[Advaita-l] About Sri Rudram
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Mar 9 08:39:44 CST 2013
This is an old posting which I meant to reply to but never got around to
but as this is Mahashivaratri I thought I should do so now.
On Mon, 10 Sep 2012, shriharsha chatra wrote:
> And also some people opine that Sri Rudram is not a sukta, if its not Sukta
> unlike Purusha Sukta or Sri Sukta, what is it called.
As was mentioned earlier in the thread, it is a prashna (KR^ishNayajurveda
terminology) or adhyAya (Shuklayajurveda terminology) or in other words
"chapter" that consists of several suktas which are in turn divided into
66 kaNDikas. Some of these kaNDikas are yajus ("prose") while others are
In the shrauta rituals the viniyoga for these mantras was to inaugurate
and purify the yaGYabhUmI just as we do vAstupUja for new houses today.
By abhisheka we hope to placate rudra who howls (rud) against adharma and
would surely be wrathful against the mistakes we might make in the yaGYa.
Thus according to shatapathabrAhmaNa shatarudrIya means shAntadaivatya --
that which pacifies the divinity.
PrajApati is the R^iShi of the whole adhyAya except mAno mahAnta... and
mAnastoke... which were seen by kuTsa a~ngirasa.
>From the beginning to manastoke... is one sukta. virATa rudra is the
The 30 kaNDikas from namohiraNyabAhave... to namaH parNAya... are the
sukta. bahurudra is the devatA. In fact 244 names of rudra are given
>From drApe... to sahasrANi... is a third sUkta. eka rudra is the devatA.
>From asa~nkhyAtA... to ya.etAvantashcha is the fourth sUkta. It is called
avatAnasUkta. Here the R^iShi asks the rudras to depart the premises and
unstring their bows (the pinaka bow is the weapon by which He/They punish
adharma.) 1000 yojanas away. This is for fear of their wrath as
mentioned above and also because rudra is both one and many. In fact He
pervades all. But if so how can a sacrifice proceed? It involves giving
ones wealth or possessions but what can truly be said to be "ours" when
all is occupied by rudra? So by temporary departure and disarmament, the
yajamana can legally claim to be the owner of the yaGYabhUmi.
The last mantras are called pratyAvarohaNasUkta. Here the now pacified
rudras scattered to the four directions in this world, the antariksha, and
svarga are asked to return and be the foes of the yajamanas foes only and
not the yajamana himself.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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