The Ultimate Invocation of Shiva – The Rudra
Worship Rudra, the God of the Storm
In the centre of the Krsna Yajur Veda, there is a hymn called the Rudra (also called the Rudram or Rudraprasna). It is a powerful invocation of Lord Shiva in the fierce form of Rudra. Rudra is the God of the Wind, Storm and the Hunt. He is accompanied by his fearsome entourage of the Maruts, the Gods of the Storm and Hunt and is known as the God of Thieves.
Translating from Sanskrit, Rudra means “the Howling One”, “the Terrible One”, “the Roaring One”, or “the Wild One”.
Tap into the essence of the Veda
Each verse is filled with incredible potency and extremely beneficial to the health and spiritual development of any sincere aspirant.
The Rudra is split into two parts – the Namaka and the Chamaka. The Namaka is so named because most lines end with ‘namo’ (prostrations) and similarly, the Chamaka’s verses each end in ‘chame’ (give me).
One of the reasons why the hymn is so powerful is because the Panchakshari mantra – Nama Shivaya – occurs in its very centre. The Panchakshari Mantra is the very essence of Shiva, constituting the power of the universe, the 5 elements, and directly stimulates chakras in the body of the sadhak.
Method of chanting
The Rudra can be chanted from start to finish for a one-off recitation, or can be structured in a specific way for multiple rounds.
The number eleven is auspicious to Shiva. To chant the Rudra 11x is called a Laghu Rudra, or an Ekadasa Rudra. The Namaka is chanted 11x, each time combined with a part of the Chamaka.
Taking this further, 11 Ekadasa Rudras constitute a Maharudra. 11 Maharudras constitute an Adi Rudra – the ultimate invocation of Shiva. The last time such a high profile event occured was in the presence of Sri Sathya Said Baba.
A yagnya usually accompanies the chanting, followed by abishek of panchamrita (the 5 components of the nectar of the Gods) – which is made up of five precious liquids, including water from a sacred river, milk, honey, ghee, yoghurt and the juice of a sugar-cane.
Chant the Rudra for Prosperity, Power and Peace
In general terms, aspirants pray to Shiva for the following benefits:
- Inviting auspiciousness into their lives
- Increased detachment and affinity for spirituality
- Incredible health and vitality; alleviating disease
- Greater efficiency and time management, overcoming procrastination
- Counteracting the malefic effects of the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu
Needless to say, the worship of the Auspicious One also brings great peace to not only the aspirant and family, but extends as far as lokakshemam – ie peace for the entire plane. Click here for a prior article on peace.
His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswathi shed further light on the Rudra, outlining the following specific (and more tangible) benefits in proportion to the number of Rudras performed:
1 Rudra – Freedom from Bala graha (diseases common to children).
3 Rudra – Freedom from imminent difficulties with which one is faced.
5 Rudra – Freedom from the evil effects of certain planets occupying unfavourable positions.
7 Rudra – Freedom from great fear.
9 Rudra – The fruit of one Vajapeya sacrifice (one of the great public yagnyas of ancient times).
11 Rudra – Getting the favour of kings and great wealth.
33 Rudra – Attainment of wishes for objects and having no enemies.
77 Rudra – Enjoyment of great happiness.
99 Rudra – Attainment of son, grandson, wealth, grain, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha and freedom from death.
1 Maharudra – Attainment of the favour of kings and becoming the Lord of great wealth.
3 Maharudra – Fulfilment of impossible tasks.
5 Maharudra – Acquirement of vast lands.
7 Maharudra – Attainment of the seven worlds.
9 Maharudra – Freedom from births and deaths.
1 Atirudra – Becoming God.
Is there any superior sacrifice in modern times?
In the modern day, the Rudra is considered one of the greatest yagnyas (fire sacrifices) possible and on par with the Aswamedha yagnyas etc of ancient times.
Chant or listen to the Rudra daily (click here for a link to the audio); Mondays in particular are auspicious to Shiva.