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Shri Rudram Chamakam
The Shri Rudram Chamakam (TS 4.5, 4.7) is a Vedic stotra dedicated to Rudra, an earlier aspect of Shiva. Shri Rudram is also known as Sri Rudraprasna, Satarudriya, and Rudradhyaya. It consists of two texts from the Black Yajurveda (Taittiriya Samhita), book four. The first part, Shri Rudram corresponds to chapter five, and the second part, Camakam to chapter seven. As part of the Yajurveda, the second oldest Vedic text after the Rigveda, the age of the text may well be in the range of 3000 years or older. The text is important in Vedantic religion, where it is interpreted as an idenification of Shiva with Vishnu, and as describing Him as the Universal Brahman.
The Shri Rudram Chamakam is divided into Shri Rudram or Namakam, which describes aspects of Rudra. Additionally, the devotee asks for the benevolent aspect of Shiva to be invoked rather than the terrible aspect and requests forgiveness of sins. The Chamakam, asks for the fulfilment of wishes. They consist of eleven anuvaka or hymns each.
The anuvakas of Shri Rudram correspond to the eleven hymns of TS 4.5, with the final anuvaka extended by an additional eight verses, including the Tryambakam mantra (TS 1.8.6.i). The central Shaivite mantra, Aum Namah Sivaya is also derived from the Shri Rudram, it appears (without the aum) in TS 4.5.8.l.
The second part of the text, corresponding to TS 4.7, asks God for fulfillment of wishes. The repeated phrase, ca me literally means, "and to me [be this granted]", accompanied by lists of desirables.
The original context of the Chamakam is the piling up of the fire-altar of Vedic religion.
The interpretations of the text commonly taught today are clearly Vedantic, while the Vedic texts at the time of their composition were probably intended for the context of ritual sacrifice.
The President of the Ramakrishna Mission, at Chennai, in commentating on the foreword to Swami Amritananda 's translation of Sri Rudram and Purushasuktam, stated that "Rudra to whom the these prayers are addressed is not a sectarian deity, but the Supreme Being who is omnipresent and manifests Himself in a myriad forms for the sake of the diverse spiritual aspirants." Sri Rudram occurs in the fourth Kanda of the Taittirya Samhita in the Yajur Veda.
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami explains in the lexicon section of his book, Dancing with Siva, that "Sri Rudram is a hymn to the wielder of awesome powers. It is a preeminent Vedic hymn to Lord Siva as the God of dissolution, chanted daily in Siva temples throughout India."
The prayer is commonly interpreted to show that Vishnu is another aspect of Shiva and to accordingly hold that Vishnu and Shiva are one and the same from an Advaitan viewpoint. Interestingly, the Vishnu sahasranama, in a similar manner, states Shiva is an aspect of Vishnu. The fifth anuvaka states (see Sanskrit for pronunciation details):
- Original text (TS iv.5.5)
- namo bhavāya ca rudrāya ca namaḥ śarvāya ca paśupataye ca
- namo nīlagrīvāya ca śitikaṇṭhāya ca
- namaḥ kapardine ca vyuptakeshāya ca
- namaḥ sahasrākṣāya cha śatadhanvane ca
- namo giriśāya ca śipiviṣṭāya ca
- Translation (Arthur Berriedale Keith , 1914):
- Homage to Bhava and to Rudra.
- Homage to Çarva and to the lord of cattle.
- Homage to the blue-necked one, and to the white-throated.
- Homage to the wearer of braids, and to him of shaven hair.
- Homage to him of a thousand eyes, and to him of a hundred bows.
- Homage to him who haunteth the mountains, and to Çipivista.
- "Salutations to Him who is the source of all things and to Him who is the destroyer of all ills. Salutations to the destroyer and to the protector of all beings in bondage. Salutations to Him whose throat is black and whose throat is also white. Salutations to Him of the matted locks, and to Him who is clean-shaven. Salutations to Him who has a Thousand eyes and a hundred bows. Salutations to Him who dwells on the mount and who is in the form of Vishnu."
Swami Amritananda, of the Ramakrishna Mission and many others suggest that Rudra is associated with Vishnu in the invocation namas [...] shipivishtaya. (shipivishta appears most frequently as an epithet of Vishnu in the Yajurveda.) However, Amritananda has also cited other ancient commentators who have stated that the line could mean:
- one who resides in the place abounding in devadaru trees.
- one who is in the form of the sun.
- one who has entered into the beings as inner controller.
(his translation of Sri Rudram and Purushasuktam, pgs. 66-67.) Amritananda has cited commentaries of Sayana and others in the writing of his work. His rendering "in the form of Vishnu" is a common Vedantic interpretation, since the literal meaning of shipi-vishta is an epithet meaning "pervaded by rays".
- Rudram with description of anuvakas
- Rudram, the hymn
- Rudram and Chamakam, the hymn, as an astrological remedy for human problems in life.
- Meanings and Commentaries on some of the anuvakas.
- another site on Shri Rudram.
- another site on Shri Rudram.
- Divine Life Society Translation of Rudram.
- Hear Sri Rudram online.
- Hear Sri Rudram online through Vedic chants song on site.
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