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Purusha Sooktam - Dvitiyonuvaka and Conclusion

From: KRAZYKAT (V1S_at_eclx.psu.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 01 1995 - 07:58:02 PST

shree :

shree puruSHa sooktam

dviteeya anuvAka

adbhyassambhoota: prthivyai rasAcca |
vishvakarmaNassamavartatAdhi |
tasya tvaSHTA vidadhadroopameti |
tatpuruSHasya vishvamAjAnamagre ||

(adbhya:) From the waters and from the (rasAt) elemental essence
of (prthivyai) earth (sambhoota:) was the bramhAnda, the
Universe, born. (vishvakarmaNa:) As vishvakarma, the divine
architect, did puruSHa, who is (adhi) more than that Universe,  appear 
(samavartata). (tvashTA) As tvashTA, the divine smith he
(vidadhat) establishes (tasya roopam) his form, that includes all the
worlds (eti) and manifests it everywhere. (agre) In the beginning
was (tat puruSHasya) that puruSHa's (vishvam) all, his vishva
roopa, (Ajanam) formed.

The waters of destruction are again the waters of creation, and
from them does the earth reveal itself after praLaya. From these
elemental materials is the universe formed, and into these it
dissolves. Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. tvashTA was the smith who 
forges Indra's vajra, thunderbolt, from the bones of the RSHi dadeechi. 
Vishvakarma is the divine architect who planned and built, among 
other cities, Kubera's Alakaapuri and also Lanka, and Indra's city.

>From the waters and earth
Does all appear
As a builder he builds,
As a smith he forges it..
He who was all
Before the all was.

***

vedAhametam puruSHam mahAntam | 
AdityavarNam tamasas pArastAt |
tamevam vidhvAnamrta iha bhavati |
nAnya: panthA vidhyate ayanAya||

(etam) That (mahAntam) glorious (AdityavarNam) sun-brilliant 
(puruSHam) puruSHa, (astu) who transcends (pArastAt) all 
(tamas) darkness, (aham) I (veda:) know him.(vidvAn) Who 
knows (tam) Him (evam) in this manner (bhavati) becomes 
(amrta:) immortal (iha) in this very birth. (ayaNaya) To moksha, 
liberation (na vidhyate) I know not of (anya:) other (panthA:) 
paths.

This is a re-working of shlokas 16 and 17 in the first lesson, or
pratama anuvAka. 

I Know Him,
Glorious, 
Bright as the Sun,
Beyond all Darkness.
Who knows him thus
Conquers death now.
I know of no other
Ways, than this.

***

prajApatischarati garbhe anta: | 
ajAyamAno bahudhA vijAyate |
tasya dheerA: parijAnanti yonim | 
mareecheenAm padamiccanti vedhasa: ||

(prajApati:) As prajApati, Lord of his Subjects, he (carati)
lives (anta:) in (garbhe) the womb. (ajAyamAna: ) Unborn,
(vijAyate) he appears (bahudhA) in many ways. (dheerA:) The
steadfast (parijAnanti) know well (tasya) his (yonim) true form.
Even (vedhasa:) the creators, the knowers (iccanti) desire to the
(padam) positions of (mareechenAm) sages like mareechi, who 
worship Him.

I must go to sAyaNa for commentary on this rather obtuse 
verse. What is this womb prajApati resides in ? 'bramhAnda 
roope garbhe anat madhye prajApatir vigrahavAn bhootva
carati'. virAt, the shining universe, the female principle that 
puruSHa gave birth to, which in turn gave birth to puruSHa has
now been formed into the bramhAnda, and is compared to a 
womb, in which prajApati, Lord of his Subjects, puruSHa 
manifested as a fertility diety invoked in weddings etc., resides.
Purusha does not need to be born to manifest himself as all. That 
process begins before he appears from, in and as virAt. He 
encompasses satyam, gnyaanam, anantam - truth, knowledge, 
and infinity. Since he gives birth to all, he is yoni, themouth of 
the womb. His form is a yoni, from which all is born. 'tasya 
prajApater yonim jagatkAraNaroopam vAstavam svaroopam'. 
Who knows this ? 'dheera dhairyavantA yogena drtendriyA 
mahAtmAno jAnanti' - the brave, the courageous, those who 
have made their senses steadfast in yoga, those great ones know 
this truth. Such is the compulsion of this truth that even the 
srshtikartA-s of this world, those that puruSHa has manifested 
himself as in order to create, desire nothing but to worship him 
as 'tam eva upAsya mareeceenAm mareecyatri-pramukhAnAm' - 
the sage mareeci, and sages led by mareeci, atri (among the 
seven RSHis) - as these sages do.

Birthing this word
Himself Unborn
He is known by those 
Who yoked their senses..
And even the knowers
Of this world and more
Desire but to adore Him..

yo devebhya Atapati | yo devAnAm purohita: |
poorvo yo devebhyo jAta: | namo rucAya brAhmaye ||

(nama:) We salute (ya:) who (Atapati) shines as divinity in 
(devebhya:) in the Gods, (ya:) who is (purohita:) Brhaspati, priest 
to (devAnAm) the Gods, (ya:) who was (jAta:) born (poorva:) 
before (devebhya:) the Gods, (rucAya) who brilliant  in himself,
(brahmaye) is the parabramham, the supreme all.

puruSHa was, 'hiraNyagarbha: samavartatAgre' - before the 
golden shining womb of all, virAt, was established. He is first of 
all the Gods, their priest, their guide to immortality, and the 
essence of their divinity. verily is he worthy of our salutations. 
This is one answer to the question "kasmai devAya havitA 
vidhema?" - Which God shall we worship by our offerings ?

Who burns, fire-bright
In the Gods, who is their priest,
Eldest, who is the Essence,
Of what Is,
We worship Him.

***

rucam brAmham janayanta: | deva agre tadabruvan |
yastvaivam brAhmaNo vidhyAt | tasya deva asan vashe ||

(deva) The Gods, who (janayanta) send forth the (rucam 
brAhmam) essence of the knowledge of Brahman (abruvan) said 
this (tat) about that Brahman (agre) in the Beginning : " (yastu) 
whoever (brAhmaNa:) has an inclination towards Brahman, if he 
(vidhyAt) knows  Brahman (evam) thus, (devA:) the Gods (asan) 
will be (tasya) in his (vashe) control. "

The Gods taste of Brahman.. This "rucam brAmham" is yet 
another food metaphor for the joining, or the union of the seeker 
and the sought. Even as he who eats food tastes it, so shall you 
taste Brahman, and enjoy him. The Gods are in the Brahma-
Vidyaa-Sampradaaya, and they are our teachers, our gurus too. 
They declare this in the beginning, as a sort of 'phalashruti', or 
list of fruits of knowing the puruSHa thus : Who, with heart 
steadfast on the puruSHa knows him thus, him even we will 
serve. Compare the Taittiriya Upanishad, that talks about he who 
knows Brahman - 'sarve asmai devA balim-Aharanti' - All the Gods 
bring him offerings. 

The Gods who taste
Him, and spread the word
Said this, in the beginning - 
"Who with his heart
Knows Him, thus,
Him even We will be bound by.."

***

hreeshca te lakshmeeshca patnyau | ahorAtre pArshve |
nakshatrANi roopam | ashvinau vyAttam |

iSHTam maniSHANa |
amum maniSHANa | 
sarvam maniSHANA ||

(hreeshca) Hree and (lakshishca) Laskhmi are (patnyau) wives (te) 
to you. (aho - rAtre) The day and the night (pArshve) your sides. 
(nakshatrANi) the Stars (roopam) your brilliant form. (ashvinau) 
the Healing Ashvins (vyAttam) your mouth

(maniSHANa) Grant us (iSHTam) the knowledge that we desire, 
(maniSHANa) grant us (amum) happiness in this world, 
(maniSHANa) grant us (sarvam) all that is, now and forever

Hree is the Goddess that grants Modesty, and Lakshmi she who 
grants Wealth. ( hreer-lajjAbhimAninee devata , lakshmee-
raishvayAbhimAninee devatA - iti sAyaNA) The Day and the Night 
are even such opposites. Sriman Narayana is the conciliation of 
all such opposites, even as Sesha, the snake, and garuda, the 
eagle, worshipping him together signify. He is brilliant as the 
stars, and healing comes from him.

Asking him to grant as iSHTam, amum, sarvam, is an analogue 
to asking for sat, Ananda, and chit. All we ask is to know Him.

Hree and Lakshmi
Are your consorts, your
Two sides, Day and Night,
The stars your form, 
Healing your words..

Grant us
Our desires,
Our joys,
Your all..




The Purusha Sooktam closes, as it began, with that unique 
and wonderful invocation to peace. In peace all begins, and 
in peace all ends. All we work for is so peace may flourish.

tacchamyo-rAvrNeemahe | gAtum yagnyAya |
gAtum yagnyapataye | daivee: svastirastu na: |
svasti mAnushebhya: | oordhvam jigAtu bheSHajam |
sham no astu dvipade | sham chatushpade |
om shAnti: shAnti: shAnti: ||

(AvrNeemahe) We seek (tat) that which (chamyo) gives 
us peace from sorrows, present and future. We seek
(gAtum) growth (yagnyAya) for the rite of sacrifice
and (gAtum) growth for (yagnyapataye) patron of the
rite, the yajamAna. (daivee: svasti) The grace of the Gods
(astu) be (na:) unto us. (svasti) Well being (mAnushebhya:)
to all mankind. (bheshajam) May plants, like medicinal herbs
(jigAtu) flourish and grow (oordhvam) upwards. (sham) 
Good (na: astu ) come unto us from (dvipade) creatures that
go on two feet (sham) and good from (chatuSHpade) those
that go on four feet. (shAnti:) Peace.

Sorrows that are, and sorrows to be
We seek that which grants us
Peace from these
May the rite flourish,
And those who keep it..
The grace of the Gods
Be with all mankind..
May the earth be covered
With growing green
And good come to us
>From all creation
>From beings that go
On two feet and four..
May the three-fold peace
Embrace the Land..

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This translation is dedicated to my great grandfather, 
Mahomahopadhyaaya Manaloor Veeravalli Ramanujacharyar. 
Its faults are mine alone.The spirit that moved and 
enthused me to even attempt this is his, and what he 
inspires. I did not know him in life. This is my small 
attempt at remembering him, as he deserves to be remembered 
- in learning, in respect, in humility, and most of all, 
in trying - for his spirit of doing was indefatigable.

- V   Sundar

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