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Purusha Sooktam

Date: Wed Mar 01 1995 - 07:49:41 PST

tasmAdh yagnyAt sarvahuta: | sambhrtam prSHadAjyam |
pashoomstAmshcakre vAyavyAn | AraNyAn grAmyAscaye ||

(tasmAt) From that (yagnyAt) rite (sarvahuta:) called "Sarvahut"
(sambhrtam) was gathered (prshad-Ajyam) ghee mixed with 
yogurt. From this (cakre) were created (pashoon) beasts,
(vAyavyAn) denizens of the air, (AraNyAn) denizens of the
woods, (grAmyAn) and denizens of the villages.

There is no holding back in the srSHTi yagnya, it is
"sarva-hut" - the offering of all. At yagnyas, what is called
by sources like Renou, and LeMee "the clotted fat" or "the
oil of the sacrifice" - curds mixed with ghee (clarified butter)
was collected. Ranganathamuni is of the opinion that for
this yagnya, the prSHadAjyam was 'potency' of wondrous hue
(prANijanana hetu-bhootam vicitravarNam jagatkAraNa hetu
bhootam veeryam prSHadAjyam bhavati) - appearing as a
means by which animals might be born, of wondrous hue,
a 'potency' that appeared as a means of the cause of the world - 
this was the prSHadAjyam, the seed of all creation. The exact 
synonym of semen, retas, is not mentioned, but I think that in this 
case we may safely assume this is what is meant. With this 
did Bramha create the birds, and wild and tame animals.

>From that offering
Of all was drawn
The wondrous seed
Of all creation
With that did he
Give forms to all,
birds and beasts
Of field and forest.


tasmAdyagnyAt sarvahuta: | Rca: sAmAni jagnyire |
chandAmsi jignyire tasmAt| yajustasmA-dajAyanta ||

(tasmAt yagnyAt sarvahuta:) From that Sarvahut rite (Rca:)
the Rg veda mantras and (sAmAni) sAma veda mantras 
(jagnyire) were got. FRom that did (chandAmsi) did the metres
too (jagnyire) come forth. (tasmAt) From that were (yaju:) the
yajur veda mantras (ajayata)  born.

sAyaNa gives this derivation for sarvahut : " sarvAtmaka
puruSHo yasmin yagnye hooyate so ayam sarvahuta: " - 
that yagnya in which purusha , the soul of all, is offered as
sacrifice, that rite is sarvahut. Of the vedas, the Rg concerns
itself with recited hymns, in praise of nature and its dieties,
such as Agni, Indra, the Aditya-s,the Maruts, and so on. The
sAma chants are those of song, the basis of music. Yajus,
the veda of the adhvaryu priests, is that of the methods, and
formulas for the rite. Along with these comes forth chandas,
the metre or rhythm of hymning.

>From that rite
Of the giving of All,
Did the recited hymns
And the sung come forth
And from that came
The poetic metre
And from that arose
The ritual hymns.