Purusha (puruṣa or Sanskrit: पुरुष) is a complex concept whose meaning evolved in Vedic and Upanishadic times

Depending on source and historical timeline, it means the cosmic being or self, consciousness, and universal principle

In early Vedas, Purusha was a cosmic being whose sacrifice by the gods created all life

This was one of many creation myths discussed in the Vedas

In the Upanishads, the Purusha concept refers to the abstract essence of the Self, Spirit and the Universal Principle that is eternal, indestructible, without form, and is all-pervasive

In the Sankhya philosophy, Purusha is the plural immobile male (spiritual) cosmic principle, pure consciousness, unattached and unrelated to anything, which is “nonactive, unchanging, eternal, and pure”

Purusha uniting with Prakṛti (matter) gives rise to life

In the Kashmir Shaivism, Purusha is enveloped in five sheaths of time (Kāla), desire (Raga), restriction (Niyati), knowledge (Vidya) and portion of time (Kalā); it is the universal Self (Paramatman) under limitations as many individual Selfs (Jīvātman)