The Purusha Suktam
The Vedic Hymn on the Supreme Being
The Purusha Suktam is an ancient Rig Vedic hymn.
The central theme of the Purusha Suktam
The Purusha in the title of the Purusha Suktam refers to the Parama Purusha or Brahman. He pervades everything conscious and unconscious. He is the source of all creation. It describes this form of His, as having countless heads, eyes, manifested everywhere, beyond any comprehension.
The Purusha Sukta holds that the world is created by and out of a Yagna or exchange of the Purusha. All forms of existence are held to be grounded in this primordial Yajna. All the creations form only a quarter (part of) Him. The three-quarter part of His, which is eternal, is established in the spiritual domain.
The most commonly used portion of the Sukta contains 24 mantras or stanzas. The first 18 mantras are designated as the Purvanarayana and the rest as the Uttaranarayana. The mantras when properly chanted generate positive spiritual force. The concept of the Purusha is from the Samkhya Philosophy
What is a Suktam or Sukta
A Suktam is a Vedic hymn in praise of the deity. A Sukta is composed of “Riks” or verses. The whole of the Rig Veda is in form of verses, known as Rik. Thus the collection (Samhita) of Riks is known as Rigveda-Samhita.
The Rigveda Samhita is classified into ten books called Mandalas. Each Mandala is divided into several sections called Anuvakas. Each Anuvaka consists of a number of hymns called Suktas and each Sukta is made up of a number of verses called Riks.
A Sukta is a group of Mantras. The number of Mantras in a Sukta is not fixed. Some Suktas have a small number of Mantras while others have a large number of Mantras. It is important to note that every Sukta has a seer i.e. Rishi, a deity i.e. Devata and a metre i.e. Chandas .
The Samhita of the Rigveda comprises 10 Mandalas, 85 Anuvakas, 1028 Suktas and 10552 Mantras. In the Rig Veda the Purusha Suktam is the 90th Suktam of its 10th Mandala with 16 Mantrams
Resources to learn to chant the Purusha Suktam perfectly (Clickable Links)