the discernment of the Tathagatas, like a fire ablaze in the night, giving light, giving eyes, to those who come, subduing their doubt.
Buddhists always wonder about what Buddha meant on the Mahapurisa. Lord Buddha
is always called Mahapurusha (Mahapurisa Sutta) and has 32 signs (Lakkhana) of the Great Man.
The concept of the Purusha is first found in the Rig Veda verses in the Purusha Sukta, where God
becomes man (and in the Upanishads, humanity by destroying evil through meditation becomes God -- Aham Brahmasmi).
Where there is no longer a difference between God and Man.
This concept is NOT denied by Lord Buddha -- Buddha clarifies the meaning of the Vedic Purusha --
HE IS THE MAHAPURUSHA and he gladly shows brahmins his 32 Marks of the Mahapurusha:
Buddhaghosa says (MA.ii.761) that when the time comes for the birth of a Buddha, the Suddhávása Brahmás
visit the earth in the guise of brahmins and teach men about these bodily signs as forming part of the Vedic teaching so that
thereby auspicious men may recognize the Buddha. On his death this knowledge generally vanishes. He defines a Mahápurisa as
one who is great owing to his panidhi, samádána, ñána and karuná. A Mahápurisa can be happy in all conditions of climate.
1 Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying in Anatha,pindika’s Park in
Jeta’s Grove near Savatthī. Who is a great man? 2 Then the venerable Sariputta approached the Blessed One
and saluted him. Having saluted the Blessed One, he sat down at one side. Seated thus at one side, the venerable Sariputta
said this to the Blessed One: 3a “‘Great man, great man,’ it is said, venerable sir. How, venerable
sir, is one a great man?” “One who has a liberated mind, I say, Sariputta, is a great man. One who has an unliberated
mind is not a great man, I say.
The Following section perfectly describes Lord Buddha and his teachings: Truly
Buddha Fulfills Vedic teachings and completes the understanding!
Mahabharata 12 Santi Parva: SECTION CCCLII
'Brahma said,--'Listen, O son, as to how that Purusha is indicated. He is eternal and immutable. He
is undeteriorating and immeasurable. He pervades all things. 1 O best of all creatures, that Purusha cannot be seen by thee, or me, or others. Those that are endued
with the understanding and the senses but destitute of self-restraint and tranquility of soul cannot obtain a sight of him.
The Supreme Purusha is said to be one that can be seen with the aid of knowledge alone. Though divested of body, He dwells
in every body. Though dwelling, again, in bodies, He is never touched by the acts accomplished by those bodies. He is my Antaratma
(inner soul). He is thy inner soul. He is the all-seeing Witness dwelling within all embodied creatures and engaged in marking
their acts. No one can grasp or comprehend him at any time. The universe is the crown of his head. The universe is his arms.
The universe is his feet. The universe is
his eyes. The universe is his nose. Alone and single, he roves through all Kshetras (Bodies) unrestrained
by any limitations on his will and as he likes. Kshetra is another name for body. And because he knows all Kshetras as also
all good and bad deeds, therefore he, who is the soul of Yoga, is called by the name of Kshetrajna. 1 No one succeeds in perceiving how he enters into embodied creatures and how he goes out of them. Agreeably
to the Sankhya mode, as also with the aid of Yoga and the due observance of the ordinances prescribed by it, I am engaged
in thinking of the cause of that Purusha, but alas, I am unable to comprehend that cause, excellent as it is. I shall,
however, according to the measure of my knowledge, discourse to thee upon that eternal Purusha and his Oneness and supreme
greatness. The learned speak of him as the one Purusha. That one eternal Being deserves the appellation of Mahapurusha (the
great supreme Purusha). Fire is an element, but it may be seen to blaze up in a thousand places under thousand different
circumstances. The Sun is one and single, but his rays extend over the wide universe. Penances are of diverse kinds, but they
have one common origin whence they have flowed. The Wind is one, but it blows in diverse forms in the world. The great
Ocean is the one parent of all the waters in the world seen under diverse circumstances. Divested of attributes, that one
Purusha is the universe displayed in infinitude. Flowing from him, the infinite universe enters into that one Purusha again
who transcends all attributes, when the time of its destruction comes. By casting off the consciousness of body and the senses,
by casting off all acts good and bad, by casting off both truth and falsehood, one succeeds in divesting oneself of attributes.
The person who realises that inconceivable Purusha and comprehends his subtile existence in the quadruple form of Aniruddha,
Pradyumna, Sankarshana, and Vasudeva, and who, in consequence of such comprehension, attains to perfect tranquillity of heart,
succeeds in entering into and identifying himself with that one auspicious Purusha. Some persons possessed of learning speak
of him as the supreme soul. Others regarded him as the one soul. A third class of learned men describe him as the soul. 2The truth is that he who is the Supreme Soul is always divested of attributes. He is Narayana. He
is the universal soul, and he is the one Purusha.He is never affected by the fruits of acts even as the leaf of the
lotus is never drenched by the water one may throw upon it. The Karamta (acting Soul) is different. That Soul is sometimes
engaged in acts and when it succeeds in casting off acts attains to Emancipation or
identity with the Supreme Soul. The acting Soul is endued with the seven and ten possessions. 1 Thus it is said that there are innumerable kinds of Purushas in due order. In reality, however, there
is but one Purusha. He is the abode of all the ordinances in respect of the universe. He is the highest object of knowledge.
He is at once the knower and the object to be known. He is at once the thinker and the object of thought. He is the eater
and the food that is eaten. He is the smeller and the scent that is smelled. He is at once he that touches and the object
that is touched. He is the agent that sees and the object that is seen. He is the hearer and the object that is heard. He
is the conceiver and the object that is conceived. He is possessed of attributes and is free from them. What has previously,
O son, been named Pradhana, and is the mother of the Mahat tattwa is no other than the Effulgence of the Supreme Soul; because
He it is who is eternal, without destruction and any end and ever immutable. He it is who creates the prime ordinance in respect
of Dhatri himself. Learned Brahmanas call Him by the name of Aniruddha. Whatever acts, possessed of excellent merits and fraught
with blessings, flow in the world from the Vedas, have been caused by Him. 2 All the deities and all the Rishis, possessed of tranquil souls, occupying their places on the altar,
dedicate to him the first share of their sacrificial offerings. 3 I, that am Brahma, the primeval master of all creatures, have started into birth from Him, and thou hast
taken thy birth from me. From me have flowed the universe with all its mobile and immobile creatures, and all the Vedas, O
son, with their mysteries. Divided into four portions (viz., Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Sankarshana, and Vasudeva), He sports
as He pleases. That illustrious and divine Lord is even such, awakened by His own knowledge. I have thus answered thee, O
son, according to thy questions, and according to the way in which the matter is expounded in the Sankha system and the Yoga