stuhi shrutaM gartasadaM - Verses from the Shri Rudram

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 3 09:32:43 CDT 1998

 We spend so much time everyday talking, reading, and writing. We have
 to deal with words for a considerable portion of our everyday life.
 It would be so nice if we could use our capabilities to make our
 words praise God, so that we can be both happy here and aim for
 higher spiritual realization.

 Death can come in an instant and take away all that we hold to be
 dear and desirable. If Death does arrive without our having praised
 God, we will have wasted our time in our bodies. And where is this
 God? He is right here, the Lion who lives in the cave of the heart!

 This is the essence of a Rik from the Rg Vedic Rudra sUkta.
 Incidentally, this Rik is also part of the Yajur Vedic Rudram. But
 it does not occur in the shvetAshvatara upanishad. So I have relied
 primarily on sAyaNAchArya's commentary in translating this jewel of
 a Rik. There is, however, a modified version of the Rik in the
 nR^isimha pUrva tApinI upaniShad, and there is a commentary
 attributed to Shankara on the same.

 As per the commentary of BhaTTa bhAskara, the Rishi of this Rik is
 vaiyAghra, the devatA is Rudra, and the meter triShtubh.

 || AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

 stuhi shrutaM gartasadaM yuvAnaM mR^igaM na bhImamupahatnumugram.h |
 mR^iLA jaritre rudra stavAno .anyaM te asmanni vapantu senAH  ||

  (R^ig Veda: maNDala 2 sUkta 33 Rik 11;
   Krishna Yajur Vedic Rudram: anuvAka 10, Rik 8 )

 stuhi - praise
 shrutaM - the famous Rudra, Shiva
 gartasadaM - who dwells in the cave of the heart
 yuvAnaM - the eternally youthful one
 bhImaM mR^igaM na - like a ferocious lion
 upahatnumugram.h - fierce in His attack during destruction
 mR^iLA - confer happiness
 jaritre - in this body that is subject to old age and death
 Rudra - the God Shiva
 stavAno - being praised by (my words)
 anyaM - others
 te - Your
 asman.h - than me
 nivapantu - let them destroy
 senAH - the army

 Praise the famous Rudra who dwells in the cave of the heart, who is
 eternally young, and who is fierce like a lion in His attack at the
 time of destruction. O Rudra! Being praised by our words, confer
 happiness to us who have been afflicted by having a body subjected to
 old age and death. Let Your forces annihilate others who are Your
 enemies and spare us.

 sAyaNAchAryabhAShyam.h ( Commentary of sAyaNAchArya)

 he madIyavachaH shrutaM prasiddhaM rudraM stuhi | kIdR^isham.h?
 gartasadaM gartasadR^ishe hR^idayapuNDarIke sarvadA tiShThantam.h |
 "IshvaraH sarvabhUtAnAM hR^iddeshe .arjuna tiShThati" iti smR^iteH|
 yuvAnaM nityataruNam.h | upahatnumugraM pralayakAle sarvaM jagat.h
 saMhartumugrarUpiNam.h | tatra dR^iShTAntaH | bhImaM mR^igaM na |
 bhayaMkaraM siMhamiva | yathA gajavidAraNAya ugraH siMho bhavati
 tadvat.h | he rudra stavAno .asmadvachasA stUyamAno jaritre
 jaraNashIle dine dine xIyamAne .asmachchharIre mR^iLa sukhaM kuru |
 te tvadIyAH senA .asmadanyaM vairiNaM nivapantu vinAshayantu |

 O speech of mine! Praise the famous Rudra. How is this Rudra? (He)
 always dwells in the lotus of the heart which is like a cave. As the
 smR^iti (gItA) says, " O Arjuna! Ishvara, the Lord, is situated in
 the heart of all beings!" This Rudra is eternally young. He bears
 a fierce form at the time of dissolution (pralaya) in order to
 destroy the whole world. An example is given (to indicate His
 ferocity). Just as a lion bears a fierce form to destroy an elephant,
 (so does Rudra at the time of destruction). O Rudra! Being praised
 by our words give happiness to us who have a body that is afflicted
 by old age and that decays day by day. Let Your armies, (O Rudra),
 annihilate others who are Your enemies and spare us.


 1) This text of this Rik is slightly different in the Krishna Yajur
    Vedic Rudram in that "mR^iLA" is replaced with "mR^iDA" Apart
    from differences in the accent, Krishna Yajur Vedins pronounce
    the "a" in ".anyaM" after "stavAno." But Rg vedins consider the
    phrase "stavAno .anyaM" as a sandhi and omit the pronounciation
    of a distinct "a" unlike the Krishna Yajur Vedins.

 2) A modified version of the Rik, as I said above, occurs in the
    nR^isimhapUrvatApinI upanishad. Here, the text reads "mR^iDA
    jaritre siMha stavAno ..." instead of "mR^iDA jaritre rudra
    stavAno ..."

 3) Compare the spirit of this Rik with that of the "bhaja GovindaM"
    hymn. I would speculate that the Rik provides the inspiration for
    this popular hymn by Shankara!

 4) BhaTTa bhAskara gives an alternative definition of "gartasadaM."

    gartasadaM gartamiti rathanAma tatra sIdati tiShThatiiti tripura-
    dahanaadaaviti gartasat.h |

    He (Rudra) stands in the chariot called garta and burns the three
    cities (tripura). So He is called gartasat.h

 || AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||


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