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Sree Rudra Prasna

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I have done some study of the Rudra Prasna from the books available with me and also from web resources and have prepared a sort of translation-cum-notes for the first few anuvakas. I present here a part of it. The typing is quite time-taking for me; there may be typos as well as other mistakes/errors. I request feedback, favourable as well as critical so that I can improve the work.

Sree Rudram

Sree rudram or rudra praSna forms part of the fifth prapAThaka of the fourth kANDa of the thaittiriya yajussamhita. The word “nama:” occurs several times (183 to be exact) in it and hence this mantra is also known by the name of ‘namakam’. In the seventh prapAThaka of the same kANDa the words “ca me” occur many times and so it is known as ‘camakam’. (There is another group of hymns in the R^gvEda known as rudrasUkta.)

In the namakam, the devotee mentally prostrates before Lord rudrA with each chanting of the word “nama:” while, in the camakam, he implores the Lord to give him all the material necessities of life with the words “ca me” (and …to me).

Since rudra is prayed to in His various forms, this rudram is also known as ‘Satarudreeyam’; ‘Satam’ is used here not in the sense of ‘one hundred’ but ‘many’.

Sri Rudram consists of 37 Riks and 130 Yajus in various chhandases or metres.

In the text ‘mahARNava karmavipAka’ of sage Satapatha, there is reference to four types of abhishEka approved by the vEda, viz., rudram, EkAdaSa rudram, mahArudram and atirudram. Reciting namakam once followed by one anuvAka of camaka is called rudram; reciting namakaanuvAka of camaka, thus completing one full recital of camaka, (11 namaka and one camaka), makes one EkAdaSarudram. Eleven EkAdaSarudram-s (namaka 121 times + camaka 11 times) makes one rudraikAdaSinee or laghurudram. Eleven rudraikAdaSinee-s or laghurudram-s make one mahArudram and eleven mahArudram-s make one atirudram (recital of namaka 14641 times plus chamaka 1331 times). These (rudraikAdaSinee or laghurudram, mahArudram, and athirudram) are performed for the welfare of the family, the country and the world respectively.

There is one view that the R^shi who gave us the rudram must have experienced the form of rudrasamhAramUrthi at the time of the pRaLaya (periodical destruction of the universe) and, seeing His extremely fierce form, he therefore first tries to mollify the Lord.

rudra in the R^gvEda

There are 3 entire hymns (sUkta) devoted to rudra besides 75 casual references to rudra in the R^gvEda. The first R^k praising rudra is at I-42-1 and it reads as follows:

Kad rudrAya pRacEtase mee(Lhu)DhushTamAya tavyase |
vOcEma Sam tamam hR^de ||

Here rudra is spoken of as the repository of great wisdom (pRacEtase) and as one who bestows boons as if it rains (meeLhushTamAya).

But there are other types of depictions of rudra in the R^gvEda itself. In the R^gvEda the word rudra has been used in the sense of ‘reddish’ or ‘howler’ and rudra
is one of the intermediate level gods (antariksha devata). The predominant picture of rudra that emerges from the R^gvEda is of a god who is fierce as well as benevolent, armed with bow and fast-flying arrows - "brilliant shafts which run about the heaven and the earth" (RV 7.46.3); he is endowed with strong arms, a lustrous body decorated with ornaments and he wears braided or knotted hair (kapardin).

is also regarded as the best physician- “bhishajAm bhishaktamam”- (RV 2.33.4). He is said to have medicines in liquid form (“jalAsha bhEshajam”-RV 1.43.4), and also thousands of medicines (“sahasRam tE svapivAta bhEshajou”-RV 7.46.3). RV 7.46.2 prays to rudra to visit the devotees’ houses and to bestow good health to their offspring, and RV 1.114.1 entreats rudra to grant good health to the people and cattle.

RV 2.33.11 picturises rudra as “Srutam gaRtasadam yuvAnam, mR^gam na bheemam upahatnum ugram”, i.e., famous, seated on a war-chariot, ever-young, fierce like the lion, killer of foes and fierce.

Incidentally, the namakam as popularly chanted at present, contains 37 R^ks and 130 yajus in its 11 anuvAkAs.

Several etymologies have been given to the word “rudra” in the religious texts and commentaries.

A few of the other derivations (other than the R^gvEdic one of ‘reddish’, ‘howler’, etc.,) are listed below:

1.‘yadvA R^t samsArAkhyam du:kham, tad drAvayati apagamayati vinASayati iti rudra:’ - (One who annihilates or removes ‘R^t’ or the woe of the ‘samsAra’.

2.‘rOdayati sarvam antakAle iti rudra:’ - (One who makes everyone weep at the end - at the time of death or at the time of the pRaLaya.)

3.‘yadvA R^ta: SabdarUpa: upanishada:, tAbhir drUyate gamyate pRatipAdyate iti rudra:’ - (rutrud)-pl. signifies the upanishads; the words of the upanishads describe (drUyate) the supreme brahman and through them we get the realisation of brahmAnandam (bliss). Hence the name rudra.

This looks a far-fetched derivation trying to link the upanishads and the Supreme brahman described in them.

4.‘R^tyA (vEdarUpAya) dharmAdeen avalOkayati pRApayati iti vA rudra:’ - (One who, in the form of vEda, establishes dharma and enforces it.)

5.‘R^tyA (pRaNavarUpAya) svAtmAnam pRayati iti rudra:’ – (One who, in the form of the sacred Om or pRaNava, gives brahmajnAna to the devotees.)

6.‘yadvA R^Naddhi AvR^Noti iti rud andhakArAdi tad dr^Nati vidArayati iti rudra:’ – The verbal root ‘rud’ also means ‘to close’, ‘to shut’; hence ‘rudra’ will also mean one who pierces (dr^NAti) ignorance, darkness of ignorance, etc.

Apart from the above, we have rudra as one of the three SRAddha dEvatA (deities). pitR^^n (the manes)are visualized in three forms, viz., vasu, rudra and Aditya. The first generation of deceased forefathers – whether father or grandfather, mother or grandmother, who has left this world, is considered as being in the form of vasu, the generation previous to that is considered to be in the form of rudra and the one previous to that as Aditya. The significance of the term rudra in this context has been explained as, either (1) the concerned pitR^ resides in the rudralOka and hence the oblations or food is given to rudra who will take it to the pitR^,or, (2) the concerned pitR^ has attained the form or status of rudra and hence is addressed as such. The concept is not, however, very clear.

This rigvedic rudra seems to have absorbed, in the course of time, the characteristics of many a non-vedic deity and transformed into the present day Siva-rudra. While the sAmavEda does not materially alter the persona of rudra, by the time of the yajuRvEda there are many changes in his characteristics. Siva now isdwarf, aged, many-eyed and a mountain-dweller clothed in animal-skin. In the SukLa yajuRvEda (vAjasanEyi samhita) III-57, ambikA is mentioned as the sister of rudra. It is only later that she becomes the wife of rudra-Siva.

Recital of namaka and camaka – importance of svara and accord (unison) and meaning

The importance of svara and the need for chanting mantras in strict unison is emphasized in many authoritative texts. The notion of svara also presupposes conforming to Sruthi and accord, i.e., chanting in unison. These aspects are given very low or negligible priority nowadays and the degeneration has come to such an extent that even a group of professional purohit-s cannot present us with anything more than cacophony. Then we have a very large number of youth (and older people as well) who either attend some so-called classes conducted by someone, (who, in his turn, might have learnt it in the same way and not from a guru qualified from a vEdapAThaSAla,) and then transmits whatever he had picked up and haughtily holds that his version is the correct one. No wonder that the recitals nowadays do not serve any purpose other than a “show business”!

There are people who opine with conviction that it is not necessary to know the meaning of the mantra and they often cite the example of medicines; the medicine works irrespective of whether the person taking it knows its chemical composition or how it is prepared. The truth is far from it. Whereas the medicine works in the physical body and it is not necessary for the person to know its composition, since the body does all the necessary functions once the medicine gets into it, mantramantra creates its chemical composition, and as anyone would agree, just as any slight mistake in the chemical composition would jeopardise the patient’s health, a wrongly recited mantra would harm the person so chanting it. pANini gives the vedic example of the yAga of vR^tRa to kill indra. (vR^tRa, arch-enemy of indra conducted a yAga; he recited the mantra, “indraSatRuR vardhasva:” with wrong svara
[FONT=&quot]causing it to mean ‘let indra the enemy increase in might’[/FONT]. indra thus becomes able to kill vR^tra, which was otherwise very difficult for him to do.)

It is relevant to state here that even in this day and age, the Thai language has vastly different meanings for the same word depending on its intonation. So, foreign visitors are specially cautioned not to try speaking the language based on books or CDs, lest one ends up in the Police Station for using offensive language or else gets beaten!

So, there is nothing strange in demanding proper svaras for the vedas. In fact, with the advent of the ‘bhakti’ cult (which has very likely been an offshoot of, as well as an effort to offset, the spread of Christianity) there arose a general feeling that God will tolerate any and every lapse on the part of the devotee if the latter merely has bhakti towards God, and this gradually eroded the discipline of learning and chanting the vedas without mistake. Perfection is of the lowest priority in such matters now.

Printed books adopt various signs/symbols to indicate the svaras of mantra-s. But these, at best, enable one who has done proper study of the mantra from a qualified teacher, to refresh one’s memory and correct oneself; these do not help a novice to learn the intricacies which has to be learnt from gurumukham, from the guru’s mouth.

…to be continued.
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sangom,i do agree pronouncing the write way in mantram chanting is prfound in delievering the fruits of the chant.with meaning understood,the mantras attain siddis. for the chanter.
Now we take up the namakam.

hari: Om

SRee mahAgaNapataye nama:

Sree rudrAdhyAya:


namastE rudra manyava utO ta ishavE nama: |
namastE astu dhanvanE bAhubhyAm uta tE nama: || -01.01

hE rudra! -
tE manyavE nama: - salutations unto your anger
uta - also
te ishave nama: - salutations unto your arrows
te dhanvane nama: astu (nama: te =namaste- dhanvane astu)-salutations unto your bow.


The word ‘dhanvan’ meant ‘bow’ though that usage is not current now.

uta te bAhubhyAm nama: (astu)- and salutations unto (both) your hands.

hE rudra! tE manyavE nama: uta tE ishavE nama: tE dhanvanE nama: astu; tE bAhubhyAm uta nama:

hE rudra! Salutations unto your anger. And to your arrows, your
bow and to both your hands (which hold the bow and arrow).

yAta ishuSSivatamA Sivam babhUva te dhanuH |
SivA SaravyA yA tava tayA nO rudra mR^Daya || -01.02

SivatamA – most auspicious
SaravyA – hail of arrows (this has been taken to mean quiver also in some commentaries)
mr^D – be merciful, gracious

rudra, tE yA ishuH SivatamA babhUva tE dhanuH Sivam (babhUva) tava yA SaravyA SivA (babhUva) tayA naH rudra mr^Daya

O rudra!, with your arrow which is most auspicious, auspicious bow, and auspicious hail of arrows (quiver), be merciful towards (our faults) and bestow happiness on us.


"babhUva" is the perfect past tense of the root bhU. As per pANini sUtra it should be read as present tense or perfect present tense in the vEdic mantRa. Hence it will stand here for ‘bhavati’.

yA tE rudra SivA tanUraghOrApApakASinee |
tayA nastanuvA SantamayA giriSantAbhicAkaSeehi || -01.03

giriSanta: - Various meanings have been given by different commentators for this word:

1. One who permanently resides in the Kailasa mountain and provides comforts to all living beings.

2. One who resides in the vEdAs as their meaning and bestows well-being to all

3. One who is the innermost meaning of pRaNava or OmkAra to be meditated upon, and brings the supreme bliss called brahmAnanda to those who so meditate.

aghOrA – not awful, pleasant, unalarming
apApakASinee – shining on due to absence of sin, making brahmajnAna glow as per the Sruthi, "ayamAtmA apahatapApmA", etc.
abhicAkaSeehi – make (it) shine

rudra!, giriSanta!, yA tE tanUH SivA aghOrA apApakASinee, tayA Sam tamayA tanuvA naH abhicAkaSeehi

A simple and straightforward meaning of this stanza is as under:

hE rudra! hE giriSanta, (i.e., one who resides in the Kailasa mountain and bestows comforts on us always!) Please illuminate brahmajnAna in us with your sinless shining body which is pleasant to behold, not inflicting harm on us.

yAm ishum giriSanta hastE bibhaRshyastavE |
SivAm giritra tAm kuru mA hig˘msee: purusham jagat || -01.04

giritRa - 1. one who protects the universe by one’s effulgence, 2.
one who, residing in Kailas, protects it
astavE – aimed at the jivas
haste – in (the) hand
bibhaRshi – wearing, carrying
tAm – that (arrow)
SivAm kuru – make auspicious
purusham – all of us jivas
jagat – this world, the entire universe
mA himseeH – (please) do not harm

giriSanta! giritRa! yAm ishum astavE hastE bibhaRshi, tAm SivAm kuru; purusham jagat mA himsee:

rudra is addressed as giriSanta and giritRa and is implored to make the arrow in his hand to be auspicious towards all and not to harm.

SivEna vacasA tvA giriSAcchA vadAmasi |
yathA na: sarvam ijjagadayakshmag˘m sumanA asat || -01.05

na: sarvam id jagat – this world and all universe of ours
yathA – in which way
ayakshmam – without disease
sumanA asat – will become well-disposed, cheerful
SivEna vacasA – by auspicious words
tvA(m) acchA vadAmasi – pray direct in order to attain you

giriSa: na: sarvam id jagat yathA ayakshmam sumanA asat SivEna vacasA tvA acchA vadAmasi

hE, giriSA! In order that this entire universe of ours will be without disease and cheerful (well-disposed), we pray to you direct with auspicious words in order to attain you.

To be continued…
Vey nice thread sir. Thanks for this.

I may not participate but will be reading the posts with keen interest.

I think this thread will become another gem on the forum; like the wonderful one (kohinoor) by Shri Nara on Swami Nammalvar.
Dear Sri Sangom ji
Very good initiative and good start. Wish you all the best for a wonderful article with full meaning.
if one knows the meaning, then only he will have "shradha" and devotion towards the action or goal. and to get the good result.

all the best
adhyavOcadadhivaktA pRathamO daivyO bhishak |
aheeg˘mSca sarVAn jambhayan sarVASca yAtudhAnya: || -01.06

adhivaktA – one who pleads for (the bhaktha)
pRathama: - the first, the greatest
daivyaH – one who pervades all the elements
bhishak – physician who treats and cures the disease of samsAra
(cycle of births and deaths)*

* Pl. read "physician who treats and cures diseases". For reasons pl. see posts Nos.8 and 9 below.

sarVAn aheemSca – all serpents (those evils which are visible
like lust, for example)
sarVASca yAtudhAnyaH – all demons and evil spirits (which
are invisible)
jambhayan – one who crushes
adhyavOcat – (may He) plead on my (our) behalf

adhivaktA prathama: daivya: bhishak sarVAn aheemSca sarVA: yAtudhAnya: ca adhyavOcat

May rudra, who pleads for his devotees, who is the first and the greatest, who pervades the five bhUta-s, the physician who treats and cures the disease of samsAra, who crushes visible enemies like serpents and invisible enemies like rakshas, plead for me.

asou yastAmRO aruNa uta babhrussumanggala: |
yE cE mAg˘m rudrA abhitO dikshu SritA: sahasraSO vaishAg˘m hEDa eemahe || -01.07

ya: asou - (rudra) to whom the foregoing prayers were addressed
tAmRa: – crimson, very reddish (as the rising sun)
aruNa: – ruddy (immediately after rising)
uta - besides
babhru: - (some time after rising) of golden hue
sumanggala: - most auspicious
imAm – of this world
abhita: - around
dikshu: - (all) directions
SritA: - dependent
sahasraSa: - thousands of
yE ca rudrA: - rudras who are (exist)
EshAm – of all those
hEDa: - anger
ava eemahe – we propitiate (with prayers and obeisance)

ya: tAmRa: aruNa: uta babhRu: sumamgala: asou imAm abhita: dikshu: SritA: sahasRaSa: yE ca rudrA: EshAm hEDa: ava eemahe

We propitiate the anger of this (rudra to whom the foregoing prayers were addressed) who is crimson (at the time of rising), ruddy (immediately after rising), besides being golden-hued (after some time) and most auspicious, and also of the thousands of rudras who exist around all the directions in this world, (with our prayers and obeisance).


1. It is not clear why the rudra (and rudras who are mentioned in this hymn) are angry in the first place. One view is that the R^shi who beheld the fierce form of rudra as the destroyer at the time of the final pRaLaya was so overcome with fear that he tries to pacify rudra first.

2. “Who are the rudras?”; br^hadAraNyakOpanishad explains this as under:-

“kathame rudrA iti. daSeme purushe prANAH AtmaikAdaSaH; te yadAsmAt SareerAn maRtyAd utkRAmanti, atha rOdayanti, tad yad rOdayanti, tasmAd rudrA iti”
(br^hadAraNyakOpanishath, 3-9.6)

Who are the ‘rudrAs’? They are the ten ‘pRANAs’ of the (human) body and the ‘AtmA” as the eleventh. When these eleven ‘rudrAs’ leave the human body, the person cries and others also cry; therefore they are ‘rudrAs’.

Asou yOƒvasaRpati neelagreevO vilOhita: |
Utainam gOpA adR^San adR^SannudahArya: |
Utainam viSvA bhUtAni sa dR^shTO mR^DayAti na: || -01.08

ya: asou = that (rudra) one there (in the form of the sun)
neelagreeva: = one who has blue neck
vilOhita: = bright red-coloured
avasaRpati = comes down
gOpA = cowherds
Enam adR^San = looks at this man (rudra)
udahArya: uta = also, women who carry water(pots)
Enam adR^San = looks at this man (rudra)
viSvA bhUtAni = all the living beings in this world
uta Enam adR^San = also look at him
sa: = he (rudra in the form of the sun)
dR^shTa: = by remaining visible
na: = us
mR^DayAti = makes us happy

ya: asou neelagreeva: vilOhita: avasaRpati gOpA Enam adR^San uta Enam udahArya: |
uta Enam viSvA bhUtAni (adR^San) | sa: dR^shTa: (sthitvA) na: mR^DayAti |

(When) that (rudra) one there (in the form of the sun) having blue neck and bright red colour comes down, the cowherds look at him (to see whether it is time for them to bring home the cattle); and the women carrying water (in pots) look at him (to judge the time so that they can return home before it gets dark); and all the living beings look at him (as they judge the end of the day). He (rudra), remaining visible, makes us happy.

namO astu neelagreevAya sahasRAkshAya meeDhushE |
athO yE asya satvAnOƒham tEbhyOƒkaram nama: || -01.09

namO astu = Let salutations be made
neelagreevAya = to the one with blue neck
sahasRAkshAya = to the one with thousand (many) eyes
meeDhushe = to the one who is bountiful
athO = further
asya = of this (rudra)
yE satvAna: = to whichever followers (warriors)
tEbhya: = to them (also)
aham nama: akaram = I prostrate

neelagreevAya sahasRAkshAya meeDhushe namO astu |
atha: asya yE satvAna: tEbhya: aham nama: akaram ||

Let salutations be made to the one with blue neck and possessing thousands of eyes who is bountiful. Further, I prostrate unto all those followers (warriors) of this (rudra).

pRamunca dhanvanastvam ubhayOrARtniyOrjyAm |
yASca tE hasta ishava: parA tA bhagavO vapa || -01.10

bhagava: ! tvam = hE, bhagavan! thou
dhanvana: = of the bow
jyAm pRamunca = untie the bow string
ubhayO: ArtniyO: = from both ends of the bow
tE hastE yA: ishava: ca = Whatever arrows are there in your hand
vapa = throw
tA: = them
parA = away

bhagava: tvam dhanvana: ubhayO: ArtniyO: jyAm pRamunca| tE hastE yA: ishava: ca tA: vapa parA||

hE, bhagavan! Thou untie the bow string from both ends of the bow, and whatever arrows are there in your hand, throw them away.

The word “dhanvana:” is superfluous since “ARthnee” itself means ‘end of the bow’.

To be continued...
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"bhishak – physician who treats and cures the disease of samsAra
(cycle of births and deaths)"

I would like to know if the concept of looking at Samsara as a disease existed before Buddha. If it did not the term may refer simply to physical diseases.
"bhishak – physician who treats and cures the disease of samsAra
(cycle of births and deaths)"

I would like to know if the concept of looking at Samsara as a disease existed before Buddha. If it did not the term may refer simply to physical diseases.
Shri Vikrama,

Thank you for your very pertinent question. I agree that the notion of "samsAra" as something undesirable might not have taken firm roots in the sanAtana dharma before Buddha's time. Nevertheless, we have evidence that there were several ascetics in the AjivikA order whose extreme belief in fatalism might have impelled the upanishadic thinking which emphasizes AtmajnAna and, knowingly or unknowingly, deemphasizes worldy life and pleasures.

yajurvEda being considered a later product than rigvEda, it is not unlikey that this notion could have existed at that time and that may be the reason for some commentator, who is more philosophically inclined, to portray this as samsAra.

It should be sufficient for our purpose to take the literal meaning of the word "bhishag" viz., one who cures disease/s.

Thank you for your comment.
avatatya dhanustvag˘m sahasRAksha SatEshudhe |
niSeerya SalyAnAm mukhA SivO na: sumanA bhava || -01.11

sahasRAksha = thousand-eyed
SatEshudhE = having hundred(s of) quivers
tvam = thou
dhanu: = bow
avatatya = unstring
SalyAnAm mukhA = the pointed ends of the arrows
niSeerya = make blunt
na: = to us
Siva: sumanA bhava = become auspicious and well-disposed

sahasRAksha! SatEshudhE! tvam dhanu: avatatya SalyAnAm mukhA niSeerya na: Siva: sumanA bhava ||

O, thousand-eyed one!, owner of hundreds of quivers! Thou unstring thine bow (and) make the pointed ends of the arrows blunt (and) become auspicious to and well-disposed towards, us.

vijyam dhanu: kapaRdinO viSalyO bANavAg˘m uta |
anESannasyEshava Abhurasya nishanggadhi: || 01.12

vijyam = unstringed
dhanu: = bow
kapaRdina: = of one with braided (knotted) hair
viSalya: = without pointed ends (blunted)
bANavAn = arrows
uta = and
anESan = powerless
asya ishava: = of this arrow
asya nishanggadhi: = of this scabbard
Abhu: = empty

kapaRdina: dhanu: vijyam uta bANavAn viSalya: | asya ishava: anESan (uta) asya nishanggadhi: Abhu: ||


The word “nishanggadhi” is not seen in dictionary; “nishangga” means scabbard, quiver, etc.

The bow of the One with the matted hair (jaTA) – kapaRdin – is unstringed (vijyam), His arrows are blunt (without pointed ends), His arrows powerless (not efficient) and His scabbard, empty.


In this manthra, rudra is picturised as having accepted the prayers in the foregoing eleven manthRas and having unstringed His bow, blunted His arrows (made them harmless as prayed for in the preceding manthRa) and also emptied His quiver (scabbard).

yA tE hEtiR meeDhushTama hastE babhUva tE dhanu: |
tayAƒsmAn viSvatastvamayakshmayA paribbhuja || -01.13

meeDhushTama: = the most bountiful, gracious
tE hastE = in thy hand
tE yA dhanu: = thy bow
hEti: = weapons
babhUva = are there
ayakshmayA tayA = with those healthy (benevolent)
tvam asmAn = thou us
viSvata: = from all sides
paribbhuja = embrace

O meeDhushTama! tE hastE tE yA dhanu: hEti: babhUva, ayakshmayA tayA tvam asmAn viSvata: paribbhuja ||

O most bountiful, gracious one! Thy bow and whatever weapons are there in thine hand, with those benevolent weapons thou embrace (protect) us from all sides.

namastE astvAyudhAyAnatatAya dhR^shNave |
ubhAbhyAmuta tE namO bAhubhyAm tava dhanvanE || -01.14

tE = thine
anAtatAya = not inimical, not stretched out
dhR^shNave = for the bold, for the courageous (here, destructive)
AyudhAya = for the weapons
nama: astu = make prostrations
uta = and, also
tE ubhAbhyAm bAhubhyAm nama: = prostrations to both hands of yours
tava dhanvanE = to your bow
nama: (astu) = make prostrations

tE anAtatAya dhR^shNavE AyudhAya nama: astu | tE ubhAbhyAm bAhubhyAm uta tava dhanvane nama: (astu) ||

Since the word “bAhubhyAm” itself shows that both hands (of rudra) are meant, the use of “ubAbhyAm” is superfluous.

Prostrations unto your weapons which have destructive power but which are (no longer) inimical (to us); prostrations also to both hands of yours and to your bow.

pari tE dhanvanO hEtirasmAn vR^Naktu viSvata: |
athO ya ishudhistavArE asmannidhEhi tam || -01.15

tE = your
dhanvana: = bow
hEti: = weapons
asmAn = us
parivR^Naktu = exclude, leave out, avoid
viSvata: = from all sides
atha: = also, further
ya: tava ishudhi: = that quiver of yours
tam asmat ArE = far from us
nidhEhi = place

tE dhanvana: hEti:asmAn viSvata: parivR^Naktu| atha: ya: tava ishudhi: tam asmat ArE nidhEhi ||

(Let) your bow (and) weapons leave us out from all sides. Further, place that quiver of yours far from us.

Iti pRathamOƒnuvAka:
Thus ends the first anuvAka

To be continued…
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(The 47 mantras in anuvAkas 2 to 4 begin and end with the word “nama:” and are known as “ubhayatO namaskAramantras.)

namO hiraNyabAhave sEnAnye diSAm ca pataye nama: -02.01

hiraNyabAhave = one whose hands are golden coloured
sEnAnye = commander of the army
diSAm ca pataye = lord of the directions (diks)
nama: = prostrations


1.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Since the full meaning will be clear from the individual word-meanings, only the latter has been given in the following mantras. Also, the meaning of the word “nama:” being the same in all places, that has been omitted.
2.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Why rudra is called the lord of the directions, when there are are specific dEvAs designated as the “digdEvata”, has been explained differently by different commentators. The most satisfactory explanation seems to be that, by the time of the yajurvEda, rudra or Siva had been conceived of as having five faces sadyOjAta, vAmadEva, aghOra, tatpurusha and eeSAna** – each one facing in a particular dik or direction – and so, naturally, rudra was considered the lord of the directions.
** ‘sadyOjAta mantRa’ – taittireeya AraNyaka-10.43 to 47.

namO vR^kshEbhyO harikESEbhya: paSUnAm pataye nama:

vR^kshEbhya: = to the trees
harikESEbhya: = to the yellow-haired one
paSUnAm pataye = to the lord of the animals


The words ‘vR^ksha’, ‘harikESa’ and ‘paSu’ have been interpreted, in the context of this mantRa, as signifying ‘this world, or samsAra’, ‘the lord of the three guNAs, satva-rajas and tamas-which are like the leaves of the tree of samsAra’ and ‘all living beings including humans’ respectively. However, the straightforward and simple meaning, given above, appears to be adequate.

nama: saspinjarAya tvisheemate patheenAm pataye nama: -02.03

saspinjarAya = to the one who is reddish-yellow coloured like the
tender grass
tvisheemate = to the one having the splendour of intellect
patheenAm pataye = to the lord of the roads, paths

namO babhluSAya vivyAdhinEƒnnAnAm pataye nama: -02.04

babhluSAya = to the brown-coloured one
vivyAdhine = to the one who is piercing, transfixing
annAnAm pataye = to the lord of the foods

namO harikESAyOpaveetine pushTAnAm pataye nama: -02.05

harikESAya = to the yellow-haired one
upaveetine = to the one who wears the sacred thread
pushTAnAm pataye = to the lord of prosperity


pushTa: = nourished, cherished, well-fed, thriving, strong, fat, full,abundant, rich, ample
However, the word ‘pushTapati’ in the athhaRvavEda has been explained as “lord of prosperity, welfare”; this meaning appears more suitable in this context.
namo bhavasya hEtyai jagatAm pataye nama: -02.06

bhavasya hEtyai = to the one who is the weapon to destroy the
samsAra’ *

*Here the concept of "samsAra' inevitably comes in; there can be no other meaning for "bhavasya hEtyai". Hence the meaning which was given in the first instance, in I-6 looks appropriate.

jagatAm pataye = to the lord of the worlds

namo rudrAyAtatAvine kshEtrANAm pataye nama: -02.07

rudrAya = to rudra
AtatAvine = to the one with his bow drawn
kshEtRANAm pataye = to the protector of the bodies (of every
living being)

namassUtAyA hantyAya vanAnAm pataye nama: -02.08

sUtAya = to the charioteer (of the world)
ahantyAya = to the indestructible one
vanAnAm pataye = to the lord of the forests

namo rohitAya sthapataye vr^kshANAm pataye nama: | -02.09

rohitAya = to the ruddy one
sthapataye = to the king
vr^kshANAm pataye = to the lord of the trees


1.‘sthapati’ means a place lord, king, chief, governor, chief official; the meaning of architect, carpenter, stone-mason, master builder, wheelwright etc., were of later times. This word also meant ‘a vaisya or even a person of lower caste, who has celebrated the Gosava sacrifice after being chosen king (kAtyAyana SrautasUtRa)

  1. The word ‘vR^kshANAm pati’ is a repetition of ‘vR^kshEbhya:’ appearing in mantRa 02.02; the first one was addressed to trees as a class, whereas it is to the lord of the trees (as a class) that the prayer is now addressed. Similar repetition of the ideas of ‘harikEsa’ may also be observed.

namo mantriNe vANijAya kakshANAm pataye nama: -02.10

mantriNe = (from ‘mantrin’) to the lord of mantRAs
vANijAya = Siva is known as ‘vaNija’ in MBh. Hence He is
addressed by that name, which probably had its
beginning much earlier, in yajurvedic time itself.
It is usually interpreted to mean that rudra hasan
aspect of a trader, either because He controls the
senses which act like traders (profit-motive), or, that
He controls matters throughout the universe like a
trader controlling his vast businesses in far-flung
kakshANAm pataye = to the lord of secret places, woods, forests,
lairs etc.

namo bhuvantaye vArivaskr^tAyoushadheenAm pataye nama:

bhuvantaye = (bhuvanti=bhuvanam tanoti, bhUmaNDala
vistAraka:) to the nourisher of the world
vArivaskR^tAya = ‘varivaskR^t’ means procuring space,
affording relief, delivering; hence, to the
deliverer (from the cycle of birth and death)
oshadheenAm pataye = ‘oshadhi pati’ means lord of the herbs
and hence physician; so this is addressed
to rudra as the bhishak (‘pRathamo
daivyo bhishak^’-ref. 01.06 above)

nama uccairghoshAyAkrandayate pattheenAm pataye nama:

uccairghoshAya = to the one who roars in thundering tone
Akrandayate = The root ‘Akrand’ has several meanings; of
these, the one that most suits the present mantra
is ‘to inspire courage by …sound’. Hence, to one who inspires courage by one’s voice

pattheenAm pataye = to the commander (lord) of the foot-soldiers,
referring to the followers of rudra, viz., the

nama: kr^tsnaveetAya dhAvate satvanAm pataye nama: | -02.13

kr^tsnaveetAya = ‘kr^tsna’ means entire, without limit, endless, etc.
veeta:’ means gone, ceased
etc. Hence,
has been taken
to mean ‘unlimited
by space, omnipresent’

dhAvate = to one who runs (after His devotees to protect them)
satvanAm pataye = lord of warriors

Here the idea of “lord of the warriors” gets repeated.

Iti dviteeyoƒnuvAka:

Thus ends the second anuvAka
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