[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 
R^iks ("metrical")

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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