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Old 03-07-2007, 08:26 PM   #1
Bandarwa
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Default Studies in the Purusha Suktas

The currently available text has 24 mantras or stanzas. The first 18 mantras are called PurvaNarayana (which consists of the sixteen stanzas of Rg Vedic Suktam) and the rest as UttaraNarayana. Sometimes, a six more stanzas are added , called Vaishnavanuvaka. These stanzas are taken from another famous hymn, 'Vishnu Suktam' (also from Rg Veda)
There is some perceptable difference of order in mantras found in Rg Veda and the Taittiriya Aranyaka. While the first 6 mantras are identical, the 7th and 18th of Yajurvedic version is found as the 15th and 16th in Rg Veda, respectivley. The 17th and 18th mantras of Yajurveda are not found in Rg Vedic reading at all.


Purusha Sukta RV X.90
1-15 Anushtubh, 16 Trishtubh
1sahásrashiirSaa púruSaH sahasraakSáH sahásrapaat
sá bhuúmiM vishváto vRtvaáty atiSThad dashaaÑgulám
A THOUSAND heads hath Purusa, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet.
On every side pervading earth he fills a space ten fingers wide.
2púruSa evédáM sárvaM yád bhuutáM yác ca bhávyam
utaámRtatvásyéshaano yád ánnenaatiróhati
This Purusa is all that yet hath been and all that is to be;
The Lord of Immortality which waxes greater still by food.
3etaávaan asya mahimaáto jyaáyaaMsh ca puúruSaH
paádo .asya víshvaa bhuutaáni tripaád asyaamR'taM diví
So mighty is his greatness; yea, greater than this is Purusa.
All creatures are one-fourth of him, three-fourths eternal life in heaven.
4tripaád uurdhvá úd ait púruSaH paádo .asyehaábhavat púnaH
táto víSvaÑ vy àkraamat saashanaanashané abhí
With three-fourths Purusa went up: onefourth of him again was here.
Thence he strode out to every side over what cats not and what cats.
5tásmaad viraáL ajaayata viraájo ádhi puúruSaH
sá jaató áty aricyata pashcaád bhuúmim átho puráH
From him Viraj was born; again Purusa from Viraj was born.
As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward o'er the earth.
6yát púruSeNa havíSaa devaá yajñám átanvata
vasantó asyaasiid aájyaM griiSmá idhmáH sharád dhavíH
When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Purusa as their offering,
Its oil was spring, the holy gift was autumn; summer was the wood.
7táM yajñám barhíSi praúkSan púruSaM jaatám agratáH
téna devaá ayajanta saadhyaá R'Sayash ca yé
They balmed as victim on the grass Purusa born in earliest time.
With him the Deities and all Sadhyas and Rsis sacrificed.
8tásmaad yajñaát sarvahútaH sámbhRtam pRSadaajyám
pashuún taáMsh cakre vaayavyaaaàn aaraNyaán graamyaásh ca yé
From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up.
He formed the creatures of-the air, and animals both wild and tame.
9tásmaad yajñaát sarvahúta R'caH saámaani jajñire
chándaaMsi jajñire tásmaad yájus tásmaad ajaayata
From that great general sacrifice Rcas and Sama-hymns were born:
Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth from it.
10tásmaad áshvaa ajaayanta yé ké cobhayaádataH
gaávo ha jajñire tásmaat tásmaaj jaataá ajaaváyaH
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.
11yát púruSaM vy ádadhuH katidhaá vy àkalpayan
múkhaM kím asya kaú baahuú kaá uuruú paádaa ucyete
When they divided Purusa how many portions did they make?
What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?
12braahmaNò .asya múkham aasiid baahuú raajanyàH kRtáH
uuruú tád asya yád vaíshyaH padbhyaáM shuudró ajaayata
The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rajanya made.
His thighs became the Vaisya, from his feet the Sudra was produced.
13candrámaa mánaso jaatásh cákSoH suúryo ajaayata
múkhaad índrash caagnísh ca praaNaád vaayúr ajaayata
The Moon was gendered from his mind, and from his eye the Sun had birth;
Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vayu from his breath.
14naábhyaa aasiid antárikSaM shiirSNó dyaúH sám avartata
padbhyaám bhuúmir díshaH shrótraat táthaa lokaáM+ akalpayan
Forth from his navel came mid-air the sky was fashioned from his head
Earth from his feet, and from his car the regions. Thus they formed the worlds.
15saptaásyaasan paridháyas tríH saptá samídhaH kRtaáH
devaá yád yajñáM tanvaanaá ábadhnan púruSam pashúm
Seven fencing-sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared,
When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Purusa.
16yajñéna yajñám ayajanta devaás taáni dhármaaNi prathamaány aasan
té ha naákam mahimaánaH sacanta yátra puúrve saadhyaáH sánti devaáH
Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the carliest holy ordinances.
The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sidhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling.


The Narayana Anuvaka

First Development: PurvaNarayana

Purusha Sukta RV X.90 (Anushtubh 1-15, Trishtubh 16)
The hymn is repeated in the Atharvaveda (19.6), the Samaveda (6.4), the Yajurveda (VS 31.1-16), the Taittiriya Aranyaka (3.12,13). and it is commented upon in the Shatapatha Brahmana, the Taittiriya Brahmana, the Shvetashvatara Upanishad and the Mudgala Upanishad. The contents largely are reflected in the Bhagavata (2.5.35 to 2.6.1-29) and in the Mahabharata (Moksadharma parva 351 and 352).
The AVSh has the following order of RV verses: 1-4-3-2-11-12-13-14-5-6-7-10-9-8-15
The AVP has 14 RV verses, excluding 7-8.
The ShYV has this sequence: 1-2-3-4-5-8-9-10-7-11-12-13-14-6-15
TA has this sequence: 1-2-3-4-5-6-15-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14
The SV Naigeya 33-37 has only the first five in this sequence: 1-4-[2ab3cd]-3ab2cd]-5

I. Core Purusha Sukta, oldest composite core?
These ShYV has 1-5 as starting verses in that RV sequence, the SV has the same verses in another sequence: 1-4-[2ab3cd]-[3ab2cd]-5. Obviously, the SV sequence has to be corrected on the bracketed positions. The welcome support comes from the AVSh which starts with the following sequence: 1-4-3-2. (It has clustered the 5th to other verses)

1sahásrashiirSaa púruSaH sahasraakSáH sahásrapaat
sá bhuúmiM vishváto vRtvaáty atiSThad dashaaÑgulám
A THOUSAND heads hath Purusa, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet.
On every side pervading earth he fills a space ten fingers wide.
4tripaád uurdhvá úd ait púruSaH paádo .asyehaábhavat púnaH
táto víSvaÑ vy àkraamat saashanaanashané abhí
With three-fourths Purusa went up: onefourth of him again was here.
Thence he strode out to every side over what cats not and what cats.
3etaávaan asya mahimaáto jyaáyaaMsh ca puúruSaH
paádo .asya víshvaa bhuutaáni tripaád asyaamR'taM diví
So mighty is his greatness; yea, greater than this is Purusa.
All creatures are one-fourth of him, three-fourths eternal life in heaven.
2púruSa evédáM sárvaM yád bhuutáM yác ca bhávyam
utaámRtatvásyéshaano yád ánnenaatiróhati
This Purusa is all that yet hath been and all that is to be;
The Lord of Immortality which waxes greater still by food.
5tásmaad viraáL ajaayata viraájo ádhi puúruSaH
sá jaató áty aricyata pashcaád bhuúmim átho puráH
From him Viraj was born; again Purusa from Viraj was born.
As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward o'er the earth.


II. Another old cluster is 8-10 in ShYV, which has the sequence 10-9-8 in AVSh

8tásmaad yajñaát sarvahútaH sámbhRtam pRSadaajyám
pashuún taáMsh cakre vaayavyaaaàn aaraNyaán graamyaásh ca yé
From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up.
He formed the creatures of-the air, and animals both wild and tame.
9tásmaad yajñaát sarvahúta R'caH saámaani jajñire
chándaaMsi jajñire tásmaad yájus tásmaad ajaayata
From that great general sacrifice Rcas and Sama-hymns were born:
Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth from it.
10tásmaad áshvaa ajaayanta yé ké cobhayaádataH
gaávo ha jajñire tásmaat tásmaaj jaataá ajaaváyaH
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.


III. Additions
The verses 6 and 7 must have been added to the two old clusters. The 6th to the first cluster and the 7th to the other.
6yát púruSeNa havíSaa devaá yajñám átanvata
vasantó asyaasiid aájyaM griiSmá idhmáH sharád dhavíH
When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Purusa as their offering,
Its oil was spring, the holy gift was autumn; summer was the wood.

7táM yajñám barhíSi praúkSan púruSaM jaatám agratáH
téna devaá ayajanta saadhyaá R'Sayash ca yé
They balmed as victim on the grass Purusa born in earliest time.
With him the Deities and all Sadhyas and Rsis sacrificed.

IV. A new cluster is: 11-12-13-14 in AVSh and ShYV. This was appended
11yát púruSaM vy ádadhuH katidhaá vy àkalpayan
múkhaM kím asya kaú baahuú kaá uuruú paádaa ucyete
When they divided Purusa how many portions did they make?
What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?
12braahmaNò .asya múkham aasiid baahuú raajanyàH kRtáH
uuruú tád asya yád vaíshyaH padbhyaáM shuudró ajaayata
The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rajanya made.
His thighs became the Vaisya, from his feet the Sudra was produced.
13candrámaa mánaso jaatásh cákSoH suúryo ajaayata
múkhaad índrash caagnísh ca praaNaád vaayúr ajaayata
The Moon was gendered from his mind, and from his eye the Sun had birth;
Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vayu from his breath.
14naábhyaa aasiid antárikSaM shiirSNó dyaúH sám avartata
padbhyaám bhuúmir díshaH shrótraat táthaa lokaáM+ akalpayan
Forth from his navel came mid-air the sky was fashioned from his head
Earth from his feet, and from his car the regions. Thus they formed the worlds.


V. The set was completed with a 15th verse, which stresses the number seven.
15saptaásyaasan paridháyas tríH saptá samídhaH kRtaáH
devaá yád yajñáM tanvaanaá ábadhnan púruSam pashúm
Seven fencing-sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared,
When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Purusa.

The TA supports the development as described above. It gives the following RV sequence, betraying the last development of the layers:
A. [1-2-3-4-5]-6, which contains the older composite core
B. 15
C. 7-[8-9-10]-{11-12-13-14}, which contains an [older core] and {appended core}

VI. The final stage is with verse 16
16yajñéna yajñám ayajanta devaás taáni dhármaaNi prathamaány aasan
té ha naákam mahimaánaH sacanta yátra puúrve saadhyaáH sánti devaáH
Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the carliest holy ordinances.
The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sidhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling.

This old verse is in another metre, the Trishtubh, while the other 15 are in Anushtubh. The AV has also 16 verses, but its 16th is a complete other verse
16muurdhno devasya brhato aMshavaH sapta saptatiiH
raajnaH somasyaajaayanta jaatasya puruSaadadhi
Seven times seven rays were born from the head of the great God,
of king Soma, when born out of Purusa.

As this verse in AVSh is also in Anushtubh, one may wonder whether this was the development:
A. [1-2-3-4-5]-6, which contains the older composite core
B. 15 (sapta)
C. 7-[8-9-10]-{11-12-13-14}, which contains an [older core] and {appended core}
D. 16 (sapta)

The RV re-ordered the sequence and instead of the AVSh verse it added an older verse in another metre.



Secondary development
Two verses were added to the Sukta of 16 verses:
17dhaataa purastaadyamudaajahaara shakrah pravidvaan pradishashcatasrah
tamevam vidvaanamrta iha bhavati naanyah pantha ayanaaya vidyate
18yajnena yajnamayajanta devah taani dharmaaNi prathamaanaasan
te ha naakam mahimanah sacante yatra puurve saadhyaah santi devaah

Second Development: UttaraNarayana
some 6 additional verses, also called the Vaishnavanuvaka or VishnuSuktam (RV I.154)
1víSNor nú kaM viiryaaaàNi prá vocaM yáH paárthivaani vimamé rájaaMsi
yó áskabhaayad úttaraM sadhásthaM vicakramaaNás tredhórugaayáH
I WILL declare the mighty deeds of Visnu, of him who measured out the earthly regions,
Who propped the highest place of congregation, thrice setting down his footstep, widely striding.
2prá tád víSNu stavate viiryèNa mRgó ná bhiimáH kucaró giriSThaáH
yásyorúSu triSú vikrámaNeSv adhikSiyánti bhúvanaani víshvaa
For this his mighty deed is Visnu lauded, like some wild beast, dread, prowling, mountain-roaming;
He within whose three wide-extended paces all living creatures have their habitation.
3prá víSNave shuuSám etu mánma girikSíta urugaayaáya vR'SNe
yá idáM diirghám práyataM sadhástham éko vimamé tribhír ít padébhiH
Let the hymn lift itself as strength to Visnu, the Bull far-striding, dwelling on the mountains,
Him who alone with triple step hath measured this common dwelling-place, long, far extended.
4yásya trií puurNaá mádhunaa padaány ákSiiyamaaNaa svadháyaa mádanti
yá u tridhaátu pRthiviím utá dyaám éko daadhaára bhúvanaani víshvaa
Him whose three places that are filled with sweetness, imperishable, joy as it may list them,
Who verily alone upholds the threefold, the earth, the heaven, and all living creatures.
5tád asya priyám abhí paátho ashyaaM náro yátra devayávo mádanti
urukramásya sá hí bándhur itthaá víSNoH padé paramé mádhva útsaH
May I attain to that his well-loved mansion where men devoted to the Gods are happy.
For there springs, close akin to the Wide-Strider, the well of meath in Visnu's highest footstep.
6taá vaaM vaástuuny ushmasi gámadhyai yátra gaávo bhuúrishRÑgaa ayaásaH
átraáha tád urugaayásya vR'SNaH paramám padám áva bhaati bhuúri
Fain would we go unto your dwelling-places where there are many-horned and nimble oxen,
For mightily, there, shineth down upon us the widely-striding Bull's sublimest mansion
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:50 AM   #2
Bandarwa
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Ik had bovenstaand stuk samengesteld (voor een Engelstalig Hindu publiek) om een glimp te geven hoe een Vedische compositie ingezet kan worden als hymne in verschillende teksten voor specifieke doeleinden.
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