The word "purusha'' in its most literal sense means 'man'. This is not a generic for human, but includes the masculine sense and principle of the world. A careful study of Vedik Scriptures reveal that Lord Shiva alone is Purusha, and all the rest of prakriti, creation, is female(Shakti). Purusha may also be split as pura + usha -- the dawn-light (usha) of the city of the body (pura). Or pu + rusha, one whose passions are refined. Or even puru + sha, filled with wisdom and happiness.
Purusha Sukta appeared first in Rig Veda 10.90. Narayana Maharshi was the 'Mantra Drashta'(seer) of the hymn. This Narayana Maharshi was later incarnated as Devaki putra Sri Krishna during Dwaparayuga. His counterpart Nara Maharshi was born as 'Arjuna'. By the grace of Lord Shiva, Narayana Mahrshi got the divine vision of Purusha. He was the first Human Rishi to realise the universal oneness and oneness of Atman in all beings. This non-dual knowledge made Narayana Rishi merge with Lord Shiva. Those who know Purusha will become, verily, like Purusha, the self of all beings.
Sathapatha Brahmana of Shukla yajurveda describes how Narayana Rishi became one with Purusha.
"puruṣo ha nārāyaṇo'kāmayata atitiṣṭheyaṃ sarvāṇi bhūtānyahamevedaṃ sarvaṃ syāmiti sa etam puruṣamedham pañcarātram yajñakratumapaśyattamāharattenāyajata teneṣṭvātyatiṣṭhatsarvāṇi bhūtānīdaṃ sarvamabhavadatitiṣṭhati sarvāṇi bhūtānīdaṃ sarvam bhavati ya evam vidvānpuruṣamedhena yajate yo vaitadevam veda" ( Sathapatha Brahmana 13:6:1:1)
"Purusha Narayana desired, 'Would that I overpassed all beings ! would that I alone were everything- here (this universe) !' He beheld this 'five days' sacrificial performance, the Purushamedha and took it and performed offering therewith ; and having performed offering therewith, he overpassed all beings, and became everything here. And, verily, he who, knowing this, performs the Purushamedha, or who even knows this, overpasses all beings, and becomes everything here."
In Mahabharata, Anushasana parva Bishma pitamaha says to Yudhistira:
Rudra bhakthya thu krishnena jagat vyaptham mahathmana,
Tham prasadhya thadha devam bhadaryam kila bharatha.
Arthath priya harathwam cha sarva lokeshu vai yadhaa,
Prapthavaaneva rajendra suvarnaakshan maheswaraath.
"The Krishna, due to his devotion to Supreme Lord Rudra, Has spread all over the universe, Oh Bharatha, Oh king of kings, After making Lord Shiva pleased by his penance in Bhadrinath, He has attained the state of being more dear, Than all the worlds and all aspects of knowledge."
In Mahabaratha, Lord Shiva says :
satyaśaucārjava tyāgais tapasā niyamena ca
kṣāntyā bhaktyā ca dhṛtyā ca buddhyā ca vacasā tathā ( Mh Bhar 10.7.60)
yathāvad aham ārāddhaḥ kṛṣṇenākliṣṭakarmaṇā
tasmād iṣṭatamaḥ kṛṣṇād anyo mama na vidyate ( Mh Bhar 10.07.61)
"With truth, purity, sincerity, resignation, ascetic austerities, vows, forgiveness, devotion, patience, thought, and word, I have been duly adored by Krishna of pure deeds. For this there is none dearer to me than Krishna".
Purusha Sukta :
sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapāt |
sabhūmiṃ viśvato vṛtvātyatiṣṭhad daśāṅghulam ||
sahasra - Thousands; ( Thousand implies uncountable )
śīrṣā - of heads has;
puruṣaḥ - the great being.
sahasra -Thousands of
aksha - eyes has he,
sahasrapāt - and thousands of legs.
sa - He
vṛtvā - manifests
bhūmiṃ - the world.
ātyatiṣṭhat - e stands beyond
daśāṅghulam - the count of ten fingers.
A thousand heads hath Puruṣa, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet.
On every side pervading earth he fills a space ten fingers wide.
Veda Purusha Shiva is said to have 'Thousand' heads, 'Thousand' eyes etc. Here Thousand doesn't mean just 1000. Thousand(Sahasra) implies almost infinite but technically speaking we cannot use the word 'Infinite' because the number of living beings in the creation is not infinite. There must be a certain number. But human language is not sufficient even to name the figure. For some 'Mystical' reason, the Rishis used the words 'Sata'(100) and 'Sahasra'(1000) not only for the respective figures but also to denote "uncountable" in number. Scriptures say that God has uncountable names and all names are his names. But still we use 'Satanama' and 'sahasranamas' while worshiping God. The words 'Sata and 'Sahasra' are not meant for restricting it to 100 or 1000 but to convey the 'Wholeness'.
This verse explains the unity of all living beings. Even though, the external world appears with several living entities, the underlying principle(i.e., Lord Rudra) in all the beings is only one. The Self or Atman or Purusha is same in all. All hands, all legs, all heads of all living entities are hands/legs/heads of One Purusha.
The Skambha( pillar or Linga) sukta of Atharva Veda says:
yád éjati pátati yác ca tíṣṭhati prāṇád áprāṇan nimiṣác ca yád bhúvat
tád dādhāra pr̥thivī́ṃ viśvárūpaṃ tát saṃbhū́ya bhavaty ékam evá ( Atharvana Veda X-8-11)
That which hath power of motion, that which flies, or stands,which breathes or breathes not, which, existing, shuts the eyeWearing all forms that entity upholds the earth, and in its close consistence still is only one.
The Taittirya Aranyaka(10:24:1) of Yajur Veda clearly says Lord Rudra is 'Veda Purusha' (purusho vai rudrah) Kaushitaki Brahmana (6:1:13) of Rig Veda calls Lord Rudra as "sahasrakha sahasrapat". ( tata.udatiṣṭhat.sahasra.akṣaḥ.sahasra.pāt). The same thing is confirmed in Svetasvatara Upanishad.
viśvataś cakṣur uta viśvato-mukho
viśvato-bāhur uta viśvatas-pāt
saṃ6 bāhubhyāṃ dhamati sampatatrair
dyāv-ābhūmī janayan deva ekaḥ ( Sv Up III-3)
"His eyes are everywhere, His faces everywhere, His arms everywhere, everywhere His feet. He it is who endows men with arms, birds with feet and wings and men likewise with feet. Having produced heaven and earth, this God (deva ekaḥ) remains as their non—dual manifester".
puruṣa evedaṃ sarvaṃ yad bhūtaṃ yacca bhavyam |
utāmṛtatvasyeśāno yadannenātirohati ||
puruṣa - purusha
eva - alone
idaṃ sarvaṃ - is all of this,
yad bhūtaṃ - that which was,
yac ca bhavyam - and that which is too be.
uta - Moreover
amṛtatvasya - of immortality too
Iśāna - is he alone Lord.
yad - That which
annena - as food
atirohati - shows itself, that too is purusha.
This Puruṣa is all that yet has been and all that is to be; The Lord of Immortality which waxes greater still by food.
Lord Rudra is creation, this we know. In time, he is all that is, all that was, and all that is to be. Does he have an end, like death ? No. He himself is Lord of immortality, of the eternal that dies not (amṛta).
Taittiriya Aranyaka (10:24:1) of Yajurveda says "sarvo vai rudrastasmai rudraya namo astu" i.e., All this is verily Rudra. To Rudra we offer our salutations.
The same verse says "vishvam bhutam bhuvanam citram bahudha jatam jayamanam cayat sarvo hyesha rudrastasmai rudraya namo astu" i.e., The whole universe, the created beings and whatever there is manifoldly and profusely created in the past and in the present in the form of the world, all that is indeed this Rudra. Salutations be to Rudra who is such.
We know that Rudra is called Ishana(Lord). Lord Rudra is the Lord of all beings. He is the sole Lord of whole creation. Rig Veda (2:33:9) clearly says Rudra as īśānādasya bhuvanasya ( ie., Ishana ie., Lord of all worlds ). Rig Veda (6:49:10) says that Rudra is 'bhuvanasya pitaraṃ' ie., The Father of whole universe. Sri Rudram of Yaurveda ( iv.5.2.f) says "jagatam pataye namo" [i.e., salutations to Rudra who is Lord of entire creation(jagat)]
Taittariya Aranyaka(10:21:1) of yajurveda says:
ishanah sarvavidyanamishvarah sarvabhutanam
brahmadhipatirbrahmano'dhipatirbrahma shivo me astu sadashivom ||
“May the Supreme who is the ruler of all knowledge, ishana, controller of all created beings, the preserver of the Vedas and the one overlord of Hiranyagarbha, be benign to me. That Sadasiva described thus and denoted by Pranava(OM).” (Yajurveda Taittariya Aranyaka 10:21:1 )
Further Svetasvatara Upanishad clearly identifies Rudra as Purusha and regarding his Iswara aspect it says :
eko hi rudro na dvitīyāya tasthur ya imāṃl lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ (SV Up III-2)
sunirmalām imāṃ prāptim īśāno jyotir avyayaḥ ( SV Up III-12)
sarvasya prabhum īśānaṃ sarvasya śaraṇaṃ bṛhat( SV Up III-17)
tam īśānaṃ varadaṃ devam īḍyaṃ (SV Up IV-11)
tam īśvarāṇāṃ paramaṃ maheśvaraṃ ( SV Up VI-7)
ya īśe’sya jagato nityam eva nānyo hetur vidyata īśanāya ( SV Up VI-17)
Rudra is the Lord of Immortality too. That's why Vedik seers asked Lord Rudra not to withhold immortality and liberate them from bondages without pain. This verse is popularly known as 'Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra'.
tryambakam yajAmahe sugandhim pusti vardhanam
urvArukamiva bandhanAn mrtyormukshIya mAmrtAt (Rigveda 7:59:12)
"We worship the fragrant Three-Eyed One, the Promoter of prosperity. May we be freed from the bondage of death as a cucumber from its stalk; But not from immortality".
Creation feeds on itself. It requires food to grow, to flourish. What is food but other life? Life feeds on life, be it plant, or animal life. This is why we say the world grows on food, the world is fill of food (annamayam jagat). All that is hidden in creation, and all that emerges, to show itself and be food, all this is purusha. He sustains creation as food.
Lord Rudra is verily Food. He himself eats Food. He himself is the Lord of the Food. ie., Lord Rudra is the Giver of Food in his Iswara form. He himself is the eater of Food in his Jeeva form. He himself is Food . Lord Rudra is this triad. For those who are in maya see only multiplicity but for the realised one all this(creation), verily, is Rudra.
Sri Rudram of Yaurveda (iv.5.2.d) calls Rudra as Lord of the food. (annanam pataye namo)
Lord Rudra himself eats food and expands himself. Regarding this, Satapatha Brahmana( IX-1-1-6) says:
"This Rudra with a thousand heads, eyes, and quivers, stood with his bow strung,and arrows on the string, causing terror, and demanding food. The gods were afraid of him. They said to Prajapati,:'We are afraid of this being, lest he destroy us.' Prajapati said to them: 'Collect for him food, and with it appease him.' They collected for him this food, the satarudriya."
Later, all gods, including Prajapati sang Satarudriya hymns and appeased Rudra. Satarudriyam begin with the words : "Namaste Rudra Manyava..... ( Salutations to thy anger O Rudra.... )"
etāvānasya mahimāto jyāyāṃśca pūruṣaḥ |
pādo.asyaviśvā bhūtāni tripādasyāmṛtaṃ divi ||
etāvān - All that is here seen
asya - is his
mahima - greatness.
ata: - And then, beyond all this
purusha: ca - that Purusha
jyāyān - great.
viśvā bhūtāni - All that was created in this world
pādo - is but one part
asya - of him.
tripād - The other three parts are
divi - in heaven,
amṛtaṃ - where they are eternal.
So mighty is his greatness; yea, greater than this is Puruṣa.
All creatures are one-fourth of him, three-fourths eternal life in heaven.
tripādūrdhva udait puruṣaḥ pādo.asyehābhavat punaḥ |
tato viṣvaṃ vyakrāmat sāśanānaśane abhi ||
tripād - Three parts
puruṣaḥ - of the purusha
udait - rise above,
ūrdhva - above all creation.
pāda: - One part alone
asya - of his
iha - is here
abhavat - manifested
punaḥ - again and again.
tata - From that part did
sāśana - anaSana - beings that eat and eat not,
viṣvaṃ - all the visible world
abhivyakrāmat - did come forth.
Three parts of his are beyond all this all of this, is but a part. Again and again, all that eats,and that eats not appeared from this one part of His.
Lord Rudra is Brahman of Vedas. The word "Brahman" has its root in the word 'Brihat' which means Large or massive. Regarding this, Sri Rudram of Yajurveda(iv.5.5.i) says namo brihate cha ( Salutations to Lord Rudra who is 'Brihat' ie., Brahman). Yajurveda (v. 5. 9. i ) says "The Rudra in the fire, in the waters, in the plants, the Rudra who has entered all beings, to that Rudra be homage"
"Where Skambha(pillar or Linga) generating gave the Ancient World its shape and form, They recognized that single part of Skambha(pillar or Linga) as the Ancient World," (Atharva Veda X:7:26)
"Great, verily, are those Gods who sprang from non-existence into life. Further, men say that that one part of Skambha(linga or pillar) is nonentity". ( Atharva Veda X:7:25)
"How far within the past hath Skambha(Linga/pillar) entered? How much of him hath reached into the future? That one part which he set in thousand places,—how far did Skambha(linga/pillar) penetrate within it?" ( Atharvana veda X:7:9)
So the above verses from Skambha sukta, which describes the Agni Linga form of Shiva, makes it clear that only a part of Lord Shiva is manifested as creation and its beings. Sri Rudram of Yajurveda offers salutations to the universal form of Rudra : vishvarupebhyashcha vo namo ( Salutations to Lord Rudra who assumes universal form or vishvaroopam ) (Yaurveda iv.5.4.f) Rig Veda (2:33:10) also talks about Rudra's viśvarūpam. So, it is clear that whole Vishwa (ie.,universe) is manifested form Lord Rudra.
tasmād virāḷ ajāyata virājo adhi pūruṣaḥ |
sa jātoatyaricyata paścād bhūmimatho puraḥ ||
tasmād - from that great purusha
virāt - did the shining universe
ajāyata - come forth.
virājo adhi - From that virAt,
pūruṣaḥ - came forth purusha,
sa - He
jāta - was born
ati aricyata - and grew very large, extending
paścād - in front
bhūmi- of the earth
ata: - and then
puraḥ - behind.
From him Virāj was born; again Puruṣa from Virāj was born.
As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward over the earth.
This verse says that virat was born from Purusha. Virat is the Shining world. It is also called Hiranyagarbha by the Upanishads. The vedas call it by name Prajapati.. This Prajapati is responsible for creation. He is the first being to be born. From Prajapati, the Purusha himself took his birth. As soon as he was born he spread out over the earth in all the directions. ie., he multiplied and new species evolved.
Purusha ---------> Hiranyagarbha --------> purusha.
(Unmanifest) ( Visible universe) ( all living beings)
Svetasvatara Upanishad says :
“He, the omniscient Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!" (3:04 svetasvatara upanishad )
“The Supreme Lord Rudra is higher than Virat, beyond Hiranyagarbha. He is vast and is hidden in the bodies of all living beings. By knowing Him who alone pervades the universe, men become immortal "( 3:07 svetasvathara Upanishad)
"Men know Hiranyagarbha as supreme and inexpressible: In the beginning, in the midst of the world, Skambha(pillar/linga) poured (ie., gave birth) that Hiranyagarbha." ( Atharva veda X:7:28)
After giving birth to Hiyanyagarbha, the Unborn Rudra manifested through Hiranyagarbha. actually, Rudra is unborn. he appears through prajapati. regarding this, Atharvana veda says :
prajā́patiś carati gárbhe antár ádr̥śyamāno bahudhā́ ví jāyate
ardhéna víśvaṃ bhúvanaṃ jajā́na yád asyārdháṃ katamáḥ sá ketúḥ ( Athava veda X-8-13)
"Within the womb Prajapati is moving: he, though unseen, is born in sundry places. He with one half engendered all creation. What sign is there to tell us of the other?"
ékacakraṃ vartata ékanemi sahásrākṣaraṃ prá puró ní paścā
ardhéna víśvaṃ bhúvanaṃ jajā́na yád asyārdháṃ kvà tád babhūva (Atharva veda X-8-7)
"Up, eastward downward in the west, 'it rolleth, with countless elements, one-wheeled, single-fellied.With half it hath begotten all creation. Where hath the other half become unnoticed?"
utáiṣāṃ pitótá vā putrá eṣām utáiṣāṃ jyeṣṭhá utá vā kaniṣṭháḥ
éko ha devó mánasi práviṣṭaḥ prathamó jātáḥ sá u gárbhe antáḥ (Atarva Veda X-8-28)
"Either the sire or son of these, the eldest or the youngest child.As sole God dwelling in the mind, first born, he still is in the womb."
tváṃ strī́ tváṃ púmān asi tváṃ kumārá utá vā kumārī́
tváṃ jīrṇó daṇḍéna vañcasi tváṃ jātó bhavasi viśvátomukhaḥ (Svetasvatara Upanishad IV-3) *
* same is repeated in Atharva veda , Skhambha Suktam (X-8-27)
"Thou art woman, Thou art man; Thou art youth and maiden too. Thou as an old man totterest along on a staff; it is Thou alone who, when born, assumest diverse forms. "
The same thing is mentioned in Atharva Veda while describing about ascetic form of Lord Shiva (Vratya):
vrā́tya āsīd ī́yamāna evá sá prajā́patiṃ sám airayat || sá prajā́patiḥ suvárṇam ātmánn apaśyat tát prā́janayat || tád ékam abhavat tál lalā́mam abhavat tán mahád abhavat táj jyeṣṭhám abhavat tád bráhmābhavat tát tápo 'bhavat tát satyám abhavat téna prā́jāyata || ( Atharva Veda 15:1:1-3)
"There was Vratya( Ascetic form of Lord shiva) . He roused Prajapati to action. Prajapati beheld gold in himself and engendered it. That became unique, that became distinguished, that became great, that became excellent, that became Brahman, that became Tapas, that became Truth: through that he was born."
sò 'vardhata sá mahā́n abhavat sá mahādevò 'bhavat || sá devā́nām īśā́ṃ páry ait sá ī́śāno 'bhavat || sá ekavrātyò 'bhavat sá dhánur ā́datta tád evéndradhanúḥ || nī́lam asyodáraṃ lóhitaṃ pr̥ṣṭhám || nī́lenaivā́priyaṃ bhrā́tr̥vyaṃ prórṇoti lóhitena dviṣántaṃ vidhyatī́ti brahmavādíno vadanti || (Atharva Veda 15:1:4-8)
"He grew, he became great, he became Mahadeva.He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Ishana. He became Eka Vratya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. His belly is dark-blue, his back is red( Nila Lohitam) . With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say."
So Atharvana Veda makes it clear that Rudra was there even before Prajapati and It was Rudra who created Prajapati and roused him into action. Later, He himself manifested through Prajapati and spread in all directions in form of in-dweller living beings and gods.
yat puruṣeṇa haviṣā devā yajñamatanvata |
vasantoasyāsīdājyaṃ ghrīṣma idhmaḥ śarad dhaviḥ ||
yat - That
yajña - rite that
devā - the gods
atanvata - performed,
puruṣeṇa - with the Purusha himself as
haviṣā - havis, the fire offering,
vasanta - the Spring
āsīt - became
ājyaṃ - its ghee.
ghrīṣma - The summer became its
idhmaḥ - samit-wood firebrand,
śarad - Autumn became
haviḥ - its burn offering.
When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Puruṣa as their offering,
Its oil was spring, the holy gift was autumn; summer was the wood.
Now some may wonder by seeing this verse. Now a series of doubts arise in the mind - Who are these devas ? where did they come from ? What's the relation between devas and Purusha ? what are these seasons ? How come ghee, wood, etc existenced even before Creation ?
The first thing which I would like to tell is - The Purusha Suktam is, no doubt, a creation hymn. But the Creation, here, is not about the material World(Prakriti) and its elements like sky, air, fire, water, earth..etc. The Creation in Purusha Suktam is mainly about the 'Living entities' but not Prakriti. It means the Purusha aspect in the creation is mentioned in the hymn but not its Prakriti aspect.
The Devas(natural forces) are the part of Prakriti but they become active or performs their functions when they are impelled by Purusha(Shiva /Atman). The devas perform their respective functions when Purusha unites with Prakriti. Until then, the devas are like dead creatures.
For example; There may be Fire(Agni) in Prakriti(Nature) but without experiencer(Purusha) how can there be something called 'Heat' ? How can we say that the fire is Hot or cold ? Truly speaking, the fire is neither hot nor cold. It is only because of Purusha(Shiva/Atman) we are able to identify the very characteristic called 'Heat' from the 'Fire'. But Purusha is unaffected by the experience. The reflected consciousness of Purusha, which drives the mind, is the true experiencer. The Pure being(Purusha) unaffected and blemishless.
The Devas are Body of Purusha(Atman). The Eyes, Ears, Mind and other senses are devas. Similarly, Earth, Water, Fire and Other elements are also devas. They work because they are impelled by Purusha(Atman).
yásya tráyastriṃśad devā́ áṅge sárve samā́hitāḥ
skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ ( Atarva Veda X-7-13)
Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha He in whose body are contained all three-and-thirty Deities? ( X-7-13)
"He, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the Support of the universe, Rudra the omniscient, who at the beginning gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!" ( Svetasvatara Upanishad IV-12)
Now, the gods used Purusha as havis(offering) in Srushti Yajna. They offered 'Purusha' as 'Havis' to none otherthan 'Purusha'. i.e., The senses(devas) not only function because of Purusha but those functions are also perceived by Purusha alone. So purusha not only impells to action but also impells to perceive the result of the action.
Sri Rudram of yajur veda says: devana hridayebhyo namah (Yaurveda iv.5.9.p) ie., Salutations to Rudra who is sparkling heart of all beings.
Satapatha Brahmana IX-1-1-6 says :
"From Prajapati, when he had become enfeebled, the deities departed. Only one god, Manyu, did not leave him, but continued extended within him. He (Prajapati) wept. The tears which fell from him remained in that 'Manyu'. He became Rudra with a hundred heads, a hundred eyes, and a hundred quivers. Then the other drops which fell from him in unnumbered thousands entered into these worlds.They were called Rudras because they sprang from him when he had wept. This Rudra with a thousand heads, eyes, and quivers, stood with his bow strung,and arrows on the string, causing terror, and demanding food. The gods were afraid of him. They said to Prajapati,:'We are afraid of this being, lest he destroy us.' Prajapati said to them: 'Collect for him food, and with it appease him.' They collected for him this food, the satarudriya."
Later, all gods,including Prajapati sang Satarudriya hymns and appeased Rudra. Satarudriyam begin with the words : "Namaste Rudra Manyava..... ( Salutations to thy anger O Rudra.... )
The ghee, fire wood are symbolic. The Seasons are used as firewood and fuel for the Srusti yajna. Here Seasons like Spring, Autumn..etc should be understood to mean 'Order' or systematic passage of 'Time' . I.e., The Living beings were not created overnight. There was a systematic order. There is an evolution of species. In Spring, the trees flourish with greenery. But in autumn, the trees become dry and leaves fall from them. Similarly, in creation also, several new species evolves and several old species loses their existence. In spite of all, Just like there is an order in the occurence seasons, so also there is an order in evolution. There is a perfect order in the nature because of Purusha. The creation (or evolution) is not haphazard.
taṃ yajñaṃ barhiṣi praukṣan puruṣaṃ jātamaghrataḥ |
tena devā ayajanta sādhyā ṛṣayaśca ye ||
taṃ - That
puruṣaṃ - purusha
yajñaṃ - of the sacrifice,
jAtam - who was
agrata: - in the beginning,
sādhyā - those achievers
praukṣan - sprinkled him with holy water
barhiṣi - on the sacrificial bed of straw.
tena - By this means
devā ṛṣayaśca - did the gods and the seers
ye - who where,
ayajanta - sacrifice.
They balmed as victim on the grass Puruṣa born in earliest time.
With him the Deities and all Sādhyas and Ṛṣis sacrificed.
Here is the Purusha himself bound as the beast of sacrifice. This beast has to be sanctificed, on a sacred bed of straw, with holy water. The word barhiṣi indicates this straw. Basing on the injunction of Satapatha Brahmana, the 'Rishis' here should be understood as 'Pranas'. "Those Rishis indeed were the non-being in the beginning. They say who are those Rishis?The Pranas are indeed the Rishis” (Sat. Br. VI.1.1.1)
The sādhyās are also devas but they have achieved the position through their deeds and sacrifices. They can be called as 'sacrifical gods'.
tasmād yajñāt sarvahutaḥ sambhṛtaṃ pṛṣadājyam |
paśūntāṃścakre vāyavyānāraṇyān ghrāmyāśca ye ||
tasmāt - From that
yajnAt - rite
sarvahutaḥ - called sarvahut
sambhṛtaṃ - was gathered
pṛṣadājyam - ghee mixed with yogurt. From this
cakre - were created
vāyavyān - denizens of the air,
āraṇyān - denizens of thewoods,
ghrāmyāśca - and denizens of the villages.
"From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up.
He formed the creatures of-the air, and animals both wild and tame. "
Now because of the sacrifice performed by devas, there spring several species. At first, there was a unicellular organisms. The sacrifices performed by devas were responsible for diversity. Soon new species came into existence. Like that, all species whether birds or beasts or humans or wild animals everything was because of the sacrifice performed by devas. The Devas are 33 in number. The 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12 Adityas, Indra and Prajapati are the Devas who are responsible for creation. The Purusha is the impeller and indweller of all beings including devas.
The dripping fat is to be understood as various bio-chemical components that arise because of sacrifice. These bio-chemical components( which is result of sacrifice) are responsible for origin of various species. But these bio-chemical components(Prakriti) which are responsible for design of Body and Gunas of various species cannot affect 'Purusha',the indweller who is Nirguna.
Lord Rudra is the Purusha, who is indweller of all forms of life. He is also the indweller of Devas. Fire, water, space...etc are pervaded by Lord Rudra alone.
eṣa ha devaḥ pradiśo’nu sarvāḥ
pūrvo ha jātaḥ sa u garbhe antaḥ
sa eva jātaḥ sa janiṣyamāṇaḥ
pratyaṅ janāṃs tiṣṭhati sarvato-mukhaḥ (Sv Up II-16)
"He indeed, the Lord, who pervades all regions, was the first to be born and it is He who dwells in the womb of the universe. It is He, again, who is born as a child and He will be born in the future, He stands behind all persons and His face is everywhere". ( Svetasvatara Upanishad II-16)
sarva-vyāpī sa bhagavāṃs tasmāt sarva-gataḥ śivaḥ ( Sv Up 3:11)
“All faces are His faces; all heads, His heads; all necks, His necks. He dwells in the hearts of all beings. He is the all— pervading Bhagavan. Therefore He is omnipresent Shiva”.( 3:11 svetasvatara upanishad)
yo devo agnau yo’psu
yo viśvaṃ bhuvanam āviveśa
ya oṣadhīṣu yo vanaspatiṣu
tasmai devāya namo namaḥ ( Sv Up II-17 )
" The Self—luminous Lord, who is fire, who is in water, who has entered into the whole world, who is in plants, who is in trees— to that Lord let there be adoration! Yea, let there be adoration!" ( Svetasvatara Upanishad II-17)
tasmād yajñāt sarvahuta ṛcaḥ sāmāni jajñire |
chandāṃsijajñire tasmād yajustasmādajāyata ||
tasmād yajñāt sarvahuta - From that Sarvahut rite
ṛcaḥ - the Rg veda mantras and
sāmāni - sAma veda mantras
jajñire - were got. From that did
chandāṃsi - did the metres too
jajñire - come forth.
tasmād - From that were
yaju: - the yajur veda mantras
ajāyata - born.
"From that great general sacrifice Ṛcas and Sāma-hymns were born:
Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth from it."
sāyaṇa gives this derivation for sarvahut: sarvātmaka puruSHo yasmin yajne hooyate so ayam sarvahuta:'' -- that yajna in which Purusha, the soul of all, is offered as sacrifice, that rite is sarvahut. Of the Vedas, the Rg concerns itself with recited hymns, in praise of nature and its deities, such as Agni, Indra, the Adityas,the Maruts, and so on. The sāma chants are those of song, the basis of music. Yajus, the Veda of the adhvaryu priests, is that of the methods, and formulas for the rite. Along with these comes forth chandas, the metre or rhythm of hymning.
In Atharvana Veda,-- Kala Sukta, A hymn to Maha Kala form of Lord Shiva, says :
kāló ha bhūtáṃ bhávyaṃ ca putró ajanayat purā́
kālā́d ŕ̥caḥ sám abhavan yájuḥ kālā́d ajāyata ( Atharva Veda XIX-54-3)
"In Kala erst the text produced what is and what is yet to be.The Riks arose from Kala, the Yagus was born from Kala;" ( Atharva Veda XIX-54-3)
"The sacred verses, the offerings (yajna), the sacrifices (kratu), the penances (vrata), the past, the future and all that the Vedas declare, have been produced from the imperishable Brahman. Brahman projects the universe through the power of Its maya. Again, in that universe Brahman as the jiva is entangled through maya. " (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:9)
tasmādaśvā ajāyanta ye ke cobhayādataḥ |
ghāvo hajajñire tasmāt tasmājjātā ajāvayaḥ ||
tasmād - From that
ajāyanta - were born
aśvā - horses,
and beings with
eke ca - only one and
ubhayādataḥ - two rows of teeth.
ghāva: - Cattle
jajñire - were made
tasmāt - from that.
tasmāt - From that
jātā - were born
ajā - goats and
avayaḥ - sheep.
"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."
The animals mentioned here are meant to convey some esoteric meaning. For example, Horses(aśvā ) are symbol of 'Indriyas'.(Senses). it is very hard to decipher the mysticism of Vedas. Anyway, even if we understand in the meaning in common paralance it really helps us to understand the greatness of 'Veda Purusha Rudra'. The animals mentioned here played very important role in the life of mankind from the begining of civilization till the begining of Industrial Revolution in 19 th century. They are very much part of Civilization. The Brahmanas are more attached to 'Cows' as 'Panchagavya'(milk, dung..etc) is very much necessary for the prescribed daily rituals and Yajna-Yagas. Thats why the Cows are given to Brahmanas as gift( ie., Go-dhAna). It is actually like wealth for Brahmanas. These cows are actually from Purusha Rudra alone. Lord Rudra is indweller of cows too. As said in Sri Rudram of Yajurveda : Ye bhutanam adhipatayo (Yajurveda iv.5.11.f) ie.,verily, Lord Rudra is the overlord of all beings.
Similarly, Ashva (Horse) is related to Kshatriyas. It is their wealth. They require horses for performing their prescribed duties like peace keeping, war, protecting people ..etc. These Horses are from Lord Rudra alone. Similarly, Vaishyas and Shudras depend more on Goats and Sheeps for trading and their livelihood. Eventhough they use other animals like oxen, cows, horses ..etc they are more like caretakers rather than owners.
So Lord Shiva is the overlord of all beings. He is called 'Pashupati'. Vedas say all pashus(meaning: which are tied) belong to Rudra alone.
"What cattle the lord of cattle(pashupati) ruleth ?, He rules Both the four-footed and the two-footed." ( Yajurveda III-1-4)
So both Men and Animals are ruled by Lord Pashupati alone. Every living being is 'Pashu'. Their Lord is Pashupati.
yat puruṣaṃ vyadadhuḥ katidhā vyakalpayan |
mukhaṃ kimasya kau bāhū kā ūrū pādā ucyete ||
yat puruṣaṃ - The purusha
vyadadhuḥ - that they divided,
katidhā - into what forms , how,
vyakalpayan - did they shape him ?
kim - What
Aseet - became
asya mukhaṃ - of his mouth ?
kau - What are
ucyete - now called
asya bāhū - his arms ?
asya ūrū - His thighs,
asya pādau - his feet,
kau ucyete - what do they call them now ?
When they divided Puruṣa how many portions did they make?
What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?
Here purusha was divided into portions. This doesn't mean to convey us that Devas have chopped off purusha into pieces with a knife !! This is only an esoteric expression. We all know that Veda Purusha Lord Shiva is not limited by space. Then how come he be divided into portions ? The Upanishads clearly said Lord Shiva is Akhandam ie., Without parts. So the 'division', here, is to be understood metaphorically.
This kind of metaphors are meant for meditation. The upanishads provide us so may meditation techniques in form of similies and metaphors so that one can imagine the 'unimaginable Lord Shiva'. It helps in Upasana(Worship). At last, after obtaining BrahmaJnana one will establish in 'Shivoham' state. Verily, they are Brahman.
In the Chhandogya Upanishad 'Vaisvanara' is described as having the size of a span. How can the Infinite Brahman be limited by the measure of a 'Pradesa' or a span ? So Brahma Sutras(1-2-30) clarify it saying that whole creation is lord's manifestation. So, The descriptions which are limited by 'Space' are meant for meditation or upasana purpose.
The Katha Upanishad describes purusha like "size of the thumb" (Anghustha matrana Purusha). sage Badari says in Brahmasutra that the size of the thumb refers to a mental image and not to the actual size. Purusha is remembered or meditated, by means of the mind, which is seated in the heart which is measured by a span. The size of the heart is that of a span. As Brahman is meditated as a biding in the lotus of the heart, the aspirant involuntarily associates him with the size of a span. This mental association or Anusmriti is the cause why Brahman is called Pradesamatra, the measure of a span.
Similarly the Jabalas speak in their text of the Supreme Lord in the intermediate space between the top of the head and the chin. so. It says that He is to be real ised Avimukta (full liberation) between Varana (sin preventor) and Nasi (sin destroyer). Jabala Upanishad says “The place where the eye-brows and the nose join. That is the joining place of the heavenly world represented by the upper part of the head and of the other i.e. the earthly world represented by the chin.”
Chandhogya upanishad says “This Brahman is of four feet, namely, the speech as a foot, the chief vital energy as a foot, the eyes as a foot, and the ears as a foot” (Chh. Up. III.18.1-2).
In the Chhandogya Upanishad (V.11.8) there is the Vaisvanara Vidya, the meditation on the cosmic form of the Lord. The meditator should think that His head is the heaven, His eye the sun and so on
“Let him meditate on the Self which consists of mind, which has the Prana for its body, and light for its form” (Satapatha. Brahmana. Madhy. 10.6.3.2).
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad( V-10-6) says “That purusha consisting of mind, whose being is light, is within the heart, small like a grain of rice or barley. He is the ruler of all, the Lord of all—He rules all this what so ever exists."
The statements as to the size of Brahman “Brahman has four feet,” “It has six teen digits,” etc., are meant for the sake of Upasana or devout meditation, because it is difficult to understand the Infinite, most subtle, all-pervading Brahman. Inorder to facilitate pious meditation on the part of less intelligent people four feet etc., are ascribed to Brahman.
brāhmaṇo.asya mukhamāsīd bāhū rājanyaḥ kṛtaḥ |
ūrūtadasya yad vaiśyaḥ padbhyāṃ śūdro ajāyata ||
asya - His
mukham - mouth
āsīt - became
brāhmaṇa: - the Brahmin,
bāhū - his arms
krta: - were made
rājanyaḥ - Kings.
yad - what were
asya ūrū - his thighs,
tad - they were made into
vaiśyaḥ - the merchants,
padbhyāṃ - and from his feet
śūdro - were the servants
ajāyata - born.
The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rājanya made.
His thighs became the Vaiśya, from his feet the Śūdra was produced.
This verse in Purusha Sukta is perhaps the most controversial one. Most of them fear to interpret it. Some half-baked minds may simply avoid it by saying it as later day interpolation. But Shruti cannot have interpolations. Moreover, the verse is found in all Shakas(branches) and all versions which are found from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. So it is really not good to call it as Interpolation. Of course, the non-traditional and uninitiated learners may think whatever they like as directed by their 'Bhuddi'. But the Traditionalists and Initiated Learners should never say such kind of words which demean 'Shruti'.
The mouth is a faculty which is necessary for Speech(vAk). A Brahmana is one who recites Vedas and conducts Yajna-Yagas for the benefit of the society. A Brahmana can perform his Brahmanical duties towards the society without limbs but can't without Mouth(vAk) or vocal faculty. Without Speech(Vak) he cannot be a Hotr or singer of samans. So Brahmanas are, metaphorically, born from the mouth of Veda Purusha Rudra.
The Kshatriyas are the rulers. Their primary duty is to defend the people and protect them from external forces. To do so, a Kshatriya should be physically fit. The should have "Baahu-bala:" ie., Strength in arms. Without arms he can never perform his Kshatriya dharma. So a Kshatriya is,metaphorically, said to be born from arms(Baahu) of Veda Purusha Rudra.
Regarding Veda Purusha Rudra, the Athatvana Veda ( 15:1:1-8)says
vrā́tya āsīd ī́yamāna evá sá prajā́patiṃ sám airayat ||
sá prajā́patiḥ suvárṇam ātmánn apaśyat tát prā́janayat ||
tád ékam abhavat tál lalā́mam abhavat tán mahád abhavat táj jyeṣṭhám abhavat tád bráhmābhavat tát tápo 'bhavat tát satyám abhavat téna prā́jāyata ||
sò 'vardhata sá mahā́n abhavat sá mahādevò 'bhavat ||
sá devā́nām īśā́ṃ páry ait sá ī́śāno 'bhavat ||
sá ekavrātyò 'bhavat sá dhánur ā́datta tád evéndradhanúḥ ||
nī́lam asyodáraṃ lóhitaṃ pr̥ṣṭhám ||
nī́lenaivā́priyaṃ bhrā́tr̥vyaṃ prórṇoti lóhitena dviṣántaṃ vidhyatī́ti brahmavādíno vadanti
"There was a roaming Vratya(Lord shiva as ascetic). He roused Prajapati to action. Prajapati beheld gold in himself and engendered it. That became unique, that became distinguished, that became great, that became excellent, that became Devotion, that became holy Fervour, that became Truth(satyám): through that he was born. He grew, he became great, he became Mahadeva. He gained the lordship of the Gods(devā́nām īśā́ṃ). He became Lord. He became Eka Vratya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. His belly is dark-blue(nī́lam), his back is red (lóhitaṃ).With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say."
The Hymn continues and says :
sò 'rajyata táto rājanyò 'jāyata ( AV 15-8-1)
ie., Eka Vratya was filled with passion: from him sprang the Rajanya.
The Hymn further says :
áto vái bráhma ca kṣatráṃ cód atiṣṭhatāṃ ...........( AV 15:10:3)
ie., From him(Eka Vratya), verily, sprang Priesthood(bráhma) and Royalty(kṣatráṃ).
So Atharvana Veda clearly says that the chatur-varnas spring from Lord Mahadeva who is Veda Purusha.
The Vaishyas are traders. The Vedas did not prescribe any specific duty to them. So their duty is to help Brahmanas and Kshatriyas.They should indulge in trade and strive hard for the prosperity of the kingdom. They are like pillars to the economy. The Brahmans and Kshatriyas can perform their duty only when Vaishyas provide them adequate support by providing the required goods and by paying the taxes to the Rajas.On whole, they are like pillars So they are, metaphorically, said to be born from the thighs of Purusha.
The Shudras are those who work at the grass-root level. They induge in service activities. They play very important role in economy too. Vedas did not prescribe any special duty to shudras. Their duty is to help the other varnas in performing their dharma. Without Shudras, the remaining varnas shall collapse. Since, Shudras are at grass-root level and verily like foundation they are said to be born from the feet of Purusha. Without feet, the rest of the body collapse. We cannot cannot call it as a hierarchy but It is like a classification. When Shudras are said to be born from the feet of Veda Purusha there is no offense intended.
candramā manaso jātaścakṣoḥ sūryo ajāyata |
mukhādindraścāghniśca prāṇād vāyurajāyata ||
manasa: - From his mind
candramā - was the moon
jāta - born.
cakṣoḥ - from his eyes
sūrya: - the sun was
ajāyata - born.
mukhād - From his mouth
indraśca - Indra and
aghniśca - Agni and
prāṇād - from his breath
vāyu - the wind
ajāyata - were born.
The Moon was gendered from his mind, and from his eye the Sun had birth;
Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vāyu from his breath.
Here, all Devas are said to be created from Veda Purusha Rudra. He was the origin of all gods. At the same time he himself manifests as gods.
Regarding this, Avarvana Veda says ;
tásya vrā́tyasya || yád asya dákṣiṇam ákṣy asáu sá ādityó yád asya savyám ákṣy asáu sá candrámāḥ || yò 'sya dákṣiṇaḥ kárṇo 'yáṃ só agnír yò 'sya savyáḥ kárṇo 'yáṃ sá pávamānaḥ || ahorātré nā́sike dítiś cā́ditiś ca śīrṣakapālé saṃvatsaráḥ śíraḥ || ( Atharvana Veda 15:18:1-4)
"Of that Vratya(ascetic form of Lord Shiva), The right eye is the Sun and the left eye is the Moon. His right ear is Agni and his left ear is Pavamana. Day and Night are his nostrils. Diti and Aditi are his head and skull." ( AV 15:18:1-4)
"That Supreme Self is Agni (Fire); It is Aditya (Sun); It is Vayu (Wind); It is Chandrama (Moon). That Self is the luminous stars; It is Hiranyagarbha; It is water; It is Virat. " ( Svetasvatara Upanishad IV-2)
"He, the omniscient Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect! " (Svetasvatara upanishad III-4)
nābhyā āsīdantarikṣaṃ śīrṣṇo dyauḥ samavartata |
padbhyāṃ bhūmirdiśaḥ śrotrāt tathā lokānakalpayan ||
nābhyā - from his navel
āsīd - did appear
antarikṣaṃ - space.
śīrṣṇo - From his head was
dyauḥ - the sky
samavartatat - well established.
padbhyāṃ - From his feet
bhūmi - the earth
śrotrāt - from his ears
diśaḥ - the directions
tathā - This did they
akalpayan - by mere intent, that is sankalpa, cause
lokān - the worlds.
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 formed the worlds by mere intent.
Here it is clearly stated that not only living beings but also whole material creation like sky, earth, directions and worlds are manifested by mere desire of Lord Shiva. Contrary to the beliefs of dualistic schools, the material world is also appeared from VedaPurusha Rudra.
Rigveda says Lord Rudra is the father of all worlds.
bhuvanasya pitaraṃ ghīrbhirābhī rudraṃ divā vardhayā rudramaktau
bṛhantaṃ ṛṣvamajaraṃ suṣumnaṃ ṛdhagh ghuvema kavineṣitāsaḥ (RV 6 :49:10 )
"Rudra by day, Rudra at night we honour with these our songs, the Universe's Father( bhuvanasya pitaraṃ). Him great and lofty, blissful, undecaying let us call specially as the Sage impels us "( RV 6.49.10)
Lord Rudra is not only father of the worlds but Rigveda says he is also their ruler.
sthirebhiraṅghaiḥ pururūpa ughro babhruḥ śukrebhiḥ pipiśehiraṇyaiḥ
īśānādasya bhuvanasya bhūrerna vā u yoṣad rudrādasuryam ( Rig veda 2:33:9 )
"With firm limbs, multiform, the strong, the tawny adorns himself with bright gold decorations:
The strength of Godhead never departs from Rudra, him who is Sovereign of this world(īśānādasya bhuvanasya), the mighty."
Shri Rudram of Yajurveda says Lord Rudra is 'Jagapathi'
jagatam pataye namo (Salutations to you, Lord of entire creation ) (Yaurveda iv.5.2.f)
Similarly, it also says that Lord Rudra is the Lord of all directions and he is vishwaroopa.
dishan cha pataye namo ( Salutations to Rudra who is Lord of all directions) (Yaurveda iv.5.2.a)
vishvarupebhyashcha vo namo ( Salutations to Lord Rudra who assumes universal form or vishvaroopam ) (Yaurveda iv.5.4.f)
bhavó divó bhavá īśe pr̥thivyā́ bhavá ā́ papra urv àntárikṣam
tásyai námo yatamásyāṃ diśī̀táḥ ( Atarvaveda IX-2-27)
"Bhava rules the sky(àntárikṣam), Bhava rules the earth(pr̥thivyā́); Bhava has filled the broad: atmosphere. Reverence be to him in whatever direction from here (he abides)!"
From the above verses it is clear that Lord Shiva is the father of all worlds, directions, sky, earth..etc. He is not only its father but also its sole ruler. He himself manifests as elements. He himself abides in elements.
saptāsyāsan paridhayastriḥ sapta samidhaḥ kṛtāḥ |
devāyad yajñaṃ tanvānā abadhnan puruṣaṃ paśum ||
asya - For this sacrifice
sapta - seven were
paridaya: - the sheathing logs, the fences.
tri:sapta - Thrice-seven, that is twenty one
samidhaḥ - the samit-wood firebrands
kṛtāḥ - made,
yad yajñaṃ - for the sacrifice for which
devā - the gods as
tanvānā - as performers of the sacrifice
abadhnan - bound
puruṣaṃ - the purusha
paśum - as the beast of sacrifice.
"Seven fencing-sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared,
When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Puruṣa."
sāyaṇācharya says "`aiśṭikasyāvāhavanīyasya traya: paridaya: uttaravedikāstraya: ādityaSca saptama: paridhi pratinidhi rūpa:'' i.e., Three fences are in the uttaravedi part, three in the āvāhanīya and Aditya is the seventh sheath, or fence.
So, the material creation has a framework. What is the framework ? Here it says "saptāsyāsan paridhaya" i.e., Seven were the fences. What are they ? The following are the seven things which act as a framework of creation.
1) Akasha (Space)
2) Vayu (Air)
3) Agni (Fire)
4) Apah (Water)
5) Prithivi (Earth)
6) Surya (Sun) i.e., surya signifies Bhuddi or intellect.
7) Chandra (Moon) i.e., chandra signifies Manas or mind.
Veda Purusha Rudra is the indweller of these seven fences of creation. He himself acts as 'Soul' and enters within this sevenfold framework as living beings. The vedik scriptues explains this as Ashtamurthy form of Lord Shiva. The above mentioned are the seven forms of lord shiva. The 'Atma' (Soul) and the above mentioned seven forms put together called 'Ashtamurthy'. Bhava, Sarva, Ugra, Bhima, Rudra, Pashupati, Mahadeva are the seven names of Lord Shiva associated with the above mentioned sevenfold framework. The eighth one is Ishana. He is called Ishana because he is the indweller of Living beings. Ishana is the soul of all beings.
Agni became such like because of Lord Rudra:
tamabravīdrudro 'sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodagnistadrūpamabhavadagniva rudro yadarodīttasmādrudraḥ ( Sathapatha Brahmana VI-1-3-10 )
'Thou art Rudra And because he gave him that name, Agni became such like (or, that form), for Rudra is Agni . ( Sathapatha Brahmana VI-1-3-10 )
Waters became such like because of Lord Rudra:
tamabravītsarvo 'sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodāpastadrūpamabhavannāpo vai sarvo
'dbhyo hīdaṃ sarvaṃ jāyate ( Sathapatha Brahmana VI-1-3-11)
" 'Thou art Sarva.' And because he gave him that name, the waters became suchlike, for Sarva is the waters, in as much as from the water everything (sarva) here is produced."
Vayu became such like because of Lord Rudra:
sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīt.paśu.patir.eva.iti yat.paśu.patir.vāyus.tena ( Kaushitaki Brahmana 6-2-25 )
Prajapati said 'Thou art Pasupati,' ; for Pasupati is Vayu (the Wind).
Plants and trees are also Lord Rudra:
sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.ugra.eva.deva.iti yad.ugro.deva.oṣadhayo.vanaspatayas.tena ( Kaushitaki Brahmana 6-2-37)
'Thou art Ugradeva (the fierce god),' Prajapati answered; for Ugradeva is plants and trees.
Lord Shiva himself manifests as Aditya(Sun) :
sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīn.mahān.eva.deva.iti yan.mahān.deva.ādityas.tena (Kaushitaki Brahmana 6-3-6)
i.e., Prajapati said,'Thou art Mahadeva (the great god)'; for Mahadeva is Aditya (the Sun).
Lord Shiva himself is Prajapati and Chandrama(Moon):
tannāmākaroccandramāstadrūpamabhavatprajāpatirvai candramāḥ prajāpatirvai
mahāndevaḥ ( Sathapatha brahmana 6-1-3-16)
i.e., "He said to him, 'Thou art MahaDeva(the Great God).' And because of that , the moon became suchlike, for the moon is Prajapati, and Prajapati is the mahadeva."
Lord Rudra himself is Indra:
sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.aśanir.eva.iti yad.aśanir.indras.tena ( Kaushitaki Brahmana 6-3-41)
i.e., Prajapathi said to Rudra 'Thou art Asani' ; for Asani is Indra.
Lord Rudra is sarvadeva swaroopa :
All Gods are various forms and potencies of Lord Shiva only. All gods forms the body of Lord Rudra. Regarding this Sathapatha Brahmana (IX-1-1-1) says :
"athātaḥ śatarudriyaṃ juhoti | atraiṣa sarvo 'gniḥ saṃskṛtaḥ sa eṣo 'tra rudro devatā tasmindevā etadamṛtaṃ rūpamuttamamadadhuḥ sa eṣo 'tra dīpyamāno 'tiṣṭhadannamicamānastasmāddevā abibhayuryadvai no 'yaṃ na hiṃsyāditi "
"Now offer an oblation with the 'Satarudriya'. Here this universal fire has been prepared; and here this Rudra is the deity. In him the gods placed this most excellent immortal form. Here he rose up flaming, desiring food. The gods were afraid of him, 'lest' (they thought) 'he should destroy us'."
SriRudram of Yajurveda says that Lord Rudra is the sparkling heart of all Devas.
devana hridayebhyo namah (Yaurveda iv.5.9.p) i.e., Homage to Rudra who is the sparkling hearts of the gods. (Yaurveda iv.5.9.p)
Yo rudro agnau yo apsu ya oshhadhishhu
Yo rudro vishva bhuvanaaavivesha tasmai rudraya namo astu (YajurVeda 5:5:9-i )
MEANING: The Rudra in the fire, in the waters, in the plants, the Rudra that hath entered all beings, to that Rudra be homage.
Now we understand that the creation has a framework. So, what will be offered within this sevenfold framework ? The sukta says twentyone (trisapta) are the 'samidhaḥ' i.e., the samit-wood firebrands which are offered in the sevenfold framework. So, what are those twenty-one ?
The twenty-one are :
"Pañca Tanmātrās" - or five objects (color, sound, smell, taste, touch)
"Pañca jñāna indriyas" - or five sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body)
"Pañca karma indriyas" - or five organs of action - The organs of action are hands, legs, vocal apparatus, urino-genital organ and anus.
"Pañca mahābhūtas" or five great substances - earth, water, fire, air and ether.
"Antahkarana" - which is 'manobuddhiahamkara'
so, 5+5+5+5+1 = 21.
panchamahabhutas act as both framework as well as ingredient.
yajñena yajñamayajanta devāstāni dharmāṇi prathamānyāsan |
te ha nākaṃ mahimānaḥ sacanta yatra pūrve sādhyāḥsanti devāḥ ||
yajñena - By sacrifice
devā - did the Gods
ayajanta - sacrifice
yajñam - to sacrifice.
tāni - The
dharmāṇi - associated dharmas
āsan - became
prathamāni - the first.
te mahimānaḥ - By the glory of these very dharmas
sacante - will the great ones achieve
yatra nākaṃ - that heaven where
poorve - the ones who were, before,
devāḥ - the Gods
sādhyāḥ - the achievers,
santi - are.
Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the earliest holy ordinances.
The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sādhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling.
The commentary presented above is my own.
The Padavibhajana for the mantras are adapted from the website Ramanuja.org