Shri Rudram 1.11

Anand V. Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 26 16:02:28 CDT 1999

|| 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.


  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 ||


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