puruṣa पुरुष

Definition: Is the generic term for man ’ in the Rigveda and later. Man is composed of five parts accord­ing to the Atharvaveda, or of six according to the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, or of sixteen, or of twenty, or of twenty-one, or of twenty-four, or of twenty-five, all more or less fanciful enumerations. Man is the first of animals, but also essentially an animal (see Paśu). The height of a man is given in the Kātyāyana śrauta Sūtra as four Aratnis (‘cubits’), each of two Padas ('feet’), each of twelve Añgulis ('finger’s breadths’); and the term Puruṣa itself is found earlier as a measure of length. Puruṣa is also applied to denote the length of a man’s life, a ‘generation’;the * pupil ’ in the eye; and in the gram¬matical literature the * person of the verb.


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