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Purusha Sukta

Text and Translation


The Purusha Sukta is the 129th Hymn from the 10th Mandala of the Rig Veda. It talks about the creation of life.


सहस्रशीर्षा पुरुषः सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात
सभूमिं विश्वतो वर्त्वात्यतिष्ठद दशाङगुलम ॥१॥

पुरुष एवेदं सर्वं यद भूतं यच्च भव्यम
उताम्र्तत्वस्येशानो यदन्नेनातिरोहति ॥२॥

एतावानस्य महिमातो जयायांश्च पूरुषः
पादो.अस्यविश्वा भूतानि तरिपादस्याम्र्तं दिवि ॥३॥

तरिपादूर्ध्व उदैत पुरुषः पादो.अस्येहाभवत पुनः
ततो विष्वं वयक्रामत साशनानशने अभि ॥४॥

तस्माद विराळ अजायत विराजो अधि पूरुषः
स जातोत्यरिच्यत पश्चाद भूमिमथो पुरः ॥५॥

यत पुरुषेण हविषा देवा यज्ञमतन्वत
वसन्तोस्यासीदाज्यं गरीष्म इध्मः शरद धविः ॥६॥

तं यज्ञं बर्हिषि परौक्षन पुरुषं जातमग्रतः
तेन देवा अयजन्त साध्या रषयश्च ये ॥७॥

तस्माद यज्ञात सर्वहुतः सम्भ्र्तं पर्षदाज्यम
पशून्तांश्चक्रे वायव्यानारण्यान गराम्याश्च ये ॥८॥

तस्माद यज्ञात सर्वहुत रचः सामानि जज्ञिरे
छन्दांसिजज्ञिरे तस्माद यजुस्तस्मादजायत ॥९॥

तस्मादश्वा अजायन्त ये के चोभयादतः
गावो हजज्ञिरे तस्मात तस्माज्जाता अजावयः ॥१०॥

यत पुरुषं वयदधुः कतिधा वयकल्पयन
मुखं किमस्य कौ बाहू का ऊरू पादा उच्येते ॥११॥

बराह्मणो.अस्य मुखमासीद बाहू राजन्यः कर्तः
ऊरूतदस्य यद वैश्यः पद्भ्यां शूद्रो अजायत ॥१२॥

चन्द्रमा मनसो जातश्चक्षोः सूर्यो अजायत
मुखादिन्द्रश्चाग्निश्च पराणाद वायुरजायत ॥१३॥

नाभ्या आसीदन्तरिक्षं शीर्ष्णो दयौः समवर्तत
पद्भ्यां भूमिर्दिशः शरोत्रात तथा लोकानकल्पयन ॥१४॥

सप्तास्यासन परिधयस्त्रिः सप्त समिधः कर्ताः
देवायद यज्ञं तन्वाना अबध्नन पुरुषं पशुम ॥१५॥

यज्ञेन यज्ञमयजन्त देवास्तानि धर्माणि परथमान्यासन
ते ह नाकं महिमानः सचन्त यत्र पूर्वे साध्याःसन्ति देवाः ॥१६॥


  1. A thousand heads hath Purusha, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet. He covers the earth on every side and covers it by a width of ten fingers.

  2. This being is all the past, all the future and all the present; The Lord of Immortality and he rises from above this universe of food.

  3. He is greater than even the greatness we see; All that we see of him in this universe is only a third of his being, the rest of him resides in worlds beyond.

  4. From that Purusha was born, the ever shining universe;

  5. And he spread himself everywhere; And created the earth and then, The bodies of all beings.

  6. When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Purusha as their offering, Its oil was spring, the holy gift was autumn; summer was the wood.

  7. They bound as victim on the grass Purusha born in earliest time. With him the Deities and all Sādhyas and Rishis sacrificed.

  8. From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up. From that was formed the creatures of-the air, and animals both wild and tame.

  9. From that great general sacrifice Rig and Sāma-hymns were born: Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth from it.

  10. From it were horses born, from it all cattle with two rows of teeth: From it were generated kine, from it the goats and sheep were born.

  11. When they divided Purusha how many portions did they make? What was formed from his mouth, his arms? What do they make from his thighs and feet?

  12. The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Kshatriya made. His thighs became the Vaiśya, from his feet the Śūdra was produced.

  13. The Moon was formed from his mind, and from his eye the Sun had birth; Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vāyu from his breath.

  14. Forth from his navel came mid-air, the sky was fashioned from his head Earth from his feet, and from his ears the directions. Thus they formed the worlds.

  15. Seven fencing-sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared, When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Purusha.

  16. Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the earliest holy ordinances.

  17. The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sādhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling.


The english translation above takes reference from a few different sources, as well as my very basic knowledge of Sanskrit. The choice of words is mine, and may not be entirely perfect.