Rudrīya: The hymns to Rudra

Vedic hymns of Rudra are called Rudriya –like Śatarudrīya/Çatarudriya, meaning 100 hymns to Rudra – and these hymns are sung by Aditi, Prajāpati, Rishis, Vyasa, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and others. Among these Rudriyas, those used as calming oblations/offerings are called Śāntarudriya. And since these Rudriyas are sung by Devas they are called Śāntadevatyam. Similarly, the hymns sung for Maruts are called Marutvatia. For example:

In what way (कथा ) can one chant/speak (ब्रवीति) about the magnificence of Rudriya (महे । रुद्रियाय), How can one directly understand (कद्राये चिकितुषे =कत् + रयेण +चिकितुषे) our supporter (भगाय) | Maybe by rivers (आप:), medicinal herbs (ओषधीः), or (उत) in between (नः । अवन्तु) the sky (द्यौ) or forests (वना) or mountains (गिरयः) and their trees/plants (वृक्ष) RV 5.41.11
Please note: Rudriya are the hymns dedicated to Rudra, which is a cumulative of Rudra’s entire essence. Bhaga here represents Aditya, which is the sustainer of life on Earth and its sky. Since the Puruṣa (consciousness) is not in our experience, we seek that magnificence through Creation/Prakṛti

To the one with joyful/peaceful heart, we want to declare to Rudra, to the conscious knower, the most bountiful, the mightiest, in order that Aditi would hold/sing (and bring forth) Rudriya on our behalf and on behalf of all creatures, in order that knowledge (cow), that Mitra-Varuna and that Rudra would wake us all to awareness; to this we all agree/conclude.

 Rig Veda 5.41.11, 1.43.2

Both Śrī Rudram and Śatarudrīya describe a furious form emerging out of Prajāpati. This furious anger is called Manyu, the ferocious aspect of Rudra with a hundred heads, a thousand eyes, and thousands of weapons. This matches perfectly with Kausitaki Brāhmaṇa 6 of Rig Veda wherein it describes Rudra as a thousand-eyed and arms with thousand weapons.

let us come to Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Itihāsa or Mahābhāratam. Drona Parva, Nārāyaṇastra-Mokshana Parva, Section 203 summarizes every aspect we have seen in the Vedas. It says:

VedVyāsa says: The foremost one of all Devas/Gods, that destroyer of Daksha’s Yajñá, that divine lord having a bull as His sign, became gratified with the Devas. He is Rudra, He is Śiva, He is Agni, He is everything, and He hath knowledge of everything. He is Indra, He is the wind/Vayu, He is the twin Ashvins, He is the lightning. He is Bhava, He is Parjanya, He is Mahādeva, He is sinless (untouched by karma-cause-and-effect). He is the Moon/Soma, He is īśhana, He is Surya, He is Varuna. He is Kāla, He is Antaka, He is Mrityu, He is Yama. He is the day, He is the night. He is the fortnight, He is the month, He is the season. He is morning and night and twilight, He is the year/Sāṃvatsara. He is Dhātri, He is Vidhātri, He is the soul of the Viśvam. Though Himself without body, He it is who is the embodied celestials. He is one, He is many, He is hundred thousand. Brahmanas versed in Vedas say that He hath two forms. These are the terrible and auspicious. These two forms are again multifarious. His terrible forms are Agni, Viśnu and Surya. His auspicious forms are the water, light and the Moon. Whatever is highly mysterious in the several branches of Vedas, in the Upaniṣhads, in the Puráńas, and in those sciences/Śāstra that deal with the soul/jiva-ātmān, is that God, viz., Maheswara. That God is again without birth. All the attributes of that God could not be enumerated by me, Oh son of Pandu, even if I were to recite them continuously for a thousand years. He is Maheswara and is the lord of even the supreme ones. In many forms of many kinds He prevadeth the Viśvam. He always dwells in the crematoriums. Men worship that Supreme Lord in that place where none but the courageous can go. Many are the names, of truthful import, of this deity in all worlds; those names are founded upon His Supremacy, His omnipotence and His acts. In the Veda, the excellent hymn called Śatarudrīya hath been sung in honor of that great God called the infinite Rudra.

Krishna showed thee this God, in thy dream, sitting on the top of the foremost of mountains. That illustrious God proceedeth in advance of thee in battle. It is He who gave thee those weapons with which thou didst slay the Danavas. The hymn approved of by the Vedas and called Śatarudrīya in honor of that God of Gods, that excellent, famous, life-enhancing and sacred hymn, has now, O Partha been explained to thee. This hymn of 4 divisions capable of accomplishing every object, is sacred, destructive of all sins, and competent to drive away all stains and kill all sorrows and all fears. The man that always listens to it succeeds in vanquishing all his foes and is highly respected in the region of Rudra. The person who always attentively reads or listens to the recitation of this excellent and this auspicious account appertaining to battle, of the illustrious deity, and who worships with devotion that illustrious lord of universe obtains all the high objects of desire in consequence of the three-eyed God being gratified by with him.

 Mahābhāratam, Drona Parva – Narayanastra-mokshana Parva Section 203

Vāsudeva says to Yudhishthira: I shall recite to you the good that I have acquired and the fame that I have won through the grace of the high-souled one. Verily, I shall discourse to you on this topic, after I have bowed unto Kaparddin. O King, listen to me as I recite to you that Śatarudrīya which I repeat, with restrained senses, every morning after rising from bed. The great lord of all creatures, viz., the Grandsire Brahman himself, endued with wealth of penances, composed those mantras, after having observed special penances for some time. O sire, it is Śankcara who created all the creatures in the universe, mobile and immobile. There is no being that is higher, O monarch, than Mahādeva.

 Mahābhāratam Anuśāsanica Parva Section 160 (non-jaya section)

Thou art the beginning and thou art the end of the Vedas, thou art the Gāyatri and thou art OM. Thou art green, red, blue ….. and all colors of the Sun, Thou art without color, thou art best color, thou art the maker of colors, and thou art without comparison….. Thou art the fire upon which the sacrificial butter/ghee is poured. Thou art he who pours the ghee. Thou art he in honor of whom the ghee is poured, thou art the butter itself that is poured. Thou art those section of Brahmanas that are called Trisuparna, thou art all the Vedas, thou art the section called Śatarudrīya in the Yajushes/Yajur. Thou art holiest of holies, auspicious of auspicious things. Thou animatest the inanimate body. Thou art the Chit that dwell in the human form. Invested with attributes, thou becomes subject to destruction, thou art Jiva, that is He who is never subjected to destruction when uninvested with attributes. Thou art full yet thou become liable to decay and death in the form of the body which is Jiva’s accompaniment. Thou art art satwa, rajas, tamas and thou art not subject to error. Thou art the breath of life called Prāna, Apāna, Samāna, Udāna and Vyāna. Thou art the opening of eye and shutting of eye…..
त्रिसुपर्ण (Trisuparna) = Secret text or that which is to be known

Mahābhāratam Shanti Parva – Moksha Dharma Parva Section 285

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s