

§Å¾¡§Á¾õ ÒÕõ Á¡ó¾õ, ¬¾¢òÂÅ÷½õ ¾Á Àþ¡ò/
¾õ±Åõ Å¢òÅ¡ý «õ÷¾ ­ À¡Å¾¢, ¿¡ý Àó¾¡ Å¢ò§¾«ÂÉ¡Â//

" I have known that great purusa who is brilliant like the sun and who is beyond aøl darkness. One who knows him thus becomes immortal (even) here. There is no other path for the liberation than this"

21.

Prajaapatiscarati garbhe antah, ajaayamaano bahudhaa vijaayate/
tasya dhirah parijaananti yonim, mariiciinaam padamicchanti vedhasah//

À¢Ã¡À¾¢º¡Ã¾¢ ¸÷§À «ó¾, «¡ÂÁ§É¡ À¤ò¾¡ ާ¾/
¾Â ¾£Ã Àâ¡¿ó¾¢ §Â¡É¢õ, Á㺣¿õ À¾Á¢îº¡ó¾¢ ¦Å¾º//
 
 

Prajaapati (the Lord of all beings) moves inside the cosmic womb. (th´ugh) unborn he takes birth in a variety of ways. The wise ones know his (real nature) as the origins (of the universe). The (secondary) creators desire to attain the postions of Mariici and others.

Yo devebhya aatapati/ yo devaanaam purohitha/
purvo yo devebhyo jaatah/ namo rucaaya brahmaye//

§Â¡ ¦¾¦Åô ¬¾À¾¢/ §Â¡ §¾Å¿¡õ ҧᢾ/
â÷§Å¡ §Â¡ ¦¾¦Åô§Â¡ ¡¾/ ¿§Á¡ Õº¡Â ôÃÁ¦Â//

Obeisance to him, the self-luminous Brahman, who shines for the gods, who is the leader of the rituals of gods and who was born even before the gods.

23.

Rucam braahmam janayantah/ devaa agre tadabruvan/
yastvaivam braahmaNo vidyaat/ tasya devaa asanvase/

åºõ ôáÁõ ÉÂó¾/ ¦¾Å¡ «ì¦Ã ¾¼ôÕÅý/
Âò¨ÅÅõ ôáÁ§½¡ Å¢ò¡ò/ ¾Â ¦¾Å¡ «ýŦ//

In the beginning of creation, the gods. the manifesting the light of Brahman, addressed Brahman thus: ' That braahmana who realises (you) thus, all the gods will come under his control!'

24.

Hriisca te laksmiisca patnyau/ ahoraatre paarsve/
naksatraaNi / asvinau vyaattam/
istam manisaaNa/ amum manisaaNa/
sarvam manisaaNa//

⺠§¾ ÄìÁ£º Àò¿¢«ù/ «¦¡Ã¡ò¦Ã À¡÷î¦Å/
¿ìºòá½¢/ «Å¢É¡ù ù¡ò¾õ/
­¼õ ÁÉ¢¡½/ «Óõ ÁÉ¢¡½
º÷Åõ ÁÉ¢¡½//

Om santih santih santih

O Purusa! the goddess Hri (modesty) and Sri (wealth) are your consorts. Day and night are your lateral limbs. The stars are your form.The Asvins are your widely opened (mouth) . (O Purusa!) Fulfil our desire for self-knowledge as also our desires for the enjoyments of this world (like longevity, cows and horse) Give us all that we need!