एतावानस्य महिमा अतोज्यायाँश्च पुरुषः।

पादोऽस्य विशा भूतानि त्रिपादस्यमृतं दिवि॥

etāvānasya mahimā atojyāyāśca puruṣaḥ |

pādo'sya viśā bhūtāni tripādasyamṛtaṁ divi || (I.3)

Such is His Grandeur. But in fact Puruṣa is greater even than this. The entire creation is only a quarter of His being; other three quarters are immortal in Heaven.

The universe created by Him and visible to us is just a quarter of His Grandeur. The rest is invisible to us, beyond our reach and remains as immortal. There is subtle conveyance through one quarter and three quarters. One quarter, which is universe manifested in the form of names and forms. But the other three quarters comprise of sat, cit and ānanda (saccidānanda – existence, consciousness and bliss). In other words, the cosmos created by Him is just one fourth of Him and the balance is present in Himself.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (X.42), “It is enough to say that I stand holding the entire universe by a fraction of My yogic power.”

Pañcadaśī (II.55) says, “Creation is only quarter of Brahman; the other three quarters are self-revealing. Self-revealing means that it does not depend upon Māyā (His own Power).” Māyā covers only one fourth of Puruṣa’s Grandeur, leading to the formation of Cosmos. The source of creation is called Mahat. Mahat means abundance. It also refers to the buddhi, or Intellect, or the intellectual principle. (according to the Sāṃkhya philosophy the second of the twenty three principles produced from Prakṛti and so called, as the great source of ahaṃkāra, 'self-consciousness' (ego), and manas, 'the mind'.)

There is yet another subtle conveyance. This Absolute form is also called parāvāc form. This parāvāc is primeval stage. The sound in this stage can be called as a seed that has not yet germinated. When the seed begins its germination, the stage is called paśyantī.  At this stage the seed has the desire to grow. The stem becomes visible and the seed is set to commence its journey of growth. Though it is known for certain that there is going to be a tree at a future date, one does not know how the tree would be, big or small, fruit bearing or barren etc. When the sapling grows to a certain height, one is able to see its leaves, he will be able to identify what type of tree that would be. This stage is called madhyamā. The sapling further grows to become a tree, when one is able to see its flowers and fruits. He is able to recognize the nature of this seed totally now. The complete form of the tree is known at this stage. This is called vaikharī stage. These three stages originated from the form of the Absolute, the seed in this example. Absolute form is called as parāvāc. Parā mean the highest form or the supreme form and vāc means sound. Parāvāc means the supreme form of sound. From this parā form or the seed form sound germinates, grows and yields words. Out of these four stages of sound, three remain within the body and only vaikharī is delivered to the world. This explains that the universe created by Him and visible to us is just a quarter of His Grandeur, which is vaikharī here.

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (II.ii.5) gives another subtle conveyance. “Puruṣa is resting everything, the heaven, the earth and antarikṣa (the intermediate space between heaven and earth), as well as the mind with life and the sense organs.” This means that the beings represent a quarter and heaven, the earth and antarikṣa represent three quarters.

This is also explained by Brahma Sūtra (III.ii.23) which says tadvyaktamāha hi (तद्व्यक्तमाह हि).  This means “That Brahman is un-manifest”.  This is further explained as ‘It is not comprehended through the eye, or through speech, or through other senses.  Nor is it attained through austerity or karma.  It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived’.

त्रिपादूर्ध्व उदैत्पुरुषः पादोऽस्येहा भवत् पुनः।

ततो विश्वङ् व्यक्रामत् साश्नानशने अभि॥

tripādūrdhva udaitpuruṣaḥ pādo'syehā bhavat punaḥ |

tato viśvaṅ vyakrāmat sāśnānaśane abhi || (I.4)

Three fourths of that Puruṣa (Brahman) rises above the heaven. One fourth is still here, the earth. Then He starts spreading in all directions towards those who eat and those who do not eat.

This verse and the previous verse should be treated as one, as both of them convey the same meaning, but from different perspective. In the previous verse, it is seen that He pervades heaven, the earth and antarikṣa. This verse says that He pervades beyond the heaven. But a part of His (quarter of Him) repeatedly appears in the earth and manifests as both sentient and insentient or eating and non-eating existences. Thus, the entire universe is nothing but Puruṣa only. Punaḥ means again; Brahman creates the universe again and again after every deluge. When the universe is dissolved unto Brahman reappears again and again and this process is called pralaya.

Therefore, it does not mean that Puruṣa is just limited to heaven. He is much beyond that and that is why He is called omnipresent. Nārāyaṇa Sūktam says, “अन्तर्बहिश्च तत्सर्वं व्याप्य नारायणः स्थितः antarbahiśca tatsarvaṁ vyāpya nārāyaṇaḥ sthitaḥ” which means that Nārāyaṇa (Puruṣa) prevails internally and externally encompassing everything. This goes to prove that He is not just in Heaven or beyond, but He is present everywhere and what we see with our biological eyes is only a minuscule of His Grandeur.