Wednesday, March 2, 2011

He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan

The Atharvasira Upanishad is a very ancient text that comes to us from the Pashupatas, who formed the first and oldest sect of Shaivism known to history. Atharvashira means "head of the Atharva(veda)", and is meant to convey the very essence of the most esoteric of the Vedas. 

Though some scholars assign a date of ca. 700 CE to the Atharvashira, the original text is without doubt much older. Again and again the old books of law, the Dharma Shastras, have mentioned the Atharvashira as a purifying text alongside the Vedic Samhitas and Upanishads (vide Gautama XIX.12; Baudhayana III.10.9; Vasishtha XXII.9). Given that these Dharma Shastras themselves were composed between 600-200 BCE, we may safely assume that the Atharvashira was already in existence some 2500 years ago. 

It is possible that the Atharvashira was originally an independent mystical text of the Pashupatas and not considered an upanishad, as such. However with time, given its great import to the Shaivite religion, it may have incorporated itself into Vedantic literature as an upanishad in its own right. Whatever be its history, we know that various recensions of this holy text are in existence in different areas of India, owing to the fact that the Pashupatas were once a widely-distributed and highly-influential sect. 

One finds in the Atharvashira teachings of a deep spiritual nature centered around the single Deity, Rudra, who is Lord (Bhagavan) and the nucleus of all existence. He is the One who exists in all forms, all shapes, and all experiences. It is He who fills the void between all things. He exists in vibrational form as Omkara, the holiest of syllables. He is to be mediated upon, and He is to be realized. He is the Source and the Destination. 

Shame indeed it is that primary texts of such spiritual caliber fail to be adequately and fully translated, while the defunct Dharma Shastras enjoy much scholarship. 

Tanno Rudra Prachodayat ~ May Rudra impel us!

Mahashivaratri 5112 (2011 CE).

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Aum!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Brahmā. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Vishnu. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Skanda. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Indra. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Agni. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Vayu. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Surya (Sun). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Soma (Moon). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is the eight grahas (planets). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is the eight pratigrahas (offerings). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Bhuloka, the world of mortals. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Bhuvarloka, the world of the ancestors. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Svarloka, the world of the Devas. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Maharloka, the world of Gandharvas. Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Prthivi (Earth). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Antariksha (Mid-Region). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Dhyaus (Heaven). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Apas (Water). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Tejas (Fire). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Kala (Time). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Yama (Ender of time). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Mrityu (Death). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Amrita (Immortality). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Akasha (Space). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Vishva (Universe). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Sthula (Gross). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Sukshma (Subtle). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Shukla (Bright). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Krsna (Dark). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Krtsna (Entirety). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Satya (Truth). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!
He who is Rudra, He is Bhagavan.
He is Sarva (Everything). Salutations be, salutations be unto Him!

~Atharvashira Upanishad (II:1-32)

ॐ नमो भगवते रुद्राय.
Agnideva © 2011. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Shivaratri

To all my readers and friends, a Happy and Blessed Shivaratri! May Shiva guide us all unto the path of knowledge, service to mankind, and to eventual moksha.

Aum Namah Shivaya.
Mahashivaratri 5112 (2011 CE).

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