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Sri R. MUTHUKRISHNA SASTRI,
Former Editor, Hitabhashini,
Translated from Tamil by
P.R.KANNAN, Navi Mumbai
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Meaning: - Parameswara! - your, - to anger, - prostration. -Further, -your, -
to the arrow, -prostration. - your, - to the bow, - may my prostration be. -
Further, - your, - to the two arms, - prostration.
Explanation: Three commentators- Sayana, Bhattabhaskara and Abhinavasankara- have written
commentaries for Sri Rudram. This present explanation has been written in accordance with these
There are a total of 11 Anuvakams (sections) in Sri Rudram. In the first Anuvakam, the angry Sri
Rudra is pacified. From the second to the ninth Anuvakams, Sri Rudra is eulogised in many ways
and obeisance paid to him. In the last two Anuvakams, prayers are offered to Sri Rudra and
There are many terrible and calm forms of Sri Rudra. In order to pacify the terrible form of his,
obeisance is paid to his anger, weapons etc. How can there be anger in Sri Parameswara, the
blemishless one with all good attributes? The answer is that his anger in order to punish those,
who transgress his commands contained in Srutis, Smritis etc. and bring them over to the right
path, is only a good quality and not a fault.
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Following the etymology + = , as Sri Parameswara drives away grief, or sin which
causes grief, he is called 'Rudra'. As he is prayed here for ridding his anger and being calm, it is
but proper that he is addressed as 'Rudra'. As anger is the basic cause of all types of grief, anger
is propitiated at the beginning itself. When Parameswara gets angry, his arrow will come in front;
he will then look at his bow. Then his two arms will go on to hold them. Hence anger, arrow, bow
and arms are prayed to in that order.
Parameswara's arrow etc. are to be worshipped like Devatas. Hence praying and paying
obeisance to them is but appropriate. Once Arjuna forgot the method of using Paasupatastra. In
order to learn it, Sri Krishna and Arjuna went to Kailasa. Parameswara asked them to bring a
certain weapon from the adjacent divine lake. When they both went to the lake, they noticed that
the weapon looked very terrible, surrounded by poisonous flames. Sri Krishna then chanted Sri
Rudram in order to pacify it and make it come to his hands. The weapon then reached his hands
in a calm and peaceful form. This has been mentioned in the Mahabharata. This shows that Sri
Parameswara's weapons like arrow etc. are full of dynamism and need to be worshipped.
It is said that it is necessary to know the Rishi, chandas and Devata of every mantra,
Abhinasankara's commentary describes these details. For this first mantra, Rishi is Aatreya,
chandas is Anushtup and Devata is Sri Rudra.
"One should meditate upon Maheswara, who yokes a brilliant arrow to his shining bow, pulled to
the ear; of handsome form, appearing like a warrior, youthful and accompanied by Devi."
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This mantra will be fully efficacious to one who practises Praajaapatya krichchram and chants the
mantra 11000 times. By doing circumambulation and prostration, while chanting this mantra,
Parameswara's grace, destruction of sins and leadership in society will result. The other practices
using this mantra are described in works like 'Rudra Kalpaarnavam'.
Meaning: -Parameswara! - your, - which arrow, - most auspiciously, -
exists, - your, - which bow, - is auspicious, - your, - which quiver, -
is auspicious, - with that arrow, bow and quiver, - us, - make us happy.
As usage of lit is done in present tense also in Veda, Bhattabhaskaras commentary states that
for the word babhuva, the present tense meaning of exists should be understood. The other two
commentaries state the meaning: Please grant me happiness from the arrows etc., which were
worshipped by me in the previous mantra and became calm-formed. On this basis, the term
babhuva is interpreted in past tense.
The Rishi for this second mantra is Aathreya; chandas is Anushtup; Devata- Sambhu.
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One should meditate on Deva, who is seated in a chariot along with Devi, shining brilliantly, with
the form of a valiant warrior, with both arms decorated with bow and arrow, extolled by Devaganas
and with a smiling face.
If this mantra is chanted constantly for twelve days excluding nights and without obstructing Nitya
karmas (daily obligatory duties), one will get the full efficacy of the mantra. This is a Mahamantra
meant for driving away famine and national calamities.
- Parameswara! - your, - that which does not terrify (with weapons), - granting
worldly pleasures, - granting Atmagnana, the cause of the happiness of Liberation, -
which, - body, - that, - granting the highest happiness of Liberation, - with
the body, - Parameswara, who, being the object indicated by Vedas, grant all pleasures
right upto Liberation, - us, - grant the knowledge of Atmatatva (Self-Principle).
Abhinavasankara comments that having prayed for worldly pleasures in the previous mantra,
happiness of Liberation is prayed for in this mantra. Bhattabhaskara comments that some of the
calm forms of Sri Parameswara have weapons; some do not have; in the previoua mantra, the
form with weapons was prayed to and in this mantra, the form without weapons is worshipped.
Aghora- Form with weapons which terrifies persons without any reason is ghora; form which is
not terrifying is aghora.
Sivaa- auspicious, i.e. that which grants worldly pleasures also.
Apapakaasini- Here the term Apapa indicates Brahmatmatatvagnana, which is opposed to sin.
As Upanishad states that on rising of Atmagnana, all sins are destroyed, it follows that Atmagnana
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is the enemy of sins. The form which grants or lights up that Atmatatvagnana is referred as
Girisantha- This term denoting Parameswara has been interpreted in many ways.
One who resides in Kailasa always and grants joys to all creatures.
One who resides in Vedas as their meaning and grants joys to all.
One who is in Pranava (Omkara) as the one to be meditated upon and grants the matchless bliss
The Rishi for this mantra is Kaasyapa; chandas is svaraatanushtup; Devata is Sambhu.
One should meditate upon Iswara, who has a smiling face, wears crescent moon on his head,
bears Ganga, has the daughter of Himavan (Parvatharaja) on his side, has three eyes, wearing
Vibhuti and serpents as ornaments and is the lord of Jivas (Pasus).
Chanting and homam of this mantra are prescribed for the peace of Pasus (Jivas).
- Parameswara! - which arrow, - for discharging on sinners, - in the
hand, - hold, - Resident and protector of Kailasa, - that arrow, -
make auspicious, - men belonging to me, - other moving and non-moving properties,
- do not harm.
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Having prayed for attaining fulfillment of desires in second and third mantras, the Rishi prays now
in this fourth mantra for freedom from adversities. When Iswara has been addressed as
Girisantha, the purport of using the additional term of address of Giritra has been described in
Abhinavasankaras commentary as follows: Sri Parameswara has assured that if one worships
him now, though he might have erred in the past, Iswara will grant him a virtuous mind and protect
him. Giri is the word of assurance; trayate means he protects, being firm in his assurance.
- Parameswara, residing in Kailasa! - you, - to attain, - with
auspicious words (of praise), - in which manner, - our, - these moving objects
like men and animals, - free from disease, - with good minds, i.e. being comfortable,
- will become, in that manner, - we pray.
In this fifth mantra, fulfillment of desire and prevention of misery are both prayed for.
Girisa- Variously interpreted as resident of Kailasa, propounded in Vedas, Iswara of Kailasa,
clouds and Pranava (omkara).
Achcha- This word is Avyaya (an indeclinable particle in Samskrit grammar); is used long
(dirgha) (achchaa) in Vedic time. Sayana has interpreted this term to mean Praptum (to attain);
Bhattabhaskara as abhimukhikaranam (to make one see him). But Abhinavasankara interprets
this term as one of addressing Parameswara, meaning Pure One! A special meaning results from
this interpretation: By contact with the praises of sinners, Parameswara does not acquire any
blemish; he remains ever pure. By contact with impure water from the streets, the water in the
ever pure Ganga does not become sullied. On the other hand, the other waters, by contact with
the Ganga, b
(PDF) SRI RUDRAM - Sanskrit Documents · PDF fileSri Krishna then chanted Sri Rudram in order to pacify it and make it come to his hands. The weapon then reached his hands in a calm and - DOKUMEN.TIPS (2023)
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