By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Prajapati, PrajApati, Prajaapati
Prajāpati literally means ‘Lord of beings’.
The word ‘Prajāpati’ has been widely used in the Vedic literature, the Upaniṣads, the epics and the purāṇas. Literally, the word means ‘one who is the Lord of living beings.’ It was first used for the four-faced Brahmā, the creator. Later on, it was used to indicate the nine mānasaputras or mind-born sons of Brahmā like Kardama, Marici, Aṅgirasa, Dakṣa and others who were also great sages.
In the Upaniṣads, he is shown as a teacher of spiritual wisdom. The Bhagavadgītā describes him as giving special instructions to the gods and the human beings after creating them and yajña or sacrifice as a link between them.
- Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8
- Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad 5.2
- Bhagavadgītā 3.10-12
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore