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sahasra sirsa purusah sahasraksah sahasrapat
sa bhumim visvato vrtva atyatisthad dasangulam ||1||
The Supreme Lord in the form of the universe, has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet, for He contains all the living entities. Having pervaded the universe completely to give it existence, being independent, He extended Himself beyond it by ten fingers.
purusa evedam sarvam yad bhutam yac-ca bhavyam
utamrta tva syesanah yad annena tirohati ||2||
The universes, past, present and future, are but manifestations of the Supreme Lord who expands Himself as the Purusa. He is the Lord of immortality but has manifest Himself as the Purusa in the universe so that the jivas may enjoy material fruits.
etavan-asya mahima ato jyayams-ca purusah
pado 'sya visva bhutani tripad-asyamrtam divi ||3||
The past, present and future universes are manifestations of the Lord's powers, but the Lord Himself is much greater. The material creation is but one quarter portion, and the eternal nature in the spiritual sky exists in three quarters portion.
tripad urdhva udait purusah pado 'syeha 'bhavat-punah
tato visvan vyakramat sasana nasane abhi ||4||
The three quarters portion of the Lord transcended the material portion. The Lord in the one quarter portion manifested the universe again, as He had done repeatedly before. The Lord of the one quarter portion began the work of creation, by going all around, taking the form of all animate and inanimate objects.
tasmad-virad-ajayata virajo adhi purusah
sa jato 'tyaricyata pascad-bhumim-atho purah ||5||
From that Lord, the virat or universe was born, and in that the Virat Purusa, Paramatma of the universe, was born. Having appeared, the Virat Purusa grew, and produced the earth and the bodies of the jivas.
yat purusena havisa deva yajnam-atanvata
vasanto asyasid ajyam grisma idhma-sarad-dhavih ||6||
The devas, being the first beings manifested, performed a mental sacrifice to complete the creation, using the Virat Purusa (the totality of ingredients of the material world), as the offering. Spring was the ghee, summer was the fuel wood and autumn was the offering.
saptasyasan-paridhayah trih sapta samidhah krtah
deva yad-yajnam tanvanah abadhnan-purusam pasum ||7||
In this sacrifice, the kusa grass blades strewn around the fire (for protection from raksasas), were seven (the seven vedic poetic metres), and the fuel sticks were twenty one (12 months, 6 seasons and the 3 worlds). The devas who were performing the mental sacrifice tied the Virat Purusa to offer Him into the fire, just as one would tie the sacrificial animal.
tam yajnam barhisi prauksan purusam jatam-agratah
tena deva ayajanta sadhya rsayas-ca ye ||8||
The devas, sadhyas and rsis, placed the Virat Purusa, the first being of the universe, on kusa and sprinkled Him with water for purification. In this way they conducted the mental sacrifice using the Virat Purusa.
tasmad-yajnat-sarva-hutah sambhrtam prsad-ajyam
pasums-tams-cakre vayavyan aranyan-gramyas-ca ye ||9||
From that sacrifice where everything in the universe was sacrificed, yogurt and ghee (all nourishing foods), were produced. It created the animals of the air, forest, and village.
tasmad-yajnat-sarva-hutah rcah samani jajnire
chandamsi jajnire tasmat yajus-tasmad-ajayata ||10||
From that ultimate sacrifice or "sarva hut", the Rk (hymns), Sama (musical) and Yajus (prose) portions of the Vedas, and the seven Vedic metres, were born.
tasmad-asva ajayanta ye ke cobhaya-datah
gavo ha jajnire tasmat tasmaj-jata aja-vayah ||11||
From the sacrifice horses were born, and animals with two sets of teeth such as donkeys and mules. From the sacrifice, cows were born, and likewise goats and sheep.
yat purusam vyadadhuh katidha vyakalpayan
mukham kimasya kau bahu kavuru pada vucyete ||12||
In the mental sacrifice, when they divided up the Virat Purusa, how many parts did they divide? What is stated about His face, His arms, His thighs and feet?
brahmano 'sya mukham-asit bahu rajanyah krtah
uru tadasya yad-vaisyah padbhyam sudro ajayata ||13||
From the face came the brahmanas. From the two arms the ksatriyas came into being. From the thighs of the Virat Purusa came the vaisyas and from His feet the sudras were born.
candrama manaso jatah caksoh suryo ajayata
mukhad-indras-cagnis-ca pranad-vayur-ajayata ||14||
The moon was born from His mind, the sun was born from His two eyes. From His mouth were born Indra and Agni, and from His breath Vayu was born.
nabhya asid-antariksam sirsno dhyauh samavartata
padbhyam bhumir-disah srotrat tatha lokam akalpayan ||15||
From His navel came the antariksa (space between earth and heaven). From His head the heavens arose. From His feet the earth arose and from His ears arose the directions. In this way the worlds were created.
vedaham-etam purusam mahantam aditya-varnam tamasastu-pare
sarvani rupani vicitya dhirah namani krtva 'bhivadan yadaste ||16||
I know that great Virat Purusa, effulgent as the sun, who stands beyond the darkness of the material creation. Having given all the living entities their forms and names, He directs their affairs.
dhata purastad-yamudajahara sakrah pravidvan-pradisas-catasrah
tamevam vidvan-amrta iha bhavati nanyah pantha ayanaya vidyate ||17||
Brahma explained his realization to Indra. Indra, who knows all the living entities in all four directions, explained it to all others. One who knows the nature of the Virat Purusa becomes immortal even in his life on earth. There is no other path to reach the goal of immortality.
yajnena yajnam-ayajanta devah tani dharmani prathamany-asan
te ha nakam mahimanah sacante yatra purve sadhyah santi devah ||18||
In this way the devas conducted the mental sacrifice using the Virat Purusa to manifest variety in the world. By that sacrifice, both the physical laws of nature and the first spiritual codes of conduct arose. The great souls by similar mental worship attain the place of immortality where the sadhyas and devas, the first worshippers, now dwell".