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Srirudram

The Vedic ritual of homa that has its origins more than 500 years before the birth of Christ, continues to highlight the religious traditions of Bharat even to this day. Among the many homa-s the Rudra homa is resorted to in times of fear and concern. The powerful chant accompanying this ritual today is a collection of about 82 mesmerizing suktas taken primarily from the Yajurveda. Of these 66 to 69 suktas are addressed directly to the divinity of Rudra. These elaborate suktas are the outpourings of Parameshti Kutsa rishi. The remaining ones are addressed in the original Vedas, to various deities such as Mrtyunjaya, Agni, Prajapati and Atma. In usage however all these have been gathered under the terms Shri Rudram, Shatarudriyam, Rudradhyaya and Rudra Prasna. Reciters also classify parts of the ShriRudram as namakas and chamakas based on the recurrences of the words nama and cha-mey.

Yajurvedic suktas are often repetitions or expansions of seed-suktas found in the older veda, the Rgveda. The very first sukta addressed to the divine Rudra in the Rgveda is by the seer Kanva.

“Kadrudraaya prachetasey meelhustamaaya tavyasey. Vocheyma shantam hridey.”

“Kadrudraaya prachetasey meelhustamaaya tavyasey. Vocheyma shantam hridey.”

Later Rgvedic suktas on Rudra are by Angiras, Kutsa and Ghritsamada.

Who is the Devata called Rudra?

We owe our present cultivar concept of Shiva, cultured over the many years crossed with regional traditions, to the main stock - the Rgvedic divinity Rudra. The Satya shrutah rishis of the Vedic times were able to internalize external phenomena. Being Kraanta darshees they gave back the truths that they had culled, back to the world in the form sublime outpourings. These outpourings became indicators or suktas of the Divine.

The root Ru is to sound, to vibrate. Ruda is to pour, to cry. Rudra is to shed, to flow, to inflict. The senses and faculties of the rishis were razor sharp and their life style was consistent with the cosmic order or Rttham. They were alive to the Mountains, Wind, Rain, Verdant greenery and bodies of water. They were conscious of the value of a full and healthy life. They were deeply aware of the many sources both external and internal that endangered man’s daily life. In nature therefore they saw the Cosmic Inflictor - Rudra. The very same Rudra was the one in charge of their afflictions. Plagued by fears, sickness and death they turned to this Cosmic Inflictor. The mighty Panchakshara mantra “namah shivaaya” appears first here. They recognized the omnipotence and the omnipresence of the immanent Divine Warrior. Only He with his multifarious weapons and moods could facilitate a full and healthy life and protect them from danger. These Rudra suktas therefore became the most powerful appeal by the Afflicted directed towards the Cosmic Source of Inflictions.

The home study course on the Shrirudram has 11 lessons. The course includes the original Sanskrit verses, transliteration in English, gist of the word meaning and general commentary.

There are 4 apprehension quizzes.

If you would like to do our online courses please click on the links below:

Introduction

Lesson 1

Lesson 2/3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

chamakas