Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rudra-Hridaya Upanishad


Within the body of Upanishadic literature appended to the Veda, fourteen or so books are called Shaivite Upanishads. Prominent among the so-called Shaivite Upanishads are the Atharvashikha, Pancha-Brahma, Kaivalya, Brihad-Jabala and Rudra-Hridaya (not to mention the Shvetashvatara, which is also sometimes classified as a Shaiva Upanishad). Rudra-Hridaya means “Heart of the Rudra”, and the term Rudra here refers to the hymn known as Sri Rudram (a.k.a. Rudra Adhyaya) from the Yajurveda. From its very title, therefore, this Upanishad claims to be essence of the Sri Rudram hymn, which to Shaivites is the most hallowed of Vedic hymns. As the Sri Rudram is a Yajurvedic hymn, the Rudra-Hridaya Upanishad naturally belongs to the Krsna Yajurveda.

The Rudra-Hridaya Upanishad is in the form of a dialogue between Sage Vyasa and his disciple and son, Sage Shuka. The Upanishad begins with an invocation to Mahadeva Rudra, followed by a question by Shuka to his father: “Who is the real God of Gods? In whom are all these existences established? By worshipping whom, can I please the Devas in whole?” (Mantra 2-3) To this question, Vyasa replies:

sarvadevātmako rudrah sarve devāh shivātmakāh

Rudra is the Self of all Devas; all Devas are merely different manifestations of Shiva Himself. (Mantra 4)

It is this statement that makes up the core of the Rudra-Hridaya Upanishad, and rest of the text is an elaboration of this very statement. The Upanishad essentially establishes that Shiva is All and in all. All of existence is but Shiva and His inseparable Shakti. He is Rudra, He is Vishnu, He is Brahmā, He is manifest, He is unmanifest, He is woman, He is man, He is Atman, He is Paramātman, He is All, He is in All.

The culmination of this teaching is found a set of beautiful mantras that is set in the very heart of the ‘Heart of the Rudra’ (Rudra-Hridaya), which explains that Shiva (Rudra) and Shakti (Umā) make up all that is known or to be known:

Rudra is Man. Umā is Woman.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Brahmā. Umā is Sarasvatī.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Vishnu. Umā is Lakshmī.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is the Sun. Umā is the Shadow.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is the Moon. Umā is the Stars.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is the Day. Umā is the Night.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Yajña (sacrifice). Umā is Vedi (altar).
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Agni (fire). Umā is Svāhā (oblation).
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Veda. Umā is Shāstra.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Tree. Umā is Creeper.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Scent. Umā is Flower.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is Meaning. Umā is Word.
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.
Rudra is the Lingam. Umā is Pitha (base).
Prostrations to Him, Prostrations to Her.

The devotee should worship Sri Rudra and Umā with these mantras referred to above. O my son, Shuka! With these hymns, you should meditate on the eternal Para-Brahman, which is beyond the reach of the senses, which is pure Existence, Consciousness and Bliss and which cannot be understood either by the speech or by the mind. After knowing this, there is nothing more to be known, because everything is the form of That, and there is nothing separate from That. (Mantra 17-27)

Shiva-Shakti is the essence of all – that is the teaching of the Rudra-Hridaya Upanishad. That is the hidden meaning of the hallowed Sri Rudram hymn. That is the very essence of Shaivite Hinduism.

Aum Namah Shivaya.

© Agnideva, 2007. All rights reserved.

2 comments:

aditya said...

can i have the sasnskrit script of the upanishad

Agnideva said...

http://www.shaivam.org/ssurudrahridaya.htm

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