Verse 2 – Purusa is Lord of Immortality

Verse 2 – Purusa is Lord of Immortality

We saw in the first verse of Purusasukta that Purusa was described as all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere-present.  We then raised the question whether Purusa could be Yeshu Satsang (Jesus Christ) and embarked on a journey through Purusasukta with this question in mind.  So we come to the second verse of the Purusasukta which continues to describe the Man Purusa in very unusual terms. Here is the Sanskrit transliteration and the English translation (The sanskrit transliterations have come from studying the book Christ in the Ancient Vedas by Joseph Padinjarekara (346 pp. 2007)).

Second verse of Purusasukta

English TranslationSanskrit Transliteration
Purusa is all this universe, what has been and what will be.  And he is the Lord of immortality, which he provides without food [natural substance]Purusa evedam sarvam yadbhutam yacca bhavyam utamrtatvasyesano yadannenatirohati

Qualities of Purusa

Purusa is superior to the universe (the whole extent of space and matter) and is Lord of Time (‘what has been and will be’) as well as ‘Lord of immortality’ – eternal life. There are many gods in Hindu mythology but none are given such infinite qualities.

These are such awe inspiring attributes that they can only belong to the one true God – the Lord of Creation itself. This would be Prajapati of Rg Veda (synonymous with Yahweh of the Hebrew Old Testament). Thus this man, Purusa, can only be understood as an incarnation of this one God – Lord of all Creation.

But even more pertinent for us is that Purusa ‘provides’ this immortality (eternal life) to us. He does so not using natural substance, ie. He does not use natural processes or natural matter/energy of the universe in the granting or giving of eternal life. We are all under the curse of death and karma. This is the futility of our existence from which we long to escape and for which we work so hard in doing pujas, bathings and other ascetic practices. If there is even a small chance that this is true and that Purusa has both the power and the desire to grant immortality it would be wise to at least become more informed about this.

Compared to Rsis of Veda Pusthakam (Bible)

With this in mind let us consider one of the oldest sacred writings in human history. It is found in the Hebrew Testament (called the Old Testament of the Bible or Veda Pusthakam). This book, like the Rg Veda, is a collection of oracles, hymns, history and prophecy from many different Rsis who though they breathed long ago, they lived and wrote in different eras of history. So the Old Testament is best thought of as a collection or library of different inspired writings combined into a book. Most of the writings of these Rsis were Hebrews and thus are descendants of the great Rsi Abraham who lived about 2000 BC. However there is one writing, written by the Rsi Job who lived earlier than Abraham. There is yet no Hebrew nation when he lived. Those who have studied Job estimate that he lived about 2200 BC, over 4000 years ago.

…In Book of Job

In his sacred book, called Job after his name, we find him saying the following to his companions:

I know that my Redeemer lives,

and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

And after my skin has been destroyed,

yet in my flesh I will see God;

I myself will see him

with my own eyes—I, and not another.

How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)

Job speaks of a coming ‘Redeemer’. We know that Job looks to the future because the Redeemer ‘will’ (ie in future tense) stand upon the earth. But this Redeemer still ‘lives’ in the present – though not on earth. So this Redeemer, like Purusa in this verse of Purusasukta, is Lord of Time because his existence is not bounded in time like ours is.

Job then declares that ‘after my skin has been destroyed’, (i.e. after his death) he will see ‘him’ (this Redeemer) and at the same time ‘see God’. In other words this coming Redeemer is God Incarnate, just as Purusa is the Incarnation of Prajapati. But how can Job see Him after his own death? And just to make sure that we did not miss this point Job declares that ‘with my own eyes -I and not another’ will see this Redeemer standing on the earth. The only explanation for this is that this Redeemer has provided immortality to Job and he is anticipating the day when this Redeemer, who is God, is walking the earth and has provided immortality to Job so that he also is again walking the earth and seeing the Redeemer with his own eyes. This hope has so captivated Job that his ‘heart yearns within’ him in the anticipation of this day.  It was a mantra that transformed him.

…and Isaiah

The Hebrew Rsis also spoke of a coming Man that sounds very similar to this description of Purusa and the Redeemer of Job. Isaiah was one such Rsi who lived approximately 750 BC. He wrote several oracles under divine inspiration. Here is how he described this coming Man:

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—

2 The people walking in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death

a light has dawned….

6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:1-2,6)

In other words The Rsi Isaiah is foreseeing and announcing the birth of a son and this son ‘will be called … Mighty God’. This news will be particularly helpful to those ‘living in the land of the shadow of death’. What does this mean? Our lives are lived knowing we cannot escape our coming death and the karma that rules us. So we literally live ‘in the shadow of death’. Thus this coming Son, who will be called ‘Mighty God’, will be a great light or hope to those of us who live in the shadow of our coming death.

…and Micah

Another Rsi, Micah, who lived at the same time as Isaiah (750 BC) also had a Divine Oracle about this coming person. He wrote:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

though you are small among the clans of Judah,

out of you will come for me

one who will be ruler over Israel,

whose origins are from of old,

from ancient times. (Micah 5:2)

Micah said that a Man would come out of the city of Bethlehem in the region of Ephrathah where the clan of Judah (i.e. the Jews) lived. What is absolutely unique about this Man is that though he ‘will come’ out of Bethlehem at a certain time in history, he pre-existed this origin since the beginning of time. Thus, like Verse 2 of Purusasukta, and like the Coming Redeemer of Job, this Man will not be bound by time like we are. He will be Lord of Time. This is a Divine ability, not a human one, and thus they are all referring to the same person.

Fulfilled in Yeshu Satsang (Jesus Christ)

But who is this Person? Micah here gives us an important historical clue. The coming Person would come out of Bethlehem. Bethlehem is a real city which has existed for thousands of years in what today is called Israel/West Bank. You can Google it and see it on a map. It is not a big city, and never has been. But it is famous the world over and is yearly in the global news. Why? Because this is the birthplace of Jesus Christ (or Yeshu Satsang). This is the city he was born in 2000 years ago.  Isaiah gave us another clue because he said this person would impact Galilee.  And though Yeshu Satsang (Jesus Christ) was born in Bethlehem (as foreseen by Micah), he grew up and ministered as a teacher in Galilee, as Isaiah had predicted.  Bethlehem as his birthplace and Galilee as his place of ministry are two of the most well known aspects of the life of Yeshu Satsang (Jesus Christ).  So here we see predictions from different Rsis becoming fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ (Yeshu Satsang).  Could it be that Yeshu is this Purusa/Redeemer/Ruler that these ancient Rsis foresaw?  Given that answering this question could be the key that unlocks how we who live in the ‘shadow of death’ (and karma) may be given ‘immortality’ it certainly is worth our time to consider. So we continue our investigation as we move further through Purusasukta and compare it with the Rsis of the Hebrew Veda Pusthakam.