Rudra-Śiva: Path of Yama & Liberation

The Vedic wisdom has two major categories, the Yajna which is called the Karma:Kanda, meaning the knowledge through action – mainly dealt with in the Saṃhitā, Brahmāṇa, and Āraṇyaka sections of the Vedas. The second category is the Jnana:Kanda, meaning knowledge through inquisition – mainly dealt with in the Upanishads. Both categories are aimed toward liberation, but the terminology used in the Vedas, as compared to the Upanishads, is diverse. The most important of them all is amartya (immortality) – which gives freedom from recurring death (punar:mrityu), freedom from rebirth (punar:janma), and freedom from re-manifestation (punar:udbhava). So the obvious questions: What is that which is immortal? Who holds the key to immortality and liberation? Finally, what are the means to that immortality? Let us start with what is that which is immortal. For this, let us look into the famous Shiva Sankalpa Suktam of Rig Veda Baskala Khila, also present in the Sukla Yajur Veda:

यत्प्रज्ञानमुत चेतो धृतिश्च यज्ज्योतिरन्तरमृतं प्रजासु ।यस्मान्न ऋते किं चन कर्म॑क्रियते तन्मे मनः शिवसंकल्पमस्तु ।। 3
येनेदं भूतं भुवनं भविष्यत्परिगृहीतममृतेन सर्वम् । येन यज्ञस्तायते सप्तहोता तन्मे मनः शिवसंकल्पमस्तु ।। 4
यस्मिन्नृचः साम यजूँ॑षि यस्मिन्प्रतिष्ठिता रथनाभाविवाराः ।यस्मिँ॑श्चित्तँ सर्वमोतं प्रजानं तन्मे मनः शिवसंकल्पमस्तु ।।5

The mind or Antahkarana (मनः), present in all beings (प्रजासु ), is fortified and steadfast (धृतिश्च) in making conscious effort and not being compulsive or ruled by desires (चेतो), is endowed with wisdom and intelligence (ज्ञानमुत), without (ऋते ) which (यस्मात्) one cannot act (न कर्म- क्रिय). It is this inner fire/source which is the immortal self (अमृतं ); may it be filled with my auspicious resolve (शिवसंकल्पमस्तु). 3

That (येनेदं) mental framework (मनः) is the one that experiences (परिगृहीत) the past (भू॒तं), the current/present (भुवनं), and the future (भविष्यत). It is the immortal (अमृतेन), all-knowing, all-comprehending (सर्वम्) inner self (तन्म – येन). It is the inner fire and source (यज्ञ), it encompasses (स्ता॒यते) seven (सप्त) inner priests performing the real sacrifice (होता). May it be filled with my auspicious resolve (शिवसंकल्पमस्तु) 4

In which (यस्मिन्) the Rig, Sama, and Yajur Veda (ऋग् साम यजूँ॑षि ) are established (प्रतिष्ठिता) like the spikes of a chariot wheel (रथ-नाभाविवाराः) so that knowledge is linked with all beings (सर्व-मोतं प्रजानं), may that inner self (तन्मे) be filled with my auspicious resolve (शिवसंकल्पमस्तु) 5

Rig Veda Baskala Shakha Khila Sukta 33 / Sukla Yajur Veda Kanva Shakha 33

So, our mental framework, which Yoga calls the Mana or Antahakaran, is the self – which is immortal. The term Mana is not just the Manas (the emotional aspect but the whole of Antahakaran). So who and what is this inner self? There are numerous hymns across the Vedas that Rishis gave us, stating Rudra to be that inner self of all Devas and all beings. This Rudra is the prana and the atman and the inner radiance.

ॐ नमो भगवते रुद्राय विष्णवे मृत्युर्मे पाहि॥ प्राणानां ग्रन्थिरसि रुद्रो मा विशान्तकः। तेनान्नेनाप्यायस्व॥
AUM (ॐ =Pranava), salutations (नमो ) oh Divine Rudra (भगवते रुद्राय), I surrender/save me (पाहि) from eternal recurring death (विष्णवे मृत्युर्मे); Oh Rudra, you are the vital force (प्राणानां) that connects (ग्रन्थि) us all (मा) and you are the cure/an end (अन्तक) to all ill and poison (विश) that corrupts. Hence (तेन), bestow your grace upon us in full (अप्याय+स्व) in various aspects of life (अन्नेन).

Sri Rudram Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Namakam Closing hymn

कतमे रुद्रा इति दशेमे पुरुषे प्राणा आत्मैकादशस्ते॥
There (इति) are different types of Rudras (रुद्रा) that enter the Purusha/being (पुरुषे) – ten are the Pranas (प्राणा) that enter the 5 Karmindriyas and 5 Jnanindriyas, and the 11th (एकादश) is the Atman/self/mind (आत्म)

Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 3.9.4

Rudra is the pure, spontaneous self-experience which is the one consciousness that dwells in all substances. He is the seed of all seeds. He is Prana, He is Atman. He is the essence of this world appearance, He is the greatest of actions. He is the cause of all causes and He is the essence in all beings, though in fact He does not cause anything nor is He the concept of being, and therefore cannot be conceived.

Yoga Vaśiṣṭham 6.1.36 Swami Venkateshananda

Let us come to our second question, Who holds the key to immortality and liberation? This question has two answers; first, amrta – which is the elixir of immortality – and second, the supreme truth (satyam) called ṛta. Mrityu, amṛta, ṛta, and satyam are all interlinked with each other and interchangeably used. The very first home to Rudra in Rig Veda by Maharśi Kaṇva Ghaura says:

 Oh Soma-Rudra, the mighty/strong (avyase), with pleasant or beneficent heart (Shantamam Hruday), who is the resort to all hymns/songs (gātha-patim), the resort of Yajñá/sacrifice/oblations (medha-patim), who is the very bliss/ānandam (śam-yoḥ sumnam), you are the immortals family possessing the elixir (pra-jāḥ amṛtasya), you are the home to the highest truth (ṛtasya).
Please Note: Both terms “ṛtasya” and “amṛtasya” are synonymously used, soma is also used as its replacement occasionally.

Bestow upon us, oh immortal Rudra, that which the mortals (like us) can eat. Be gracious, oh benevolent one, towards our lineage (offspring).

We praise thee, Rudra, with the sweetest of hymns, oh father of Maruts, oh immortal one, grant upon us your benevolence, our food, offspring.

Rig Veda 1.43 / 1.114.6

नमस् ते रुद्र कृण्मः सहस्राक्षायामर्त्य ॥ 11.2.3
Salutations/homage (नमस् ते ) to the immortal (अमर्त्य) Rudra (रुद्र) with infinite/thousand eyes (सहस्राक्ष)
मुमुक्तम् अस्मान् दुरिताद् अवद्याज् जुषेथाम् अमृ॒तम् अस्मासु धत्तम् ॥ 5.6.8
Free us, oh Soma Rudra, from troubles and from disrespect and humiliation; accept our homages/worship, oh Soma Rudra. Bestow up us that immortality.

Atharva Veda 11.2.3 / 5.6.8

ॐ नमस्ते अस्तु भगवन विश्र्वेश्र्वराय महादेवाय त्र्यम्बकाय त्रिपुरान्तकाय त्रिकालाग्निकालाय कालाग्निरुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय मृत्युंजयाय सर्वेश्र्वराय सदाशिवाय श्रीमन् महादेवाय नमः
nama̍ste astu bhagavan viśveśva̱rayā mahādevāya tryaṁbakāya tripurāntakāya trikalāgni-kālāya kālāgnirudrāya nīlakaṇṭhāya mrutyuṁjayāya sarveśvarāya sadāśivāya śrīmanmahādevāya namaḥ.
“My salutations unto the Divine Authority over all that pervades, the principle (maha) of all divine, the one with three eyes, the one who ended the Tripurasuras – the 3 celestial worlds. He is the 3 fires which blaze at all times, this is the fire that devours time; the one with a blue neck, who holds the anti-creation element – by which He is beyond death. He is the authority over the entirety, the one who bestows bliss, as He is forever auspicious, He is the prosperous, the highest of the Divine. My homage to Him ”

Kṛṣṇa Yajur Vedā 4.5

So now we know what is that which is immortal and who is immortal, so what about us mortals? Who can bestow us freedom from mortality? The conjoined divinity alongside Rudra is the divine Soma, who represents this elixir of immortality (amrta). On the other hand, the term Mrityu means “the end” representing the end of all cycles of life, death, and rebirth. One such unique term that defines the word Mrityu on a different plane is the “Path of Yama“, and the home to the Supreme Truth (ṛta). As we know liberation is not an act or a goal, it is the realization of the true nature of the ‘self’ that is superimposed with a cloud of misinformation called Avidya. So, how does one dispel this Avidya? The title Andhasah of the Yajur Veda denotes “dispeller of A:vid” and Rudra is called Andhasahspati through knowledge (Vid), so the obvious question is knowledge of what? The Vedas themselves elicit homages that describe all aspects of Creation (both physical and metaphysical) and liberation. So, in this article let’s explore each of these aspects of liberation in detail and see which one fits our comprehension. 

Let’s explore the first terminology of liberation, which is Mrityu, before that, an important question asked in Atharva Veda by Rśi Nārāyaṇa (Devata as Pūrusha) asks a question on our behalf, He says “Which Divinity, what only Deity (personified divinity), placed sacrifice in Pūrusha (consciousness)? Who gave him truth and falsehood? Whence came Death and immortality?”AV10.2. Following are hymns of Rig Veda towards Rudra answer this question:

यद्यू॒यं पृश्निमातरो॒ मर्ता॑सः॒ स्यातन ।स्तो॒ता वो॑ अमृतः स्यात् ॥ Rig Veda 1.38.4
Though you (यद्यू॒यं), who were born to Prishni (पृश्नि :मातरो॒ = cow of knowledge), are mortal (मर्ता॑सः॒), those who sing your hymns become immortal (not physical immortality, but a state of eternal consciousness: satyam. (This hymn is explained in detail in Satarudriya Yagna later in Sukla Yajur Veda)

मा वो॑ मृ॒गो न यव॑से जरि॒ता भू॒दजो॑ष्यः । प॒था य॒मस्य॑ गा॒दुप॑ ॥ Rig Veda 1.38.5
For you (वो॑) one will not (मा ) become (भू॒दnegligible (अजो॑ष्यः) like a wild beast (मृ॒गो) or a pasturage cattle (यवसे). Those who invoke you (जरि॒ताattain (गा॒दु) the path (प॒था) of Yama (य॒मस्य).
Note: Yama here is not just the Puráńic identity of physical death, but the guardian of highest truth (satyam)

Somarudra pra-jāḥ amrtasya = Somarudra the immortals possessing the elixir (amṛta)parasmin dhāman ṛtasya = home to the highest truth || Rig Veda 1.43

एवा बभ्रो वृषभ चेकितान यथा देव न हृणीषे न हंसि । हवनश्रुन्नो रुद्रेह बोधि बृहद्वदेम विदथे सुवीराः ॥
Certainly (एवा ), oh mighty chief/overlord (वृषभ ) with tawny-reddish hue (बभ्रो), henceforth we proclaim (यथा ) the all-knowing/omniscient Divine (चेकितान देव) , forgive us/not punish us (न हृणी), be not angry (न हंसि ), hear our oblation (हवनश्रुन्न) and direct us on this occasion (विदथ), oh powerful (बृहद्व) Rudra of perfect wisdom/speech (बोधि), bless us with noble and heroic successors (सुवीरा) || Rig Veda 2.33.15

Rig Veda 1.38/43, 2.33

The Path of Yama

Yama represents both death (the end, Mrityu) and also the truth (Satyam). So the Path of Yama is the path to an end, by realizing the Truth. But, is there any reference to Rudra and Yama, and Rudra and Mrityu (end), other than the Rig Veda hymns we just saw? Yes, Sukla Yajur Veda Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā 16.33 says “Homage to the one allied to Yama”. Caraka-Katha Āraṇyaka III-239 states that when the yagamana (one performing the Yajñá) makes mistakes, then Rudra will become Yama (death), this deadly aspect of Rudra is called Nirṛti (निरृति), hence Rig Veda 6.74.2 requests Rudra to drive away that Nirṛti. Further, Mahābhāratam Karna Parva 34 says “The illustrious Rudra is Death’s self, the year becomes his bow; Kala Ratri the Death-night therefore, which is Rudra’s shadow” and Drona Parva – Nārāyaṇastra-mokshana Parva 203 calls Rudra “You are Yama”. Among the 70 Svayambhu Liṅgas Vrishasthāna takes the 40th position in the list and is called Yamaliṅga. Mahābhāratam in its Anushasana Parva section 141 also explains how Rudra as Maheswara tells Devi Uma that He resides in cremation grounds as this is considered most auspicious on Earth, but why? Because the cremation ground is the end of this life and also the beginning of a new one. Even Veda Vyasa also describes this in Drona Parva, Nārāyaṇastra-Mokshana Parva, Section 203. Now that we know the Path-of-Yama (of Truth) and the abode of the Supreme Truth (Rudra), how is Mrityu related to Rudra? Let’s compare this Yajur Veda:

येते सहस्रमयुतं पाशा मृत्यो मत्यााय हन्तवे। तान्यज्ञस्य मायया सवाानवयजामहे॥ मृत्यवेस्वाहा- मृत्यवेस्वाहा ॥ Yajur Veda 4.5.16
You are that End of all beings (मत्यााय), your form is that death (मृत्यो) tethered (पाशा) are all beings (सवाान) in thousands (सहस्र) and tens of thousands (ऄयुतं), we loosen (ऄवयजामहे) these tethers with our worship/Vedic rites (तान्यज्ञस्य मायया). Our homage to the one who is the form of death (मृत्यवे स्वाहा)

Yajur Veda 4.5.16

Freedom from Death (Mrityu/मृत्यो)

It cannot be more clear than this, that Rudra is also the form of death and the end, the above hymn also tells us the solution to this is by the worship of Rudra, but how does one ask Rudra for freedom from death? How to ask Rudra to drive away from this Nirṛti? Well, the hymn composed by Rśi Vaśiṣṭha in three Vedas, the Rig Veda 7.56, Sukla Yajur Veda Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā 3.60 and Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Saṃhitā 1.8, famously known as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra or Mokshyadayani Mantra, is not about protecting us from just physical death, but about liberation beyond the cycle of birth and death and into the forever state of immortal truth – amṛta. So how does one put this Mantra into action? The concept of Mrityu and its implementation is well explained in the Pravargya Yajna belonging to the Katha Śākhā, which we will explore soon after we examine this mantra. Please note the word “Sugandhim”, which usually means fragrance, but here it means the nostalgia one feels upon experiencing a certain sound or fragrance or taste. It is this nostalgia that surfaces during the final moments before death, and it is in these moments that one’s core compulsions – rooted deep into the conditioned mind – arise, and it is this nostalgia and thoughts that define the next life (upadhi). Through the path of Yoga, one has to condition their mind towards Ishwara or remove the cloud of Avidya, and through detachment from compulsions (Vairāgya), one’s true self can come forth. One must note the title “Trayambakam“, which we discussed earlier, is also found in Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.5 (Śrī Rudram), and in Sukla Yajur Veda Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā Kanda 3.56, and also in Śatapatha Brahmāṇa Kanda 2, Adhyaya 6, Brahmana 2 which explains the Yajñá dedicated to Rudra as Tryambaka performed towards the safety and prosperity after the war. This mantra is chanted while circling around the Yajñá Vedi and seeing oneself be separated from death and enter into the immortal truth. So Rudra is both the destructive death (Nirṛti) and also the liberator from the cycle of death as Tryambaka.

त्र्यंबकं यजामहे सुगंधिं पुष्टिवर्धनं । उर्वारुकमिव बंधनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥ 7.59.12
Oh Triambaka (3 eyes/seasons), we offer our oblation (यजाम), nourish us (पुष्टि) and bestow us (वर्ध) into the trance of fragrance (सुगंधिं) | May you untie our bonds (बंधना) like a ripened gourd fruit (उर्वारु) unties itself from the stem, and take us beyond death (मृत्यु) and deplete (र्मुक्षीय) our compulsions (र्मु) and take us (मा) into the immortal state (अ॒मृत॑) (मृत्यु + मोक्ष (मोह+क्षेय) + मा-अमृतात्)
Please note: सुगंधिं does not mean physical perfume, but the nostalgia one feels upon experiencing a certain sound or fragrance or taste. So it means to bestow us into the sweetness of imagining Thy Divinity during the transcendental states of dhyana/dharana.
र्क्षीय: means to deplete, and र्मुक्षीय means to deplete our moha/compulsions arising out of Avidya. मा is also an Adj & Conj use as negative as “not”.

Rig Veda 7.59

Before we link this hymn to Caraka-Katha Śākhā and witness its evolution, let’s take notice of how the above landed in Āraṇyaka and one of the primary Upaniṣhad:

सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमो नमः । भवेभवे नातिभवे भवस्व माम् । भवोद्भवाय नमः ॥
Oh Sadyojatha (सद्योजात = Rudra’s west side face) I surrender on to you (प्रपद्यामि) I bow to you again and again (नमो नमः) | Existance after Existance (भवेभवे = life after life) not more do I seek to comeback (नाति-भवे) liberate me from this repetation (भवस्-व माम्) oh one who is beyond existance (भवोद्भवाय) my salutations to thy (नमः)

स एव काले भुवनस्य गोप्ता विश्वाधिपः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः। यस्मिन्युक्ता ब्रह्मर्षयो देवताश्च तमेवं ज्ञात्वा मृत्युपाशांश्छिनत्ति॥4.15
He in Time (स एव काले ) the overlord/caretaker (गोप्ता) who is the one sole ruler (विश्वाधिपः) of all celestial mansions/creation (भुवनस्य) hidden indweller (गूढः) of all beings (सर्वभूतेषु ) | In whom (यस्मिन् ) the exalted sages who attained Brahmi states (ब्रह्मर्षयो) the divine beings (देवताश्च) merge into (युक्ताः ) by knowing him (तमेवं ज्ञात्वा) are released/cuts/free oneself (चिनत्ति) from the tethers of Death (मृत्युपाशां).

Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Āraṇyaka 10.17-21 & Svetasvatara Upaniṣhad 4.15

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra has its linkage from Rig Veda to Yajur VedSaṃhitās, but the Caraka-Katha School (Śākhā) of Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda places this homage into implementation as a part of its Pravargya Yajna, so let’s see how the Yajamana of Yagna goes beyond death giving us a practical relevance to this hymn. So let’s start with a little background of Katha Śākhā’s basis and move to the context of Mrityu:

The Pravargya is said to beat off recurring death (punarmrtyum apahanti, III 219). The discussion of recurring death represents the intermediate state in the development of Upanishadic thought, emerging as the theory of rebirth with karma in the Upanisads. How ‘second-death’ is to be affected seems to be dependent on the effect of this additional and more severe diksa. It is significant that the undertaking of this special observance results just like that of a normal diksa — in a kind of rebirth of the yajamana. In the present case he not only becomes another consecrated person with a new name, a diksita, but in addition, he also separates himself from death by undergoing the avantaradika in the wilderness.
The Katha (Katha Shaka) clearly stands at the crossroads of traditional brahmana ideas and the beginnings of Upanishadic thought. The idea of punarmrtyu (Katha III 219 apa punarmrtyum jayati, ya evam veda) is one of the steps leading to the Upanishadic concept of Karmic rebirth. In fact, there were several strands of belief that. for the first time in Vedic thought, resulted in the idea of constant rebirth, seen gradually developing in the older Upanishads.

Now, let’s understand what is rebirth (punarmrtyum) mentioned by Katha Śākhā, how is Rudra related to this, and finally how the Yajamana can achieve what is mentioned in Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra by Rśi Vaśiṣṭha:

The Yajamana is implicitly identified with Rudra during the Pravargya (II 100-101). Like Rudra, he gains a new bodily form, svargakrti (II 143, cf. III 225), a ‘heavenly body’. This can be done in several ways. After taking the Pravargya vessel and the other utensils eastwards (III 177), all are laid out in the form of a man. This action creates a new body for the Yajamana, with the Pravargay vessel that glowed during the ritual as his head. In sum, the sponsor of the ritual also becomes adiyavarna ‘sun-skinned’, and goes to heaven like Rudra (III 183).
In the Katha Aranyaka, this is the Pravargya, a ritual in which a blazing clay vessel (mahavira) is identified with the Sun and Rudra Mahavira. This ritual also aims at giving the sponsor of the ritual (Yajamana) a new, heavenly body. This is established by multiple Upanishad-like identification between various entities of microcosm (man), ritual (Yajna), and macrocosm.
Please note: this heavenly body is a subtle body to ascend to heavens (sargo vai loka auttaravedikas III 233: 91.1-2)

From reading the above, as a seeker one must ask two questions, Is Rudra Adiyavarna “Sun-like luster”? Second, does the famous Katha Upaniṣhad concur with the above? The answer is yes to both. Rig Veda itself addresses Rudra with Sun-like luster along with other Vedic Saṃhitā. Coming to Katha Upaniṣhad which itself is a primary Upaniṣhad that belongs to Caraka-Katha Śākhā says:

अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषोऽन्तरात्मा सदा जनानां हृदये संनिविष्टः। तं स्वाच्छरीरात्प्रवृहेन्मुञ्जादिवेषीकां धैर्येण। तं विद्याच्छुक्रममृतं तं विद्याच्छुक्रममृतमिति ॥2.3.17
The Purusha, the Spirit within, who is no larger than the finger of a man is seated for ever in the heart of creatures; one must separate Him with patience from one’s own body as one separates from a blade of grass its main fiber. Thou shalt know Him for the Bright Immortal, yea, for the Bright Immortal.

Katha Upaniṣhad 2.3.17

We will go into detail about Caraka-Katha Śākhā soon but let’s explore other Vedic Saṃhitā in relevance to liberation. Here is how Atharva Ved7.42.2 addresses Soma-Rudra, with hymns also found in Rig Veda 2.74 & 6.74.2 & 6.74.3:

सोमारुद्रा वि वृहतं विषूचीम् अमीवा या नो गयम् आविवेश । बाधेथां दूरं निरृतिम् पराचैः॒ कृतं चिद् एनः प्र मुमुक्तम् अस्मत् ॥१॥
Cast away (वृह), and separate us (विषूची) from all bondages/sicknesses (अमीवा) from us and our families (गय) O Soma and Rudra (सोमारुद्रा ), drive away (पराचै) afar ( दूरं) our pain/suffering (बाध) and death/destruction (निरृति) liberate us ( मुक्त ) from those (अस्मत्) even if (चिद्) they are committed (कृत) sins/papa ( एनः) 7.42.1

सोमारुद्रा यु॒वमेतान्यस्मे विश्वा तनूषु भेषजानि धत्तम् |अव स्यतं मु॒ञ्चतं यन्नो अस्ति तनूषु बद्धं कृ॒तमेनो अस्मत् ॥२॥
O Soma and Rudra (सोमारुद्रा ) always bestow (ध – धत) upon us (यु॒वम +एतानि +अन्य्) the cure, with all (विश्वा) your medicines (भेषजानि) tied to our bodily realm (तनू) | liberate us/untie us (मुञ्चति) from those (अस्मत्) we have (अस्ति) done(कृ॒त) , which (य) are connected (बद्ध) with our physical/bodily realm (तनू) 7.42.2.
Please note: (यु॒वम +एतानि +अन्य्) means all these for us, used as 2nd person pronoun.
Soma and Rudra! Bring all these medicines to our bodies! Untie, get rid of from us the sin committed that is bound to our bodies. 

मा नो रुद्र तक्मना मा विषेण मा नः सं -स्रा दिव्येनाग्निना 11.2.26
Rudra (रुद्र) untie (सं -स्रा) for us (नो ) those diseases (तक्म – ना ) and those vicious poisons (विषेण मा न) and from the divine fire (दिव्येनाग्निना)
Please note : सं -स्रा = untie where as सं-स्राव = flow together

 Atharva Veda 7.42.1-2

The synopsis of immortality and liberation and knowledge ended in the Upaniṣhad as:

या ते रुद्र शिवा तनूरघोराऽपापकाशिनी।तया नस्तनुवा शंतमया गिरिशन्ताभिचाकशीहि॥3.5
You (या) Rudra of Auspicious (शिवा) body (तनू), and of fierce form (अघोरा) resident of highest place (गिरिशन्त) with your brilliant design/thought (अभिचा +काश्) which removes our avidya and karmic cycle of pāpa (अ-पापकाशिनी ) make us (नः) realize our blissful clam self(शंतमया + तनू  +तया )
ततः परं ब्रह्मपरं बृहन्तं यथानिकायं सर्वभूतेषु गूढम्‌।विश्वस्यैकं परिवेष्टितारमीशं तं ज्ञात्वाऽमृता भवन्ति॥3.7
Henceforth/moreover, further than (ततः परं) Greatness known to us/our personal God (बृहन्त) is Brahman/infinite that is further/superior (ब्रह्म+परं ) thought each enjoyed their own bodies/individuality (यथानिकायम्) He is the indweller hidden in all (सर्व+भूतेषु+गूढम् ) he along encompasses all entirety and is its authority (विश्वस्य+ एकं+ परिवेष्टितारम + ईशाम् ) knowing/realizing that one becomes amṛta/immortal (ज्ञात्वा+अमृताः ).

 Svetasvatara Upaniṣhad 3.5, 3.7

Let’s go to Mahabharatam Sauptika Parva, in which Yudhishthira (Dharmaraj), in despair for losing his children and many others to Drona’s son Ashwathama questions Śrī Kṛṣṇa (Vasudeva), for which He replies:

The holy one said, ‘Verily, Drona’s son had sought the aid of that highest of all the gods, viz., the eternal Mahadeva. It was for this that he succeeded in slaying, single-handed, so large a number of warriors. If Mahadeva be gratified, he can bestow even immortality. Girisha can give such valor as will succeed in checking Indra himself. I know Mahadeva truly, O bull of Bharata’s race! I know also his various acts of old. He, O Bharata, is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all creatures. The entire Universe acts and moves through his energy.

Mahabharatam Itihāsa Sauptika Parva 17

Similarly, Śrī Adi Śankaracharya said:

अन्नपूर्णे सदापूर्णे शङ्करप्राणवल्लभे । ज्ञानवैराग्यसिद्ध्यर्थं भिक्षां देहि च पार्वति ॥ ११॥
Devi Annapurnae, you are forever whole/full, oh beloved eternal companion of Śankara. Bestow upon me as alms the Jnana (wisdom/core essence) that leads to the meaningful outcome of Vairāgya (detachment from desires and compulsions), oh daughter of mountains, Pārvatī.

 Annapurāstakam by Śrī Adi Śankaracharya

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