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Purusha ( Sanskrit, पुरुष) is a complex concept whose meaning evolved in Vedic and Upanishadic times. Depending on source and historical timeline, it means the cosmic man or Self, Consciousness, and Universal principle.

In early Vedas, Purusa meant a cosmic man whose sacrifice by the gods created all life. This was one of many creation theories discussed in the Vedas. The idea parallels Norse Ymir, with the myth's origin in Proto-Indo-European religion.

In the Upanishads, the Purusa concept no longer meant a being or cosmic man. The meaning evolved to an abstract essence of Self, Spirit and the Universal Principle that is eternal, indestructible, without form and all pervasive. The Purusa concept is explained with the concept of Prakrti in the Upanishads. The universe is envisioned, in these ancient Sanskrit texts, as a combination of perceivable material reality and non-perceivable, non-material laws and principles of nature. Material reality, or Prakrti, is everything that has changed, can change and is subject to cause and effect. Purusa is the Universal principle that is unchanging, uncaused but is present everywhere and the reason why Prakrti changes, evolves all the time and why there is cause and effect. Purusa is what connects everything and everyone, according to various schools of Hinduism.

There is a diversity of views within various schools of Hinduism about the definition, scope and nature of Purusa.

Usage examples of "purusha".

It is that which on every level of consciousness becomes the Purusha, the Prakriti and the personalities of Nature.

Not only must you separate yourself, but the Purusha must become the calm and passive witness.

That calm is the Purusha consciousness watching the action of Prakriti—nature.

In order to find this Purusha consciousness you have to reject everything in the lower nature, i.

If he wants to prepare himself he can practise the separation of Purusha and Prakriti.

That is to say, you should have the constant experience of the Purusha Consciousness.

But what I call essential purity can be attained by making the basis of peace firm and establishing the whole consciousness in the Purusha firmly.

When one is firmly established in the Purusha consciousness then one has also got a basis for purity because the Purusha is "ever-pure", Nitya Suddha .

Once one is established in the Purusha consciousness the Prakriti —nature—automatically begins to get purified.

The man seeking the higher divine life, the seeker after divine Consciousness and the Truth,—who is Purusha,—if he meets the woman of the right type, the woman who is his Shakti.

The first step has been given to you : you must learn to separate yourself as the Purusha, and took unmoved at all the play of nature in you.

There is also possible a relation of Purusha and Shakti between man and woman.

In India it comes up with the figure of Purusha, the reflection of whose body is the universe.