In the previous three mantras, the Purusha Sukta has detailed the process of manasa yajna performed by the Devatas led by Chaturmukha Brahma with Rudra serving as the sacrificial pashu. As a result of such a yajna, the Purusha is pleased and he bestows on the Devatas his blessings by virtue of creating the material world. In the present mantra, the Purusha Sukta explains the first of the ‘sadhanas’ thus created.
तस्माद्यज्ञात् सर्वहुतः संभृतं पृषदाज्यम् |
पशून्तांश्चक्रे वायव्यानारण्यान् ग्राम्याश्च ये ||
“From such a Vishnu, who was worshipped by all, ghee mixed with curds emerged. Subsequently, white colored animals presided by Vayu, animals of the forest and animals of the village came into being”
In the first part of the mantra, Sri Raghavendra Swamiji explains in detail the meanings of the words यज्ञात् and सर्वहुत. Here the word यज्ञात् is to be understood as Vishnu himself. Since he is worshipped through the (manasa) yajna, he is Yajna himself. Hence यज्ञात् means ‘from the (Purusha called as) Yajna’.
The word सर्वहुत is an adjective used to describe the Yajna namaka Purusha. It can be understood in two ways:
Under both interpretations, सर्वहुत is an adjective for Vishnu.
सर्वैः हूयते हविरादिदानेन आराध्यते सर्वैरुपजीव्यत इति वा सर्वहुत्
“Sarvahut stands for the one who is worshipped by all through havis, daana and other means; Or it stands for one who is the cause of the sustenance of all”
The word पृषदाज्यं stands for a mixture of curds and ghee, which is a highly auspicious offering into sacrifices. The word संभृतं indicates that the same was obtained.
पृषदाज्यं दधिमिश्रितं यज्ञसाधनं आज्याख्यं संभृतं संपादितमुत्पन्नमित्यर्थः
“Prushadajyam indicates that the material for yajna in the form of ghee mixed with curds; the word sambhrutam stands for that which was earned or obtained”
Thus the first half of the mantra states that the Yajna namaka Purusha, who was pleased with the manasa yajna of the Devatas, started the creation of physical beings and he brought into existence ghee mixed with curds so physical sacrifices may be performed.
The second half of the mantra indicates the various types of animals that were brought into existence by him. The words पशून्, तां and चक्रे mean ‘the animals that were brought into existence by him’.
Sri Narayana brought into existence three types of animals first:
Rayaru explains the second half of the mantra thus:
तथा वायव्यान् वायुदेवताकान् श्वेतपश्वादीन् आरण्यान् अरण्यभवान् हरिणप्रभृतीन् | ये च ग्राम्याः ग्रामभवाः गवाश्वादयः तांश्च पशून् चक्रे कृतवान्
“Thereafter the Vayavyan –animals presided by Vayu, such as the white hued ones – the Aranyan – ones residing in the forests, such as deer and others. Those that are Gramyaa – ones in villages, such as cows and horses – these animals were created (by Purusha)”
In the above explanation, the meaning conveyed is that the Purusha called as Yajna, who is described as Sarvahuta, created all these instruments of sacrifice. Rayaru says that another way of interpreting this whole mantra exists.
In this interpretation, the word यज्ञ is retained as sacrifice itself and the word सर्वहुत is treated as an adjective. In other words, सर्वहुतः यज्ञात्.
Here, सर्वहुत is expanded as सर्वैः हूयते पुरुषः यस्मिन् or ‘That in which the Purusha is invited’.
Therefore सर्वहुतः यज्ञात् means ‘From that Yajna in which the Supreme Purusha was invited’.
With this interpretation, it can be understood that the offerings such as ghee-curds and the various domestic and wild animals came into being as a result of the Yajna (or from the Yajna) in which Purusha was worshipped.