The Rig Veda/Mandala 10/Hymn 90

Translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith

1. A THOUSAND heads hath Purusa, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet.
     On every side pervading earth he fills a space ten fingers wide.
2. This Purusa is all that yet hath been and all that is to be;
     The Lord of Immortality which waxes greater still by food.
3. So mighty is his greatness; yea, greater than this is Purusa.
     All creatures are one-fourth of him, three-fourths eternal life in heaven.
4. With three-fourths Purusa went up: one fourth of him again was here.
     Thence he strode out to every side over what cats not and what cats.
5. From him Viraj was born; again Purusa from Viraj was born.
     As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward o'er the earth.
6. When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Purusa as their offering,
     Its oil was spring, the holy gift was autumn; summer was the wood.
7. They balmed as victim on the grass Purusa born in earliest time.
     With him the Deities and all Sadhyas and Rsis sacrificed.
8. From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up.
     He formed the creatures of-the air, and animals both wild and tame.
9. From that great general sacrifice Rcas and Sama-hymns were born:
     Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth from it.
10. 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.
11. When they divided Purusa how many portions did they make?
     What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?
12. The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rajanya made.
     His thighs became the Vaisya, from his feet the Sudra was produced.
13. The Moon was gendered from his mind, and from his eye the Sun had birth;
     Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vayu from his breath.
14. Forth from his navel came mid-air the sky was fashioned from his head
     Earth from his feet, and from his car the regions. Thus they formed the worlds.
15. Seven fencing-sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared,
     When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Purusa.
16. Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the earliest holy ordinances.
     The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sidhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling.