The Purusha (the Supreme Being), who has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes and thousands of feet enveloped the earth on all sides and stood beyond it in the ten directions of space.
All this is the Purusha only; all that has been and all that will be. And He is the Lord of Immortality, which (also) grows by food.
Such is His greatness, but the Purusha is greater than this. All beings make up only one-quarter of Him. Three-quarters of Him which are immortal are in Heaven.
Three-quarters of the Purusha ascended high; one-quarter was here, again and again. And, diversified in form, it moved to the animate and inanimate world.
From That was born Virat (the totality of beings). From Virat was the Purusha born. As soon as He was born, He spread over the earth both in front and behind.
When the devas (gods) performed a sacrifice with the Purusha as the offering, the season of spring was the molten butter (used in all sacrifices), summer the sacred fuel and autumn the oblation.
When the devas performed the sacrifice, in which they bound the Purusha as the sacrificial animal, there were seven poles in the sacrificial enclosure and three times seven logs of sacred firewood.
They placed Him, the Sacrifice, Purusha, the firstborn, on the sacrificial grass and besprinkled Him with the sacred water. Then the devas, the sadhyas and the rishis performed the sacrifice with Him as the offering.
From that sacrifice, in which everything was offered as an oblation, was collected fresh butter. Creatures living in air (birds) and those living in forests and villages came in to being.
From that sacrifice, in which everything was offered as oblation, came the Riks (Vedic Hymns) and the Samans (Hymns which are sung - the Saama Gaana). The Chandases (Vedic Metres) came from it; and from it the Yajus (mantra for the ritual) was born.
Horses were born of it, and animals with two rows of teeth. Cows were born of it, and so were goats and sheep.
When they cut up the Purusha, into how many parts did they divide Him? What did they call His mouth, His two arms, His two thighs and His two feet?
The Brahmana was His mouth, the two arms became the Kshatriya, and His two thighs became the Vaisya. Of his two feet was the Sudra born. (This verse talks of the Varnaashrama Dharma and explains beyond doubt that all the classes of people were born out of the Supreme Being and that all are integral part of that Supreme Atman).
The moon was born of His mind. The Sun was born of His two eyes. Indra Agni were born of His mouth. Vayu was born of His Praana (life-breath).
The antariksha (middle region) came from His navel. The sky appeared out of the head, the earth from the two feet and the quarters from the two ears. Thus they created the worlds.
I know that great Purusha, lustrous as the Sun beyond darkness. The Wise One, having made all the forms appear, gave them names, and uttered these as they were.
One who knows Him whom Dhata (Creator) first revealed, and so did Sakra (Indra) who fully knew the four quarters, becomes immortal here. There is no other way.
The devas performed sacrifice with the Sacrifice. These were the first dharmas. They, the mighty ones, attained the height of Heaven where the ancient sadhyas and devas abide.