Prajapati


Prajapati
/preuh jah"put'ee/, n. Hindu Myth.
a Vedic god personifying a creative force that evolves all things from itself.

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Creator figure in the Vedic period of India.

In early Vedic literature (see Veda), the name was applied to various primal figures. Later it signified one deity, the "lord of all creatures," who was said to have produced the universe and all its beings after preparing himself through ascetic practices. Other stories allude to his own creation from the primal waters. His female emanation was Vac, the personification of the sacred word; Usas, the dawn, was identified as his female partner or his daughter. In the post-Vedic age, Prajapati came to be identified with Brahma.

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▪ Hindu deity
      (Sanskrit: “Lord of Creatures”), one of the creator figures of the Vedic period of ancient India; in the post-Vedic age he came to be identified with a major Hindu god, Brahmā (Brahma), who gradually surpassed him in importance.

      The frequent speculations on the creation of the world in the early Vedic literature allude to various primal figures, such as Hiraṇyagarbha (“Golden Egg”) and Viśvakarman (“All-Accomplishing”), and the title of Prajāpati was applied to more than one such figure. Later it was used to signify one deity, the lord of all creatures. According to one of the stories of creation, Prajāpati produced the universe and all its beings after first preparing himself by undergoing tapas (ascetic practices); other stories allude to his own creation from the primal waters. His female emanation, who aided him in the creation of other beings, was Vāc, the personification of the sacred word, but sometimes his female partner is given as Uṣas, the dawn, who is also regarded as his daughter.

      Collectively, the Prajāpati are the “mind born” children of Brahmā. They are generally considered to number 10, though some authorities reduce them to seven and relate them to the seven great ṛṣis (ancient sages).

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Universalium. 2010.

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