Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Puruña-Süktam – Ågveda-X.90/ ÇuklaYajurveda-XXX.1-22

Puruña-Süktam, one of the few philosophical Süktas of the Ågveda is the 90th Süktam of 10th Maëòala of the Ågveda (ÅV-X.90) containing 16 mantras.

In Çukla-Yajurveda these 16 mantras are repeated with additional 6 mantras. Today Puruña-Süktam is generally understood to be a Yajurvedic Puruña-Süktam. In Çukla-Yajurveda it is ÇYV-XXX.1-22 (16+6 = 22 mantras).

In traditional chanting in temples during abhiñekam of the Deity, Puruña-Süktam chanted, followed by Näräyaëa- Süktam and Viñëu-Süktam.

tac-cham yoravrnimahe. gatum yajnaya. gatum yajnapataye ---
This mantra is chanted by us before the performance of the yajïa,
so that there is no obstacle or intermissions during the yajïa.
We pray to the One, who grants auspiciousness.
May the yajïa be completed auspiciously.
We pray to the One, for whom the yajïa is performed.
May the gods be auspicious to us.
May there be auspiciousness for all the people.
May the plant kingdom grow well.
May there be auspiciouness for the birds and animals.
May there be Peace, Peace, Peace.


Free Translation
1. sahasra-sirsha purushah -----
The Perfect Being has thousand (unlimited) heads, thousand (unlimited) eyes, and thousand (unlimited) feet. Having pervaded the whole earth (manifest universe), he remains ten fingers surplus (i.e. He is limitless). (1)

2. purusha evedam sarvam. yad-bhutam yac-ca bhavyam. ---
The present, past, and future (the three periods/Time) are the Perfect Being. And (He) is the Lord of immortality, and all that grows and develops with food. (2)

3. etavan asya mahima. atah jyayan ca purushah. ---
Such is His greatness, and the Perfect Being is greater than this. The manifest universe is only his one fourth (a quarter); his three-fourth, which is immortal (unmanifest), is in the heavens.(3)

4. tripad-urdhvam ut-et purushah -----
With three-fourth, the Perfect Being rose upwards; one-fourth of Him again remained here. Then He spread on all sides over what eats (living beings - humans, animals, plants), and what does not eat (the inanimate). (4)

5. tasmat virat ajayata. virajo-adhi-purushah. sa jato-atyaricyata---
From Him, Virat was born, from Virat the Purusha (in the form of the individual jiva). As soon as he was born, (he) separated himself (from Virat in the forms of gods, human beings, animals etc.), then (he created) the earth, and then the body. (5)

6. yat purusena havisha. deva yajnam atanvata. vasanto asyasid-ajyam ---
When the gods performed a sacrifice with the Perfect Being as the oblation, the Spring was its ghee (butter), the Summer its fuel, and the Autumn its oblation. (6)

7. tam yajnam barhishi praukshan. purusham jatam-agratah --
They besprinkled the first-born Purusha, as to be sacrificed, on the sacred grass. Further, the gods the sadhyas, and the Seers that are, all sacrificed. (7)

8. tasmat yajnat sarvahutah. sambhrtam prshad-ajyam. pasun tan cakre vayavyana ---
From that Sarvahuta (wherein all/everything is sacrificed) sacrifice, the butter mixed with curd was gathered. He created these creatures of the air (birds), of the forests (wild animals), and those of the villages (domesticated animals). (8)

9. tasmat yajna sarvahutah. rcah samani jajnire. chandamsi jajnire tasmat.
From that sarvahuta sacrifice, were born the Rca, and the Samans, from that were born the metres, from that were born the Yajus (ritualistic formulae). (9) Muir understands chandamsi to refer to Atharvaveda. Peterson subscribes to this view. I would like to agree with Sayana, who interprets chandamsi as Vedic-metres).

10. ‘tasmat asva ajayanta, ye ke co'bhayad-atah. gavo ha jajnire tasmat.---
From that, horses were born, and all those that have two rows of teeth, from that, cows (cattle) were born, from that, goats and sheep were born. (10)

11. yat purusham vyatadhuh. katidha vyakampayan. mukham kim asya kau bahu.-
When they divided the Pefect Being, into how many parts did they make? What was His mouth? What was His arms/ What was the two thighs, and what are said to be his two feet? (11)

These questions of the 11th mantra are answered in the next/12th mantra.

12. brahmano'sya mukham asit. bahu rajanya krtah. uru tad-asya yad-vaisyah. --
The brähmana was his mouth, the kshatriya was made of His two arms, then His two thighs became the vaisya, from His feet the sudra was born. (12)

13. candrama manso jatah. caksho suryo-ajayata. mukhad-indras-cagnis-ca.--
the Moon was born from (His) mind, from (His) eyes the Sun was born. From (His) mouth Indra and Agni (were) born, from (His) breath Wind was born. (13)

14. nabhya asid-antariksham. sirshna dyau sam-avartata. padbhyam bhumi-disas-srotrat.---
From (His) navel was (produced) the middle-region, from (His) head was evolved the sky, from (His) two feet the earth, and the quarters (dik-directions) from (His) ears. Thus, they made the world. (14)

15. saptasyan paridhayah. tri-sapta samidha krtah. deva yad yajnam tanvanah.--
Seven were His enclosing (sticks), twenty one were made (his) fuel, when the gods performing the sacrifice bound the Perfect Being as the victim (to be sacrificed). (15)

16. yajnena yajnamaya devah. tani dharmani prathamanyasan. te ha nakam mahimanah sacanta ---.
With the sacrifice, gods sacrifice the victim. These were the first ordinances. Those mighty ones attained the heaven, where the ancient Sadhyas and gods are dwelling. (16)

The above translations are based on Säyaëäcärya's commentary.


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