Purusha Sukta – 13

Sri Vasudhendra Teertharu
November 8, 2020
ಶ್ರೀ ಸುಮತೀಂದ್ರ ತೀರ್ಥರ ಹಾಗು ಹೆಳವನಕಟ್ಟೆ ಗಿರಿಯಮ್ಮನವರ ಸಂದರುಶನ
November 12, 2020

Purusha Sukta – 13

The Purusha Sukta continues with its description of the creation of various entities with the next mantra that starts as नाभ्या आसीत्…


नाभ्या आसीदन्तरिक्षं शीर्ष्णो द्यौः समवर्तत |
पद्भ्यां भूमिर्दिशः श्रोत्रात् तथा लोकान् अकल्पयन् ||

“From the navel came into being the Antariksha loka. From the head of the Purusha manifested the Swarga loka. From the feet came the Earth. The directions came into existence from the ears. All the other worlds also came into existence similarly”

Sri Raghavendra Swamiji first highlights the difference between this mantra and the previous mantra.

देवसृष्टिरुक्ता पूर्वत्र अत्र तु लोकसृष्टिरुच्यते

“Having revealed the creation of the Devatas in the earlier mantras, the creation of the worlds is described here”

In this mantra Rayaru provides two key insights. The first one is that when the mantra speaks about a particular world, it has to be understand that the abhimani Devatas, or presiding deities, of those lokas are also intended. Hence when the mantra says that the Antariksha loka came into existence from the Purusha’s navel, it also means that the presiding deity of the Antariksha loka came from the navel of Sri Hari.

अत्र अन्तरिक्षादिपदैः साभिमानिलोकसंग्रहः

“Here, along with the Antariksha and other words, their corresponding presiding deities are also to be considered”

In accordance with the above principle, we can understand that the abhimani Devata of Dyu or Swarga loka came from the head of Sri Narayana, the abhimani Devata of Bhumi came into existence from the feet of the Purusha and the abhimani Devatas of the directions came from the ears of Sri Hari.

Rayaru then provides another way to interpret this mantra. The last quarter of the mantra – तथा लोकान् अकल्पयन् – “and similarly came the other worlds” – can be understood as setting the context of this mantra.

यद्वा स्वावयवेभ्यो देवानसृजत् तथा लोकानपि

“Just as the creation of Devatas from the various parts was described (in the previous mantra), the creation of the Lokas is described (here)”

Such a context brings forth an obvious question – how? 

कथमित्यतस्तद्विवरणं नाभ्या इत्यादि

“How does the mantra describe this? It does so through nabhyaa aaseet and the rest of the mantra”

In other words, the mantra can be interpreted as below:

“(Just as the Devatas came from the various parts of the Purusha) the various worlds too came into existence. How? The Antariksha loka came from the navel, the Swarga loka came from the head. Earth came into being from the feet while the directions came into being from his ears”

Sri Raghavendra Swamiji also reveals that the words Dyu and Bhumi are not just to be understood as talking only about the Swarga loka and Bhumi. Those words are representative of all the worlds above and below them respectively. That is, the word Dyu stands for Swarga and also the Jana, Mahar, Tapa, Satya and other lokas. Similarly Bhumi stands also for all the nether worlds such as Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Patala and others.

अत्र द्युशब्देन स्वर्गादुपरितनाः महारादयो ग्राह्याः

“Over here, the word Dyu is to be understood as standing for Swarga and all the other upper lokas such as Mahar“

With this Rayaru mentions the next mantra in his commentary.


सप्तास्यासन् परिधयस्त्रिः सप्त समिधः कृताः |
देवा यद्यज्ञं तन्वाना अबध्नन् पुरुषं पशुम् ||

“For this yajna, the seven (chandas) became the paridhis. The twenty-one (tattvas) were made the samit. The Devatas performed the yajna conceiving the Purusha (Brahma) as the pashu and tying him (to the yajna-yoopa)”

This mantra has been discussed by Rayaru earlier in the commentary. It is the seventh mantra in the Yajur Veda version of the Purusha Sukta while in the Rig Veda it is the fifteenth mantra. 

Sri Raghavendra Swamiji says that the mantra was discussed earlier since it was more appropriate to do so during the discussion on the various usages for the manasa yajna of the Devatas. It was discussed in detail after the ग्रीष्म इध्मः शरद्धविः mantra. 

However, if one were to still consider a discussion at this stage, because of its appearance in this order in the Rig Veda, it can be considered as explaining the creation of the auxiliary artifacts needed in the Yajna.

अत्रैव व्याख्येयत्वपक्षे तु सिंहावलोकनन्यायेन प्रागुक्तसाधनावशिष्टसाधनान्याहेति गमनिका ज्ञेया

“If the commentary were to be done at this stage, through the employment of the simhavalokana logic, it can be considered that the mantra manifested in this order to describe the auxiliary instruments of yajna”

Note: A lion walks majestically in the forest. Every now and then, it stops and looks back at its path to make sure it did not miss anything. A similar approach when taken during a discussion or commentary is known as ‘simhavalokana nyaya’ or ‘logic of retrospection akin to a lion’s glance’.

Sri Krishnarpanamastu

Hariprasad N
Hariprasad N
Hariprasad N is based out of Bangalore, and works in the Software Industry, mainly on system software. Hari is a staunch believer in the Tattvavada philosophy of Sri Madhwacharya and owes his existence to the grace of Sri Raghavendra Swamiji. He has interests in the areas of Spirituality, Politics and Law

1 Comment

  1. Anand Rao says:

    Doing a yeoman service to Dwaita philosophy

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