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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rudra is the Sacrifice (yajnA), Uma is the Altar (vEdi) and they created this Universe

Well, before getting into the mainstream discussion on ‘Sacrifice’, I would like to touch upon one topic which has been found creating too many misconceptions all around the internet forums. In many forums few friends are found to be spreading incorrect information about Vishnu and Shiva by falsifying facts to their benefit. This is related to Aitareya Brahmana (1.1.1) which is quoted below.

"Agnir vai devānām avamo Viṣṇuḥ paramas,tadantareṇa sarvā anyā devatā " (Aitareya Brahmana 1.1.1)
"Agni is the lowest of the Gods and Vishnu the highest, and all the other Gods exist between them".

This verse is being used to demonstrate a testimony for superiority of Vishnu over all God especially lord Shiva. But the actual meaning of this verse is something else. "A little knowledge is dangerous", as the wise men say! But I didn't understand when they could read verse 1.1.1 then how come they didn't read the very immediate verse of the same scripture? The AB 1:1:1 "apparently" states a hierarchy of superiority among gods placing Vishnu as the highest, Agni as the lowest and all Gods in between. But the very next verse states the following.

"āgnāvaiṣṇavam puroḷāśaṃ nirvapanti dīkṣaṇīyam ekādaśakapālaṃ " (Aitareya Brahmana 1.1.2)
"So, we have to offer eleven potsherds of cake (rice), three for Vishnu and remaining eight for Agni".

From this verse it is clearly indicated that this verse (AB 1:1:2) is something to do with the sacrifice, and karma-Kanda section of Vedas. Let me make it clear here itself that there is no supremacy or hierarchy established in AB (1.1.1) as incorrectly understood and believed. Even Sayana in his commentary states that this AB-1.1.1 doesn’t mean to convey a supremacy or hierarchy or position of Gods. Let's see the following verses which explain this concept in detail.

The same context has been discussed in Shatapatha Brahmana also where it states the same thing in a much clearer way removing all ambiguity to the readers. Here is what the Shatapatha Brahmana (3:1:3:1) says:

"apaḥ praṇīya āgnāvaiṣṇavamekādaśakapālam puroḍāśaṃ nirvapatyagnirvai sarvā
devatā agnau hi sarvābhyo devatābhyo juhvatyagnirvai yajñasyāvarārdhyo viṣṇuḥ
parārdhyastatsarvāścaivaitaddevatāḥ parigṛhya sarvaṃ ca yajñam parigṛhya dīkṣā iti
tasmādāgnāvaiṣṇava ekādaśakapālaḥ puroḍāśo bhavati " (Shatapatha Brahmana 3:1:3:1)
"Having brought water forward, he takes out (the material for) a cake on eleven potsherds for Agni and Vishnu; for Agni is all the deities, since it is in Agni that offering is made to all the deities. Moreover Agni is the lower half, and Vishnu is the upper half of the sacrifice: 'I will become initiated after encompassing all the deities, after encompassing the entire sacrifice,' thus he thinks, and hence there is a cake on eleven potsherds for Agni and Vishnu".

Therefore this is crystal clear here that it is not related in any way to hierarchy but it is all related to yajna (sacrifice). Secondly Agni is stated as all deities, which is correct since Vedas call all gods as the forms of Agni, even Vishnu is Agni’s form.

“tvamaghna indro vṛṣabhaḥ satāmasi tvaṃ viṣṇururughāyo namasyaḥ
tvaṃ brahmā rayivid brahmaṇas pate tvaṃ vidhartaḥsacase purandhyā ” (RV 2.1.3)
"Hero of Heroes, Agni! Thou art Indra, thou art Viṣṇu of the Mighty Stride, adorable: Thou, Brahmaṇaspati, the Brahman finding wealth: thou, O Sustainer, with thy wisdom tendest us".

And Agni encompasses all the deities (including Vishnu) by rising upwards in the sacrifice. And by engulfing all the deities within him, Agni would get initiated towards the successful completion of sacrifice. Agni is himself the lord of sacrifices, he is the priest of all sacrifices, and he himself is the one who grants success to the sacrifice as well. When Agni encompasses all Gods (including Vishnu who is the upper portion) in the sacrifice; that sacrifice becomes perfected. And Agni is also the protector (guard) of eternal law (ritam)

“aghne yaṃ yajñamadhvaraṃ viśvataḥ paribhūrasi sa iddeveṣu ghachati ” (RV 1.1.4)
"Agni, the perfect sacrifice which thou encompassest about Verily goeth to all the Gods".

“tava praśāstraṃ tvamadhvarīyasi brahmā cāsi ghṛhapatiśca no dame ” (RV 2.1.2)
"Thou art Director, thou the ministering Priest: thou art the Brahman, Lord and Master in our home".

“rājantamadhvarāṇāṃ ghopāṃ ṛtasya dīdivim vardhamānaṃsve dame ” (RV 1.1.8)
“[Agni] Ruler of sacrifices, guard of Law eternal, radiant One, Increasing in thine own abode".

So, from the above evidences it is crystal clear that Agni is not a lesser God. And doubtlessly he can never be ranked as the lowest god since he himself is in the form of Vishnu also, so Vishnu who is Agni’s form cannot be greater than his parent form (Agni). Therefore the wishful thinking of Vaishnavas is exposed here and it’s proved wrong.

Now, let me bring another aspect here to make this analysis even more exciting and interesting. I’m going to drive this discussion towards certain great revelations and finally would make it to end in non-duality.

Shatapatha Brahmana (3:4:1:15) says “pūrvārdho vai yajñasya gāyatrī ” which means, “The Gâyatrî is the fore-part of the sacrifice”. Further Shatapatha Brahmana (3:4:1:9) states, “agnirvai gāyatrī”, which means, “Gâyatrî is verily Agni”.

So, adding these points to the previously discussed ones, we come to a conclusion that Agni is the lower portion of the sacrifice, and Vishnu is the upper portion of the sacrifice, and all other gods reside in between. But since Gayatri is the fore portion and Agni is verily Gayatri, so it gives us a conclusion that Agni is the bottom as well as upper portion of a sacrifice. But since Shatapatha Brahmana ( calls Agni as “agnirvai sarvā devatā ” which means, “Agni is all the deities” (we have seen earlier in RV-2.1.3, that even Vishnu is a form of Agni). It means that the middle portion of sacrifice also belongs to Agni.

Thus, we finally come to a conclusion that Agni is the lower end, Agni is the upper end and Agni is the middle portion also. Therefore entire sacrifice belongs solely to Agni and since Vedas do not see any duality, they call same God (Agni) by various names of other deities which are again his own forms and names. This is the reason why Agni is called as “Lord (ruler) of Sacrifice” in RV (1:1:8) as seen above.

This is not the end of the analysis. We have some more interesting revelations to come. Hang on! We would now explore this in more depth to understand who is this Agni after all!

We have read earlier that RV (1.1.4) states that Agni makes the sacrifice complete by encompassing it fully, and that goes to all gods when it gets fulfilled in this manner. This implies that Agni is the fulfiller of sacrifice. In RV (1.1.8) we have seen that Agni is called as ‘Ruler (lord) of sacrifice’. And "Agni is the priest of sacrifice" as per RV (2.1.2). These all qualities are actually that of Bhagawan Rudra’s which have been sung under the name of Agni. Let’s see the evidences now.

“ā vo rājānam adhvarasya rudraṃ hotāraṃ satyayajaṃ rodasyoḥ ” (RV 4:3:1 and Yajurveda Taittiriya Samhita 1:3:14:2)
“Rudra, king (ruler) of the sacrifice, True offerer, priest of both worlds!”.

“ghāthapatiṃ medhapatiṃ rudraṃ jalāṣabheṣajam tacchaṃyoḥ sumnamīmahe ” (RV 1:43:5)
“To Rudra Lord of sacrifice, of hymns and balmy medicines, We pray for joy and health and strength”.

“tveṣaṃ vayaṃ rudraṃ yajñasādhaṃ vaṅkuṃ kavimavase nihvayāmahe ” (RV 1:114:4)
“Hither we call for aid the wise, the wanderer, impetuous Rudra, fulfiller of sacrifice”.

A question may arise in the minds of the readers – Why do Vedas refer to Rudra under the name of Agni? What is the relation between Agni and Rudra? The answer is explained in the following verse from Shatapatha Brahmana.

“tadvā agnaya iti kriyate agnirvai sa devastasyaitāni nāmāni śarva iti yathā prācyā
ācakṣate bhava iti yathā bāhīkāḥ paśūnām patī rudro 'gniriti
tānyasyāśāntānyevetarāṇi nāmānyagnirityeva śāntatamaṃ tasmādagnaya iti kriyate
sviṣṭakṛta iti ” (Shatapatha Brahmana 1:7:3:8)
“That (offering) then is certainly made to 'Agni,' for, indeed, Agni is THAT god;--his are these names: Sarva, as the eastern people call him; Bhava, as the Bâhîkas (call him); Pasûnâm pati ('lord of beasts,' Pasupati), Rudra, Agni. The name Agni, doubtless, is the most auspicious (sânta), and the other names of his are inauspicious: hence it is offered to (him under the name of) 'Agni,' and to (him as) the Svishtakrit”.

It states that Rudra’s name “Agni” is the auspicious name that’s why Vedas like to refer him under that name. This doesn’t mean other names are inauspicious, but other names which are direct names are feared by the Vedic seers, so they try to find all sorts of excuses to sing Rudra’s praises under various other names of his own forms, but essentially all glories actually belong to Rudra.

So, we have finally proved that entire sacrifice (bottom to top), the 'sacrificial priest', the 'fulfiller of the sacrifice', and 'the lord whom the sacrifice reaches' – all are Bhagawan Rudra only. That’s why Rudrahridaya Upanishad states “rudro yajnah uma vedi” means, “Rudra is sacrifice, and Uma is the altar”. Vedas are very mystic in meaning hence Upanisahds are to understand Vedas effectively. That’s why in Vedas we find that Vishnu is called as yajna (Sacrifice), so what? Even Prajapati, Saraswati, Vak (Speech), Aditi, Cow, Agni, and Gayatri all have been called as “sacrifice” in various places in Shatapatha Brahmana. But the gist of all those statements is what we have analyzed and concluded above. That’s why Rudrahridaya Upanishad called Rudra as the sacrifice which is the final essence of all Vedic analysis.

Now let me once again go back to the beginning of this article and touch the superiority aspect which Vaishnavas are very fond of. They quote Aitareya Brahmana (1.1.1) to state that Vishnu is the highest Agni is the lowest God and all other Gods are in between in hierarchy. This we have clearly seen as refuted based on the above analysis and learnt that it’s only Agni (Rudra) who is the entire sacrifice, but since he himself remains in the form of all deities, Vedas mysteriously divide the sacrifice in portions and assign one name for each god. But I remain surprised always when the Shiva-haters who quote Aitareya Brahmana (1.1.1) to show superiority of Vishnu over Shiva, how could they miss reading Rig Vedic verse (1:43:5)? Rig Veda clearly states that Rudra is the best among all the Gods as follows.

"yaḥ śukra iva sūryo hiraṇyamiva rocate śreṣṭho devānāṃ vasuḥ " (RV 1:43:5)
"He shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he, The excellent, the best among all the Gods".

Now let us proceed ahead with analyzing the real or hidden meaning of sacrifice. For this analysis I have chosen the primordial creation sacrifice called ‘Ucchistha’, from where the creation of universe is speculated. This hymn is present in Atharva Veda (11:07). Let me make it clear here that I am not writing a Bhashya (commentary) on the hymn as such, hence I would not analyze each and every verse from that hymn. I have chosen few significant verses only to show that creation-sacrifice is actually an another way to speak about the creation of universe from Bhagawan Rudra only since all other hymns and Vedic verses support that concept only.

Therefore I would touch upon only few significant verses from that hymn in this analysis. Let’s proceed ahead!

Hymn to Ucchistha (Creation Sacrifice) from Atharva Veda 11:07

“úcchiṣṭe nā́ma rūpáṃ cócchiṣṭe loká ā́hitaḥ |
úcchiṣṭa índraś cāgníś ca víśvam antáḥ samā́hitam |” (Atharva Veda 11:07:01)
"The Residue of Sacrifice containeth name, and from, and world: Indra and Agni and the whole universe are comprised therein".

When there was non-existence, from that Brahman (Rudra) projected forth all these things which we call as "existence". All names, forms, creatures, gods everything manifested from the unmanifest. Rig Veda states the following where of course these verses are given in praise for Indra and Maruts, but they actually go to Rudra and Maruts where Indra means Rudra and Maruts are various forms assumed by Rudra. Maruts (pranas) are the sons of Rudra (Atman), and entire creation has been begotten by Rudra alone. So, here Maruts represent all the creatures infact.

"ketuṃ kṛṇvannaketave peśo maryā apeśase | samuṣadbhirajāyathāḥ |" (RV 1.6.3)
"Thou who createst light where there was no light, and form, O men! where there was no form, hast been born together with the dawns".
"ādaha svadhāmanu punargharbhatvamerire | dadhānā nāmayajñiyam |" (RV 1.6.4)
"Thereupon they (the Maruts), according to their custom, assumed again the form of new-born babes, taking their sacred name.".

The same is cited in Atharva Veda where it has been clarified that from the Jwala-Linga form of Lord Shiva this world was generated, and after generating this world that Bhagawan Rudra entered into it assuming various forms (means producing all creatures). In fact Rudra (Purusha) is the seed giving father, the Prakriti (who is not different from Rudra) accepts the seed and engenders it as the golden womb (Hiranyagarbha) which is the universe, and within that universe Rudra (Purusha) mingled with his own Maya (Prakriti), assumes diverse forms. But in reality all these forms are out of his own Maya, and there is no duality in fact. All forms are Rudra’s forms and he is all alone always.

Rudra as Purusha has his form as an infinitely pervading fire of consciousness. That is the Purusha and that is called Brahman. From a fragment of that infinite celestial Jwala-Linga emerges the universe. His Jwala-Linga is sung under various names in various places in the Vedas. Taittiriya Aranyaka of Yajurveda calls it as ‘Jwala-Linga’, Atharva Veda calls it as ‘Skhambha’, and in another place Atharva Veda personifies the Jwala-Linga (Skhambha) as a roaming Vratya (which should be understood as the blazing or flaming Linga), and Rig Veda also calls it as 'Skhambha’. Let’s see few verses to get more clarity.

“divo ya skambho dharuṇaḥ svātata āpūrṇo aṃśuḥ paryetiviśvataḥ
seme mahī rodasī yakṣadāvṛtā samīcīne dādhāra samiṣaḥ kaviḥ ” (RV 9:74:2)
“A far-extended pillar that supports the sky the Soma-stalk, filled full, moves itself every way. He shall bring both these great worlds while the rite proceeds: the Sage holds these who move! together and all food”.

“bhuvanasya pitaraṃ ghīrbhirābhī rudraṃ divā vardhayā rudramaktau |
bṛhantaṃ ṛṣvamajaraṃ suṣumnaṃ ṛdhagh ghuvema kavineṣitāsaḥ |” (RV 6 :49:10)
“Rudra by day, Rudra at night we honour with these our songs, the universe's father. him great and lofty, blissful, imperishable, let us call specially as the sage impels us".

“hiraṇyagarbhám paramám anatyudyáṃ jánā viduḥ
skambhás tád ágre prā́siñcad dhíraṇyaṃ loké antarā́ ” (Atharva Veda 10:7:28)
"Men know Hiranyagarbha as supreme and inexpressible: In the beginning, in the midst of the world, Skambha(Jwala-linga of Rudra) poured (ie., gave birth) that Hiranyagarbha”.

This Soma (Sa+Uma=Shiva) lays his germ upon his consort Aditi (Uma the Mula-Prakriti) and she produces this world. Means she brings the existence into picture. Therefore she is the mother of universe.

“arāvīdaṃśuḥ sacamāna ūrmiṇā devāvyaṃ manuṣe pinvatitvacam
dadhāti gharbhamaditerupastha ā yena tokaṃ ca tanayaṃ ca dhāmahe ” (RV 9:74:5)
“ The Soma-stalk hath roared, following with the wave: he swells with sap for man the skin which Gods enjoy. Upon the lap (womb) of Aditi he lays the germ, by means whereof we gain children and progeny”.

And then inside that golden womb (Hiranyagarbha) which is the visible universe, Rudra manifests himself as all the creatures and Gods.

"ékacakraṃ vartata ékanemi sahásrākṣaraṃ prá puró ní paścā |
ardhéna víśvaṃ bhúvanaṃ jajā́na yád asyārdháṃ kvà tád babhūva |" (Atharva veda 10:8:7)
"Up, eastward downward in the west, 'it rolleth, with countless elements, one-wheeled, single-fellied. With half it hath begotten all creation. Where hath the other half become unnoticed?"

“somaḥ pavate janitā matīnāṃ janitā divo janitā pṛthivyāḥ
janitāghnerjanitā sūryasya janitendrasya janitota viṣṇoḥ ” (Rig Veda.IX.96.5)
"Father of sacred chants, Soma (Shiva) flows onwards, the Father of the Earth, Father of the Celestial region: Father of Agni, the creator of Surya, the Father who gave birth to Indra and Vishnu".

But essentially the Prakriti (Uma) only assumes all forms made up of five elements. Rudra who is the Purusha enters them as Atman –the indwelling spirit and makes them alive. Without Rudra all material or celestial bodies are just corpses. That’s why learned men say, without ‘Shiva’ everyone is ‘Shava (dead body)’

“ghaurīrmimāya salilāni takṣatyekapadī dvipadī sā catuṣpadī
aṣṭāpadī navapadī babhūvuṣī sahasrākṣarā parame vyoman ” (RV 1.164.41)
“Forming the water-floods, the buffalo (cow) hath lowed, one-footed or two-footed or four-footed, she, Gauri, Who hath become eight-footed or hath got nine feet, the thousand-syllabled in the sublimest heaven.
“tasyāḥ samudrā adhi vi kṣaranti tena jīvanti pradiśaścatasraḥ
tataḥ kṣaratyakṣaraṃ tad viśvamupa jīvati ” (RV 1.164.42)
“From her (Gauri) descend in streams the seas of water; thereby the world's four regions have their being, Thence flows the imperishable flood and thence the universe hath life.

All the Gods and creatures are from Aditi (Uma).

“aditirdyauraditirantarikṣamaditirmātā sa pitā sa putraḥ
viśve devā aditiḥ pañca janā aditirjātamaditirjanitvam ” (RV 1:89:10)
“Aditi is the heaven, Aditi is mid-air, Aditi is the Mother and the Sire and Son. Aditi is all Gods, Aditi five-classed men, Aditi all that hath been born and shall be born”

“eṣa ha devaḥ pradiśo’nu sarvāḥ pūrvo ha jātaḥ sa u garbhe antaḥ
sa eva jātaḥ sa janiṣyamāṇaḥ pratyaṅ janāṃs tiṣṭhati sarvato-mukhaḥ ” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 2:16)
"He indeed, the Lord, who pervades all regions, was the first to be born and it is He who dwells in the womb of the universe. It is He, again, who is born as a child and He will be born in the future, He stands behind all persons and His face is everywhere".

Aditi (Uma) and Rudra are identical, they being Ardhanareeshwara (sharing same body). So, it doesn’t make any difference whether Vedas call Uma as the creator or Rudra. Here is the Upanishad which states that Rudra became all the creatures and gods. In similar fashion we have Atharva Veda 15:1-15:18) completely describing how Rudra manifested as Gods, creatures, sacred Scriptures, earth, heaven and universe, projecting all forms into various directions. Aditi (Uma) and Rudra are androgynous and are one as stated in Rig Veda (10:5:7) as, “aghnirha naḥ pra thamajā ṛtasya pūrva āyuni vṛṣabhaścadhenuḥ ”, which means, “Agni (Rudra), our first-born of Holy Order (rita), the Milch-cow and the Bull in life's beginning”.
So, from above analysis it is clear that the Atharva Veda (11:07:01) verse which associates the formation of the world symbolically to sacrifice is indeed a symbolism and the actual meaning is in sync with Rudra-Uma as being the creator of the universe. But let me also tell that, the picturing of creation as ‘Sacrifice’ is also correct; at the end of this article I would clarify what is a sacrifice and what does it signify indeed.

“úcchiṣṭe dyā́vāpr̥thivī́ víśvaṃ bhūtáṃ samā́hitam |
ā́paḥ samudrá úcchiṣṭe candrámā vā́ta ā́hitaḥ |” (Atharva Veda 11:7:02)
“The Residue of Sacrifice holdeth Earth, Heaven, and all that is: The Residue of Sacrifice holdeth sea, waters, Moon, and Wind”.

This is again a verse where creations of Earth, Heaven, Sea, Moon etc have been symbolically associated with sacrifice and its residue. But the intension here is again to glorify the Supreme Being (Shiva) who created all these.

"namo bhuvantaye varivaskritayaushhadhinam pataye namo |” (Yajurveda Sri Rudram - Anyvaka-2)
“Salutations to Him who has created the world and spread it broad, the creator of riches and lover of those who are devoted to Him; to the Lord of all vegetation, salutations".

Again the Atharva Veda clearly states the creation of all these entities are by Rudra and also states that everything belongs to him only, as follows.

“táva cátasraḥ pradíśas táva dyáus táva pr̥thivī́ távedám ugrorv àntárikṣam
távedáṃ sárvam ātmanvád yát prāṇát pr̥thivī́m ánu ” (Atharva Veda 4:28:10)
“Thine, O strong god (ugra), are the four regions, thine the sky, thine the earth, and thine this broad atmosphere; thine is this all that has a spirit and has breath upon the earth”.

“bhavó divó bhavá īśe pr̥thivyā́ bhavá ā́ papra urv àntárikṣam |
tásyai námo yatamásyāṃ diśī̀táḥ |” (Atharva Veda 4:28:27)
"Bhava rules the sky, Bhava rules the earth; Bhava has filled the broad: atmosphere. Reverence be to him in whatever direction from here (he abides)!"

“túbhyam āraṇyā́ḥ paśávo mr̥gā́ váne hitā́ haṃsā́ḥ suparṇā́ḥ śakunā́ váyāṃsi
táva yakṣáṃ paśupate apsv àntás túbhyaṃ kṣaranti divyā́ ā́po vr̥dhé ” (Atharva Veda 4:28::24)
“For thee the wild beasts of the forest have been placed in the forest: flamingoes, eagles, birds of prey, and fowls. Thy spirit, O lord of cattle, is within the waters, to strengthen thee the heavenly waters flow”.

Another hymn on Vratya (Jwala Linga form of Rudra personified as ascetic) states clearly that it was from him only everything were created as follows.

" tásya vrā́tyasya saptá prāṇā́ḥ saptā́pānā́ḥ saptá vyānā́ḥ " (Atharva Veda 15:15:1-2)
"Of that Vrātya (Shiva). There are seven vital airs, seven downward breaths, seven diffused breaths".
"yò 'sya prathamó vyānáḥ séyáṃ bhū́miḥ " (Atharva Veda 15:17.1)
"His first diffused breath is this Earth".
"yò 'sya dvitī́yo vyānás tád antárikṣam " (Atharva Veda 15:17.2)
"His second diffused breath is that Firmament".
"yò 'sya tr̥tī́yo vyānáḥ sā́ dyáuḥ " (Atharva Veda 15:17.3)
"His third diffused breath is that Heaven".
"yò 'sya caturthó vyānás tā́ni nákṣatrāṇi " (Atharva Veda 15:17.4)
"His fourth diffused breath are those Constellations".
"yò 'sya tr̥tī́yaḥ prāṇò 'bhyū̀ḍho nā́māsáu sá candrámāḥ " (Atharva Veda 15:15.5)
"His third vital breath, called Approached, is that Moon".
"yò 'sya pañcamáḥ prāṇó yónir nā́ma tā́ imā́ ā́paḥ " (Atharva Veda 15:15.7)
"His fifth vital breath, called Source, are these Waters".

Therefore again here it becomes clear that the sacrifice which has been narrated in Atharva Veda (11:07:02) is again a praise of Rudra only who is the cause of all causes. But again I would say that the sacrifice has a symbolic image which I would discuss at the end of this analysis.

“rā́ddhiḥ prā́ptiḥ sámāptir vyā̀ptir máha edhatúḥ | átyāptir úcchiṣṭe bhū́tiś cā́hitā níhitā hitā́ |” (Atharva Veda 11:07:22)
“Gain, acquisition, and success, fulness, complete prosperity. Great gain and wealth, are laid, concealed and treasured, in the Residue”.

All the gains are concealed in Rudra only. He is the only god who is the bounteous giver and he is the only god whom Vedas ask everything. Rudra alone is the embodiment of all happiness, grace, prosperity, fame, name, health wealth etc. There is nothing which Rudra can’t bestow. That’s the reason Vedas call only him as the bounteous giver. Even Mahabharata has numerous times referred to him as ‘the boon giving deity’; since he only can grant everything including immortality. So, the “residue”, what this verse terms as being the storehouse of all treasures is none other than Rudra.

Sri Rudram Chamakam portion of Yajurveda has numerous requests placed to Rudra for his grant and grace. I would list down here the thirty eight items taken from one Anuvaka. These are just a small list, entire chamakam if one reads, the list of items what Rudra can grant is enough for understanding what a treasure house is Rudra.

“kumāraścit pitaraṃ vandamānaṃ prati nānāma rudropayantam
bhūrerdātāraṃ satpatiṃ ghṛṇīṣe stutastvaṃ bheṣajā rāsyasme ” (RV 2.33.12)
“I bend to thee as thou approachest, Rudra, even as a boy before the sire who greets him. I praise thee Bounteous Giver, Lord of heroes: give medicines to us as thou art lauded”.

“Shancha me mayashcha me priyam cha menukaamashcha me
kaamashcha me saumanasashcha me bhadram cha me
shreyashcha me vasyashcha me yashashcha me
bhagashcha me dravinam cha me yantaa cha me
dhartaa cha me kshemashcha me dhritishcha me
vishvam cha me mahashcha me samvichcha me
gyaatram cha me suushcha me prasuushcha me
siiram cha me layashcha ma ritam cha me
amritam cha meayakshmam cha meanaamayachcha me
jiivaatushcha me diirghaayutvam cha meanamitram cha me
abhayam cha me sugam cha me shayanam cha me
suushhaa cha me sudinam cha me ” (Yajurveda - Sri Rudram, Chamakam –Anuvaka-3)
“Let Lord Shiva grant us happiness in both worlds on (earth and heaven). All the materials dearer and attractive and worthy of possession in heaven and endearing relations. Material and spiritual welfare; prosperity, cosy and comfort; name, fame and fortune and enormous riches, proper guidance from elders and well wishers, palatial mansions, and due support from all including parents. The capacity to protect all belongings earned and bequeathed, undawnted courage, chivalry, valour, stand fastness possessing the community pleasure and honour and be an embodiment of vedic knowledge and the profundicity to impart the same to all others, command obedience and service from the progeny, capacity to develop expertise in cultivation of agricultural works”.

“yác ca prāṇáti prāṇéna yác ca páśyati cákṣuṣā |
úcchiṣṭāj jajñire sárve diví devā́ diviśrítaḥ |” (Atharva Veda 11:07:23)
“All things that breathe the breath of life, all creatures that have eyes to see, All the celestial Gods those home is heaven sprang from the Residue”.

All creature, all celestial gods, all mobile and immobile creation sprang forth from Rudra only as the Vedas and Upanishads say.

yád éjati pátati yác ca tíṣṭhati prāṇád áprāṇan nimiṣác ca yád bhúvat
tád dādhāra pr̥thivī́ṃ viśvárūpaṃ tát saṃbhū́ya bhavaty ékam evá (Atharvana Veda X:8:11)
"That which hath power of motion, that which flies, or stands, which breathes or breathes not, which, existing, shuts the eye. Wearing all forms that entity upholds the earth, and in its close consistence still is only one".

“yásya tráyastriṃśad devā́ áṅge sárve samā́hitāḥ |
skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ |” (Atharva Veda X:7:13)
“Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha He in whose body are contained all three-and-thirty Deities?”

“br̥hánto nā́ma té devā́ yé 'sataḥ pári jajñiré |
ékaṃ tád áṅgaṃ skambhásyā́sad āhuḥ paró jánāḥ |” (Atharva Veda X:7:25)
“Great, verily, are those Gods who sprang from non-existence into life. Further, men say that that one part of Skambha is nonentity”.

“prāṇáḥ prajā́ ánu vaste pitā́ putrám iva priyám
prāṇó ha sárvasyeśvaró yác ca prāṇáti yác ca ná ” (Atharva Veda 11:4:10)
“Prâna (Rudra) clothes the creatures, as a father his dear son. Prâna, truly, is the lord of all, of all that breathes, and does not breathe”.

“yo devaanaaM prabhavashchodbhavashcha vishvaadhipo rudro maharshhiH
hiraNyagarbha.n janayaamaasa puurva.n sa no buddhyaa shubhayaa sa.nyunaktu ” (Shvetaswatara Upanishad 3:04)
““He, the omniscient Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!"

“viśvataś cakṣur uta viśvato-mukho viśvato-bāhur uta viśvatas-pāt
saṃ6 bāhubhyāṃ dhamati sampatatrair dyāv-ābhūmī janayan deva ekaḥ ” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:03)
"His eyes are everywhere, His faces everywhere, His arms everywhere, everywhere His feet. He it is who endows men with arms, birds with feet and wings and men likewise with feet. Having produced heaven and earth, this God (deva ekaḥ) remains as their non-dual manifester".

“ŕ̥caḥ sā́māni chándāṃsi purāṇáṃ yájuṣā sahá |
úcchiṣṭāj jajñire sárve diví devā́ diviśrítaḥ |” (Atharva Veda 11:07:24)
“Verses, and Songs, and magic hymns, Purāna, sacrificial text. All the celestial Gods whose home is heaven sprang from the Residue”.

Rudra is the only God who created all sorts of scriptures. Let’s see few references from Vedas and Upanishads.

“ghāthapatiṃ medhapatiṃ rudraṃ jalāṣabheṣajam tacchaṃyoḥ sumnamīmahe ” (RV 1:43:04)
“To Rudra Lord of sacrifice, of hymns and balmy medicines, We pray for joy and health and strength”.

“yátra ŕ̥ṣayaḥ prathamajā́ ŕ̥caḥ sā́ma yájur mahī́ |
ekarṣír yásminn ā́rpitaḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:14)
“Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha. In whom the Sages earliest born, the Richas, Sāman, Yajus, Earth, and the one highest Sage abide?”

“kāló ha bhūtáṃ bhávyaṃ ca putró ajanayat purā́
kālā́d ŕ̥caḥ sám abhavan yájuḥ kālā́d ajāyata ” (Atharva Veda 19:54:3)
"In Kala erst the text produced what is and what is yet to be. The Riks arose from Kala, the Yagus was born from Kala”.

“chhandaa.nsi yaGYaaH kratavo vrataani bhuutaM bhavya.n yachcha vedaa vadanti
asmaan.h maayii sR^ijate vishvameta ttasmi.nshchaanyo maayayaa sanniruddhaH ” (Svetaswatara Upanishad. 4:09)
"That from which the maker (mâyin, the Rudra) sends forth all this--the sacred verses, the offerings, the sacrifices, the panaceas, the past, the future, and all that the Vedas declare--Again in that the Rudra is bound up as Jiva through his own mâyâ".

We have analyzed five important verses from the hymn on Srishti-yajna (creation sacrifice), and hopefully this is enough to understand that this creation sacrifice is only just another poetic way to sing the glories of Shiva’s Jwala-Linga (Skhambha) from where the universe was actually projected forth. Now let’s understand what a sacrifice is.

What is Ucchishtha or Srishti Yajna (Creation Sacrifice)?:

Vedas have narrated the creation of universe in terms of a sacrifice. But the same Vedas have also clarified that the universe was created from Jwala-Linga (Skhambha) of Lord Shiva. And we have analyzed in above section how the sacrifice is just a misnomer or a esoteric term applied on lord Shiva’s infinite Jwala Linga.

A creation sacrifice verily represents the Fire-Pillar (Jwala Linga) only but with one difference that one of the end of the fire-altar remaisn closed whereas Skhambha is infinite at both ends. While building a fire altar technically it is impossible to create both the ends of altar open. That’s why the lower end which remains closed due to technical issue, but in fact since it represents a Jwala-Linga extending through the universe (Hiranyagarbha), Vedas have named the lower end as “Agni”, because Agni is verily Rudra and Rudra is infinite Jwala-Linga. So, by calling the lower End as Agni, despite the altar being closed ended at the bottom, it represents and fulfils the symbolism of infinite Jwala-Linga (Skhambha).

Now, since the lower end of the altar is symbolically infinite but realistically fixed, the other end which is even though open realistically has to be considered symbolically as fixed since the fire-Altar represents ‘universe’ and universe (Hiranyagarbha) is not infinite. It has an end. And since Vishnu touched the heaven (which marks the upper end of the universe), he is called as the upper end of the sacrifice. And because all other deities, creatures, all mobile and immobile creation exists within the Hirayagarbha (Universe), all deities have been said to occupy the intermediate positions between the two symbolical extremities represented by Vishnu (Upper) and Agni (lower).

Now, let us understand what is a Hiranyagarbha (Universe). The universe called Hiranyagarbha is a golden egg within which all the worlds, creatures and gods reside. This universe (Hiranyagarbha) is made up of Pradhana (lower form of Prakriti). Uma (Also called as Aditi) is the mUla prakriti (which is indestructible) and a portion of her manifests as the Jagat (Universe), that portion is the lower order nature called ‘Pradhana’. Whatever it may be, the point to be understood is that the Prakriti (Uma) herself is responsible for material creation, Purusha (Shiva) initially places his seed in Aditi(Uma), and she engenders it as golden womb (universe) within which she creates the names and forms, and Purusha (Shiva) enters them as the indwelling spirit making the alive. Therefore, if we look at the creation as from the sacrifice, there the fire inside the altar is Rudra and the altar is Uma (since altar fixes the ends of the Hiranyagarbha, hence Altar represents the universe, and universe is prakriti which is Uma’s portion). This inference is in line with Rudrahridayopanishad which says, “umA vEdi”, which means, “umA is the sacrificial altar”.

We have discussed about the altar as being Hiranyagarbha, now let’s understand it further. A sacrifice cannot happen without an altar. Altar is a mandatory element for sacrifice since sacrifice happens ‘within the altar’. This is the reason, the creation hymn analyzed above talks about the presence of worlds, deities etc. within the sacrifice as the sacrificial residue. That is because altar represents Hiranyagarbha (universe), and within the Hiranyagarbha only - earth, heaven, mid-air, deities, and creatures have been placed. Therefore yajnA(sacrifice) should be understood as within the altar. In the beginning of this article we have studied that Vishnu represents the upper end of sacrifice, Agni represents the lower end, and all deities in between. We have also studied that Agni rises upwards and encompasses all the deities within himself and then only the sacrifice is said to be fulfilled. We’ve also read that Agni is all the deities including Vishnu, and further we have also read that Gayatri represents the front portion (upper) of sacrifice and Gayatri again is none other than Agni. Hence combining all these we concluded that Agni is the lower end, Agni is the middle, and Agni is the upper end of sacrifice. And then we have also seen an evidence where Vedas stated that they actually call Bhagawan Rudra only under the name of Agni. So, we concluded that Rudra is the lower end, Rudra is the middle portion and Rudra is the upper end of the sacrifice. That makes us land in the final conclusion that Rudra is the sacrifice in total. This is the reason why Rudrahridayopanishad says, “rudrO yajnAh”, which means, “rudrA is verily the sacrifice”.

So, from the above discussion done so far the conclusion becomes – Rudra is the sacrifice, and Uma is the altar. That’s what actually Rudrahridayopanishad (1:20) states continuously as “rudro yaj~na umaa vedistasmai tasyai namo namaH |”, which means, “rudrA is the yajnA, umA is the vEdi, prostrations to him and her”.

Now, since we have drilled down till the actual gist of the sacrifice as being associated with only Rudra and Uma, we can now understand the real symbolism of a sacrifice now.

As we discussed earlier that Hiranyagarbha is a Prakriti element, and the life which is infused within that is all because of the supreme spirit (Rudra). The deities and all mobile creatures are alive within the universe (hiranyagarbha) because of only the reason that – Rudra pervades within the hiranyagabha entirely. But since only a portion of Rudra’s infinite Jwala-Linga form has manifested itself as the Hiranyagarbha (universe), it means that Rudra is the only God who pervades outside the universe also in the form of Jwala-Linga (Skhambha) extending infinitely at both ends. So, we can visualize this arrangement as the Jwala-Linga (Shiva) penetrating within the sacrificial altar (universe), and also extends beyond that altar. This picture if someone can really imaging within one’s mind, then it would become clear that the sacrificial altar together with an infinitely extending fire which penetrates within the altar and also extends below it is nothing but again the Skhambha penetrating through the Universe. The same has been sung in the below verses of Atharva Veda.

“hiraṇyagarbhám paramám anatyudyáṃ jánā viduḥ |
skambhás tád ágre prā́siñcad dhíraṇyaṃ loké antarā́ |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:28)
“Men know Hiranyagarbha as supreme and inexpressible: In the beginning, in the midst of the world, Skambha poured (gave birth to) that gold (universe)".

“yásmin bhū́mir antárikṣaṃ dyáur yásminn ádhy ā́hitā |
yátrāgníś candrámāḥ sū́ryo vā́tas tiṣṭhanty ā́rpitāḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:12)
“Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha On whom as their foundation earth and firmament and sky are set; In whom as their appointed place rest Fire and Moon and Sun and Wind?”

So, Skhambha contains all worlds within it since it contains Hiranyagarbha but Skhambha extends beyond the Hiranyagarbha also because Hiranyagarbha is just a portion fo the Skhambha.

“yát paramám avamám yác ca madhyamáṃ prajā́patiḥ sasr̥jé viśvárūpam |
kíyatā skambháḥ prá viveśa tátra yán ná prā́viśat kíyat tád babhūva |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:8)
“That universe which Prajāpati created, wearing all forms, the highest, midmost, lowest, How far did Skambha penetrate within it? What portion did he leave unpenetrated?”

“br̥hánto nā́ma té devā́ yé 'sataḥ pári jajñiré |
ékaṃ tád áṅgaṃ skambhásyā́sad āhuḥ paró jánāḥ |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:25)
“Great, verily, are those Gods who sprang from non-existence into life. Further, men say that that one part of Skambha is nonentity”.

There wouldn’t be any life where Shkambha (Shiva) is absent since Shiva is the Purusha who illuminates all bodies as the indwelling Atman. Therefore now let’s again imagine the picture of the yajna (sacrifice) where the altar is of fixed shape and the fire within pervades from the brim to the bottom and also extends below the altar. This picture if correctly imagined, it is nothing but Skhambha penetrating within and out of the Hiranyagarbha where Skhambha (fire) is Shiva, and Hiranyagarbha (Altar) is Uma. It would be interesting to note that this arrangement is nothing but the image of the Shiva-LInga with the Peetha (Yoni) where the Linga is Shiva and Yoni is Uma which denotes the combination of Prakriti (Uma) and Purusha (Shiva) giving rise to the universe. Shiva Linga must be always drawn as an “Ellipsoid” as scholars say. That is because Shiva is infinite (Skhambha) and his two ends cannot be measured. So, the Ellipsoid represents the endlessness and infinite nature of Shiva. And Shiva Linga built inside the Peetha (Yoni) represents the penetration of Shiva within the prakriti (which means universe) and since the Linga is ellipsoid at both ends, even though in temples we do not see the lower end of Linga (as it remains within the Peetha (yoni), the ellipsoid nature of bottom end symbolizes that Linga extends below the universe also.

So, again coming back to the point, from the creation sacrifice which consists of "fire and altar", we have deduced that they both represent "Skhambha and Hiranyagarbha", and again by analyzing them we have come to a conclusion that "Fire and Altar" are nothing but "Linga and Peetha" respectively and their combination represents the creation of the universe. The same is stated in Rudra hridayopanishad (1:20) as, “rudro li~Ngamumaa piiTha.n tasmai tasyai namo namaH |”, which means, “Rudra is Linga. Uma is Pitha, prostrations to Him and Her”.

So, the entire universe is a product of Uma-Maheshwara who created the universe and hence they are the parents. This is the reason even Mahabharata supports this view as mentioned below.

“sa eṣa rudra bhaktaś ca keśavo rudra saṃbhavaḥ | kṛṣṇa eva hi yaṣṭavyo yajñaiś caiṣa sanātanaḥ |” (Mbh 7:172:89)
“sarvabhūtabhavaṃ jñātvā liṅge 'rcayati yaḥ prabhum | tasminn abhyadhikāṃ prītiṃ karoti vṛṣabhadhvajaḥ |” (Mbh 7:172:90)
“Kesava is that devoted worshipper of Rudra who has sprung from Rudra himself. Kesava always worship the Lord Siva, regarding his Phallic emblem to be the origin of the universe. In Kesava is always present that knowledge, in consequence of which he views the identity of Brahman with the: universe and that other knowledge by which the Past, the Present and the Future, the near and the remote, are all seen, as if the whole are before his eyes. The gods, the Siddhas and the great Rishis, adore Kesava for obtaining that highest object in the universe, viz., Mahadeva. The Lord Kesava always worshippeth Siva in the Phallic emblem as the origin of all creatures. The God having the bull for his mark cherisheth greater regard for Kesava”.

So, it must be clear by now that the origin of universe is from the Jwala-Linga of lord Shiva which is esoterically, mystically and poetically sung as creation-sacrifice in Vedas.

A question may arise, since entire yajna is Rudra then why did Vedas call Vishnu as the yajna? Let’s analyze the same now. Actually speaking, people have only read excerpts which call Vishnu as sacrifice. But in reality Vedas have called many deities as sacrifice in many places. We have already touched this point in the beginning of this article, but now we’re going to have an elaborate discussion on this to churn the true meaning.

Vedas call the following deities as sacrifice. The references are also listed alongside.

“yajña eva prajāpatiḥ”, means “Prajapati is the sacrifice”, as stated in “Shatapatha Brahmana ( and Taittiriya Samhita (
“vāgvai yajñaḥ” which means, “Speech (vAk) is the sacrifice”, as stated in “Shatapatha Brahmana (3:2:2:3)”
“yajño vai viṣṇu”, which means, “Vishnu is the sacrifice”, as stated in, “Shatapatha Brahmana (3:2:1:38)
“āgniryajña” which means, “Agni is the sacrifice”, as stated in, “Shatapatha Brahmana (3:2:2:7) and Shatapatha Brahmana (3:2:2:9)
“vāgvai sarasvatī vāgyajñaḥ”, which means “Saraswati is vAk and vAk is the sacrifice”, as stated in “Shatapatha Brahmana (3:1:4:9)

Now let’s analyze and understand the essence of all these conflicting and confusing verses. There is no conflict or confusion in reality, we’ll learn this shortly.

As analyzed in previous sections, the Yajna (sacrifice) is symbolic to the universe within which all deities evolved, within which heaven and earth exist. So, the base for continuing this discussion is the understanding that “Sacrifice (Yajna) is the Universe”.

Since the universe is nothing but a Golden egg (womb) called ‘Hiraygarbha’ who is the Prajapati (Brahma), Prajapati is sung as “Sacrifice”. This explains why Prajapati is called as Sacrifice (yajna).

At the beginning of the creation there was only non-Existence (Parabrahman-Shiva) alone in the form of his Jwala-Linga (Agni). From him seven vital airs (Pranas-Maruts) sprang forth in the form of sparks. They all became one and created Prajapati. That Prajapati is also non-different from Agni (Shiva).Then that RudrAgni (in the form of Prajapati) started creating the microcosm first. This is evident in Shatapatha Brahmana (6:1:1:1-6:1:1:5). That Rudra (as Prajapati) created Vedas first,and based on the support of Vedas he created cosmic waters (sookshma srushti) through the power of vAk (Speech), as stated in Shatapatha Brahmana (6:1:1:6-6:1:1:9). Then from waters Prajapati created other micro elements and that’s how creation started. So, the vAk (nAda brahman) which became the primordial base element from which this universe sprang forth, speck (vAk) is verily this universe. Therefore Speech (vAk) being the universe (Hiranyagarbha), and Hiranyagarbha being symbolized as sacrifice, speech (vAk) is also called as “sacrifice”.

Vishnu with his mighty strides pervaded the entire universe with his three steps. The lowest step was on the earth while the highest one touched the heaven. So, this is another way to state that Vishnu pervaded the entire universe, which again means Vishnu has become this entire universe (called “Hiranyagarbha”) which is symbolized as sacrifice. So, Vishnu being this vishwam through his all pervasiveness he is verily the sacrifice which is itself the vishwam. This explains why Vishnu is called as sacrifice.

Since Agni is all the Gods (including Vishnu) as stated in RV (2:1:3) and Shatapatha Brahmana (3:1:3:1), and as analyzed already in detail how Agni is the only one who encompasses the entire sacrifice (Universe) from bottom to middle to top; Agni is the sacrifice.

Saraswati is verily Agni as stated in RV (2:1:11), Agni is the speech (Vak) as stated in Shatapatha Brahmana (3:2:2:13), and Saraswati is verily the speech (Vak) as stated in Shatapatha Brahmana (3:1:4:9). So, Agni and Saraswati are identical. Therefore when Vedas have called Vak (Speech) and Agni as sacrifice, they have also called Saraswati as sacrifice which is logically true.

With this we have analyzed why Vedas have called so many deities as being ‘sacrifice’. Now let’s understand that there is no duality in them. There is only one God who is the sacrifice and him only Vedas call by other names associating him with Sacrifice.

Shatapatha Brahmana (2:2:3:6) states that, “To Agni belongs the sacrifice” and Shatapatah Brahmana (2:2:3:15) states, “The whole (sacrifice) belongs to Agni”. These imply to say that "whole universe belong to Agni". These statements are very true indeed since we have already analyzed in previous sections that Agni embodies all deities within himself, Agni is the lower end of the sacrifice, Agni is the middle of sacrifice, and Agni is the highest end of sacrifice too. In short Agni is the entire sacrifice. Again we have also seen that Vishnu is Agni’s form (RV 2:1:3), Saraswati is Agni’s form (RV 2:1:11), Agni is all other deities too (Shatapata Brahmana 3:1:3:1). So, here duality ceases and Agni is the only one who exists, Agni is the only one who pervades the entire Hiranyagarbha (universe) and Agni is verily the sacrifice, and Agni is the one whom the universe (sacrifice) belongs. And if we note carefully, all the deities including Vishnu are Shiva's forms manifested inside the Hiranyagarbha. .

But again this Agni is just an epithet using which Vedas call that deity whose names are Rudra, Sarva, Ishana. Yes, Lord Shiva is the one whom Vedas call by the name of Agni as stated in Shatapatha Brahmana (1:7:3:8). And Lord Shiva who is the Parabrahman, who is the Veda Purusha is the formless Agni-LInga (Skhambha) which poured the Hirayagarbha (universe) and pervades within it sustaining the lives. It is the same Bhagawan Mahadeva who appears to be diverse in forms and is available as Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, Agni and all creatures also; but essentially there is no duality. Only lord Shiva exists and apart from him no one else exists. So, essentially all those deities are Prakriti elements. That's why Lord Rudra is the lord of Vishnu (hari vallabha) lord of all deities (ganapatibhyashcha vo namo), lord of all creatures (pashupati), and overlord of Hiranyagarbha. And by default Shiva is the Lord of Uma (umApati) since she is the mUla-prakriti.

This is why the primordial sacrifice (Srishti-yajna) which describes the creation of the universe in secret coded style has yielded to our analysis above and finally it revealed to us that the sacrifice is nothing but a symbolic representation of Skhambha (Shiva-Linga) from where entire jagat (universe) originates. Here ceases the duality, here comes all names, forms and appearances to an end. And the only God who remains alone, as the non-dual Bhagawan is Bhagawan Shiva!


Let me end this article with the final conclusion as stated in scriptures.

"eko rudro na dvitIyAya tasmai ya imA.nllokAnIshata IshanIbhiH
pratya~NjanAstiShThati sa.nchukochAntakAle sa.nsR^ijya vishvA bhuvanAni goptA (Svet. Upa 3.02 & Atharvasiras Upanishad 5.2)
"Rudra is one and only one. There is none second to him. He rules all worlds by his power. He pervades fully in all beings. He is the one who, at the time of deluge, absorbs all beings. He is the one who creates all beings and upkeeps them".

It also makes reminds me of Lord Dattatreya’s Avadhuta Gita where he revealed the same supreme truth as follows:

“indrajAlam idam sarvam yathA maru-marEchikA | Akhanditam anAkAra vartatE kEvalah shivah |” (Avadhuta Gita)
“This entire universe is illusion as like as a mirage! Beyond all differences, beyond all forms, truly, there is only Shiva alone.

And finally as the Yajurveda Sri Rudram (Anuvaka-4) says, “namo virupebhyo vishvarupebhyashcha vo namo”, which means, “Salutations to lord Rudra who is formless and salutations to lord Rudra who is of universal forms”.

Rudra is the only one, he and his consort Uma being Ardhanareeshwara, are not different from each other. They two only manifest this entire creation from themselves.

“Rudra is yajna, Uma is Vedi. Rudra is Linga Uma is the Peetha (yoni). Rudra is Purusha, Uma is Prakriti”.

This is the final verdict that can be summed up from the lengthy discussion we had above. And this conclusion has already been documented in “Rudra Hridayopanishad”. That’s why learned men say that Upanishads are there to understand Vedas easily. This has also been proved in our discussion as we have seen Vedas have attributed the title of “sacrifice” to many deities, but with an extensive analysis we have drilled down to the conclusion that Vedas actually call Rudra as the sacrifice, and the same has been mentioned in “Rudra hridayopanishad” in a simple one liner statement.

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