Mystic Passages – 3: Purusha Suktam (stanza 7- The Mystery of 3×7=21)


Saptāsyāsan paridhayah
trissapta samidhah kṛtāh /
dēvā ya dyajñaṃ tanvānāh
abadhnan puruṣaṃ paśuṃ //


There are 7 boundaries for this Yajña and it requires 3×7 (21) fuel sticks to perform it. In order to expand this Yajña of creation, the dēvās have held the Puruṣa tight as a slaughter beast (paṣu), ready to sacrifice.


To understand this stanza, please once again refer stanza-6 (Mystic Passages – 3: Purusha Suktam (stanza 6- The Splendors of Seasons)) so as to get more clarity on basic terminology. Also, read the whole article as a unit, because it was hard for me to express the complex and hidden import, and so, I had to digress a bit every now and then.

The last stanza introduced us the concept of dēvās and yajña. It was stated the dēvās took Puruṣa as a fire-offering material and sacrificed him for the sake of expansion of creation. The same is again being said in this stanza, with a little more detail. Just note that we will go in reverse order of this stanza to understand properly.

dēvā ya dyajñaṃ tanvānāh-abadhnan puruṣaṃ paśuṃ:

The dēvās tied the Puruṣa, very tightly, to sacrifice him into the scheme of creational expansion (Yajña). If one reads this without a proper key, one will understand it as a “killing puruṣa”. The same is true when the sacrifice of Horse or Ram is mentioned in scriptures. Sacrifice of RAM occurs in the story of ABRAHAM, in the story of Dakṣa Prajāpati, etc. (YES there is a harmonious TRUTH that reverberates through all world scriptures). Do the “Holy Scriptures” then, promote killing of animals? Do they justify the act by saying ” Its for god and hence holy” ?

A digression into Veg/Non-veg: I hardly doubt that is the case. If that is the truth, how can they be books of wisdom? How can any branch of wisdom let you harm another being, for “selfish needs”? A human being, eating an animal for the sake of living is a natural act. Though I am personally a vegetarian, I must say that if we eat veg/non-veg for sake of our “desire of palate”, then we entangle ourselves into the bondage of “killing the plant/animal”. This is natural way of things. If we eat by respecting the other life form, just as lion hunts only when hungry and does not kill when not hungry, we will not be entangled by the act of eating a life form – veg/non-veg. This was the key of ancients. An enlightened person, however, discovers that plants are conscious in dreamy state and hence feel less pain and if plucked carefully, may not feel any pain at all, unlike an animal in which a pain is localized and magnified, will choose to eat plant based diet over that of an animal. 

The symbol of RAM: At any rate, what do then, the sacrifice of RAM mean, for example? Let us take ABRAHAM or Dakṣa for instance. Who are they? They were not humans. In fact, humanity was not created then. This was all happening in the other states (the 3/4th states). They rule the properties of YEAR-Cycle and hence were called “Prajāpati or PatriarchRuler of Beings“. What rules a being? An Year CYCLE which repeats the drama over and over again until we learn that we are HE. Where does the YEAR cycle begin? As I told in stanza-6 that there are many beginnings to an year, for, it is geometrically a circle. But for the specific purpose of creational aspect, the scriptures choose “VASANTA” as the beginning of year-cycle (March-21st Equinox day). VASANTA season starts with the advent of SUN, as seen from Earth, into the constellation of “ARIES”.


(pc: Public Domain,

So, what is the specialty? Aries is one of the first FIERY signs in astrological terms, i.e., it is that sign which expresses FIRE as its nature. Now relate this with the fire offering of RAM. The YEAR-cycle starts by the entering of lord of fire i.e., SUN into AIRES/RAM is the subtle point suggested in all these sacrifices. That is why the Dakṣa was given a RAM head when the lord agreed to allow him to procreate, i.e., when the creation was intended, Aires took first position as the series of signs that would affect the beings on Earth. Its a vast subject, but without this “Astrological Key”, which is called “Eye of the Vēda“, we would stumble at many places.

The word Paṣu:  It is said that the Puruṣa was tied as a “Paṣu”. What does paṣu mean? In sanskrit, “Pāśaṃ” means a rope. “Paṣu” is that which is tied by a rope – like a goat or horse or cow etc. But, in its true sense, the sense organs, etc., are called “Pāśaṃ” as they tie the Jīva/being in this body. We exist, but only constrained by the limits of organs and senses, don’t we? Hence, Jīva is actually a paśu.

Now, let us come back to the meaning of  dēvās tying the Puruṣa as a sacrificial beast. Who are dēvās? They are the limbs of Puruṣa as we explored in stanza-6. These dēvās, when awoke, realized that they should work. Their work was to create the creation. This was done because of the already existing nature in them, but not according to their will/desire. They just follow the flow of instructions of Puruṣa. But to create, they need a substance. So, they took him as the very substance. And what did they do? They tied him it seems. They basically constrained his mode of existence by certain tools. This constraining the Puruṣa is symbolically stated as “Tying him as a sacrificial beast“. “Abadhnan” means tightly tie i.e., The Puruṣa could not move an inch! i.e., the dēvās “FIXED” the limitless puruṣa into a world of limits as Jīva.

Saptāsyāsan paridhayah-trissapta samidhah kṛtāh :

It seems that the Puruṣa is tied tightly with help of 7 layers or boundaries (Paridhayah) or the statement may also mean that this ritual has 7 layers/bundaries/stages. Any interpretation gives same meaning though. What are these layers? They are to be taken from other hymns. In essence, they are as follows:

  • Bhūlōka           (Plane of Matter)
  • Bhūvarlōka     (Etheric Plane)
  • Suvarlōka        (Plane of Consciousness)
  • Maharlōka      (Plane of Light)
  • Janalōka          (Plane of Generation)
  • Tapōlōka         (Plane of Heat-Light-Electricity-Magnetism)
  • Satyalōka        (Plane of Truth of Existence of all the six lower planes)

I took the English translation of the lōkās form Master E.K’s exposition of the Rig Vedic hymn of SUPARNA. A lōka means a world or plane of existence. Who is Puruṣa, he is the 8th one beyond the 7 planes of existence. That is why it is said that Krishna, incarnation of Puruṣa, was born as EIGHTH child to Dēvaki. (there is symbol and number every where in our scriptures, we need to just find right link). Lets go in reverse direction to understand the process of his bondage into layers.

  • He first descends from his absolute state of ONEness as the TRUTH of its existence.  How can he realize HIS existence as truth? Only when he separates himself right? This separation is depicted as Brahma’s birth and hence this is the plane of Brahma as well Satyalōka
  • From there, HE descends into the plane of divine light which stirs the Nāra/Waters of his medium (that is why we call him Nārāyaṇa=Nāra+Ayana – Movement of Waters). This movement causes friction/heat – Tapōlōka
  • This creates a potential to generate, because, a movement causes – SPACE and TIME which forms a basic matrix of creation. This generates many STAR-seeds which are capsules of visible light. These seeds sprout into stars and the stars create planets, etc. But the seed principles is what we are speaking, because physical manifestation is not yet happened – Janalōka
  • From there, HE descends into LIGHT of the stars. We think that LIGHT of star is just the photons or fluctuations of EM waves. But scriptures suggest us that this light is a compound mixture of Light of LIFE. The stories of DHRUVA (Pole star), Ādityās (Suns of our galaxy and particularly the sun of our solar system), etc., reveal such secret teachings. So, like the life in an EGG, HE descends as the LIGHT of the seed-stars – Maharlōka
  • He then awakens as the consciousness of the light of the seed STAR- i.e., a self awareness aspect. This consciousness is what is pumped from time to time from STARS. This is what affects us and this forms the basic principle of astrology. This is the reason why we owe our soul-existence to OUR SUN Suvarlōka
  • This light of consciousness descends into the creation as the “LIFE” of creation which we call “Prāṇa”. This Prāṇa forms a layer in itself and in English is often called “Etheric-Plane”. Prāṇa means pulsation — like respiration, cardiac pulsation, air’s property to compress/expand, etc., are derived from this root. So, HE descends into the Etheric plane or LIFE element of creation – Bhuvarlōka
  • Finally, HE descends as the condensed form of himself as physical creation which embodies all the above planes of existence – Bhūlōka

Do you see now how HE is descended into creation? This descend happened only because of dēvās. Agni, Varuṇa, Mātariśwa, Āditya, Garuḍa, Aświni etc., all play a role. It is equivalent to say that ONE GOD took so many roles as he descended to creation or that many aspects of his emanations tied him as the sacrificial beast in the ritual of creation using 7 layers. 

Is it enough to perform the sacrifice, that they tie Puruṣa into 7 layers tightly? NO. They needed 21 fuel sticks it seems? What are those? To understand it, we need to ask, what is a fuel stick / Samidha? A fuel stick has potential to express the fire inside. Lets say, we light a fire onto it. Is fire already”in” it or we gave fire “to” it? The fire is in it as the property of Temperature. We just gave an initiation for it to express and magnify. If it were a cold stick, would it catch fire? The phrase is wrong (catch fire), but its English, I cant help it. So, the property of objectifying this SCHEME of Creational Yajña – tying Puruṣa into 7 layers as JĪVA is a fuel stick. What are these 21 sticks?

  • On Cosmic Scale: 
    • The 12 Month-cycle(Māsa)
    • 6 Seasons (seasonal/month properties and not literal season/month per se)
    • 3 Guṇās
      • Satva
      • Rajas
      • Tamas
  • On Scale of Human:
    • 5 elements
      • Earth
      • water
      • Air
      • Fire
      • Ākāśa/Space bound
      • To be understood in their true sense and not English sense. I may write a separate article on it in near future,
    • 5 senses that allow us to perceive these elements
      • Sense of hearing
      • Sense of seeing
      • Sense of tasting
      • Sense of smelling
      • Sense of feeling by touch
    • 5 sense organs through which the perception happens
      • Ears
      • Eyes
      • Tongue
      • Nose
      • Skin
    • 5 motor organs which help interact with these elements
      • Arms
      • Legs
      • Tongue (speech)
      • Reproductive Organs
      • Excretory Organs
    • 1 MIND (The lord of all these – Indra, as they say) = 21 sticks.

So, these are the 21 fuel sticks with which the dēvās sacrificed the Puruṣa into the existence of Jīva (of the body and as of the Universe)! Is there a beautiful way to express his descent ?? Only a SEER can express such complex acts of GOD in simple terms!

AN interesting Point to Note:


There is another clue given in the stanza that 21 may also be by multiplying 7 three times (trissapta). That means, the 7 planes of existence that I mentioned before, each has 3 “MODES” of existence in itself. They are represented by Brahma, Rudra and Viishṇu in purāṇās:

  • Brahma – Mode of creation – Puruṣa descending as the respective plane
  • Viṣṇu – Mode of sustenance – Puruṣa staying as the content of that plane
  • Rudra – Mode of dissolution – Puruṣa receding in reverse order towwards his state of Absolute, at the advent of Praḷaya.

This happens to all the 7 planes. That is why it is said 3×7 and not just 21. Most of the books translate “Satya Lōka” as Absolute plane of existence. But that is wrong because, an absolute plane of existence can not have “Modes”, as it is absolute. Even the TRUTH of existence has tor recede when PURUṢA withdraws himself into himself! – like our deep sleep. This is another key note! The figure represents this exactly – Each triangle in it represents the 3-mode expression of a plane of existence. The black circle represents the LORD’s absolute existence from which this heptagon emanates with its tertiary aspects.


Thus, the Dēvās helped the Puruṣa to descend into 7 planes of existence of this creation using 21 fuel sticks and they fixated him into each plane as the content of that plane and the beings there in!

Stay tuned for further stanzas!


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