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.
The Most Famous 5-syllables you know
The Panchakshari mantra means the five syllable mantra. It is well known to all as Nama Shivaya. The Om is added to the beginning of most mantras for chanting.
It translates to I prostrate before Auspiciousness. It occurs in the very heart of the Rudraprasna sloka, in the middle of the Krishna Yajur Veda. Symbolically, it is therefore the essence of the entire Veda.
The deeper meanings
Whilst apparently conveying a simple concept, the tiny mantra is actually the product of thousands of years of meditation by the ancient Rishis (holy seers). The syllables are packed with power and the mantra in entirety is known as a bija (or primordial sound) itself.
An offering of the meanings from Shivaya Subramanya Swami are below:
- Na – corresponds to the Lord’s maya (or concealing power)
- Ma – the entire universe
- Shi – short for Shiva
- Va – the Lord’s ability to reveal the workings of the universe
- Ya – the supreme soul
- Na – Earth
- Ma – Water
- Shi – Fire
- Va – Air
- Ya – Ether or space
The mantra can:
- Dissolve your bad karma
- Enlighten you
- Invites auspiciousness into your life
- Generate immense spiritual power
No particular initiation is needed of this mantra, but some explanation from a Guru is always beneficial in providing food for contemplation – as touched upon above.
“Om Tatpurusaya vidmahe,
Tanno Rudrah pracodayaat”
We know that being,
We meditate on the Supreme God,
May Lord Rudra enlighten us.
- Removes your bad karma
- Removes fear of death, humiliation, loss of reputation and other losses
- Helps protect and improve your health; Shiva is known as the great healer
- Curbs the malefic effects of the Sun (Surya) – Shiva is the Ruling Deity
The pre-requisite to turning thought into action: Divine Grace!
I have previously written on how real power is the ability to turn focused thought into action.
Let’s move onto procrastination. How many of us suffer from such an ailment? I would venture that all of us have at some point been victims of this development!
Whilst willpower is a key pre-requisite, there are excellent supplementary mantras which can help. The Kala Bhairava Ashtaka is one such stotra with tremendous mantra-shakti.
Who is Kala Bhairava?
Bhairava is a fierce form of Shiva. Kala literally means time. Kala Bhairava is therefore the form of Shiva in charge of time; a very similar deity to the Greek Titan Kronos (the root of the word Chronological or Chronograph for watches!) .
Shiva is called the God of Time because of His role as the destroyer of the universe at the end of Time. Secondly, he is one who has conquered death and is invoked through the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to ward of untimely death through misfortune or illness. Thirdly, he is mentioned in the Yajur Veda as the God of Thieves, and in the same chapter, the Thief of Time.
It is clear from these paragraphs that he is the Lord of Procrastination! Pray to him to aggressively reclaim your time on earth by letting him fight your demons! Optimise you time and create true efficiency in your life!
Let the Kala Bhairava Ashtaka revolutionise your life!
Find a link to hear the Ashtaka by clicking here. It is a powerful stotra which you should listen to the FIRST thing in the morning or the LAST thing at night.
I would also recommend that while listening, you write list of things to do with strong conviction behind each point. This should condition your brain to prioritise these tasks for you subconsciously in the early or late part of the day when your mind is particularly malleable! Secondly, it aligns your energy with the God of Time to easily get things done.
I would greatly recommend this Time Technology described above in conjunction with the prayers to Ganesha and Skanda described in my prior article – click here.