PURUSHA

Vedic Articles
  • Changes do occur with the passage of time. Without it how will the journey from the creation to annihilation be complete? Some of the changes are temporary while others are permanent. Some changes can be man made. Some are created as a result of reaction. In our scriptures just one change made by our pandits brought about a radical transformation of the very structure of our society. Today it has become instrumental in the enaction of even new laws. So much so that indications of divisions in society have begun to manifest themselves.

    In nature it is the soul which has always been the basis of life among all the creatures whether they are ants or elephants. The soul itself has been considered Ishwara. That is why the soul has been deemed to be all-pervasive. There is Ishwara in every creature and the soul is the same in everyone. As a matter of fact the soul has been described as ‘shodasi purusha.’ Without it no soul can be formed in a living creature. shaudasi means sixteen and purusha means one who lives in pur (the periphery). The element endowed with the sixteen kalas (creative skills) is called the soul. Among them too there are three purs and three purushas –Avavya Purush, Akshar Purusha and Kshar Purusha. A detailed description of Avavya Purusha is found in the Gita. Lord Krishna has described himself as Avavya Purusha.

    The open sky which is without a boundary is known as ‘rit.’ paridhi and kendra are the synonyms of truth. The first truth in the creation is Avavya Purusha. If there is the sky, it has nad, prana and spandan too. The movement may be subtle. Maya takes a part of this very sky and by shrinking it she fixes it into paridhi. At the centre of this Avavya Purusha is the mind. This mind is called shwovasius mind. It has desires but there is no activity. It remains connected with ananda and vijnan bhava. As soon as shristhi bhava enters it, it is joined by prana and vaak. ananda, vijnan and manah together create something new by joining hands with vaak. This form of Akshara Purusha is gross as compared with Avavya. Avavya dwells in the womb of Akshara. In Akshara Purusha there exist three main pranas– Brahma, Vishnu and Indra. They combine with the five pranas (kalas) of Avavya and create a group of eight elements. This group extends Akshara Shristhi by dividing activities between Agni and Soma. The solar system is the centre of all pranas. It is called devaloka (abode of gods). The sun is Devraj Indra. He is also Maheshwara. All the three bhavas–Brhma, Vishnu and Indra – dwell here. These basic pranas create Kshar Purusha. Akshar Purusha has ten kalas whereas Kshar Purusha has fifteen kalas. The ten top kalas remain dormant in the womb while the five gross kalas–prana, aap, vaak, anna and annad–remain explicit. With the activities of the other thirteen kalas on the last two kalas (anna and annad meaning agni) the extended creation continues.

    Our creation is Agni-Somatmak (that which has the nature of fire and water). It alone extends the creation beyond the sun. The sun is our father. The sun is the centre of the creation of all the semen of the world. Therefore, he is our father. Here maya bhava works in the form of prakriti (sat, raj, tam). It makes it shodasi purusha by becoming the ground of ishvariya kala (godly creative skill) which is one of the fifteen kalas of Akshar Purusha. The first ground of the development of every creature is this Shodasi Purusha. Prakriti joins hands with it to build the institution of Prakriti and Purusha.

    It makes one thing clear that only the mind remains in the centre of the sixteen kalas. It is the mind of Avavya, the original mind. As the creation grows, this very mind is covered with veils. The mind within the womb goes on being suppressed. As it passes through Akshar, Kshar or through the creation of Gandharva and the pranas of the beasts, these veils become infinite. We come to the creation of animals. Here we are bound by the five fetters called avidya (ignorance), adharma (sin), asmita (egotism), raga (attachment) and dvesa (enmity). The human body has been considered the best in order to be free from them. The mind that we are usually aware of is, in fact, a reflection of the original mind. The original mind, covered by the veil of prakrati, will appear only when the coverings are removed. The reflected mind is always covered by veils and it never remains the same. That is why Krishna says, ‘nistregunya bhav: Arjun.’ That is also the meaning of the search for the soul, know the self through the self by removing the veils.

    Shodasi Purusha thus formed is our soul. The Vedas, Puranas, and the Upnishads have been written on his basis only. Everywhere it is he who is being described. Gradually this explanation of Purusha was associated with nar (man) and by applying this explanation of all the scriptures to nar in the human body the scriptures were created. The remaining creation and nari in the human form were thrown out. It is true that our creation is male- dominated but it includes women too. How can, then, a society or a country be entirely male-dominated separately? What is needed is that all the commentaries are re-written where both man and woman are established in the form of Purusha. Without it neither the phase of competition between man and woman nor that of conflict and collision will come to an end.

    Today separate laws are being enacted for men and women. There can be no greater degeneration of human race than it? All the creatures are either male or female. All are Purusha too. Man alone is not Purusha. Prakrati, being in operation, is not visible in the creation. Only the manifestation of Purusha is visible. Therefore, it is called Purusha-dominated and not because purusha (male) has any dominance over woman. The moment the word purusha is applied equally to male and female, the structure of society and its thinking will undergo a sea change. New vistas of development will open up and conflict will come to an end.

    Man has lost interest in education. This feeble mental state has become the symbol of developed countries. Man is prone to disintegrate at the least provocation. We seem to be moving in that direction.

    This calls for an immediate restoration of mental equilibrium. A disconcerted effort at different levels is fatal. It is the way to a collapse of human individuality. Life can look forward to a wholesome existence if we are integrated at all levels. This is the principle that inspires life with tranquility. This is the foundation of austerity and the essence of happiness.