Sunday 3 April 2016


2016-14  Vedic Wisdom: Purusha Sukta: In Praise of the Cosmic Being [RV 10.90] 

Purusha, the "Cosmic Being" 

Purusha Sukta is hymn 10.90 of the Rig Veda dedicated to the Purusha, the "Cosmic Being". 

The hymn finds place in Atharvaveda (19.6), Samaveda (6.4), Yajurveda (VS 31.1-6), Taittiriya Aranyaka (3.12,13), and it is commented upon in the Shatapatha Brahmana, Taittiriya Brahmana, Shvetashvatara Upanishad and Mudgala Upanishad. 

The Purusha Sukta is also mentioned with explanations and interpretations in Vajasaneyi Samhita (31.1-6), Sama veda Samhita (6.4), and Atharva veda Samhita (19.6). 

Among Puranic texts, the Purusha Sukta has also been elaborated in Bhagavata Purana (2.5.35 to 2.6.1-29) and in Mahabharata (Mokshadharma Parva 351 and 352).

The Significance of the Purusha Sukta and the benefits of chanting Purusha Sukta according to Swami Krishnananda of the Divine Life Society

1) Five-fold force for God Realisation; 

The Purusha Sukta of the Vedas is not only a powerful hymn of the insight of the great Seer, Rishi Narayana, on the Cosmic Divine Being as envisaged through the multitudinous variety of creation, but also a shortcut provided to the seeker of Reality for entering into the state of Super-consciousness. 

The Sukta is charged with a fivefold force potent to rouse God-experience in the seeker. 

Firstly, the Seer (Rishi) of the Sukta is Narayana, the greatest of sages ever known, whose mind cannot be disturbed by desire and, as the Mahabharata says, whose power not even all the gods can ever imagine. Such is the Rishi to whom the Sukta was revealed and who gave expression to it as the hymn on the Supreme Purusha. 

Secondly, the mantras of the Sukta are composed in a particular metre (chandas) which makes its own contribution by the generating of a special spiritual force during the recitation of the hymn. 

Thirdly, the intonation (svara) with which the mantras are recited adds to the production of the correct meaning intended to be conveyed through the mantras, and any error in the intonation may produce a different effect altogether. 

Fourthly, the Deity (devata) addressed in the hymn is not any externalised or projected form as a content in space and time, but is the Universal Being which transcends space and time and is the indivisible supra-essential essence of experience. 

Fifthly, the Sukta suggests, apart from the universalised concept of the Purusha, an inwardness of this experience, thus distinguishing it from perception of any object. 

2) Universal Super-consciousness: 

The Sukta begins with the affirmation that all the heads, all the eyes, and all the feet in creation are of the Purusha. Herein is implied the astonishing truth that we do not see many things, bodies, objects, persons, forms, or colours, or hear sounds, but rather only the limbs of the One Purusha. 

we are to behold creation not as a conglomeration of discrete persons and things but as a single Universal Person who gloriously shines before us and gazes at us through all the eyes, nods before us through all the heads, smiles through all the lips and speaks through all the tongues. This is the Purusha of the Purusha Sukta. 

This is the God sung in the hymn by Rishi Narayana. This is not THE GOD OF ANY RELIGION, and this is not one among many gods. This is the only God who can possibly be anywhere, at any time. 


Our thought, when it is extended and trained in the manner required to see the universe before us, receives a stirring shock, because this very thought lays the axe at the root of all desires, for no desire is possible when all creation is but one Purusha. 

This illusion and this ignorance in which the human mind is moving when it desires anything in the world— whether it is a physical object or a mental condition, or a social situation—is immediately dispelled by the simple but most revolutionary idea which the Sukta deals to the mind with one stroke. We behold the One Being (ekam sat) before us. 

The Purusha-Sukta is not merely this much. The above description should not lead us to the erroneous notion that God can be seen with the eyes—as we see a cow, for instance—though it is true that all things are the Purusha. It is to be remembered that the Purusha is not the ‘seen’ but the ‘seer’. 

When everything is the Purusha, where can there be an object to be seen? The apparently ‘seen’ objects are also the heads of the ‘seeing’ Purusha. There is, thus, only the seer seeing himself without a seen. 

Here, again, the seer’s seeing of himself is not to be taken in the sense of a perception in space and time. It is the seer seeing himself not through eyes, but in Consciousness. 

It is the absorption of all objectification in a Universal Being-ness. In this meditation on the Purusha, which is the most normal thing that can ever be conceived, man realizes God in the twinkling of a second. 

YouTube Video: Purusha Sukta: Vedic Chanting with Sanskrit Txt and English Translation: [Click Here] 6:36 min

Purusha Sukta [RV10:90] Sanskrit Txt with English Meaning: [Click Here]

Ancient Vedic Chants That Enlighten: "Pancha Sukta": [Click Here] 37m

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