In the sixth prasna, Sukesa, the son of Bharadvajah, asked Sage Pippalada the question: “Please tell me who is this person, this purusha of sixteen points?”
Sage Pippalada says: “Yes, I know. Even here within the body, oh dear boy, is that person, in whom the sixteen parts arise! He says that the Supreme Person, of sixteen parts, that you are searching for does not reside anywhere outside. He is right there within you.”
The Sankhya system of philosophy of the great Rishi, Kapila (who is called so since his hair was golden), talks of the self of the sixteen parts and calls it the Linga Sharira or the subtle body; and here, the same thing is referred to with slight modifications.
The Purusha reflects says: “In whose departure shall I be departing and in whose settling down shall I be settling down?”
The Purusha created life. From life, He created faith, ether, air, light, water, earth, sense organs, mind and food. From food, He created vital vigour, austerity, hymns, works, and worlds; and in the worlds, He created names. Name–Nama! Now, Nama here suggests individuation.
It’s only by giving a name to something, a label, that one distinguishes one thing from the other.
Therefore, that Supreme Being of the sixteen parts creates, or from him, proceeds life, which means, prana, energy.
Sa Pranam Asrjata
The sixteen parts tending towards the Person (Purusha), on reaching the Person, disappear.
From that, arises life and from life, comes Shraddha–one-pointedness. Then, comes Akasa and then, the air, the light, the water and the earth; the vapour, the liquid, the solid and the organs of perception and of course, the mind and food, from food comes energy, and from energy comes austerity, then the capacity to chant, to work and then the worlds that are distinguished by their names.
I am trying to demystify the statements for you.
It is akin to these flowing rivers, tending towards the ocean, who upon reaching the ocean disappear; their Nama Rupa–names and shapes–are broken up, losing their individualities and therefore, upon merging are called simply the ocean.
In the same way, these sixteen parts tending towards the Person (Purusha), on reaching the Person, disappear.
Their names and shapes disappear into the Person upon reaching Him; and are called simply the Person. That One is without parts, immortal. This means all the sixteen parts that exist are compared to the sixteen rivers, which have their own individuality, their own names, their own shapes, and their own forms.
Then, they flow into the ocean and the sixteen parts are now one Ocean. They disappear!