Verses from the Shri Rudram - anuvAka 10

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  1. Shri Rudram 10.8

Shri Rudram 10.8

|| AUM namo bhagavate rudrAya ||

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.

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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Revised: October 22, 2001 .