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Sri Rudram Chamakam

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Shri Rudram or the Namakam (chapter five) describes the name or epithets of Rudra, which represent his aspects. 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 (chapter seven) asks for the fulfilment of wishes. Each part consist of eleven anuvaka or hymns. Traditionally Rudra is assigned the number 11, and among the thirty three deities of the Vedic pantheon, eleven are considered forms of Rudra. 
 
Shri Rudram 
 
The anuvakas of Shri Rudram correspond to the eleven hymns of Taittiriya Samhita 4.5, with the final anuvaka extended by an additional eight verses, including the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra. 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. 
 
Chamakam 
 
The second part of the text, corresponding to TS 4.7, asks God for fulfillment of wishes. The repeated phrase, cha me literally means, "and to me [be this granted]", accompanied by a list of desirables which are primarily necessary appurtenances for Vedic sacrifices. 
 
The original context of the Chamakam is the piling up of the fire-altar of the Vedic religion. The hymn invokes, apart from Agni and Vishnu at the beginning, a pantheon of Vedic deities that are successively linked with Indra to enable the yajamana or sacrificer/patron to successfully perform Vedic fire sacrifices or yagnyas, such as the Agnishthoma, Somayaga, and the Ashwamedha. The Chamakam can be interpreted both as a preparatory for a physical external sacrificial ritual, or the inner, possibly yogic sacrifice involving pranic control, since the yogic "vital airs" are explicitly mentioned as sacrificial adjuncts in anuvaka, or stanza 10. 
 
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 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 God from an Advaitan or Smarta 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): 
 
 
 
 
Translation (Arthur Berriedale Keith, 1914): 
 
Homage to Bhava and to Rudra. 
Homage to the Lord of all sentient-beings. 
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. 
 
Swami Amritananda, of the Ramakrishna Mission and many others[citation needed] 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.

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 30 December, 2010.

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