Author Topic: The Death of Purusha (a Vedic-Pagan creation myth)  (Read 684 times)


The Death of Purusha (a Vedic-Pagan creation myth)
« on: November 09, 2019, 09:52:25 pm »

This a creation story which demonstrates the agreement of many seemingly disparate spiritual or magical perspectives. I was inspired to write this today, and after recording it I’m now sharing for the consideration of the forum. It is simple, and leaves much unsaid — but the more one knows about Vedic theology, the Hermetic worldview, Gnosticism, and Medeival Christianity, the more forcefully the implications assert themselves, at least to my mind.

This myth demonstrates how a pagan understanding can fit in with the philosophical underpinnings of Yoga, the pessimism of Gnosticism, and the “ascent of the spirit,” goal which is fundamental to the latter two and to Christianity. All four are illumined by allowing them to interplay like this. The text hints at a sophisticated understanding underneath which is difficult to pin down in philosophical terms - but I would say it is closest to Immanent Theology and Materialism in the context of Idealism (or vice versa).

Purusha is an interesting term that evolved over the many centuries of Vedic thinking. You may be familiar with its usage as “the knower,” as described the Bhagavad Gita and most commonly used since. The earliest stories of this name, however, refer to a celestial Man who was sacrificed by the gods to create the world. This is pretty much identical to the western magical concept of the Archetypal Adam, and as such this story can also be seen as an account of the fall of man in a more symbolic way than is usually given. It can also be compared to Christ who is God in the shape of man, and yet who pre-existed creation.

The speaker of the text is the Moon Goddess. In the Hermetic spirit, each god mentioned should be seen not as a planet, but as one of the principal platonic forms which governs the world. The writing is little more than an introduction, but one which could easily be followed up with an instruction of Yoga.

The Death of Purusha

In the beginning, the gods sacrificed Purusha to create existence.

I, Luna, saw him first. I offered him purification by water. Loosening doubt and regret, I gave him the resolve to face the others.

Mercury attended on him, and inscribed his dictates for the world on a stone tablet.

Venus gave herself to him, and with her he felt all that he could desire - one last time.

Sol became the heir of his light-power, and the executor of his will. He would distribute to the other gods what light and position they deserved.

Mars showed him pain, fear, and mortality. With a spear he pierced his side and drank the blood thereof.

Jupiter presided over him. He worked out the terms of his sentence, and then passed his verdict.

Saturn was the executioner. He performed all manner of black deed to corrupt and destroy his weakened form.

When it was done, the defiled body of Purusha was cast down to the depths where it would remain.

I followed close behind and cried tears over his shattered form. The others took their places according to the order in which they saw him.

Then all creation was under our power, and all things took part in the patterns of our design. But there was no unity among us, and a vicious new order formed as the result of our constant striving against one another.

Purusha’s body hardened and became the earth. There, remnants of his power mingled with the corruption of Saturn, and a new race of life was born cursed.

They looked up at the gods who ruled them, so fierce of form, and out at a miserable world which groaned under the tension of omnipresent struggle - and they wondered at their place.

Many were they who fashioned themselves after the gods of high position, partaking in their strength and glory.

Only a few hear my quiet song. My position may be the lowest, but the light-power I received from Purusha is clear and untainted.

Come to me, O children, and hear of that sacred perfection which was never destroyed and never could be.

Come, and hear what I know of Incorruptibility.

    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley


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Re: The Death of Purusha (a Vedic-Pagan creation myth)
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 10:47:00 pm »
Welcome back :)