Monday, September 19, 2011

Rudra and meaning

Verses from the Shri Rudram - anuvAka 1


Table of Contents

  1. OM namo bhagavate rudrAya
  2. Shri Rudram 1.1
  3. Shri Rudram 1.2
  4. Shri Rudram 1.4
  5. Shri Rudram 1.5
  6. Shri Rudram 1.6
  7. Shri Rudram 1.7
  8. Shri Rudram 1.8
  9. Shri Rudram 1.9
  10. Shri Rudram 1.10
  11. Shri Rudram 1.11
  12. Shri Rudram 1.12
  13. Shri Rudram 1.13
  14. Shri Rudram 1.14
  15. Shri Rudram 1.15

namo bhagavate rudrAya

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Once again, it is the holy month of shrAvaNa, sacred for the worship of Shiva. The most important part of Shiva worship is undoubtedly the chanting of the shrI rudram with devotion. Regarding the shrI rudram, it is said:

vR^ixasya mUlakena shakhAH puShyanti vai yathA |
shive rudrajapAtprIte prItA evAsya devatAH |
ato rudrajapAdeva bhuktimuktiprasiddhyataH ||

Even as by (watering) the roots of a tree, all its branches are nourished, so by pleasing Shiva with the chant of the Rudram , all the gods are pleased. Therefore, the attainment of bhukti - enjoyment (not against dharma)- and mukti - liberation- is only through chanting the Rudram with devotion.

The shrI rudram is also called the Rudropanishad or the shatarudrIyam.h. The name Rudropanishad indicates that even though the Rudram is technically part of the karma kANDa or the ritual portion of the Vedas, it is held to be on par with the upanishads of the jnAna kANDa. The name shatarudrIyam is applied to indicate that this shrI rudram appears in the texts of the one hundred and one shAkhA's of the Yajur Veda. The chanting of the Rudram is followed by that of the Chamakam, so called because of the frequent occurrence of the expression "cha me."

This wonderful Rudram-Chamakam is to be learned from a Guru who himself has been trained in the Vedic tradition.

There are two versions of the Yajurvedic Rudram, one from the Shukla Yajurveda and the other from the Krishna Yajur veda. The Rg Veda has its own and shorter version of the Rudram.

The importance of this hymn has been attested to by several commentaries, such as the ones by sAyaNa, bhaTTa bhAskara, abhinava shankara, and Vishnu sUrI.

No commentary by Adi Shankara on the Rudram is known. But there are verses from the shrI rudram in the shvetAshvatara upanishad and Shankara has been attributed the authorship of a commentary on the upanishad.

So I would like to present the explanation of such verses from the Rudram that are also present in the shvetAshvatara upanishad along with the commentary attributed to Shankara.

We begin with the shvetAshvatara 3.5:

yA te rudra shivA tanUraghorApApakAshinI |
tayA nastanuvA shantamayA girishantAbhichAkashIhi ||
( shrI rudram: anuvAka 1 , rik 3; shvetAshvatara Up.: 3.5 )

yA - that
te - Your
rudra - O Rudra
shivA - auspicious
tanUH - form
aghorA - not terrifying
apApakAshinI - that which destroys sins by mere remembrance
tayA - by that
naH - us
tanuvA - by the form
shantamayA - by the most joyous
girishanta - O Dweller of the (KailAsa) mountain who confer joy
abhichAkashIhi - look (at us so that we may be united with the
highest good)

O Rudra! O Girishanta (who dwell on the Kailaasa mountain and confer happiness)! By that form of Yours which is not terrifying, which destroys sin by its mere remembrance, and which is all blissful, please behold us and unite us with the highest good!

shA.nkarabhAShyam.h (Commentary of Shankara)

yA te rudreti | he rudra tava yA shivA tanUraghorA | uktaM cha
tasyaite tanuvau ghorA .anyA shivA .anyeti | athavA shivA .avidyA-
tatkAryavinirmuktA sachchidAnandAdvayabrahmarUpA na tu ghorA
shashibiMbamivA .ahlAdinI | apApakAshinI smR^itimAtrAghanAshinI
puNyAbhivyaktakarI | tayA .atmanA no .asmAn.h shantamayA sukhatamayA
purNAnandarUpayA he girishanta girau sthitvA shaM sukhaM tanotIti |
abhichAkashIhi nirIkshasva shreyasA niyojasvetyarthaH ||

Translation of Shankara's commentary:

O Rudra! (By that) form of Yours which is aghorA, ie. not that which is terrifying. It is said (in the BrAhmaNa) "(Rudra is verily this sacrificial fire, agni.) That Rudra has two forms; one is terrifying and the other is shivA, auspicious (or gentle)." Or, the word shivA means that which is free from ignorance (avidyA) and ist effects, which is of the nature of the nondual Brahman that is Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss, which is not terrifying but which causes joy like the form of the moon. apApakAshinI means that which destroys sins by merely being remembered and which reveals merit (puNya). Through that form which is most delightful and of the nature of infinite bliss, O Girishanta, who reside on the (KailAsa) mountain and confer happiness, behold us (look at us) so that (by this glance) we may be united with the highest good (Brahman).

Note:

The brAhmaNa portion identifies Rudra with the sacrificial fire, agni and speaks of two forms of Rudra - one terrifying, the other benign. It is this benign aspect that is associated with the eradication of ignorance and the bestowal of knowledge. It may be noted that the Shri Dakshinamurti form, that grants the Supreme knowledge of Brahman, is the gentle form.

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.1

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra is Kashyapa, the devatA is Rudra, the meter (chhandas) is anushhTubh, according to the commentary of BhaTTa BhAskara.

AUM 

namaste rudra manyava uto ta ishhave namaH |
namaste astu dhanvane bAhubhyAmuta te namaH ||

(Krishna Yajur Veda, Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1, Rik 1)

namaH - salutations to
rudra - O Rudra
te manyave - Your anger
uto - also
te - Your
ishhave - arrow
namaH - salutations
namaH - salutations
te - Your
astu - let there be
dhanvane- bow
bAhubhyAm.h te - Your two hands
uta - also
namaH - salutations

O Rudra! Salutations to Your anger and salutations also to Your arrow. May our saluations be to Your bow and salutations (be) to Your two hands (which wield the bow and the arrow).

sAyaNAchAryabhAshhyam.h :

he rudra te tvadIyo yo manyuH kopastasmai namo .astu | sa manyur-
asmadvairishhveva prasaratu na tvasmAsu | uto api cha te taveshhave
namastvadIyAya bANAya namo .astu | tathA te dhanvane tvadIyAya
dhanushhe namo .astu | utApi cha te bAhubhyAM tvadIyAbhyAM dhanur-
bANopetAbhyAM hastAbhyAM namo .astu | etatsarvaM vairishhveva
pravartatAM na tu mayItyabhiprAyaH |

O Rudra! Salutations to Your anger! Let that anger go towards our enemies, not towards us! Also let (our) salutations be to Your arrow. And also saluations be to Your bow. Also saluations be to Your two hands which hold the bow and arrow. Let all these (the anger, bow and arrow, Your hands) be active in (destroying) enemies, but not in me. This is the import (of the mantra).

Notes based on BhaTTa bhAskara's commentary:

1) BhaTTabhAskara gives several definitions of the word "rudra."

rudaM saMsAraduHkhaM drAvayatIti rudra iti kechit.h|

Some say "He is called Rudra because He drives away the sorrow of saMsAra (ephemeral existence) which is ruda."

rutiM shabdaM vedAtmAnaM brahmaNe dadAti kalpAdAviti rudra ityapare|

Others say "He is Rudra because he gives ruti or the Vedic sounds to BrahmA at the beginning of the Kalpa."

rodayati sarvamantakAla iti rudraH |

He makes everyone weep at the time of destruction, so he is called Rudra.

2) The arrow of Rudra:

The Vedas say that the gods made the arrow of Rudra:

"ta ishhuM samaskurvatAgnimanIkaM somaM shalyaM vishhNuM tejanaM"

The (gods) prepared the Rudra's arrow: Its face was Agni, its dart-head Soma, and its sharp-edge VishhNu.

shAkhAntare cha - another vedic description says:

tasyA agniranIkamAsItsomaH shalyo vishhNustejanaM varuNaH parNAni iti |

The face (of that arrow) was agni, the dart-head was Soma, VishhNu its sharp edge, and VaruNa its feathers.

3) The PurANas describe the bow of Rudra as Meru, the mountain of gold. "kanakashailo devasya dhanuH"

The MahAbhArata says:

sa kR^itvA dhanuroMkAraM sAvitrIM jyAM maheshvaraH |
hayAMshcha chaturo vedAnsarvadevamayaM ratham.h ||

Maheshvara made the Omkara the bow, SavitrI the bow-string, the four vedas the horses, and the chariot from all the gods.

This is how Maheshvara went to do battle against tripurAsura.

4) This mantra 1.1 aims to pacify the terrifying aspect of Rudra which He bears for the sake of destruction of the world.

5) The shukla Yajur Vedic version of this mantra (at least in the kANva rescension) reads:

namaste rudra manyava uto ta ishhave namaH |
bAhubhyAmuta te namaH ||

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.2

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra is Atreya, the devatA shaMbhu, and the meter anuShTubh.

BhaTTa bhAskara gives the dhyAna shloka for this mantra as follows, by which one should meditate on the warrior form of Shiva.

dhyAyeddevaM susmitaM syandanasthaM devyA sArdhaM tejasA dIpyamAnam.h |
ishhvishhvAsAlaMkR^itAbhyAM karAbhyAM shUrAkAraM stUyamAnaM surAdyaiH |

One should meditate on the warrior form of the God (Shiva) who bears a pleasant smile, who is blazing with brightness and is in a war-chariot along with the Goddess (devI), who is adorned with a bow and arrow in two of His hands, and who is being extolled (by prayers) from the gods and others.

yA ta ishhuH shivatamA shivaM babhUva te dhanuH |
shivA sharavyA yA tava tayA no rudra mR^iDaya ||

(Krishna Yajur Veda, Rudram: anuvAka 1, Rik 2)

yA - which
te ishhuH - Your arrow
shivatamA - most auspicious
shivam.h - auspicious
babhUva - has become or become (see Note 1 below)
te - Your
dhanuH - bow
shivA - auspicious
sharavyA - quiver (of arrows)
yA - which
tava - Your
tayA - by that
naH - us
rudra - O Rudra
mR^iDaya - make happy

Simple Sanskrit interpretation:

he rudra! tava yA ishhuH sA shivatamA babhUva | tava yat.h dhanuH
tat.h shivaM babhUva | tathA tava yA sharavyA sA shivA babhUva |
taiH ishhvAdibhiH asmAn.h mR^iDaya |

O Rudra! (By Your grace), Your arrow has become most auspicious or bestows happiness. Your bow has become auspicious. Your quiver of arrows has become auspicious. By these, the arrow, bow, and the quiver (which have turned auspicious and peaceful), do You make us happy.

sAyaNAchAryabhAshhyam.h:

he rudra te tvadIyA yeyamishhuH shivatamA shAntatamA babhUva |
tathA te tvadIyaM yaddhanuH shivaM shAntaM babhUva | tathA yA cha
tava sharavyA taveshhudhistayA shAnteshhvA tena cha shAntena dhanuShA
tayA cha shAntayA sharavyA no.asmAnmR^iDaya sukhaya | bhakteshhu
pravR^ittyabhAvAtteshhAM shAntatvam.h |

O Rudra! Your arrow has become most peaceful/pacified. Also Your bow has become peaceful. And also Your quiver became peaceful. By that peaceful arrow, bow, and quiver make us happy. Since these are not engaged in (destroying) devotees, they have become peaceful (for us who are Your devotees).

The devotee is praying here for happiness from Rudra, after the withdrawal of the ferocious and destructive capacity His weapons. Having made salutations to Rudra's anger, arrow, bow, and His hands which hold the weapons, (1.1), the devotee now says these weapons have been rendered peaceful due to His grace. These weapons have now become like ornaments, in the presence of devotees. Additionally, they are a source of happiness for the devotees.

Notes based on the commentary of BhaTTa BhAskara:

1) According to the (PANini) sUtra "chhaMdasi luN^.hlaN^.hliTaH", the word "babhUva" which is perfect tense (liT.h) must be interpreted in this Vedic mantra as the present tense (or present perfect) tense. So "babhUva" here means "becomes" (bhavati) or "has become" (present perfect).

2) he rudra taveshhuH shivatamA .atishayena bhaktAnAM sukhakarI |
na kevalaM hastAlaMkAramAtrabhUtA babhUveti vaxyamANamanushha-
jyate | bhavatItyarthaH |

O Rudra! Your arrow gives the utmost joy to the devotees. It is not merely an ornament in Your hand. "babhUva" is added to mean this. It means "becomes."

3) In the presence of devotees, these - the arrow, bow, and quiver - surely enhance the beauty of the Lord, but then, they are not merely ornaments. They are potent in themselves to bestow happiness to the devotees.

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.4

As we have seen in the prevous Rik (1.3) of the Shri Rudram, the devotee has prayed for illumination and knowledge so that MokSha can be attained. In this Rik, the devotee prays to be spared from injury by the fierce arrow of Rudra. The devotee prays so that the arrow which Rudra shoots for the sake of destruction of wickedness and sin, is made auspicious and benevolent by Him.

I will present the commentaries of Shankara and ShankarAnanda. The latter is said to have been the Guru of the illustrious author of PanchadashI, VidyAraNya.

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

yAmiShuM girishanta haste bibharshhyastave |
shivAM giritra tAM kuru mA hiMsIH purushhaM jagat.h ||

(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1, Rik 4; shvetAshvatara Upanishhad: 3.6)

yAm.h - that
iShum.h - arrow
girishanta - O Girishanta, Shiva
haste - in (Your) hand
bibharshhi- You hold
astave - for shooting at (wicked) people
shivAm.h - auspicious
giritra - O protector of the mountain
tAM - that
kuru - make
mA hiMsIH - do not injure or kill
purushhaM - any human of ours and
jagat.h - the whole world as well

O Girishanta (Shiva), that arrow which You hold in Your hand for the sake of shooting at wickedness, make that auspicious for us, O Giritra! Do not harm us humans or even the whole world with its immovable things, such as trees and plants, and movable things such as animals.

shA.nkarabhAshhyam.h ( Commentary of Shankara)

kiMcha yAmishhumiti | yAmishhuM girishanta haste bibharshhi
dhaarayasyastave jane xeptuM shivAM giritra giriM trayata iti tAM
kuru mA hiMsIH purushhamasmadIyaM jagadapi kR^itsnaM | sAkAraM brahma
pradarshayetyabhipretamarthaM prArthitavAn.h |

Furthermore, (the text says:) O Girishanta (ie. one who lives on the KailAsa mountain and bestows happiness), that arrow which You hold in Your hand for the purpose of shooting at people, make that arrow auspicious (ie. benign, not harmful), O Giritra (protector of the mountain). Do not injure (or kill) any person of ours or the whole world as well.

The text has thus prayed for the desired objective: "Show the Brahman with form (sAkAraM brahma)."

sha.nkarAnandakR^itashvetAshvataropanishhaddIpikAyAm.h
(Commentary on the above verse in Shankaraananda's shvetAshvataropanishhaddIpikA)

yAm.h | prasiddhAm.h | ishhum.h | bANarUpAM yaM bANamityarthaH |
girishanta | he girishanta| haste | kare | bibharshhi | dhArayasi|
astave | pApmasu praxepArtham.h | shivAm.h | maN^galAm.h | giritra|
girInasthipuJNjAndehAnityarthaH | trAyata iti giritraH svabhakta-
raxApara ityarthaH | tasya saMbodhanaM he giritra | tAm.h ishhuM
bANamityarthaH | kuru | spashhTam.h | mA hiMsIH | hiMsAM mA kR^ithAH|
yataH | purushham.h | purushharUpam.h | jagat.h | sthavarajaN^gamA-
dirUpamityarthaH |

That arrow which adorns You, O Girishanta, and which You hold in hand for the purpose of shooting at wickedness, sin, make that arrow auspicious (for us), Giritra, (so called because You are) intent on protecting Your devotees (Giritra = One who protects the body and skeleton of bones), addressing Him (the text says:) O Giritra. Because, do not harm the people or the world with the immovable things (such as trees and plants), and movable things (such as animals).

Notes:

1) According to BhaTTa bhAskara bhAShya, the Rishi for this mantra is Gautama. Some say the Rishi is GodhUma. Rudra is the deity. The meter is nichR^idanuShTup.h

2) sAyaNa interprets Giritra as " giriM kailAsAkhyaM trAyate pAlayati iti giritra" ie. One who protects/rules over the mountain called kailAsa.

3) The word "hiMsIH" in the mantra is chanted "higuMsIH" by Krishna Yajur Vedins and "higg.hsIH" by Shukla Yajur Vedins.

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.5

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this Rik is either Gautama or GodhUma, the devatA Rudra, and the meter anushhTubh.

The dyAna shloka of this mantra is mentioned by BhaTTa bhAskara:

sA.ngrAmikeNa vapushhA pravirAjamAnaM dR^ipyatpuratrayatR^iNAshani- mandahAsam.h |
daityAndidhaxumachaleshvarachApapANiM dhyAyetpurArimamaraugha- rathAdhirUDham.h||

One should meditate on the brilliant, warrior form of the enemy of tripura whose light smile is the lightning that destroys the arrogant tripura, who bears in His hand the Mount Meru as His bow for the purpose of burning the daityas, and who has mounted the chariot made of the multitude of gods.

The mahAbhArata contains an account of how Shiva destroyed the three cities (tripura). The demon tAraka was killed by kArtikeya. The three sons of tAraka then performed penance and obtained a boon from BrahmA according to which they could move about in three castles or cities made of iron, silver, and gold. They could only be slain by a single arrow after a period of a thousand years. Armed with this boon, the demons harassed the gods and good people. The gods approached Shiva and begged Him to annihilate these arrogant demons. Shiva then acquired half the strength of all gods and came to be called mahAdeva, the great God. He made ViShNu the fiery arrow which He shot and completely burned up the three cities and the demons. The three cities are interpreted as the three bodies - the causal body (kAraNa sharIra), the subtle body ( sUkshhma sharIra, and the gross body (sthUla sharIra). Shiva destroys these three bodies that represent ignorance.

shivena vachasA tvA girishAchchhA vadAmasi |
yathA naH sarvamijjagadayakshhmaM sumanA asat.h ||


(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1, Rik 5)


shivena vachasA - with auspicious words
tvA - You
girisha - O Resident of the (KailAsa) Mountain
achchha - in order to obtain
vadAmasi - we pray
yathA - in which manner
naH - our
sarvamid.h jagat.h - this whole world of man and animals, the
movables
ayakshhmam.h - free from ills
sumanA - filled with cheerfulness and benevolence
asat.h - may it become

O Girisha (the Resident of the Mountain KailAsa)! In order to attain You we pray with auspicious words. In which manner the whole world of people, animals, (and other) movables, may become free from disease and filled with cheerfulness and benevolence, (make it so).

Simple Sanskrit Rendering

he girisha! tvAM prAptuM maN^galena vachanena vayaM stumaH |
yathA asmAkaM sarvaM jagat.h rogarahitaM saumanasaM bhavati tathA kuru|

O Girisha, (the Resident of the Mountain)! In order to attain You we praise You with auspicious words. Make our whole world free from ills and full of cheerfulness and benevolence.

sAyaNAchArya-bhAshhyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

girau kailAse shete tishhThatIti girisho he girisha tvAmachcha
prAptuM shivena maN^galena stutirUpeNa vachasA vadAmasi vayaM
prArthayAmahe | yathA yena prakAreNa no.asmadIyaM sarvamijjagat.h |
ichchhabdo.avadhAraNe yathA sarvamapi manushhyapashvAdikaM
jaN^gamajAtamayaxmaM rogarahitaM sumanA asatsaumanasyopetaM bhavati
tathA kuru |

Girisha is one who resides in the Mountain KailAsa. O Girisha! In order to attain You we pray with auspicious words in the form of a hymn of praise. Make this whole world of ours (id.h is understood as) consisting of all people and animals, the movables, free from disease and endowed with cheerfulness and benevolence.

According to "achchhAbherAptumiti" of YAskAchArya's nirukta, the word "achchha(A)" appearing in the Shruti has the meaning of "Aptum.h", to attain.

Notes based on the commentary of bhaTTa bhAskara:

1) shivena vachasA is interpreted as follows:

tvadIyaguNasaMkIrtanaparatayA kalyANakareNa tava prItikareNa vA
stotralaxaNena vachanena ...

By words that indicate a hymn, are engaged in glorifying Your qualities, and bestow auspiciousness or loving devotion to You.

2) ashivena hi vachanena devaH krudhyet.h | The God may become angry by (using) inauspicious words (in His praise).

BhaTTa BhAskara has quoted from the R^ig Vedic Rudra sUkta (sometimes also called the R^ig Vedic Rudram) in support of this statement:

mA tvA rudra chukrudhAmA namobhirmA dushhTutI vR^ishhabha mA sahUtI |
unno vIrAn.h arpaya bheshhajebhirbhishhaktamaM tvA bhishhajAM shR^iNomi ||

O Rudra! Let us not make You angry by (incorrect) obeisances or by faulty praises or by invoking You with (other lesser) gods. Along with Your remedies (medicines) kindly grant us heroic (sons), (since) we hear that You are the foremost among physicians, O Bestower of gifts!

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.6

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra is kaNva, the devatA shambhu, and the meter anuShTubh.

The dhyAna shloka of this mantra is mentioned by BhaTTa bhAskara as:

chandrArdhamauliM kAlAriM vyAlayaGYopavItinam.h |
jvalatpAvakasaMkAshaM dhyAyeddevaM trilochanam.h ||

One should meditate on the Three-eyed God (Shiva), who bears the crescent moon on His head, who is the enemy of (the God of) Death, who wears a sacred thread (yajnopavIta) made of snakes and who resembles the blazing fire.

This Rik, 1.6 talks of the persuasive powers of speech of Rudra. He is an expert in talking persuasively and always in favor of His devotees. Rama was very impressed by the persuasive speech of Hanuman who is, after all, an amsha (part) of Rudra. If Hanuman is an expert in using the powers of speech, how can anyone possibly exceed Rudra in the art of speech?

Shiva intercedes on behalf of His devotees whenever other Gods act on them. A story that best illustrates this is that of Markandeya who was destined to die at a young age. He worshipped Shiva. When the time of his death came, Shiva Himself appeared from within the linga and prevented Yama, the God of Death from taking away Markandeya's life.

adhyavochadadhivaktA prathamo daivyo bhishhak.h |
ahIMshcha sarvAJNjaMbhayansarvAshcha yAtudhAnyaH ||


(Shri Rudram: Anuvaka 1, Rik 6)

adhyavochat.h - May He speak in favor
adhivaktA - He who always speaks in favor of His devotees
prathamo - the foremost among Gods
daivyo - He who is capable of protecting all Gods
bhishhak.h - the physician par excellence
ahIMshcha - the serpents, tigers, and other vicious animals
sarvAn.h - all
jaMbhayan.h - destroying
sarvAshcha - and all
yAtudhAnyaH - the evil spirits, demons, etc.

May He (Rudra) speak in (my) favor, who always speaks in favor of His devotees, who is the foremost among Gods, who is the origin of Gods, and who is the best of healers, while annihilating the visible enemies of mine such as serpents, tigers, and other vicious animals, and also the invisible enemies such as evil spirits, demons, etc.

sAyaNAchArya bhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

yo rudro .adhivaktA .adhiko .ayamityevaM sarveShAmagre mAM prati
vaktuM xamastenokte sati mama sarvAdhikyaM tadAnImevAstIti |
atastAdR^isho rudro .adhyavochat.h | mAM sarvAdhikaM vadatu |
kIdR^isho .adhivaktA | prathamaH | devanAM madhye mukhyaH |
daivyaH | sarvAndevAnarhati | svayaM devAnpAlayituM xama ityarthaH |
bhiShak.h | etasya dhyAnamAtreNa sarvarogopashamanAdayaM chikitsakaH |
kiM kurvan.h | ahIMshcha sarvAnsarpavyAghrAdInsarvAnapi | sarvAshcha
yAtudhAnyaH sarvA api rAxasajAtIrjaMbhayan.h vinAshayan.h ||

My excellence (or superiority) is confirmed only by the saying of Rudra who is worthy of speaking in my favor and confirming my eminence in the presence of everyone. May that Rudra say that I am superior or exalted. And what is the nature of (Rudra) who speaks in my favor? He is "prathama", the foremost among Gods. daivyaH means He is a match for all Gods, and He is worthy of protecting all Gods. He is The Healer, The Physician, because by merely thinking about Him, all diseases (physical and mental) vanish. (May Rudra act thus towards me), annihilating all (enemies of mine) such as serpents, tigers, etc., and also all rAkShasas and other evil spirits of that category.

Notes based on BhaTTa bhAskara's commentary

1) The first five Riks beginning with "namaste rudra manyava ..." are pratyaxakR^ita-mantrAH, ie. they address Rudra directly. The mantras beginning with the current one (1.6) and the next three mantras are paroxakR^itAH, ie. they address Rudra indirectly. The devotee has, in the first five mantras, appealed to Rudra and His weapons to spare the world from His wrath, to assume a benevolent form, and to make the world filled with joy and benevolence.

2) adhyavochat.h is interpreted as adhibravItu as per the Panini sutra "chhandasi luN^laN^liTaH." loDarthe luN^.h, the Aorist (luN^.h) adhyavochat.h is to be understood as the Imperative (loT.h) adhivaktu or adhibravItu. May Rudra speak in (my) favor or intercede on (my) behalf.

3) Rudra is "sadA bhaktebhyo .adhivachanasamarthaH", always an expert in speaking in favor of His devotees.

4) This mantra (1.6) is capable of curing all diseases, physical and mental, and destroys evil influences of all kinds. The R^ig Vedic Rudra sUkta declares "bhiShaktamaM tvA bhiShajAM shR^iNomi", "I hear that You are the best of the physicians, (O Rudra!)"

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.7

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra is kAla or marutvAn, the deity Rudra, and the meter Pankti.

BhaTTa bhAskara mentions the dhyAna shloka in the next mantra. I am including a different shloka for this Rik:

sUryamaNDalamadhyasthaM sAMbaM saMsArabheShajam.h|
nIlagrIvaM virUpAxaM namAmi shivamavyayam.h ||

I bow to the three-eyed, blue-throated Shiva, who is situated in the center of the solar disc, who is accompanied by pArvatI, who is the medicine that heals the disease of saMsAra.

(shrIrudraprashna - anuvAka 1, Rik 7)

asau yastAmro aruNa uta babhruH sumaN^galaH |
ye chemAM rudrA abhito dikshhu shritAH sahasrasho vaishhAM heDa Imahe ||


asau - That
yaH - who (Rudra)
tAmro - (deep) coppery red
aruNa - (slightly) rosy red
uta - also
babhruH - golden colored
sumaN^galaH - extremely auspicious
ye - who
cha - others
imAM abhito - around this earth
rudrAH - Rudras
dikshhu shritAH - present in all directions
sahasrasho - by the thousands
eshhAM heDa (heLa) - the anger of these
avemahe - we remove

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

yo rudro .asau maNDalasthAdityarUpaH sa cha tAmra udayakAle
.atyantaraktaH | aruNa udayAdUrdhvamIshhadraktaH | utApi cha
babhrustato .apyUrdhvaM piN^galaH | evamanye .api varNAstattat-
kalagatA unneyAH | sumaN^galo nAnAvarNaH saMstadA tadA .andha-
kArAdinivartakatvAdatyantamaN^galaH | ye chAnye rashmirUpA
rudrA imAmabhito .asyA bhUmeH parito dixu shritAH prAchyAdi-
dixvavasthitAH te cha sahasrasho .anekasahasrasaMkhyAkA eshhA-
mAdityatadrashmirUpANAM sarveshhAM rudrANAM heDaH krodha-
sadR^ishaM tIxNatvamavemahe bhaktinamaskArAdinA nivArayAmaH |

That Rudra who is situated in the solar disc in the form of Aditya is deep red (coppery red) while rising. After rising, He is slightly red. Afterwards, He is golden-yellow. In this way, other colors (of the sun) arise at different times. (This Rudra) having different colors dispels darkness at different times and is hence extremely auspicious (sumaN^galaH). Those other forms of Rudra are the rays (of the sun) and they are situated in all directions such as the east, etc., around this earth by the thousands. We appease or remove the anger resembling heat of all these Rudras of the form of the rays of the sun by devotion, salutations, and so on. 

Notes based on commentary of BhaTTa BhAskara

1) "asau yastAmra ityanenA .adityamupatiShThate" iti shatapatha- brAhmaNam.h|

The Shatapatha brAhmaNa says "One should worship Aditya, the sun with the mantra "asau yastAmro..."

Why is the sun a form of Rudra?

2) "devasya jagadupasaMhArakamUrtiShvaShTamUrtiShvAdityasyApy- antarbhAvAt.h"

Aditya (the sun) is included in the eight forms of Rudra by which He destroys the world (at the time of destruction).

3) The sun is the directly perceivable form of Rudra. He is referred to as "That" (asau) because one can point to Him with the finger.

"asau ityaN^gulyA nirdishati"

4) BhaTTa BhAskara gives an alternative definition of "babhru"- "vishvaM bibharti bodhapradAnAdineti babhruH"
He (Shiva) supports the universe by bestowing knowledge, etc.. So He is babhru.

5) According to the statement of YAska "heDa anAdare| heDaH krodhaH", the word "heDa" can mean disrespect or anger. BhaTTa BhAskara says both senses may be taken (ubhayamapi gR^ihyate) in understanding the words "heDa avemahe" of the mantra. Why?

6) "vihitAtikramanimittamasmadviShayamanAdaraM pratiShiddhasevA- nimittaM krodhaM chetyubhayamapyapanayAma iti"

We (pray to) remove any disrespect or contempt towards us caused by (our) transgressing or neglecting ordained duties as well as any anger caused by (our) performing prohibited actions.

The nonperformance or neglect of actions ordained by injunctions or the performance of actions that are prohibuted will cause Rudra to be angry. So the devotee prays Rudra so that He may pardon any neglect or nonperformance of ordained actions and the performance of any prohibited actions.

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.8

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this Rik is kAla, the meter jagatI, and the deity Rudra.

The dhyAna shloka of the mantra is given by BhaTTa BhAskara:

maNDalAntaragataM hiraNmayaM bhrAjamAnavapuShaM shuchismitam.h |
chaNDadIdhitimakhaNDitadyutiM chintayenmunisahasrasevitam.h ||

One should think of Lord Shiva, who is situated in the orb of the sun, who has a glittering and golden form, who has a pleasant smile, who is the Sun with unhindered brilliance, and who is attended upon by thousands of sages.

asau yo .avasarpati nIlagrIvo vilohitaH |
utainaM gopA adR^ishannadR^ishannudahAryaH |
utainaM vishvA bhUtAni sa dR^iShTo mR^iDayAti naH ||

(shrI Rudram: anuvAka 1, Rik 8)

asau - that
yo - who
avasarpati - moves downward
nIlagrIvo - blue throated (necked)
vilohitaH - distinctly red
uta - also
enam.h - Him
gopAH - the cowherds
adR^ishan.h - see
udahAryaH - the women who carry water
adR^ishan.h - see
uta - also
enam.h - Him
vishvA bhUtAni - all beings
dR^iShTo - seen (thus)
sa mR^iDayAti naH - may He make us happy

Simple Sanskrit rendering

yo rudraH sUryamaNDalasthaH asau nIlagrIvaH visheSheNa
lohitaH astasamaye adho gachchhati iva pratibhAti | etaM gopAH
udakahAriNyashcha pashyanti | etaM sarvANi bhUtAni pashyanti |
evaM sarvaIH dR^iShTaH rudraH asmAn.h sukhinaH karotu,
(iti prArthanAM kurmaH) |

That Rudra in the sun's orb who is blue-throated and distinctly reddish, appears to go downward at the time of sunset. The cowherds see Him, the women who carry water see Him. Even all beings in the world see Him. May Rudra, who is seen thus by all, make us happy. (Thus we pray.)

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

yo rudro nIlagrIvaH kAlakUTadhAraNena nIlavarNA grIvA yasya-
asau nIlagrIvaH | sa eva vilohito visheSheNa lohitavarNaH
sannasau maNDalavartI bhUtvA .avasarpatyudayAstamayau
saMpAdayituM pravartate - tasya cha rudrasya maNDalavarti-
svarUpadhAraNe pryojanamuchyate - utApi cha gopA
vedashAstrasaMskArarahitA gopAlA apyenaM maNDalavartinam-
AdityarUpiNaM rudramadR^ishanpashyanti | udahArya udakAnAM
hAriNyo yoShito .apyenamadR^ishanpashyanti| utApi chainaM
maNDalavartinamAdityarUpiNaM rudraM vishvA bhUtAni
gomahiShyAdayaH sarve .api prANinaH pashyanti | sarveShAM
darshanArthameva hi rudrasyAdityamUrtidhAraNam.h| kailAsA-
divartirudrasya rUpaM tu vedashAstrAbhiGYaireva dR^ishyate
nAnyaiH | tAdR^isho rudro dR^iShTaH sanno .asmAnmR^iDayAti|
sukhinaH karotvityarthaH |

That Rudra whose throat is blue due to bearing the kAlakUTa poison, He only being distinctly reddish in color, being present in the orb of the sun, moves to achieve the rising and setting functions. The objective of Rudra's assuming the role of being in the Sun's orb is thus stated. Moreover, the cowherds who are without purifying ceremonies (saMskAras) of the vedas, too see Him, the Rudra of the form of Aditya in the solar orb. The women who carry water (in pots) too see Him. All beings, including animals such as cows, buffalos, etc., see Rudra who is of the form of Aditya, situated in the solar orb. Rudra assumes the form of Aditya just so that He can grant everyone a vision (darshan) of Himself. Only those who have known the Vedas, not others, can see the form of Rudra as He lives in KailAsa and other places, not others. May such Rudra, seen by us (in the form of Aditya), make us happy.

Notes:

1) Although Brahman is present everywhere, It can be spoken of as being present in some specific places. One such place is the heart. Another is the sun. During sandhyAvandana, that is why we say "asAvAdityo brahma", the sun is Brahman.  The R^ig Vedic saurasUkta reveals that the sun is the soul or heart of the universe.

A prA dyAvAprithivI antarikShaM sUrya AtmA jagatastasthuShashcha |

sUrya (the sun), the soul (Atman) of all movable and immovable things, pervades the heaven, earth, and the intermediate region.

2) Rudra/Shiva is called the blue-throated One (nIlakaNTha or nIlagrIva) because He is said to have swallowed the kAlakUTa poison during the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons. Instead of completely swallowing the poison, Shiva kept it in His throat, thereby coloring the throat wth a blue ring.

Notes based on the commentary of BhaTTa-bhAskara

1) BhaTTa BhAskara interprets the mantra slightly differently. He agrees that cowherds and the water-carrying women are not qualified to know Rudra. But he asks,

"kimidaM vibhajyAbhidhIyate?" Why make such distinctions?

sarve eva devasya mahimAvedane gopAlAdikalpAH

Everyone is only as competent as the cowherds, etc., in knowing the greatness of the God Rudra.

To show this, the mantra says "vishvA bhUtAni" (vishvA should be vishvAni, but in the Vedas vishvAni becomes vishvA per the sUtra "sheshchhandasi bahulam.h.")

shrutyadibhirapi durGYAnaM chakshhushhaiva pashyanti

Even through shruti, etc., it is difficult to know Rudra, (but) everyone sees Him with eyes (as being present in in the sun).

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.9

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra is shaMbhu, the devatA too is shaMbhu, and the meter anuShTubh.

First, the dhyAna shloka :

sharachchandraprakAshena vapuShA shItaladyutim.h |
dhyAyetsiMhAsanAsInamumayA sahitaM shivam.h ||

One should meditate on the Shiva, who is seated on a throne with Goddess umA (PArvatI) and who radiates cool rays from a form that is brilliant like the autumnal moon.

namo astu nIlagrIvAya sahasrAxAya mIDhushhe |
atho ye asya sattvAno .ahaM tebhyo .akaraM namaH ||


(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1; Rik 9)

namaH - salutations to
astu - may there be
nIlagrIvAya - the blue-throated One
sahasrAxAya - the thousand-eyed One
mIDhushhe - the showerer
atho - Also
ye - Those
asya - His (Rudra's)
sattvAnaH - His followers
ahaM - I
tebhyaH - unto them
akaram.h namaH - I bow

May my salutations be to the blue-throated (Rudra), He who has a thousand eyes and who showers/fulfills (all desires of His devotees). Also, I bow to His followers, the pramatha- gaNas.

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

yaH pUrvoktarItyA nIlagrIvaH sa eva indramUrtidhAraNena
sahasrAxaH sa punaH parjanyamUrtidhAraNena mIDhvAnsechakaH |
vR^ShTikartetyarthaH | tAdR^ishAya rudrAya namo .astu |
atho api cha ye kechidasya rudrasya sattvAno bhR^ityarUpAH
prANinastebhyaH sarvebhyo .ahaM namo .akaraM namaskaromi |

He (Rudra) who is blue-throated, as explained in the previous Rik (1.8), is Himself the thousand-eyed One by assuming the form of indra (who is called sahasrAxa). He (Rudra) is again the showerer by assuming the form of Parjanya. He is the showerer of rain. May (my) salutations be to Rudra who is so. Also, I bow to all those beings who are this Rudra's servants (or followers).

Notes:

The previous Rik (1.8) described Rudra as the deity in the sun. Here He is being identified with indra and parjanya. The idea is that the same deity assumes different forms.

Those who are wise do not see different deities or a hierarchy of deities wherein some deities are superior to others. Acknowledging such a hierarchy is tantamount to accepting divisions in the indivisible (akhaNDa) Brahman. This is a trick of mAyA, as the mAyApanchaka of Shankara states:

vidhihariharavibhedamapyakhaNDe bata virachayya budhAnapi prakAmam.h |
bhramayati hariharabhedabhAvA- naghaTitaghaTanApaTIyasI mAyA ||

Alas! Even in the indivisible Brahman, it (mAyA) creates differences called BrahmA, ViShNu, and Shiva and deludes or tricks exceedingly even the intelligent into feeling differences of Hari and Hara. mAyA is an expert in making incompatible things compatible!

So the proper position is to view all deities as equivalent and thus avoid the pitfall created by mAyA. There cannot be a multiplicity of Ishvara's. Ishvara is unique:

This is clearly expressed in the shvetAshvatara upaniShad

eko hi rudro na dvitIyAya tasthu- rya imAn lokAnIshata IshanIbhiH |

Rudra (Ishvara) is indeed one (unique), who rules these worlds by His divine powers. (Knowing this) they (the knowers of Brahman) did not wait for a second (deity).

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.10

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra is nArada, the devatA is shrI rudra (Shiva), and the meter anuShTubh.

pramuJNcha dhanvanastvamubhayorArtniyorjyAm.h |
yAshcha te hasta ishhavaH parA tA bhagavo vapa ||

(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1; Rik 10)

pramuJNcha - untie
dhanvanaH - of (Your) bow
tvaM - You
ubhayoH - of both
ArtniyoH - ends of the bow
jyAm.h - bow string
yAshcha - and those
te haste - in Your hand
ishhavaH - arrows
tA - them
bhagavo - O Bhagavan (God)
parAvapa - give up


O Bhagavan, Rudra! (Please) untie the bow string from both ends of Your bow. And (please) lay down those arrows that are in Your hand.  Here the devotee is requesting Rudra to assume a mild form for the benefit of His devotees. The form of Rudra with His bow ready to discharge fiery arrows creates fear in the minds of people. So the votary prays here that Rudra may loosen the bow string from the bow and may lay down the arrows that He holds. It is customary to untie the bow string when the bow is not about to be used. Such untying will signify that Rudra is not in a mood to destroy but in a more benevolent mood.

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

he bhagavo bhagavanpUjAvanmahadaishvaryasaMpanna rudra tvaM
dhanvanastvadIyasya dhanushha ubhayorArtniyoH koTyoravasthitAM
jyAM maurvIM pramuJNchAvaropaya | yAH te hasta ishhavaH
vartante tA api parAvapa parityaja |

O Bhagavan (God) Rudra! You are endowed with great lordship and worship (by others). Untie the bow string from the two ends of Your bow. Abandon the arrows in Your hand.

Notes based on the commentary of BhaTTa BhAskara:

1) atra namaste rudretyArabhya navabhirmantraiH kruddhaM devaM
prasAdyAtaH paraM tasyopasaMhArakAraNAnyupasaMhArayituM
prakramate|

Now, with the (first) nine mantras beginning with "namaste rudra...", (the devotee) propitiates the angry God (Rudra). Henceforth, (the devotee) begins to make (Rudra) withdraw the causes of destruction (the forces of destruction).

2) tatra dvau pratyaxakR^itau mantrau tritIyaH paroxakR^itaH |

The (first) two mantras address Rudra directly while the third addresses Him indirectly (in third person).

3) The word "bhagavAn.h", which means God, should be understood as "One who possesses bhaga." What is bhaga?

aishvaryasya samagrasya dharmasya yashasaH shriyaH |
GYAnavairAgyayoshchaiva shhaNNAM bhaga itIraNA ||

The (possession of) these six in full is called bhaga - supremacy (lordship over all), dharma, fame, wealth, knowledge, and renounciation.

There God or bhagavAn is One who has all these attributes in full.

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.11

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||


The Rishi of this mantra is nArada, the devatA is shrI rudra (Shiva), and the meter anuShTubh.

avatatya dhanustvaM sahasrAxa shateshhudhe |
nishIrya shalyAnAM mukhA shivo naH sumanA bhava ||


(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1; Rik 11)

avatatya - loosening
dhanus.h - the bow
tvaM - You
sahasrAxa - O thousand-eyed One
shateshhudhe - O Bearer of a hundred arrow-quivers
nishIrya - having degraded
shalyAnAM - of the arrows
mukhA - the tips
shivo - peaceful
naH - to us
sumanA - favorable, benevolent
bhava - become

O Rudra who are the thousand-eyed One and the Bearer of a hundred arrow-quivers! Having loosened Your bow-string and having degraded (made blunt) the tips of Your arrows, become benevolent and peaceful towards us.

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

rudrarUpeNa sahasrasaMkhyAkAnyaxINi yasyAsau sa tathA | shata-
saMkhyAkA ishhudhayo bANasthApanakoshA yasyAsau shateshhudhistAdR^isha
he rudra dhanuravatatyAvaropitajyAkaM kR^itvA shalyANAM bANAnAM mukhA
mukhAnIshhugatalohAnAmagrANi nishIryeshhudhishhu nyagbhAvena shIrNAni
kR^itvA no .asmAnprati sumanA anugrahayuktaH saJNshivaH shAnto bhava ||

Rudra who has a thousand eyes is sahasrAxa. One who has a hundred quivers of arrows is "shateshhudhi." Being so, (ie. sahasrAxa and shateshhudhi), O Rudra, having loosened the bow string from the bow, and having degraded (made blunt) the metal tips of Your arrows in the quivers, and becoming favorable to us, (please) be peaceful.

Note:

Here the devotee requests Rudra to untie the bow string and degrade His own weapons or missiles of destruction. The idea is that the mere sight of Rudra's weapons strike terror in the minds of people. Even if Rudra puts away His bow and arrows, the fear does not go away entirely. He is being requested to degrade His own missiles so that the fear is mitigated! For example, if a belligerent country targets its missiles against another, there is considerable alarm. If the country dismantles the missiles, the fear is reduced but there is still some apprehension that the missiles may be retargeted. But, if the missiles are degraded, then there should be no cause for apprehension. I have used the two words, alarm and apprehension above. "Alarm" is the kind of fear that arises when danger is immediate and near at hand. "Apprehension" is the kind of fear that arises when danger is remote but possibly approaching. If Rudra stands with bows and arrows, ready to shoot, that is cause for alarm. Even if He loosens His bow string, there is still some apprehension.

In the previous Rik (1.10) the devotee requested Rudra to remove the alarm caused by Rudra's potent weapons. Here, in this Rik, Rudra is being requested to remove even the slight apprehension that may remain in the mind of the devotee. Further, Rudra is being requested to assume a mild, benevolent, and peaceful form, which form is called "Shiva." Rudra is usually associated with the fierce form of the Lord whereas Shiva is His mild and benevolent form.

As BhaTTa BhAskara says in his commentary on this Rik of the Shri Rudram:

asmAbhiH prArthyamAnaH sumanA eva bhUtvA bhayahetUnAM dhanurAdInAM
chopasaMhArAdapagatabhayahetuH shivo bhaveti
^^^^^
(The Rik prays:) Being prayed by us, (You) become benevolent in disposition, and by removing the causes of fear such as the bow, etc., become "Shiva"

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.12

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra is nArada, the devatA is shrI rudra (Shiva), and the meter anuShTubh.

vijyaM dhanuH kapardino vishalyo bANavAn.h uta |
aneshannasyeshhava Abhurasya nishhaN^gathiH ||


(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1; Rik 12)

vijyaM - without the bow-string
dhanuH - (His) bow
kapardino - of the One with matted locks
vishalyo - without arrows
bANavAn.h - (His) quiver
uta - also
aneshan.h - incapable of piercing
asya - His
ishhavaH - arrows
AbhuH - of diminished power
asya - His
nishhaN^gathiH - scabbard (sword-sheath)

May the bow of Kapardin (Rudra who has matted locks) be without the bow-string. Also, may His quiver be without arrows. May His arrows be incapable of piercing (and killing) us. May His scabbard be of little use (in drawing His sword).

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

kapardo jaTAjUTaH so .asyAstIti kapardI rudrastasya dhanurvijyaM
vigatajyAkamastu | utApi cha bANA asmiMstishhThantIti bANavAnishhudhiH
sa cha vishalyo .astu | ishhugatAnAM shalyAnAM tadudare gopitatvena
bahirAvirbhUtashalyarahito .astu | asya rudrasyeshhavo bANA ishhudhau
praxiptA aneshanveddhumasamarthA bhavantu | asya rudrasya nishhaNgathi-
rbANAdhAra Abhurastu Ishhatprabhurastu | kuDyanikhAtashaN^kAvAsaJNjita-
tvena bANAndhArayitumeva prabhavatu | na tu bANAkarshhaNayogya ityarthaH|
athavA nishhaN^gathiH khaDgakoshaH so .api purvavatkvachidAropitatvena
khaDgaM dhArayitumeva prabhavatu na tu khaDgAkarshhaNasamarthaH ||

Rudra who has matted locks is Kapardin. May His bow be without its string. Also, may His quiver (bANavAn.h = bANA asmin.h tishhThanti iti) be without arrows having sharp tips. May His quiver not display the sharp tips of the arrows, having placed the arrows with tips being hidden inside (th  quiver). May this Rudra's arrows that have been placed in the quiver thus become incapable of piercing (us). May the quiver of this Rudra (thus) have little power. Let (His quiver) be effective in only holding arrows, having been suspended on to a peg on the wall. This means: (may the quiver) not be effective in drawing out arrows. Or, may nishhaN^gathi, (meaning) the scabbard, be suspended in some place as (indicated) above, and become effective only for holding the sword, not for drawing the sword.

Notes:

1) The previous two Riks (1.10 and 1.11) address Rudra directly while the current Rik addresses Him indirectly, in third person. All three Riks pray Rudra to withdraw His weapons of destruction.

2) BhaTTa BhAskara interprets "nishhaN^gathi" as scabbard only whereas sAyaNa interprets it to mean either the quiver or the scabbard.


|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.13

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra as well as the devatA is BhagavAn rudra (Shiva), and the meter anuShTubh.

yA te hetirmIDhushhTama haste babhUva te dhanuH |
tayA-smAnvishvatastvamayaxmayA paribbhuja ||


(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1; Rik 13)

yA - that
te - Your
hetiH - weapon
mIDhushhTama - O Showerer of desired things
haste - in (Your) hand
babhUva - becomes (became)
te - Your
dhanuH - bow
tayA - by that
asmAn.h - us
vishvataH - everywhere (and all times)
tvaM - You
ayaxmayA - by the non-harmful
paribbhuja - protect

The weapon of Yours, (such as the sword), becomes the bow in Your hand, O Showerer of desires! With that non-injurious (bow), do You protect us everywhere.

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

he mIDhushhTama-atishayena kAmAbhivarshhaka yA te hetistava saMbandhi
khaDgAdirUpaM yadAyudhaM yadapi te tava haste dhanurbabhUva | ayaxmayA
anupadravakAriNyA tayA hetyA tayAvidhena dhanushhA cha tvam-asmAn-
vishvataH paribbhuja sarvataH paripAlaya ||

O One who abundantly showers the desired things (of the devotees)! Your weapon, although such as the sword, became a bow in Your hand. With such a bow, which does not cause harm, You protect us on all sides, everywhere.

Notes:

The previous verses prayed for the withdrawal of Rudra's weapons. This verse goes further and prays that the weapons may actually turn out to be beneficial for the devotees.

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.14

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra as well as the devatA is BhagavAn rudra (Shiva), and the meter anuShTubh.

namaste astvAyudhAyAnAtatAya dhR^ishhNave |
ubhAbhyAmuta te namo bAhubhyAM tava dhanvane ||


(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1; Rik 14)

namaste - salutations to Your
astu - may there be
AyudhAya - to the weapon
anAtatAya - to that which is not endeavoring to kill
dhR^ishhNave - powerful and resolute
ubhAbhyAm - to both
uta - also
te - Your
namo - salutation
bAhubhyAM - arms
tava - Your
dhanvane - bow, the pinAka

May (our) salutations be to Your weapon that does not endeavor to kill, though powerful and resolute. (May our) salutations also be to Your two hands, and to Your bow.

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

he rudra te tvadIyAyAyudhAya bANarUpAya namo .astu | kIdR^ishAyA-
yudhAya | anAtatAya dhanushhi saMdhAnAbhAvAdaprasAritAya |
dhR^ishhNave svarUpeNa prahantuM pragalbhAya | kiMcha te tvadIyA-
bhyAmubhAbhyAM bAhubhyAM namo .astu| tathA tvadIyAya dhanvane
namo .astu |

O Rudra! May (our) salutation be to Your weapon in the form of the arrow! What kind of weapon (is it)? Because (it is) not fitted to the bow, it is not exposed (as intending to kill), (although It is) by nature powerful and ready to kill. Furthermore, may (our) salutation be to both of Your arms. And may (our) salutation be to Your bow (pinAka).

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Shri Rudram 1.15

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

The Rishi of this mantra as well as the devatA is BhagavAn rudra (Shiva), and the meter anuShTubh.

pari te dhanvano hetirasmAnvR^iNaktu vishvataH |
atho ya ishhudhistavAre asmannidhehi tam.h ||

(Shri Rudram: anuvAka 1; Rik 15)

te - Your
dhanvano - bow's
hetiH - arrow
asmAn.h - us
pari-vR^iNaktu - may it spare us
vishvataH - everywhere
atho - also
yaH - that
ishhudhiH - quiver
tava - Your
asmad.h Are - far from us
nidhehi - keep
tam - that (quiver)

(O Rudra!) May the arrow from Your bow spare us everywhere and not torment us. (Please) keep (Your) quiver far away from us.

sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h (Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

he rudra te tvadIyasya dhanvano hetirbANashalyarUpA .asmAn.h
vishvataH sarvataH parivR^iNaktu varjitAnkarotu | asmAn.h mA
bAdhatAmityarthaH | atho api cha yastaveshhudhistamasmadAre
asmatto dUre nidhehi sthApaya |

O Rudra! May the arrow of Your bow spare us everywhere. This means "may it not torment us!" Further, place that quiver of Yours far away from us.

|| iti yajuH saMhitAyAM chaturthakANDe pa.nchamaprapAThake shrIrudra-adhyAye prathamo .anuvAkaH ||

Thus ends the first anuvAka of the fourth kANDa, fifth prapAThaka of the shrI-rudra-adhyAya of the (krishna) yajur veda.

The following is customarily recited at the end of the first anuvAka, although it does not form part of the rudra-adhyAya.

namaste astu bhagavan.h vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya trayaMbakAya
tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya
mR^ityuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrImanmAhAdevAya ||

May (our) salutations be to You, O Bhagavan, who are Vishveshvara (the lord of the universe), mahAdeva (the great God), trayaMbaka (the three-eyed One), tripurAntaka (the destroyer of the three cities), trikAgnikAla (the time of the agnihotra when the three fires gArhapatya, daxiNAgni, and AhavanIya, are used), kAlAgnirudra (the Rudra who consumes everything as the fire of kAlAgni at the time of destruction), nIlakaNTha (the blue-throated One), mR^ityuJNjaya (the conqueror of Death), sarveshvara (the Lord of all), sadAshiva (the ever-auspicious One), and shrImanmahAdeva (the celebrated and great God).

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

Back to Top

Revised: October 22, 2001 .


--
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.

  Every moment, thank God