Purusha Suktam - A Hymn to Lord Rudra
Courtesy: http://hara-hara-mahadev.blogspot.in...udra-also.html
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 VedaPurusha Rudra.

The Kshatriyas are the rulers. Their primary duty is to defend the people and protect them from external forces. To do so, a Kshatriyashould 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 ||
sň 'vardhata sá mahā́n abhavat sá mahādevň 'bhavat ||
sá devā́nām īśā́ṃ páry ait sá ī́śāno 'bhavat ||
sá ekavrātyň 'bhavat sá dhánur ā́datta tád evéndradhanúḥ ||
nī́lam asyodáraṃ lóhitaṃ pr̥ṣṭhám ||
nī́lenaivā́priyaṃ bhrā́tr̥vyaṃ prórṇoti lóhitena dviṣántaṃ vidhyatī́ti brahmavādíno vadanti

Meaning :

"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 :

sň 'rajyata táto rājanyň '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 andKshatriyas 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 ofPurusha. 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 || yň 'sya dákṣiṇaḥ kárṇo 'yáṃ só agnír yň '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 ŕntárikṣam
tásyai námo yatamásyāṃ diśī̀táḥ ( Atarvaveda IX-2-27)

"Bhava rules the sky(ŕntárikṣam), 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.

To be Cont'd