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Books > Hindu > Sri Rudram and Purushasuktam (Sanskrit Text, Word-to Word Meaning and Detailed Explanation of Ancient Commentaries
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Sri Rudram and Purushasuktam (Sanskrit Text, Word-to Word Meaning and Detailed Explanation of Ancient Commentaries
Sri Rudram and Purushasuktam (Sanskrit Text, Word-to Word Meaning and Detailed Explanation of Ancient Commentaries
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Publisher Note

In a world where things are falling apart, values are on the decline and peace of mind seems to be but a distant rumour it seems all is not yet lost. In the midst of darkness light persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists and Li the midst of death life persists. The spiritual heritage of India is unique. This ancient land has gone through so many ups and downs in the course of untold millennia and yet has not only survived but has continued to be dynamic, while other civilizations have come and gone like soap bubbles. The secret of India’s strength is that at all costs she has held on to certain vital values of life generally called Dharma.

The central principle of Dharma is that there is only one God, the Ultimate Truth. That manifests itself in diverse forms for the benefit of the aspiring souls. Once this Truth is realized, all life’s problems stand solved. As Swami Vivekananda observed. “Each soul is potentially divine} This potential can be made dynamic through devotion, meditation, selfless action or through philosophy. The Vedic mantras are meant to help us in all these ways. Two outstanding texts of Vedic mantras are the Sri Rudram and the Purusha Suktam. These grand and mellifluous hymns addressed to the Universal Being, called Rudra and Purusha, when chanted regularly will endow the mind with strength. To understand their real meaning commentaries are necessary. Swami Amritananda has laid the devout public under an immense debt of gratitude by his lucid explanation of the Mantras, He has pressed into service the commentaries of Sayana, Bhatta Bhaskara, Abhinava Sankara, Vishnu Suri, Skanda Swami and Ahobala to make the meaning of these mantras as clear as possible. We believe the chanting of Rudram etc. with full knowledge of their meaning will give immense mental and spiritual joy to the aspirants.

We are grateful to a well-wisher introduced by Dr. S. Viswanathan, Former Head, Dept. of Sanskrit, Vivekananda College and Mr. V. Jagannathan, introduced by Prof. N. Rajagopal, Prof. of Commerce, Vivekananda College, who readily came forward to meet the major part of the cost of this publication.

We are thankful to Dr. Goda Venkateswara Sastri, the eminent Sanskrit scholar, Dr. K. Panchapakesan, Retired Professor o English, Vivekananda College and Dr. M. Muralidharan, Dept. of English, Vivekananda College who helped us iii going through the proofs and suggesting changes, wherever required.

We have, therefore, great pleasure in placing before the earnest public this valuable edition of Sri Rudram and Purusha Suktam.

FOREWORD

The Vedas are the oldest, yet ever new, scripture of mankind. They are at once a challenge and an inspiration; the challenge is because the grand truths they enshrine call for very deep meditation to realise them. The inspiration is from the supernal heights of knowledge and bliss of pure spirituality.

Because of the difficulty in understanding their true import, most of the Vedic Mantras are far from popular. They are not common coin. But certain Vedic passages stand out, compelling attention by the majesty of their diction and the sweetness of their sound. Sri Rudram which occurs in the fourth Kanda of the Taittiriya Samhita in the Yajur Veda tops the list.

This Vedic homage to Lord Rudra is remarkable not only for its phonetic grandeur but also for its universality of approach to the Divine. Rudra to whom 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. 1-lence this text is also known as Satarudriyam, i.e. Rudra in hundreds of forms. Upanishad being called a mystery (Rahasya), Rudra Upanishad is another befitting appellation for this text.

Rudram reveals at its centre the great Panchakshari, the famous five-lettered Mantra, ‘Namassivaya’. No wonder Sri Rudram is used by the devout in daily puja, japa, homa and other religious rituals. Its daily recital is said to confer on the aspirant all blessings’, material and spiritual. It is said, if Rudra is worshipped, all the other deities also are propitiated. Saluting the Lord with the obeisance Namaha,’ fulfils all one’s aspirations.

To worship a deity, the sadhaka must have a vivid picture of the deity’s appearance. Sri Rudram, therefore, gives a long list of the details of Rudra’s appearance. His body pervades the entire universe. It shines in immaculate white covered by the holy ashes. The snakes dangling as charming ornament, the blue-throat recalling the great service the Lord tendered at the churning of the milk-ocean for nectar, the matted locks adorned by the crescent moon, the mighty bow in hand, the triple eyes, the rudraksha beads, the vibrant dancing pose—all help in meditating on the form of the formless Lord. He is the Sun and the Moon and the eternal Fire—-or rather he makes all these shine by His light. Being the supreme Yogi He is sameness (samatva) personified, so we find Him described ‘not only as the Lord of everything good, but also as the Lord of thieves of different types. Also as carpenter, pot-maker, hunter and angler. None is excluded from the shower of His grace. He is Asutosha, readily pleased. Any wild flower will do for worshipping Him.

The first chapter (Anuvaka) of Sri Rudram is a set of prayers to the Lord to give up anger roused against those who transgress the divine commandments. The second to the ninth chapters contain the prostrations to His omnipotence, and to His indwelling the hearts of all souls. The tenth chapter celebrates the munificence of the Lord and prays for prosperity and warding off of evil. In the last and eleventh chapter we get the thanksgiving to the Lord’s attendants, the Ganas.

These eleven chapters are popularly known as Namaka, because most of the verses carry the refrain ‘Namaha’ (or Namo Namah), The next eleven chapters are known as ‘Chamaka’ because the refrain here is Cha me.’ The Namaka and Chamaka together go by the name of Rudradhyaya.

Though the text of Rudram occurs in the Karma Kanda of the Veda its use transcends the performance of rituals. It is a great help in mental adoration (upasana). Above all it is an Upanishad, each Mantra replete with deep spiritual significance. Swami Amritananda has pressed into service the commentaries of Sayana, Bhatta Bhaskara, Vishnu Sun, Abhinava Sankara, Skanda Swami and Ahobala to bring out the Vedantic treasures encapsulated in these Mantras.

There is a time-honoured tradition that Namaka and Chamaka should be chanted daily along with Purusha Suktam. Indeed Purusha Suktam pervades the Vedas extensively. An integral part of Rig Veda Samhita, it also appears in the Taittiriya Aranyaka, the Vajasaneyi Samhita, Sama Veda Samhita and Atharva Veda Samhita. Quotes from it are to be found in Satapatha Brahmana, Svetasvatara Upanishad and Mudgaiopanisha This Sukta finds a place even today in the worship of a deity, in a temple or at home, in the daily parayana. In establishing the sacred fire for a Vedic ritual, in various rituals and even in the cremation of a dead body.

Purusha of the Purusha Suktam is the manifested state of the unmanifested Brahman. Possessed of all heads, eyes and feet in his Creation he has enveloped this universe completely and has also transcended it. He dwells in every being by a fraction of his self yet his major part is beyond the universe. Being the only Reality he manifests himself as Virat, the totality of all objects, in their seed form. Then he enters into it and brings out the devas or bright ones. The devas, in turn, create the world employing the Porusha himself as the sacrificial animal (Pasu). We are given a poetic description of the various mental materials and types of animals, we see today in the world. The stress is on yajna, selfless discharge of duty, which leads to participation in the cosmic good. Realizing the Purusha one attains not only material prosperity but also immortality.

Chanting this triad, the Namaka, Chamaka and Purusha Sukta with full knowledge of their meaning can be a smooth way to unbounded felicity and peace. The author deserves our deep gratitude for opening up this path to spirituality.

Sri Rudram and Purushasuktam (Sanskrit Text, Word-to Word Meaning and Detailed Explanation of Ancient Commentaries

Item Code:
NAC115
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Paperback
Edition:
2004
ISBN:
8171208029
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190
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Publisher Note

In a world where things are falling apart, values are on the decline and peace of mind seems to be but a distant rumour it seems all is not yet lost. In the midst of darkness light persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists and Li the midst of death life persists. The spiritual heritage of India is unique. This ancient land has gone through so many ups and downs in the course of untold millennia and yet has not only survived but has continued to be dynamic, while other civilizations have come and gone like soap bubbles. The secret of India’s strength is that at all costs she has held on to certain vital values of life generally called Dharma.

The central principle of Dharma is that there is only one God, the Ultimate Truth. That manifests itself in diverse forms for the benefit of the aspiring souls. Once this Truth is realized, all life’s problems stand solved. As Swami Vivekananda observed. “Each soul is potentially divine} This potential can be made dynamic through devotion, meditation, selfless action or through philosophy. The Vedic mantras are meant to help us in all these ways. Two outstanding texts of Vedic mantras are the Sri Rudram and the Purusha Suktam. These grand and mellifluous hymns addressed to the Universal Being, called Rudra and Purusha, when chanted regularly will endow the mind with strength. To understand their real meaning commentaries are necessary. Swami Amritananda has laid the devout public under an immense debt of gratitude by his lucid explanation of the Mantras, He has pressed into service the commentaries of Sayana, Bhatta Bhaskara, Abhinava Sankara, Vishnu Suri, Skanda Swami and Ahobala to make the meaning of these mantras as clear as possible. We believe the chanting of Rudram etc. with full knowledge of their meaning will give immense mental and spiritual joy to the aspirants.

We are grateful to a well-wisher introduced by Dr. S. Viswanathan, Former Head, Dept. of Sanskrit, Vivekananda College and Mr. V. Jagannathan, introduced by Prof. N. Rajagopal, Prof. of Commerce, Vivekananda College, who readily came forward to meet the major part of the cost of this publication.

We are thankful to Dr. Goda Venkateswara Sastri, the eminent Sanskrit scholar, Dr. K. Panchapakesan, Retired Professor o English, Vivekananda College and Dr. M. Muralidharan, Dept. of English, Vivekananda College who helped us iii going through the proofs and suggesting changes, wherever required.

We have, therefore, great pleasure in placing before the earnest public this valuable edition of Sri Rudram and Purusha Suktam.

FOREWORD

The Vedas are the oldest, yet ever new, scripture of mankind. They are at once a challenge and an inspiration; the challenge is because the grand truths they enshrine call for very deep meditation to realise them. The inspiration is from the supernal heights of knowledge and bliss of pure spirituality.

Because of the difficulty in understanding their true import, most of the Vedic Mantras are far from popular. They are not common coin. But certain Vedic passages stand out, compelling attention by the majesty of their diction and the sweetness of their sound. Sri Rudram which occurs in the fourth Kanda of the Taittiriya Samhita in the Yajur Veda tops the list.

This Vedic homage to Lord Rudra is remarkable not only for its phonetic grandeur but also for its universality of approach to the Divine. Rudra to whom 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. 1-lence this text is also known as Satarudriyam, i.e. Rudra in hundreds of forms. Upanishad being called a mystery (Rahasya), Rudra Upanishad is another befitting appellation for this text.

Rudram reveals at its centre the great Panchakshari, the famous five-lettered Mantra, ‘Namassivaya’. No wonder Sri Rudram is used by the devout in daily puja, japa, homa and other religious rituals. Its daily recital is said to confer on the aspirant all blessings’, material and spiritual. It is said, if Rudra is worshipped, all the other deities also are propitiated. Saluting the Lord with the obeisance Namaha,’ fulfils all one’s aspirations.

To worship a deity, the sadhaka must have a vivid picture of the deity’s appearance. Sri Rudram, therefore, gives a long list of the details of Rudra’s appearance. His body pervades the entire universe. It shines in immaculate white covered by the holy ashes. The snakes dangling as charming ornament, the blue-throat recalling the great service the Lord tendered at the churning of the milk-ocean for nectar, the matted locks adorned by the crescent moon, the mighty bow in hand, the triple eyes, the rudraksha beads, the vibrant dancing pose—all help in meditating on the form of the formless Lord. He is the Sun and the Moon and the eternal Fire—-or rather he makes all these shine by His light. Being the supreme Yogi He is sameness (samatva) personified, so we find Him described ‘not only as the Lord of everything good, but also as the Lord of thieves of different types. Also as carpenter, pot-maker, hunter and angler. None is excluded from the shower of His grace. He is Asutosha, readily pleased. Any wild flower will do for worshipping Him.

The first chapter (Anuvaka) of Sri Rudram is a set of prayers to the Lord to give up anger roused against those who transgress the divine commandments. The second to the ninth chapters contain the prostrations to His omnipotence, and to His indwelling the hearts of all souls. The tenth chapter celebrates the munificence of the Lord and prays for prosperity and warding off of evil. In the last and eleventh chapter we get the thanksgiving to the Lord’s attendants, the Ganas.

These eleven chapters are popularly known as Namaka, because most of the verses carry the refrain ‘Namaha’ (or Namo Namah), The next eleven chapters are known as ‘Chamaka’ because the refrain here is Cha me.’ The Namaka and Chamaka together go by the name of Rudradhyaya.

Though the text of Rudram occurs in the Karma Kanda of the Veda its use transcends the performance of rituals. It is a great help in mental adoration (upasana). Above all it is an Upanishad, each Mantra replete with deep spiritual significance. Swami Amritananda has pressed into service the commentaries of Sayana, Bhatta Bhaskara, Vishnu Sun, Abhinava Sankara, Skanda Swami and Ahobala to bring out the Vedantic treasures encapsulated in these Mantras.

There is a time-honoured tradition that Namaka and Chamaka should be chanted daily along with Purusha Suktam. Indeed Purusha Suktam pervades the Vedas extensively. An integral part of Rig Veda Samhita, it also appears in the Taittiriya Aranyaka, the Vajasaneyi Samhita, Sama Veda Samhita and Atharva Veda Samhita. Quotes from it are to be found in Satapatha Brahmana, Svetasvatara Upanishad and Mudgaiopanisha This Sukta finds a place even today in the worship of a deity, in a temple or at home, in the daily parayana. In establishing the sacred fire for a Vedic ritual, in various rituals and even in the cremation of a dead body.

Purusha of the Purusha Suktam is the manifested state of the unmanifested Brahman. Possessed of all heads, eyes and feet in his Creation he has enveloped this universe completely and has also transcended it. He dwells in every being by a fraction of his self yet his major part is beyond the universe. Being the only Reality he manifests himself as Virat, the totality of all objects, in their seed form. Then he enters into it and brings out the devas or bright ones. The devas, in turn, create the world employing the Porusha himself as the sacrificial animal (Pasu). We are given a poetic description of the various mental materials and types of animals, we see today in the world. The stress is on yajna, selfless discharge of duty, which leads to participation in the cosmic good. Realizing the Purusha one attains not only material prosperity but also immortality.

Chanting this triad, the Namaka, Chamaka and Purusha Sukta with full knowledge of their meaning can be a smooth way to unbounded felicity and peace. The author deserves our deep gratitude for opening up this path to spirituality.

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