On the occasion of Mahashivaratri (1st March 2022), we share some excerpts from the introductory segment of Sri Rudram by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
Sri Rudram, is a hymn from the Vedas, the sacred book of the Hindus. Diving deeply into the book brings Isvara into one’s life so that one comes out with namah on one’s lips and Isvara in one’s heart.
Among the various Vedic hymns recited daily by a vaidika, the Sata Rudriya occupies a prime place. Popularly known as Sri Rudram, it is in praise of and prayer to the Lord. A part of both Sukla and Krsna Yajur- Vedas, the hymn is a source of inspiration for the namavalis consisting of one thousand and eight names that reveal and praise the Lord invoked in a particular form. The famous five-syllabled mantra, namassivaya, is from this great hymn.
The mode of repeating different names of the Lord has crossed geographical and cultural borders. This repetition is japa. The most ancient source of this mode of prayer is Sata Rudriya. Sata Rudriya is like an upanisad revealing the truth of jiva, the individual, jagat, the world and Isvara, the Lord. It also provides the means for gaining eligibility for the knowledge unfolded by the upanisad. The different names of the Lord chanted in one’s prayer also reveal the truth of the Lord as one and non-dual, the vision of the upanisad. The hymn, therefore, is rightly called Rudropanisad.