Purusha (Sanskrit, m., पुरुष, puruṣa, male, man, mankind, person, original soul ) is a central concept in Indian Mythology and Indian philosophy, especially in the Samkhya philosophy. In this dualistic notion is Purusha ( spirit man ) as opposed to Prakriti (nature, primordial matter ). After a creation myth in the Rigveda Purusha is the primal man, of whose body emerges the world in a self-sacrifice.

Purusha in Indian literature

The oldest evidence is found in the Rigveda ( RV.10.90 ), the so-called Purusha - Sukta, which also describes the emergence of the box. Purusha is a Urindividuum from which the world and the varnas (castes) arise. Purusha is described with a thousand heads and a thousand feet. He covered the earth completely and still towered beyond. He is regarded as the ruler of immortality. He grew and through self- conception. He dismissed the Viraj ( female principle of creation ) off and then let her out of the world to give birth. The so -born Purusha bring the gods as a sacrifice dar. In this sacrifice the verses and songs were created. The horses and cows were born. The mouth of Purusha became the Brahmins, the arms of the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the legs to the feet to the Shudras. The moon from his eyes the sun was born from his mind. Indra and Agni came out of his mouth. From his head the sky, from his navel the universe was created.

In the pre-classical, dualistic Samkhya, Purusha is the original soul, the eternal, metaphysical world spirit, which is immutable. Purusha is in contrast to the female imaginary Prakriti (Nature), the world of phenomena. You put the original soul and the primordial matter over as husband and wife and led their difference from this dichotomy ago. Prakriti is the female and therefore the creative and birthing principle. Purusha is the man, his nature is to look at, to look and see. Purusha and Prakriti are the two different principles on which the world is returned.

In the classical system of Samkhya, the world is attributed to two eternal principles. These are the unconscious, active primordial nature ( Prakriti ) on the one hand and the large number of mentally conscious, individual Geistmonaden ( Purusha ) on the other. As in the empirical world a variety of individuals exist, the philosophy of Samkhya is based on an infinite number of Geistmonaden. The Purusha is pure consciousness in its essence, an eternal subject that can never be the object. It delights in the play of the unfolding Prakriti.

In the Bhagavad Gita, the Purusha is both a cause of the things in the world as well as support of the unchangeable, which is outside the world. In addition, spoken by a Purushottama, the heavens and earth and the world in between permeates and embraces. So it is said in the verses from 15.16 to 15.18: Two Purushas are in the world: one of the things was, The other like a rock constantly insists unshakable. But another is greater still, it is called the Supreme Self, The world this whole three bears, pervaded as Lord and spans. More than the convertible spirit I am. Therefore, in speech and writing It praises me as the Most High.

In the monistic Vedanta philosophy of the Purusha is identical to Atman ( soul world ) and thus also with Brahman.

In the Shivaite texts ( eg Lingapurana ) Shiva is placed as the highest being about Purusha and Prakriti. Shiva's male aspect is identified with the Purusha and the female aspect of the Prakriti. Prakriti is seen as the foundation of all material and all dynamic in the universe. The Prakriti is considered to be his wife, the Purusha as his lingam. Iconography Shiva as Purusha, as Uma - Maheswara referred; the person sitting on his left leg Uma is seen as Prakriti, ie father and mother of creation.

The word Purusha is also used in the composite terms Purushottama or Para- Purusha. There is here a name for the One Mind, the Supreme Soul, the Divine Itself, the Divine person. It stands on the mutable ( Kshara ) and the unchangeable ( Akshara ) (see section Bhagavadgita ). The Vastu Purusha - Mandala ( Vastu: earth on which is built ) is the representation of the cosmological order and a basic principle of Indian architecture.

Related Purusha notions of a primitive man

The myth of Purusha, as it is described for the first time in the Rig Veda, has parallels in other parts of Asia. All myths have in common, among other things, that the sun was born from the eyes of primitive man. In Cambodia and Vietnam, there was the idea that Buddha had created the world from the body of Banio called giants. Its skull was the sky, whose flesh was the earth, his bones evolved into rocks and mountains and the hair to plants.

With the spread of Buddhism reached a number of ideas of Indian mythology also to Central Asia. The Kalmyks know a primitive man Manzaschiri ( name derived from the bodhisattva Manjushri ). From his veins, the trees went out of his internal organs was the fire from his flesh the earth, from his bones the iron from his blood the water from his hair the grass, his eyes the sun and moon, from his teeth the seven planets and out of his back went out the other stars. The Chinese World Creator Pangu created at the end of his life out of itself the world. His breath became the wind, his voice thunder, his left eye to the sun, the right was the moon, his blood showed the rivers, his hair again plants his saliva the rain and adhering to it vermin humanity.

A distant resemblance to the giant Ymir in Norse mythology. The narrative Grímnismál includes the cosmogony and describes how Ymir was killed, so that his flesh the earth, his bones the mountains, the blood, the water, his hair the trees, the clouds his brain and his skull created the heavens. Influences from Central Asia are possible. Another derivation relates the Norse saga on the Slavonic Book of Enoch, in which the eight primary bodies are enumerated, which make up the body of Adam. The traditional in several variants list outlines the most common: earth will become flesh, stones to bones, the sea water gives blood, sun arise the eyes, the cloud into the thoughts and the wind becomes Adams breath. Is missing here the origin of Adam's skull, which may have originated as in Buddhist myth and the Purusha, from the firmament barely. Whether and in what way the older myth of the Asian primitive man has found to the west, is not known.