Purusha Sukta – Part 4

September 7, 2020
Dealing with past life perceptions
September 8, 2020

Purusha Sukta – Part 4

In the previous mantra, Sri Raghavendra Swamiji had explained that the meaning of the word पाद is to be understood as the presence of Purusha in the Universe. In that mantra, therefore, the word पाद has been treated in the औपचारिक or symbolic sense. In the present, fourth, mantra, the Purusha Sukta elaborates on the meaning of the same word पाद in its primary sense.

त्रिपादूर्ध्व उदैत्पुरुषः पादोsस्येहाभवत्पुनः |ततो विश्वञ् वयक्रामत्साशनानशने अभि ||

The Purusha, in his three forms (Narayana, Vasudeva and Vaikunta) is established in the lokas beyond dyu. His other form is firmly established in the dyu lokas. The Purusha, known as Vishwak, is present in all animate and inanimate beings.
In the previous mantra, the word दिवि was understood to mean the three lokas of Anantasana, Shwetadweepa and Vaikunta. Rayaru says that in this fourth mantra, the same word दिवि is to be brought into context but read as दिवः. With this meaning, the first quarter of the mantra is read as

त्रिपात् पुरुषः ऊर्ध्व उदैत्

The word ऊर्ध्व means beyond or higher. The word दिवः stands for the three material lokas that are Prithvi, Antariksha and Dyuloka. Therefore, the Purusha, in the form of त्रिपात् exists in the Anantasana, Shwetadweepa and Vaikunta lokas that are beyond Prithvi, Antariksha and Dyuloka.

His other form, the one apart from त्रिपात् is represented by the word पाद, is present in ‘another’ दिवः loka. This other interpretation of दिवः is facilitated by the word इह.
Rayaru says that there exists a convention to call a particular region in each of the Prithvi, Antariksha and Swarga as द्युलोक.

On Prithvi, the Meru parvata is known as Dyu.

In the Antariksha, Surya mandala is called as Dyu.

In Swarga, Indra loka is called as Dyu.

Therefore, the second part of this mantra says

पादः अस्य इह भवत् पुनः
Then again, the other form of Purusha exists always in this Divi loka.
This means that the other form of this (अस्य) Purusha (पादः) exists (भवत्) in this divi (इह).

Sri Raghavendra Swamiji says that this form of Purusha is always worshipped by people belonging to the various Varnas. The पादः of Purusha present in the Indraloka is worshiped by the knowledgeable Gruhasthas. The Purusha present in the Dhruva lokas is worshipped by Yatis. The Purusha present in the middle of the Meru is worshipped by Munis and the Purusha present in the Surya mandala is worshipped by knowledgeable Brahmacharis.

Therefore, the other form of Purusha i.e. पादः is thus present in the Dyu lokas that are part of the Universe created from Prakruti and is worshipped always by Jnanis.

The second half of the mantra extolls the greatness of Purusha by explaining his omnipresence.

The Purusha who is त्रिपात् also known as विष्वक् is present in all forms of lives, including Devatas, humans, four-legged animals and all other forms of lives. That is, Purusha is present in everyone. He ‘occupies’ every being.

विष्वक् शब्दितः त्रिपात् पुरुषः विविधप्रजासु सुरनरतिर्यगादिप्राणिषु व्यक्रामत् आक्रान्तवान् सर्वत्र व्याप्तो वर्तत इत्यर्थः

The Purusha, by name Vishwak, pervades all forms of lives including Devatas, humans, animals and other beings.

The fourth part of the mantra further extolls his omnipresence. He is not only present in animate beings but also in all inanimate objects.
साशनानशने अभि

Rayaru says the Purusha pervades two kinds of things – साशन and अनशन
साशन – means those that have ‘ashana’ or food. In other words animate beings or chetana.

अनशन – means those that do not consume food. They are achetana.

If we consider the meaning of the word अशन as ‘material food’ then the word साशन translates to those who eat food grown on Earth i.e. humans and animals. On the other hand अनशन represents those whose existence does not depend upon material food. These are the Devatas and higher beings.

Therefore, Purusha does pervasion of all sentient and insentient beings. He pervades ordinary Jeevas as well as the Devatas.

अनशनाः देवाः साशनाः तदितरविद्वज्जनाः ऋष्यादयः …..

Anashana stands for Devas and Ashana represents other exemplary beings, Rishis and so on….

In summary, this fourth mantra of the Purusha Sukta further explains the greatness of the Purusha, adding on to the virtues described thus far. It states that the Purusha is present beyond all the lokas in this Universe. He is also present in the best amongst the lokas within this Universe, where he is worshipped by the knowledgeable. Further, the Purushas pervades all sentient and insentient beings.

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

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