[Advaita-l] Re: purusha sUktam & nArAyaNa sUktam

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Mar 4 09:41:02 CST 2004

On Wed, 3 Mar 2004, [iso-8859-1] Raghavendra N Kalyan wrote:

> >The purushasukta is notable in that it occurs in all four Vedas.
>  Is it that a hymn addressed to purusha occurs in all vedas or is it
> that the SAME hymn starting with "sahasra SIrshA ...." occurs in all the
> four vedas?

As far as I know it is the same one.  I know it is 10.90 in the Rgveda for

> Which uttara-nArAyana sUktam are you talking of? The purusha sUktam
> itself contains pUrva and uttara nArAyaNa portions. I was asking about
> the nArAyaNa sUktam starting with "sahasra SIrsham devam..." Are you
> talking about the same? Please clarify.

In the vajasaneyi samhita, adhyaya 31 has 22 rks devided into 2 suktas.
The first (16 rks) is called Purushasukta and the the second (6 rks) is
called Uttaranarayanasukta

But the Purushasukta begins sahasrashirShapuruShaH so I wonder if we
indeed are talking about the same thing.

> I am sorry but I did not understand the connection. The uttara-nArAyaNa
> portion of the purusha sUktam says that the wives of the purusha are hrI
> and lakshmi. I thought hrI means pArvati.

The patha in Shuklayajurveda as I learnt it is shrIshchatelakshmishchate
(31.22) Shri makes more sense.

> I have another doubt. Is the uttara-nArAyaNa portion (last six verses)
> considered as part of the purusha sUktam in the smArta tradition?

Again in the shuklayajurveda they are considered seperate suktas although
connected due to their employment in the purushamedha.  It seems in the
krishnayajurveda traditions of our south Indian members, they are
considered as one.  For instance the quote "jayamano bahudha vijayate" Dr.
Ganesh gave comes from uttaranarayanasukta (31.19)

This goes to show you in Vedic matters one should go by family tradition
not what one reads in books.

>  But aren't there some statements which do express advaita in purusha
> sUktam? Please refer to Ganesh's post and my previous post regarding
> this.

Yes and also note my post on Brahmasutra 4.4.19.  So perhaps it was too
much to say the purushasukta is not relevant to Advaita Vedanta but still
I think it is a stretch to say it represents Advaita per se.  Rather it
contains the seed of Advaita Vedanta, the ancestor of the line of thinking
that would develop into Advaita Vedanta.  But other darshans can lay claim
to it too.  Purusha is a vital principle in Samkhya.  The equation of the
body with the universe is a feature of Yoga too.

> Given a specific portion of the Sruti, how should we determine
> whether it is karma kanda or jnAna kanda? What about the nArAyaNa
> sUktam? Is it karma or jnAna kanda?

for every mantra there is a Rshi (the one who discovered it,) Chhanda
(metre it is sung in,) Devata (God it is addressed to) and viniyoga
(purpose.)  If the purpose is for ritual it is karmakanda. If the purpose
is to know Brahman it is jnanakanda.  But the line is sometimes blurry
because some ritual portions do get reinterpreted in an adhyatmic way.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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