Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(4,010 words)

The word puruṣa has a variety of meanings ranging from man (male), human being, person, and embodied immortal self to presiding deity, creator, and highest, transcendent being. In contrast to other terms used for “immortal self” (such as ātman) or cause of creation (such as brahman), the term puruṣa is less abstract and connected to notions of corporeality and personhood as well as of form (rūpa) and measurement. The ter…

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Malinar, Angelika, “Puruṣa”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 01 April 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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