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श्री रुद्रम् SRI RUDRAM

द्वितीयोऽनुवाकः Anuvakam 2
Shiva Statue at Vedal

Mantra  1

नमो हिरण्यबाहवे सेनान्ये दिशां च पतये नमः ।


हिरण्यबाहवे – with arms decorated with golden ornaments, or with golden arms,   सेनान्ये – being head of the army,    दिशां – of directions,     पतये च  - to Parameswara, lord also of,     नमः – prostration.


Parameswara with weapons etc. was adored in the fifteen mantras of the first Anuvaka. The Rishi pays obeisance to Parameswara in the eight Anuvakas starting from the second, by describing his manifold glory. Here he prays to Parameswara as Sarveswara (lord of all).

From this mantra upto the mantra ‘श्वभ्यः श्वपतिभ्यश्च वो नमः’, the mantras have ‘nama:’ at the beginning as well as at the end of each mantra; hence these mantras are called ‘ubhayato namaskara mantras’. That is, ‘नमो हिरण्यबाहवे सेनान्ये दिशां च पतये नमः’ is one mantra; like this many mantras are seen further.

Disam cha pataye nama:-   If obeisance is paid to Parameswara, who is the lord of directions, the doubt arises as to how he becomes the lord, when Indra, Agni et al are famous as the lords of different directions. To dispel this doubt, the descriptive term ‘senanye’ has been given. This makes it clear that Devas, Gandharvas, humans et al are all armies and that Parameswara is their lord. Hence the lord of directions is also Parameswara. Under his orders Indra et al are ruling the different directions.

In order to clarify that Sri Parameswara alone is the lord of all moving and non-moving objects like Indra and others, another descriptive term ‘Hiranyabahave’ has been used. This can be interpreted to mean ‘one with arms decorated with golden ornaments’, or ‘one with golden arms’. ‘Golden arm’ is but an ‘upalakshanam’ (characteristic indicative of much larger canvas). It means that from toe-nails to the hair on the head, everything is golden. Vedic passages like ‘Aabhranakat sarva eva suvarna:’; ‘Hiranyabahave hiranyavarnaya’; ‘yathapasy: pasyate rukmavarnam’ etc. describe Parameswara as golden. There is a vidya called ‘Antaraaditya vidya’ in Chandogya Upanishad. There the golden Parameswara is said to be the lord to be worshipped. The term ‘hiranyabahave’ here also refers to the golden Parameswara mentioned in that vidya. In that vidya, Parameswara is described as the lord of all worlds. Hence the term ‘Hiranyabahave’ indicates that Parameswara is the lord of all Devas including Devendra.

Mantra  2

नमो वृक्षेभ्यो हरिकेशेभ्यः पशूनां पतये नमः ।


हरिकेशेभ्यः-  with leaves of karmas of satvic, rajasa and tamasa (tranquil, passionate and dull karmas),   वृक्षेभ्यः-  to Rudras in the form of trees forming the universe,   नमः-  prostration.     पशूनां पतये – to Parameswara, who is the lord of all creatures,   नमः-  prostration.


Pasunam pataye nama:- The term ‘Pasu’ here does not indicate just animals like bulls and sheep. It refers generally to all creatures with two legs, four legs etc. Parameswara is the lord of all the creatures. The two terms ‘Harikesebhya:’ and ‘vrikshebhya:’ describe how all creatures are called ‘Pasu’ and Parameswara as ‘Pasupati’. It is common that animals which are tethered with rope are called ‘Pasu’ and one who controls the Pasu as he pleases is called ‘Pasupati’. Similarly as all creatures are bound by the ropes of samsara of their karmas, they are called ‘Pasu’; Sri Parameswara is called ‘Pasupati’ as he induces them to engage in respective actions and opens the knots finally.

In the latter mantra ‘Namo vrikshebhyo harikesobhyo namastaraya’, Sri Parameswara is described to be in the form of trees; hence ‘vriksha’ here is interpreted to mean ‘samsaravriksha’. Upanishad, Gita etc. describe samsara as tree. Just as trees grow on account of green leaves on top, the world grows on account of many types of karmas given in Karmakanda; hence karmas are shown as leaves for the tree of world (samsara). As leaves are at the top of tree, they are called ‘kesam’ (hair) here.

It is usual to describe satva guna as white, rajoguna as green or red and tamoguna as black. In Karmakanda, many karmas of satvic, rajasic and tamasic types are described. Hence the term ‘Hari’, which denotes the green-coloured rajasic karma, is ‘upalakshanam’ (characteristic indicative of much larger canvas) for the other two types of karmas.

Mantra  3

नमस्सस्पिञ्जराय  त्विषीमते पथीनं पतये नमः ।


सस्पिञ्जराय – of mixed colour of red and yellow, like tender grass,       त्विषीमते-  brilliant with Gnana,            पथीनां  - for the Vedic and Tantric paths,     पतये – to Parameswara, who is the pioneer of,  नमः – prostration.


The path shown by Vedas to attain Moksha (Liberation) is said to be ‘Vedic’ and that shown by Tantras is ‘Tantric’. Now a doubt arises as to why Tantric path is mentioned here, when it is an established truth that as some of Tantric paths are opposed to Vedas, they are not to be followed. In order to dispel this doubt, the descriptive term ‘tvishimate’ has been given. Parameswara, brilliant with Gnana, i.e. omniscient, has written Tantra Sastras also with the benevolent intent that though those who have right to follow Vedas are not to follow the Tantric path, those who have no such right to Vedas may attain the high state by following Tantric path at least.

Mantra  4

नमो बभ्लुशाय विव्याधिनेन्नानां पतये नमः ।


बभ्लुशाय-   Seated on the Bull,       विव्याधिने- harming much (the evil persons through their food itself),    अन्नानां-   of all foodstuff,   पतये-   to Parameswara, who is the lord of,  नमः-  prostration.


Skanda Puranam says that it is Dharma, which has become the Bull, the vehicle of Parameswara. As all foodstuffs grow through dharma alone, it is but proper that the Lord, seated on the Bull, which is of the form of Dharma, should be the lord of all foods grown through dharma. It is also understandable that Parameswara, the Lord of foods, harms some people through the very food they eat.

Mantra  5

नमो हरिकेशायोपवीतिने पुष्टानां पतये नमः ।


हरिकेशाय-  To one with dark hair (ever young),      उपवीतिने-  wearing yagnopavita,     पुष्टानां-  of those filled with knowledge, wealth etc.,     पतये-  to Parameswara, the Lord of,  नमः-    prostration.


Samaveda says that Parameswara is the brahmana among Devas. The term ‘upavitine’ here may be understood to denote that also. As others have become well nourished by worshipping him, he is also called ‘Pushtipathi’. As one has to be in excellent state of health to bestow nourishment on others, the term ‘Harikesaya’ indicates that the ever youthful Parameswara is full of all nourishments.

Or, ‘Pushtanam pathaye’ can be interpreted as ‘lord of nourishments’, i.e. their protector. ‘Pushtis’ are of ten types: Vak (speech); Gnana (knowledge); Sarirendriya (sense organs); Grihakshetra (home and fields); Dhanadhanya (wealth and food); Praja (offspring); Pasu (animals); Grama (village); Dharma (righteousness); Animadi (eight great Siddhis like Anima etc.)

Mantra  6

नमो भवस्य हेत्यै जगतां पतये नमः ।


भवस्य-  Of creation,   हेत्यै-  one like a weapon,   जगतां- of the world,    पतये-  to Parameswara, the Lord of,   नमः-   prostration.   


Sri Parameswara is like a weapon to cut off the tree of samsara. The idea is that the samsara bondage will be cut off only with his grace. The terms ‘Pasunam pataye nama:’ and ‘Jagatam pataye nama:’ both refer to his being the lord of the worlds. However, ‘Pasunam pataye nama:’ means that he is the cause of bondage of Jivas and ‘Jagatam pataye nama:’ refers to his being the cause of their Liberation.

Mantra  7

नमो रुद्रायातताविने क्षेत्राणां पतये नमः ।


रुद्राय-  To the destroyer of the sorrow of samsara,       आतताविने-   one who protects the world with bow readily strung,    क्षेत्राणां-   of the bodies,      पतये- to Parameswara, who is the protector and lord of,   नमः-  prostration. This can also mean that he is the lord of holy places.

Mantra  8

नमस्सूतायाहन्त्याय वनानां पतये नमः ।


सूताय-   Charioteer, driving the chariot of the world,   अहन्त्याय-   of the form of Atmajyoti (Light of Self), incapable of being harmed by anybody,    वनानां-   of forests,   पतये-   to Parameswara, the lord also of,   नमः-  prostration.

Mantra  9

नमो रोहिताय स्थपतये वृक्षाणां पतये नमः ।


रोहिताय-  Of red colour,   स्थपतये-  Remaining everywhere and protecting everything,    वृक्षाणां पतये-  to Parameswara, who is also the lord of trees,     नमः- prostration.


It is noted that the complexion of Parameswara, who is the origin of trees, is red.



Mantra  10

नमो मन्त्रिणे वाणिजाय कक्षाणां पतये नमः ।


मन्त्रिणे-   To Lord of seven crore Mahamantras and secret Upanishads,       वाणिजाय-   Knower of dealings in all regions, like a trader,    कक्षाणां-   Of areas difficult of access like mountains, rivers, forests etc.,   पतये-  to Lord of,    नमः- prostration.


The last passage can also be interpreted to mean that Parameswara is the lord of very esoteric secrets of dharma and adharma, languages and regions.

Mantra  11

नमो भुवन्तये वारिवस्कृतायौषधीनां पतये नमः ।


भुवन्तये-    To one who nourishes the earth, i. e. all inhabitants of earth,   वारिवस्कृताय-   residing in devotees,   ओषधीनां पतये-    to Parameswara, the protector of trees, plants etc.,   नमः-   prostration.


Vaarivaskritaaya-   This can also be interpreted as Bestower of wealth; help in earning wealth; of the form of Vishnu or Varuna whose abode is in water. There are a lot of passages in Puranas in support of the fact that Parameswara resides in the devotees’ bodies:

"यथायोग्निसमावेशान्नायो भवति केवलम् ।

तथैव मम सान्निध्यान्नते केवलमानुषाः ॥"

"शिवस्य परिपूर्णस्य किन्नाम क्रियते नरैः ।

यत्कृतं शिवभक्तानां तच्छिवस्य कृतं भवेत् ॥

अकायो भक्तकायः स्यात् " etc.

“Just as iron heated red-hot in fire is no longer ordinary iron, my devotees will no longer be ordinary persons in my presence.” The idea is that they should be considered as forms of Siva only. “What is there to be done by men to Siva, who is complete in himself? Whatever is done to devotees of Siva is as good as done to Siva himself. For Siva, who has no body, the devotee’s body is his.”

Mantra  12

नम उच्चैर्घोषायाक्रन्दयते पत्तीनां पतये नमः ।


उच्चैर्घोषाय-  To one who makes loud sound (in war etc.),        आक्रन्दयते-    destroyer of enemies,    पत्तीनां पतये-    To Easwara, who is the lord of soldiers,       नमः-   prostration.


As this mantra says Siva is the lord of soldiers, there may arise a doubt as to whether he would need their help in conquering his enemies. The term ‘Aakrandayate’ serves to dispel this doubt. This means that he is capable of destroying his enemies without the assistance of others. He is also not in need of any weapons for this purpose. The term ‘Uchchairghoshaaya’ conveys that his ‘hunkara’ sound is itself enough for that. For Parameswara, who destroyed Tripuras with a smile, Manmatha by a mere look and Yama with nails, where is the need for weapons?

Mantra  13

नमः कृत्स्नवीताय धावते सत्वनां पतये नमः ।


कृत्स्नवीताय - Pervading in all worlds,  धावते-  One who runs (in order to save devotees),  सत्वनां पतये -    to Parameswara, the lord of the virtuous,   नमः-  prostration.


Siva is hailed as the lord of the virtuous, as he runs in order to save them, like a cow after its calf. The fact that pervading everywhere, he protects all is mentioned in detail in the Grihya of Vaajasaneyis. The mantras there like "नमो रुद्रायाप्सुपदे स्वस्ति मा सम्पारय" meaning: ‘While drowning in water, traveling on foot, going in forest, prostration to Rudra present in those places; may he bestow well being on me’ must be chanted.

The whole of this second Anuvakam is a single mantra; Rishi is Manduka; Chandas is Maha Gayatri; Devata is Sri Rudra.


मुक्तालंकृतसर्वाङ्गमिन्दुगङ्गाधरं हरम् ।

ध्यायेत्कल्पतरोर्मूले समासीनं सहोमया ॥

“One must meditate on Parameswara, wearing pearls on all limbs and crescent and Ganga on the head and seated at the foot of Kalpaka tree along with Umadevi.”

By chanting this mantra a number of times as per rules, destruction of enemies and attracting people and wealth will be attained.



Translated by: P R Kannan, Navi Mumbai from Commentary in Tamil by
Former Editor, Hitabhashini,
Srimatham, Kanchipuram