Can Somebody explain me, what are the four Quarters of Purusha? As mentioned in the Sukta, I've been searching for a valid concrete answer for a long time, However I've personally come to certain conclusions(I maybe wrong). That सोऽयमात्मा चतुष्पात्- That Atman has four Quarters, a verse from Mandukya Upanishad, As Atman is Interchangeably referred as Purusha in the Upanishads, So maybe Vaishvanara, Taijasa, Praajna, And Turiya must be the four Quarters. To make my conclusions I refer some reference of Rangaramanuja muni's Bhashya

Please Refer from the Screenshot here:-

enter image description here


यद्वा भगवद्व्यूहाभिप्राय पादोस्य विश्वा भूतानित्यादि

Translation :- Herein is the shloka from "पादोस्य विश्वा भूतानि" and rest(related to four Quarters of Purusha) are referring to the four Vyuha forms of the Lord.

I also refer some verses from the rîg vèdic Sämänya Vèdänta ūpanishad called Müdgala ūpanishad.

Please Refer from the Screenshot here:-

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महापुरुष आत्मानं चतुर्धा कृत्वा त्रिपादेन परमे व्योम्नी चासीत् to स च पादनारायणो जगत्स्रष्टुं प्रकृतिमजनयत्

Translation :- The Great Purusha having divided himself into fourfold Quarters the rest three shines in the celestial empyrean's to and he (Aniruddha) the Fourth Quarter form of Narayan creates the world by forebearing Prakriti.

In both of these reference it concludes that fourth Quarter of Purusha is the fourth Vyuha form of Narayana - Aniruddha, who then Creates the Manifest world by forebearing Prakriti, While the rest three vyuha's are the rest three quarters of the supreme purusha.

Now Here we too see, that there are citations of some pänchrätra ägama's that Four Vyuhas forms of Näräyañ also represent the four states of Ätmä.

And also Please refer the screenshot here

enter image description here

Here there's a line that says:-

अस्य व्यूहवासदेवस्य परवासुदेवेन समस्तप्रणवरूपेणातिसन्निकृष्टैक्यसूचनार्थमोङ्कार इति समस्तनिर्देश

Translation :- Hereby is advised that Paravasudeva's all Vyuha forms are perceived as one with (The Four Phases with four respective Vyuhas's) of Omkara. ~ Rangaramanuja muni's Mandukyopnishat Bhashya.

So my question is:-

  • Are really the four Quarters of Purusha as mentioned in the Purusha Sukta are the four Quarters of Atma, As They're referred and correlated by the same entities--->The Vyuha's of lord Vishnu ? From a Bhashya reference and even from a Upanishad(Which Also marks it's presence in Muktika list).

  • If so, but then the Sukta says that Manifest world which forms the fourth Quarter of Purusha, Only gets created and desolated again and again, while the rest three quarters shines above as Immortal spiritual realms, but on the contrary, in four quarters of Atman the first two(viz Vishva and Taijasa) gets created and desolated again and again, especially Taijasa, as per our daily experiences.

  • 1
    Please use OCR and copy the text from images into text. Images are blocked in some browsers and imgur is blocked in some countries. Posting only images confuses users and they are low quality. Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 3:23
  • @Sarvabhouma I'm new here could you guide me what's an OCR and what to do with the Images? Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 3:41
  • 1
    Sure Read Use OCR to post questions and answers from PDFs which are not text searchable. OCR means Optical character recognition. You can convert the text in the images you uploaded and write normally. Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 3:48
  • @IndranilAmalDutta not sure about the right answer but from what I understand, the three quarters may actually refer to the Spiritual Creation as talked about by Gaudiya Vaishnavas while the fourth part is the material creation which begins with the appearance of Karanodakshayi Vishnu Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 9:41
  • @Keshav Srinivasan dear, I would like to hear your answer. Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 2:26

1 Answer 1


So you have extensively given references from a specific interpretation of "vyuhas" according to Pāñcarātra theology in your question.

But since you have not asked specifically for an explanation from the point of view of Pāñcarātra, I will answer from the point of view of generally accepted Vedic tradition, as seen in Sāyaṇācārya's commentary.

There is another similar quantitative statement in the Purusha Suktam verse 1:

अत्यतिष्ठद् दशाङ्गुलम्

He stood above (or beyond) by a gap of ten cubits

Obviously the sense of this is not to be taken literally. Sayana says:

’सः’ पुरुषः ’भूमिं’ ब्रह्माण्डगोलकरूपां ’विश्वतः’ सर्वतः ’वृत्वा’ परिवेष्ट्य ’दशाङ्गुलं’ दशाङ्गुलपरिमितं देशं ’अत्यतिष्ठद्’ अतिक्रम्य व्यवस्थितः । दशाङ्गुलमित्युपलक्षणम् । ब्रह्माण्डाद्बहिरपि सर्वतो व्याप्यावस्थित इत्यर्थः ।

He having enveloped the earth from all sides, is present outside of the earth by a gap of ten cubits. Here the "ten cubits" is a metaphor. It means he is present everywhere, even outside of the universe.

Similarly, the quantitative description of "one quarter and three quarters" is metaphorical.

पादोऽस्य विश्वा भूतानि त्रिपादस्यामृतं दिवि

One quarter of him is all the creatures, three quarters of him are immortal in heaven


’अस्य’ पुरुषस्य ’विश्वा’ सर्वाणि भूतानि कालत्रयवर्तीनि प्राणिजातानि ’पादः’ चतुर्थोऽंशः । ’अस्य’ पुरुषस्य अवशिष्टं ’त्रिपात्’ स्वरूपं ’अमृतम्’ विनाशरहितं सत् ’दिवि’ द्योतनात्मके स्वप्रकाशस्वरूपे व्यवतिष्ठत इति शेषः । यद्यपि ’सत्यं ज्ञानमनन्तं ब्रह्म’ इत्याम्नातस्य परब्रह्मण इयत्ताभावात् पादचतुष्टयं निरूपयितुमशक्यं तथापि जगदिदं ब्रह्मस्वरूपापेक्षया अल्पमिति विवक्षितत्वात् पादत्वोपन्यासः ।

Of the Purusha, all creatures going through the three states of time, are one-quarter. Of him, the remaining 'three-quarters' are his nature, which is immortal and exists in "heaven" i.e. in his own self-luminous nature. Although it is impossible to attribute Brahman a division into 4 quarters due to the impossibility of quantifying Brahman as seen in the scriptural reference, "Brahman is existence, knowledge and infinite"; the intention of describing "quarters" is to emphasize the smallness of the universe in comparison to the nature of Brahman.

So, in conclusion, these are poetical metaphors. To attribute all kinds of later theories onto it would be to stretch the natural meaning and context.

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