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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The unborn Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad and Sata Rudriya hymn is Umapati Mahadeva beyond doubt!

| Om Namah Shivaya | Shivaya Gurave Namah |


Background (Reason behind writing this article)

I don’t know where my Hinduism is heading at! Poor lord Shiva is being deprived of all his properties by humans. The hymn Sri Rudram which has always been recognized by ancient seers and scriptures as a hymn in praise of lord Shiva, today that hymn is being forcibly snatched away from Shiva and is being gifted to lord Vishnu. What is happening to my Hinduism I am really not sure of! If these kinds of situations continue to prevail with same intensity, I can foresee that after three or four generations Hinduism would mean only Vaishnavism. Why don’t people allow Shiva to enjoy his share of glory, I really don’t have the answer!

Recently two Vaishnavas viz. “UNKNOWN” alias “Dark Warrior” alias “Sri Vaishnava” alias “Aaryamaa” (and Originally “Srinivasan Ramanujan”) and “Humble Bhagawata Bandhu” alias “Prahaladadasa!” (Original name removed on personal request from that person) argued with me. Poor chaps, probably they thought that by hiding their real names they would be able to protect their identities! Probably they didn’t know about my detective kind of skills or probably they underestimated them. I had requested “Mr. Unknown” to talk to me under his real name, but neither he nor his friend followed my request.

They argued with me saying that Sri Rudram is not a hymn of lord Shiva and said it actually belongs to Narayana.Despite being busy these days I had no other choice than to spend some additional efforts in late night and write this article to clear their misunderstandings and explain the viewpoint of scriptures clearly. I always assumed that people would by default take that Sata-rudriyam hymn (Sri Rudram) as a hymn to Rudra, I never expected anyone disagreeing to this fact. This is the reason perhaps it never struck my mind to make ‘Rudram’ one of the topics of my articles. I am actually feeling thankful to those two Vaishnavas because they have given me a good topic to write an article on. Sometimes some good things happen with the influence of others, and the credits of motivating me to come out of my cave (of busy mechanical work life) and do some service to Mahadeva in the form of this article goes to those two gentlemen. Many thanks to them! Let us analyze this problem and see what scriptures have to say on this matter.

Vaishnavite Claims:

The following claims have been made by them.

  • Svetaswatara  Upanishad’s Rudra who gave birth to Hiranyagarbha is not Shiva, there Rudra means Narayana
  • Sri Rudram hymn is a hymn of Vishnu and all the Shaivite names contained therein also belong to Vishnu
  • Rudra was born from Prajapati and Prajapati gave him names like Ishana, Mahadeva, etc., which were the names of Narayana. Rudra was sinful at birth, and the names of Narayana made him cleansed of his sins
  • Rudra was absent during pralaya and only Narayana existed

These are the problem statements in our hand for which we’ll find solutions.  We’ll have to analyze the following things – Need to find out who fathered Hiranyagarbha. Once that is found out we can easily understand the meaning of Rudra’s appearance as a child born from Brahma. And finally we’ll also prove whose hymn is Sri Rudram.

Let’s analyse these problems based on shruti and smriti both and see what they have to say in this regard.

1. Rudra of Svetasvatara Upanishad who engendered Hiranyagarbha is lord Shiva beyond doubt!


1.1 Analysis using Upanishads

Let me use the “Proof by contradiction” method to solve the question who is “Rudra” in Svetasvatara Upanishad. Let’s assume that the Rudra of Svetasvatara Upanishad is Vishnu (Narayana) and let’s find out whether our assumption stands correct of gets contradicted.

Svetasvatara Upanishad states that Rudra withdraws entire creation into himself at the end of the time as follows.

“eko hi rudro na dvitiiyaaya tasthurya imaa.nllokaaniishata iishaniibhiH |
pratyaN^ janaastishhThati saJNchukochaantakaale sa.nsR^ijya vishvaa bhuvanaani gopaaH |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:02)

“Rudra is truly one; for the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second, He alone rules all the worlds by His powers. He dwells as the inner Self of every living being. After having created all the worlds, He, their Protector, takes them back into Himself at the end of time”.

Here we can see that Rudra of Svetasvatara Upanishad is the only one, he is the self of all (Atman), he is the creator and withdrawer of everything.  Let’s analyze and see who this Rudra is!

Mahanarayanopanishad (XVI-1) of Yajurveda calls lord Rudra the Umapati as the Atman dwelling in every being:

“aatmaaya namaH |” (Salutations to Him, He who is the Spirit – Atman – dwelling in all creatures. )
“aatmali~Ngaaya namaH |” (Salutations to Him, He who is concealed in the heart of all creatures being their inmost Self.)

Ekakshara Upanishad talks the following about the eternal Atman the indweller of all.

“ya eva.n nitya.n vedayate guhaashayaM
prabhuM puraaNa.n sarvabhuuta.n hiraNmayam.h |
hiraNmayaM buddhimataaM paraa.n gati.n
sa buddhimaanbuddhimatiitya tishhThatiityupanishhat.h |” (Ekakshara Upanishad 13)

“Whoso thus knows the eternal Dweller (soul) in the cave of the heart, the ancient Lord who has become the all, the golden, the supreme goal of the wise, is wise. He stays transcending all (forms of) wisdom. This is the secret doctrine”.

Now the same Upanishad reveals who is that lord who dwells as the Atman; in the very opening verse itself as follows. Additionally note that the below verse clearly sattes that the supreme lord is the source of all.

ekaakshara.n tvakshare.atraasti some
sushhumnaayaa.n cheha dR^iDhii sa ekaH |
tva.n vishvabhuurbhuutapatiH puraaNaH
parjanya eko bhuvanasya goptaa |” (Ekakshara Upanishad 1)
“Thou art the one Imperishable in the Imperishable, conjoint with Uma., as known by means of Susumna, here (on the empirical plane), the one firm (Principle art Thou). Thou art the ancient source of the world, the Lord of beings; Thou the Parjanya (the Principle of life-giving water), the Protector of the world”.Even Panchabrahma Upanishad states the same that Umapati-Rudra is the indweller of all as follows”.

“aya.n hR^idi sthitaH saakshii sarveshhaamavisheshhataH |
tenaaya.n hR^idayaM proktaH shivaH sa.nsaaramochakaH |” (Panchabrahmopanishat 36)
“Lord Shiva, who grants salvation to one, from this day- to-day life of the world, exists as witness without differentiation in the heart of all beings and is called Hrudayam (That which exists within)”.

Now, let’s come to the attribute of withdrawing the entire creation at the end of time which has been stated in Swetasvatara Upanishad. Even Dakshinamurty Upanishad states the same fact that at the end of time it is lord Dakshinamurty who withdraws entire creation into himself as follows.

“sa hovaacha . yena dakshiNaamukhaH shivo.aparokshiikR^ito
bhavati tatparamarahasyashivatattvaj~naanam.h . yaH sarvoparame kaale
sarvaanaatmanyupasa.nhR^itya svaatmaanandasukhe modate prakaashate
vaa sa devaH |” (Dakshinamurty Upanishad 1:01)

“He said: That constitutes knowledge of the Highest Secret,—of S’iva, the Reality—by which Siva, the Dakshinâmukha, becomes intuited. He is the Deity who, at the time of universal dissolution, absorbs all into Himself, and who shines and delights in the happiness of His own inherent bliss”.

Since by logic there cannot be two different gods who withdraw the creation into themselves at the end of time, Svetaswatara Upanishad’s god of withdrawal and Dakshinamurty Upanishad’s god of withdrawer must be identical.

Since recently I have learnt that assumptions are very costly affair. Therefore let me not assume that people would understand that Dakshinamurty is Lord Shiva. Who knows? Tomorrow someone may come up saying Dakshinamurty is the name of Vishnu and not Shiva? For all such questions, Dakshimamurty Upanishad itself gives clarity as follows.

It clearly depicts the appearance of Dakshinamurty as moon-crested, three eyed god, and serpent-girdled god as follows.

“sphaTikarajatavarNaM mauktikiimakshamaalaa-
mamR^itakalashavidyaa.n j~naanamudraa.n karaagre |
dadhatamuragakakshya.n chandrachuuDa.n trinetraM
vidhR^itavividhabhuushha.n dakshiNaamuurtimiiDe |” (Dakshinamurty Upanishad 3)

“I adore the three-eyed, moon-crested Dakshinâmûrti who is of pebble and silver colour, holding in the hands a rosary of pearls, a vessel of nectar, a book and the symbol of wisdom; having a serpent for his girdle, and putting on various ornaments”.

Therefore this analysis reveals us the truth that Dakshinamurty who is moon-crested, three-eyed Mahadeva, he withdraws the creation into himself at the end of time, hence the Rudra of Swetasvatara also muist be lord Shiva the consort of Uma only.

With this extensive analysis our initial assumption of Rudra of Svetaswatara being Narayana is clearly contradicted and we came to a conclusion that Rudra of Svetaswatara is Mahadeva alone!

Now, with this understanding of Rudra of Svetaswatara Upansiahd as Lord Shiva, we learn another fact that it is Rudra (Shiva) who engendered Hiranyagarbha at the beginning of creation as stated in below verse from Svetaswatara Upanishad.

“yo devaanaaM prabhavashchodbhavashcha vishvaadhipo rudro maharshhiH | hiraNyagarbha.n janayaamaasa puurva.n sa no buddhyaa shubhayaa sa.nyunaktu |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:04)
“He, the omniscient seer 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!”

Above verse additionally gives us the information that Rudra engendered all the Gods and he is called as a great seer (Guru) since he is the Dakshinamurty the storehouse of all knowledge, hence the above verse is requesting rudra to bestow intellect (wisdom). This is why Svetaswatara Upanishad states that at the beginning Rudra gave Vedas to Brahma as follows.

“yo brahmaaNa.n vidadhaati puurva.n | yo vai vedaa.nshcha prahiNoti tasmai .ta.n ha devaM aatmabuddhiprakaashaM | mumuxurvai sharaNamahaM prapadye |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 6:18)
“Seeking Liberation, I take refuge in the Lord, the revealer of Self-Knowledge, who in the beginning created Brahma and delivered the Vedas to Him”.

Since Rudra delivers Vedas (means supreme knowledge) in the form of Dakshinamurty this is why, the same is stated in Dakshinamurty Upansihad also as follows. Here the power to create is not any alient phrase. Creation proceeds from Vedas hence this verse states Brahma got the necessary knowledge (Vedas) for creation from Shiva.

“sargaadikaale bhagavaanviri~nchirupaasyaina.n sargasaamarthyamaapya | ” (Dakshinamurty Upanishad 1:20)
“At the beginning of creation, Brahmâ the Lord, having worshipped S’iva, attained power to create and was delighted at heart”.

Due to the reason that Rudra is the greatest seer (Dakshinamurty), Svetaswatara Upanishad also pleads the southward directed face (Dakshinamurty) for liberation, since liberation is achievable through knowledge.

“ajaata ityeva.n kashchidbhiiruH prapadyate | rudra yatte daxiNaM mukha.n tena maaM paahi nityam.h |”(Svetaswatara Upanishad 4:21)
“It is because Thou, O Lord, art birthless, that some rare souls, frightened by birth and death, take refuge in Thee. O Rudra, may Thy southward face (dakshinam mukha) protect me forever!”

With the above analysis it must be clear by now that the Dakshinamurty Upanishad and Svetaswatara Upanishad unanimously glorify one and the same Rudra who is the consort of Bhavani who bestowed Vedas to Brahma. This is enough but let me also quote evidence in another Upanisahd as follows. The below Upanishad verse summarizes the same facts in a simple one paragraph all that we analyzed above so far.

“prabhu.n vareNyaM pitaraM mahesha.n yo brahmaaNa.n vidadhaati tasmai |
vedaa.nshcha sarvaanprahiNoti chaagrya.n ta.n vai prabhuM pitara.n devataanaam.h |
mamaapi vishhNorjanaka.n devamiiDyaM yo.antakaale sarvalokaansa.njahaara |
sa ekaH shreshhThashcha sarvashaastaa sa eva varishhThashcha |” (Sarabha Upanishad 1:2-3)

“I am saluting that primeval God who is the Lord, who is the best, who is the father of the world, who is the greatest among gods, who has created Brahma, who gave all Vedas to Brahma in the beginning, who is the father of Vishnu and other devas, who merits praise, and who at the time of deluge destroys the world. He is the only one who is greater than every body, who is the best and who rules over others”.

Even Mahabharata supports this fact that; it is Rudra who is the creator of the universe (known as Hiranyagarbha) and creater of all gods and it is again Mahadeva who would dissolve every god and everything into himself. Mahabharata clearly states below that there is nothing superior than Mahadeva!

“tad dṛṣṭvā vrīḍito rājan sa muniḥ pādayor gataḥ | nānyaṃ devam ahaṃ manye rudrāt parataraṃ mahat |
surāsurasya jagato gatis tvam asi śūladhṛk | tvayā sṛṣṭam idaṃ viśvaṃ trailokyaṃ sa carācaram |
tvām eva bhagavan sarve praviśanti yugakṣaye | devair api na śakyas tvaṃ parijñātuṃ kuto mayā |
tvayi sarve ca dṛśyante surā brahmādayo ‘nagha | sarvas tvam asi lokānāṃ kartā kārayitā ca ha |
tvatprasādāt surāḥ sarve modantīhākuto bhayāḥ | evaṃ stutvā mahādevaṃ sa ṛṣiḥ praṇato ‘bhavat |” (MBH 3:81:107b-111) 
””And beholding this, O king, that Muni became ashamed and fell at the feet of the god. And believing that there was nothing better and greater than the god Rudra, he began to adore him in these words: “O holder of the trident, thou art the refuge of the celestials and the Asuras, of, indeed, the universe. By thee have been created the three worlds with their mobile and immobile beings. It is thou again that swallowest everything at the end of the Yuga. Thou art incapable of being known by the gods themselves, far less by me. O sinless one, the gods with Brahma at their heads are all displayed in thee. Thou art all, the Creator himself and the Ordainer of the worlds. It is by thy grace that all the gods sport without anxiety or fear”.

Now let me load Kaivalya Upanishad in my analysis. Kaivalya Upanishad clearly hails Shiva as the ONLY one who is the origin of worlds and has become everything. It hails Shiva with the highest attributes of supremacy and then clearly calls out that lord as the three-eyed, blue-necked, highest lord of Uma as follows.

“hR^itpuNDariikaM virajaM vishuddhaM vichintya madhye vishadaM vishokam.h
achintyamavyaktamanantaruupaM shivaM prashaantamamR^itaM brahmayonim.h |6
tamaadimadhyaantavihiinamekaM vibhuM chidaanandamaruupamadbhutam.h
umaasahaayaM parameshvaraM prabhuM trilochanaM niilakaNThaM prashaantam.h
dhyaatvaa munirgachchhati bhuutayoniM samastasaakShiM tamasaH parastaat.h |” (kaivalyopanishat 6-7)

“(Who is) unthinkable, unmanifest, of endless forms, the good, the peaceful, Immortal, the origin of the worlds, without beginning, middle, and end, the only one, all-pervading, Consciousness, and Bliss, the formless and the wonderful. Meditating on the highest Lord, allied to Uma, powerful, three-eyed, blue-necked, and tranquil, the holy man reaches Him who is the source of all, the witness of all and is beyond darkness (i.e. Avidya)”.

Kaivalya Upanishad also talks about the supreme lord as the one god who alone is all that was and all that will be as follows. The below verse states the same concept discussed in Purusha Suktam i.e., “purusha Eva idam sarvam yad bhUtam yad bhavyam” meaning, “Purusha is alone everything whatever was in the past and whatever will be in future.

“sa eva sarvaM yadbhuutaM yachcha bhavyaM sanaatanam.h |
j~naatvaa taM mR^ityumatyeti naanyaH panthaa vimuktaye |”(Kaivalya Upanishad 9)

“He alone is all that was, and all that will be, the Eternal; knowing Him, one transcends death; there is no other way to liberation”.

It clearly says that by knowing Rudra one attains Mukti, and it clearly rules out existance of any other path towards liberation. This means knowing Shiva is the only path to liberation!

The above verse about Rudra is what is stated in Svetaswatara Upanishad about Veda purusha Rudra as follows. Svetaswatara Upanishad also states the same path for liberation.

“vedaahametaM purushhaM mahaantamaadityavarNa.n tamasaH parastaat.h |
tameva viditvaatimR^ityumeti naanyaH panthaa vidyate.ayanaaya |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:08)

“I know that great purusha (Rudra) of sunlike lustre beyond the darkness. A man who knows him truly, passes over death; there is no other path to liberation”.

Therefore it is again proved that Rudra (Purusha) of Svetaswatara Upanishad is Umapati-Rudra beyond doubt!

Conclusion: –

With the above analysis our initial assumption of Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad being Vishnu is clearly refuted, hence it is also crystal clear that Rudra who gave birth to Hiranyagarbha at the beginning of creation, the Rudra sung in Svetaswatara Upanishad is Mahadeva alone and NOT Vishnu.

1.2 Analysis using Vedas

Let’s analyse the problem statement using Vedas now. Atharva Veda has a hymn to ascetic form of lord Shiva (Vratya) which states how Vratya manifested within the Hiranyagarbha (Shining universe). Here are the excerpts.

“vrā́tya āsīd ī́yamāna evá sá prajā́patiṃ sám airayat | sá prajā́patiḥ suvárṇam ātmánn apaśyat tát prā́janayat | tád ékam abhavat tál lalā́mam abhavat tán mahád abhavat táj jyeṣṭhám abhavat tád bráhmābhavat tát tápo ‘bhavat tát satyám abhavat téna prā́jāyata |” (Atharva Veda 15:1:1-3)
“There was Vratya . He roused Prajapati to action. Prajapati beheld gold in himself and engendered it. That became unique, that became distinguished, that became great, that became excellent, that became Brahman, that became Tapas, that became Truth: through that he (Vratya) was born.”

That Vratya after entering the universe (Hiranyagarbha) he is again called as Eka Vratya. He was of  blue-red color (nilalOhita), and is called as Mahadeva, he being the controller of all he is called Ishana

“sò ‘vardhata sá mahā́n abhavat sá mahādevò ‘bhavat | sá devā́nām īśā́ṃ páry ait sá ī́śāno ‘bhavat | sá ekavrātyò ‘bhavat sá dhánur ā́datta tád evéndradhanúḥ | nī́lam asyodáraṃ lóhitaṃ pr̥ṣṭhám | nī́lenaivā́priyaṃ bhrā́tr̥vyaṃ prórṇoti lóhitena dviṣántaṃ vidhyatī́ti brahmavādíno vadanti |”  (Atharva Veda 15:1:4-8)
“He grew, he became great, he became Mahadeva.He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Ishana. He became Eka Vratya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. His belly is dark-blue, his back is red (Nila Lohitam). With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say.”

As evident from above verses, the being called Vratya present inside the Hiranyagarbha is the same Vratya who was present outside the hiranyagarbha and who created the Hiranyagarbha. This inner Vratya is Eka Vratya because he was the first one who manifested within the universe so Eka (loner). This Vratya was Rudra having blue-red appearance (nilalOhitam) and was hailed as Mahadeva and Ishana owing to his supremacy.

So, Atharva Veda clarifies that the Vratya (Rudra) who manifested within Hiranyagarbha is the same Vratya who engendered Hiranyagarbha. Note this point carefully. Then he manifested himself into various other deities like Agni, Varuna, Indra etc., including Vishnu (I’m just quoting Vishnu’s birth related verse).

“sá yád dhruvā́ṃ díśam ánu vyácalad víṣṇur bhūtvā́nuvyàcalad virā́jam annādī́ṃ kr̥tvā́ |” (Atharva Veda XV:14:5)
“He (Vratya ), when he went away to the stedfast region, went away having become Vishnu and having made Virāj an eater of food”.

Thus this is the same fact what we see in Svetaswatara Upanishad as follows. The below verse clearly states that the lord who fathered Hirayagarbha was Rudra and again Rudra created other gods.

“yo devaanaaM prabhavashchodbhavashcha vishvaadhipo rudro maharshhiH | hiraNyagarbha.n janayaamaasa puurva.n sa no buddhyaa shubhayaa sa.nyunaktu |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:04)
“He, the omniscient seer 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!”

So, this makes it crystal clear that Vishnu is NOT the origin of Rudra but instead Rudra is the one who manifested Vishnu from himself within this universe. So, Vishnu is Rudra’s form but vice versa is NOT true. And it is also clear that the Vratya (Rudra) was present before the creation of Hiranyagarbha and he only entered the Hiranyagarbha again.

So, from above analysis it is clear that Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanisahd is the three eyed deity the consort of Uma. Well, this itself is conclusive beyond question; but would want to explain Satapatha Brahmana’s story of Rudra’s manifestation because the Vaishnava gentlemen were misinterpreting it.

Well, we have the same story of Rudra’s manifestation within the universe as depicted in Satapatha Brahmana as quoted below. The Prajapati described in Satapatha Brahmana is the Hiranyagarbha (the shining physical universe). Satapatha Brahmana states Prajapati as “Year” and his mistress Usha as “Dawn” as shown below.

“tadyāni tāni bhūtāni | ṛtavaste ‘tha yaḥ sa bhūtānām patiḥ saṃvatsaraḥ so ‘tha yā soṣāḥ
patnyauṣasī |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:8)

Now, those beings are the seasons; and that lord of beings (prajapati) is the year; and that Ushas, the mistress, is the Dawn.”

What does this mean? Prajapati being year he is symbolic usage for “time” and his mistress is called Dawn which is symbolic of “Space”. This means the shining physical universe which is a framework of “Space and time”, within this space-time universe, the supreme lord Rudra who is beyond this universe, who is beyond the time, who is beyond all and is the highest; that rudra entered this universe and appeared here as shown below.

“sā tānīmāni bhūtāni ca bhūtānāṃ ca patiḥ saṃvatsara uṣasi reto ‘siñcantsa
saṃvatsare kumāro ‘jāyata so ‘rodīt|” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:8)

“And these same creatures, as well as the lord of beings, the year, laid seed into Ushas. There a boy (kumâra) was born in a year, he cried.”

And then Satapatha Brahmana says that prajapati gives him eight names Rudra, Sarva, Pashupati, Ugra, Asani, Bhava, Mahadeva and Isana; and with each of these names respectively lord Rudra manifests himself as his eight forms cleebrated as Astamurty viz. Agni, Varuna (waters), Vegetation (Earth), Vayu, Indra, Cloud (Sky), Moon and Sun.

However, as seen above Prajapati is nothing but the physical universe (Hiranyagarbha) which comprises of space-time coordinates; and hence the Prajapati giving names to Rudra is also symbolic to say that Rudra assumed eight forms from his OWN eight names.

Now, comparing this story of Satapatha Brahmana with the Atharva Veda’s Vratya-Rudra Suktam; we can understand that the Rudra within this space-time framework MUST be same as the Rudra who is beyond this space-time framework (Prajapati), who created this Prajapati (space-time framework called Hiranyagarbha). And yes, our conclusion is true; the same conclusion is given in Svetaswatara Upanishad as follows.

“yo devaanaaM prabhavashchodbhavashcha vishvaadhipo rudro maharshhiH | hiraNyagarbha.n janayaamaasa puurva.n sa no buddhyaa shubhayaa sa.nyunaktu |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:04)
“He, the omniscient seer 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!”

We’ll see how Vaishnavas wishfully interpret Rudra’s appearance as “birth” and related stuff in a separate section titled “Refutation of Rudra’s birth related misconceptions” ant the end of this article.

This is again the end of our analysis which proves beyond any doubt that Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad is Bhavani’s consort the three-eyed Mahadeva only! Let me show some direct references from Taittiriya Aranyaka which supports this analysis done so far.

Taittiriya Aranyaka states Sadashiva as the overlord of Hiranyagarbha and the preserver of Vedas (as Dakshinamurty), who is the Ishwara the lord of all created beings and Ishana the supreme seer.

“iishaanaH sarvavidyaanaamiishvaraH sarvabhuutaanaaM
brahmaadhipatirbrahmaNo.adhipatirbrahmaa shivo me astu sadaashivom.h ” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.21.1)

“May the Supreme who is Ishana the ruler of all knowledge, who is Ishwara, the controller of all created beings, the preserver of the Vedas and the one overlord of Hiranyagarbha, be benign to me. That Sadasiva described thus and denoted by Pranava (OM).”

And again there is no room for Vaishnavas for any assumptions of above Ishana being Vishnu because the immediate next para of Taitiriya Aranyaka clearly proves that the source of all vedas is the same lord of all creatures (pashupati) who is the consort of Uma.

“namo hiraNyabaahave hiraNyavarNaaya hiraNyaruupaaya hiraNyapataye.ambikaapataya
umaapataye pashupataye namo namaH ” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.22.1)

“Salutations again and again to Hiranyabahu [One who has ornaments of gold on the arms or possessing a form having the golden hue], Hiranyavarna [He who is the source of the syllables of the Vedas which are as precious as gold], Hiranyarupa [He who is shining in splendour], Hiranyapati [the Lord of riches wholesome and charming], Ambikapati [the consort of Ambika, the Mother of the universe], Umapati [The master of Uma, Brahma-vidya personified as such], Pasupati [the Lord of all created beings]”.

Conclusion: – Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad is doubtlessly Mahadeva the consort of Uma! All the speculations of Vaishnavas mapping him to Vishnu are only baseless and useless speculations.


1.3. Analysis using Purana – Svetaswatara rishi was truly Shiva devotee only


King Prithu the son of Vena, by the grace of Lord Vishnu, had two illustrious sons viz. Shikhandin and Havirdhana. The son of Shikhandin was known as ‘Sushila’. This grandson of Prithu, after having studied the Vedas and all the ancillary branches, was attracted towards renunciation. He wandered all the places and meanwhile he used to perform ‘tapas’ and also continue studying (reciting) Vedas. Finally he reached Himalayas where he reached a forest named ‘dharma-vana’ which was accessible only for the noble hearted people. Within that forrest used to flow the river mandakini. He took bathe in that river, and offered his adorations to Mahadeva with several types of lotuses. Again he immersed himself in adoration to Rudra via reciting Rudradhyaya, Rudracharita and other prayers of Shiva taken from Vedas.  

While he was immersed in devotion to Shiva he witnessed a great sage ‘Svetasvatara’ coming there. Note that below verses clearly say ‘Svetasvatara’ was a great pAshupata – coming as a jolt on all the wicked Vaishnavas who say Svetaswatara was a Rama bhakta and his Upanishad sings glory of Rama.

“athāsminnantare ‘paśyat tamāyāntaṃ mahāmunim |
śvetāśvataranāmānaṃ mahāpāśupatottamam || 31
bhasmasaṃdigdhasavāṅgaṃ kaupīnācchādanānvitam |
tapasā karṣitātmānaṃ śuklayajñopavītinam ||” (Kurma Purana 1:13:31-32)
“In the meantime, he spotted the great sage ‘Svetasvatara’ who was the best of the ‘Pasupatas (devotees of Shiva). The said ascetic had applied ashes all over his body. He wore a kaupIna (loin cloth), having lean and thin body, because of his performing tapas. He was wearing a white sacred thread, yajnopavita”.

This ‘Sushila’ out of happiness salutes that sage and submits himself as his disciple. Then the great yogi ‘Svetasvatara’ accepts him as his disciple.

“so ‘nugṛhyātha rājānaṃ suśīlaṃ śīlasaṃyutam |
śiṣyatve parijagrāha tapasā kṣīṇakalpaṣam ||” (Kurma Purana 1:13:36)
“The great sage, finding the noble king having become emaciated due to his performing severe penances, accepted him as his disciple”.

Recall that this king was desirous of renunciation, and after meeting Svetaswatara his dear wish has fructified. Sage Svetaswatara initiates him into ‘sanyasa’.

“sāṃnyāsikaṃ vidhiṃ kṛtsnaṃ kārayitvā vicakṣaṇaḥ |
dadau tadaiśvaraṃ jñānaṃ svaśākhāvihitaṃ vratam ||” (Kurma Purana 1:13:37)
“The astonishing sage made the king to perform the entire procedure for embracing ‘sanyasa’ and admitted him into his own branch of sanyasa. Then he bestowed the divine knowledge to him”.

Then look at the below verse carefully – Here Svetasvatara rishi teaches him concepts of ‘pasu (bonded jiva), ‘pasa (maya), and ‘pati (lord Shiva)’, which are typically used in Shiva’s path.

“aśeṣavedasāraṃ tat paśupāśavimocanam |
antyāśramamiti khyātaṃ brahmādibhiranuṣṭhitam ||” (Kurma Purana 1:13:38)
“He enlightened him on the theory of Pasu (Jiva), and ‘Pasa (the binding noose of avidya), the essence of all the Vedas, known as ‘antyAshrama’ and is established by BrahmA and others”.

Then that sage shows all his disciples of twice-born order performing their studies of the teachings expounded by his school, and clearly says their goal is to attain Mahadeva who is originally ‘nishkala’. Clearly thwarts all traces of the assumptions that ‘Svetaswatara’ was a devotee of Rama.

“uvāca śiṣyān saṃprekṣya ye tadāśramavāsinaḥ |
brāhmaṇān kṣatriyān vaiśyān brahmacaryaparāyaṇān || 39
mayā pravartitāṃ śākhāmadhītyaiveha yoginaḥ |
samāsate mahādevaṃ dhyāyanto niṣkalaṃ śivam ||” (Kurma Purana 1:13:39-40)
“Observing all his disciples living in that hermitage, he said – Those of the disciples viz. Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas who are performers of Brahmacharya, should study the branch initiated by me to become the yogins and attain Lord Mahadeva by meditating on that Shiva who is nishkala”.

Then that sage ‘Svetasvatara’ evoting s mind on the carrier of Pinaka initiated the king with Agni-Mantra to destroy all his sins. Clearly the object of that sage’s meditation is bhagavan Rudra only.

“evamābhāṣya viprendro devaṃ dhyātvā pinākinam |
ācacakṣe mahāmantraṃ yathāvat svārthasiddhaye || 46
sarvapāpopaśamanaṃ vedasāraṃ vimuktidam |
agnirityādikaṃ puṇyamṛṣibhiḥ saṃpravartitam ||” (Kurma Purana 1:13:46-47)
“Thus speaking, the excellent Brahmana, devoting his mind towards the lord who wields Pinaka, for the achievement of all success, advised him on the ‘agnimantra’, which happens to be the remover of all sins, the essence of all the Vedas, bestower of moksha, auspicious and practiced by the rishis. This was done by him appropriately”.

Then look at the below verses. That king applies sacred ashes over his body, becomes a Pashupata and embraces Sanyasa. As a side note – that ‘Pasupata’ is verily non-dualistic Vedantic school only. Later on Shiva created a dualistic version by the same name and spread illusion in the world. Brahmasutras refuted that dualistic school, not the original Pashupata school which is completely Vedic and Vedantic.

“so ‘pi tadvacanād rājā suśīlaḥ śraddhayānvitaḥ |
sākṣāt pāśupato bhūtvā vedābhyāsarato ‘bhavat || 48
bhasmoddhūlitasarvāṅgaḥ kandamūlaphalāśanaḥ |
śānto dānto jitakrodhaḥ saṃnyāsavidhimāśritaḥ ||” (Kurma Purana 1:13:48-49)
“On hearing his words, the noble king having been filled with devotion, turning himself to be a Pasupata, engaged himself in the study of Vedas. The king then applied sacred ashes over his body, consumed roots and fruits of the forest, remaining extremely peaceful, overpowering the anger, embraced sanyasa appropriately”.

Conclusion: – From the Kurma Purana we clearly see that sage ‘Svetaswatara’ was a devotee of Shiva and his conception of the Supreme Being was Bhagavan Shiva only. Therefore, the ‘Rudra’ of Svetasvatara Upanishad is verily umapati beyond doubt. When we have Purana itself attesting this truth, it means Vedavyasa himself is supporting this point – then why do we need to even pay attention towards the poison-hearted cunning Vaishnavas?


Controversy of Mahopanishad and Narayanopanishad Clarified

Those Vaishnava gentlemen also argued with me saying Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad cannot be Shiva because Mahopanishad states that Eshana was absent during Pralaya. What an irrational logic it is! Rudra is the one who dissolves the creation within himself, so he being absent during Pralaya is out of question; and these surface thinkers have read the Mahopanisahd purely in the literal sense.  Scriptures are esoteric and indepth understanding is required instead of surface grazing.

If Narayana of Mahopanishad and Narayanopanishad are treated as Vishnu, then it would contradict many Shruti passages, hence it would become unauthentic. However, all contradictions would get erased ONLY by knowing that “Narayana” spoken of in Vedas and Upanishads is NOT Vishnu; it is the name of unmanifest Shakti, the Kundalini which is Tripurasundari, which is identical with Supreme Brahman. All these controversial attacks from mahopanishad and Narayanopanishad have been successfully refuted, and their real meanings have been explained in my article “NARAYANA SUKTAM – A hymn to Tripurasundari Devi” (refer to section titled ‘Analyzing nArAyaNa from other Upanishads’ within that article).


2. Who is the central deity of Sata Rudriya hymn?

2.1 Shruti recognizes Sri Rudram as a hymn of Rudra alone


Sri Rudram which is a collection of Mantras from Yajurveda Samhita has the most famous mantra of liberation called mahamrityunjaya Mantra as follows

“tryambakam yajAmahe sugandhim pusti vardhanam |
urvArukamiva bandhanAn mrtyormukshIya mAmrtAt |”  (Yajurveda 1:8:6:i)

“We worship the fragrant Three-Eyed One, the Promoter of prosperity. May we be freed from the bondage of death as a cucumber from its stalk; But not from immortality”.

The same mantra exists in Rigveda (7:59:12) also.

This is a clear indication that the Rudra mentioned in Yajurveda and Rigveda is a three-eyed one. There is no scripture in Hinduism which has ever called Vishnu as three eyed deity. Take any Purana, be it Vaishnava, Shaiva, Shakta or BrAhma, or take even Mahabharata, Ramayana, and even Tantras; there is no scripture one can show me where Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra has been ascribed to Vishnu. It is always a Shiva’s mantra. Puranas have many stories to support this –

  1. Daksha Prajapati cursed Chandra to suffer from leprosy, chandra worshiped lord Rudra with his Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra and got cured by his grace and that’s how Somanatha-Jyotirlinga of lord Shiva was established by Chandra (One may refer to any Purana where Somanatha Jyotirlinga story is discussed).
  2. Shukracharya obtained Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra with which he gained “Mrita-Sanjeevani-Vidya” again because it was Mahadeva’s grace and his Mantra’s potency..
  3. Markandeya wrote a hymn on Lord Shiva which runs under the name of “Maha-Mrityunjaya-Stotram”
  4. Sage Kashyapa prays to Bhagawan Rudra calling him Tryambaka and puShtidam in Harivamsa Parva which is an appendix to Mahabharata as follows. puShtidam (Health giver) is a synonym of puShtivardhanam (health increaser). Therefore clearly this mantra cited below is a derived from Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra alone…


“tryaMbakaM puShTidaM vo bruvANaM | dharmaM viprANAM varadaM yajvanAM cha |
varAdvaraM raNajetAramIshaM | devaM devAnAM sharaNaM yAmi rudram ||” (Harivamsa Parva 2:72:45)

”I seek refuge in Lord rudra (mahAdeva) who has three eyes, who flourishes all, who advises brahmins and vice men on dharma, who provides the wishes of the masters of the sacrifice, who is the best of the best, the lord who is the winner of battles, who is the lord of gods”.

Hope these evidences are enough to understand that Tryambaka Mantra is the property of only Mahadeva! Three eyes is the copyright and trademark attribute of Mahadeva and his consort Durga only. Therefore this maha-mrityunjaya mantra which exists in Taittiriya Samhita of Yajurveda and Rigveda proves that the Rudra of Veda is Umapati. And because this mantra is also included in Sri Rudram it is evident that Rudra of Sri Rudram is Umapati-Mahadeva and not Narayana at any cost.

Then we have Sri Rudram addressing Rudra as “Kapardin”, meaning, “one who ahs matted locks of hair”. This name ‘Kapardin’ is again proprietary to Rudra alone because it is he who has braided hair which he curls and ties. He doesn’t wear any crown as such. Whereas Vishnu always wears a crown and he is nowhere called as Kapardin (even in Vishnu Sahasranama).

“Imama rudraaya thavase kapardhinee |” (Yajurveda iv:5:10:c)
“This prayer we offer up to the impetuous Rudra, with plaited hair”.

Moreover, Taittiriya Aranyaka clearly recognizes Pashupati as the lord of Uma as stated below.

“umaapataye pashupataye namo namaH |” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.22.1)
“Salutations to the overlord of all created beings and who is the lord of Uma”.

And Taittiriya Samhita clearly tells us that the Pashupati (Shiva) rules both quadrupeds and bipeds as stated below.

“pashupatih pashunaam chatushpadam uta ca dvipadam |” (Yajurveda III-1-4)
“What cattle the lord of cattle (pashupati) ruleth? He rules both the four-footed and the two-footed.”

So, now it is clear that the lord Pashupati who rules on both two-footed and four-footed animals is the lord of Uma viz. Umapati-Rudra. Now, let me show that Sri Rudram prays to the same lord of all pashus to protect the bipeds and quadrupeds. It’s logical to understand that the oen who rules over someone would only be able to protect and take interest in them. Note that the below verse is a part of the same verse where Rudra is called as “Kapardin” as shown above. Therefore this request is being placed to the Pashupati who is Kapardin (of matted hair).

“Imama rudraaya  thavase kapardhinee  kshyadweeraaya prabharaamahe mathim |
Yadhaa na sama sad dwipadhe chatushpadhe viswam pushtam graame asmin aathuram |” (Yajurveda iv:5:10:c)

“This prayer is addressed to Rudra (Kapardin), the destroyer of men, that health be for our bipeds and quadrupeds, And that all in this village be prosperous and free from ill”.

Also it hails Rudra as Pashupati as follows.

“pasunaam pathaye namo namah |” (Yajurveda iv:5:2:b)
“Homage to the lord of cattle! homage”.

Also, Rudram clearly calls out Rudra as Soma (sa+Uma), the consort of Uma as follows.

“nama somaaya cha rudhraaya cha |” (Yajurveda iv:5:8:a)
“Salutations to the lord who is with (his consort) Uma and to the one who relieves one from the misery of samsaara”.

Soma means Rudra with Uma, this form of Rudra who sits in Kailasha with his consort Uma sitting on his left thigh is very auspicious form. This form is said to grant all (righteous) wishes of a devotee quickly. This Soma is the name of Rudra in Rig Veda also as shown below.


“somārudrā dhārayethāmasuryaṃ pra vāmiṣṭayo.aramaśnuvantu |
dame-dame sapta ratnā dadhānā śaṃ no bhūtaṃ dvipadeśaṃ catuṣpade |” (Rig Veda 6:74:1)
“Hold fast your Godlike sway, O Soma-Rudra: let these our sacrifices quickly reach you. Placing in every house your seven great treasures, bring blessing to our quadrupeds and bipeds”.


In above Mantra again we see a common prayer to Rudra to bless the bipeds and quadrupeds. Also, this Soma (Rudra) is the god who fathered Narayana (Vishnu) and all gods as stated below. This implies Narayana(Vishnu) cannot be the deity of Rudram hymn the way Vaishnavas think. Even Narayana (Vishnu) cannot be the indweller of Rudra because he is the son of Soma (Rudra). Hence, all claims of Vaishnavas are baseless.

“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“.


Further, we find similarity in depictions of strength and valor of Rudra between Rig Veda and Sri Rudram as follows.

Rig Veda says clearly that lord Rudra cannot be conquered but he conquers on everyone in battle.

“imā rudrāya sthiradhanvane ghiraḥ kṣipreṣave devāya svadhāvne |
aṣāḷhāya sahamānāya vedhase tighmāyudhāya bharatā śṛṇotu naḥ |” (Rig Veda 7:46:1)

“To Rudra bring these songs, whose bow is firm and strong, the self-dependent God with swiftly-flying shafts, The Wise, the unconquered Conqueror whom none may overcome, armed with sharp-pointed weapons: may he hear our call”.

The same property or attribute of Rudra has been sung in Sri Rudram as follows.

“namah hantyaaya |” (Yajurveda Sri iv:5:2:h)
“Salutations to Lord Rudra who cannot be overcome (defeated) and slain”.

“namah sahamanaya nivyadhina avyadhininam pataye namo |” (Yajurveda iv:5:3:a)
“Salutations to Him who can not only withstand the shock of the onset of His enemies, but overpower them. He who can effortlessly pierce His enemies; the Lord of those who can fight on all sides, salutations to Him”.

The following verses from Rig Veda pray to Rudra requesting him not to injure their progeny.

“yā te didyudavasṛṣṭā divas pari kṣmayā carati pari sāvṛṇaktu naḥ |
sahasraṃ te svapivāta bheṣajā mā nastokeṣutanayeṣu rīriṣah |” (Rig Veda 7:46:3)

“May thy bright arrow which, shot down by thee from heaven, flieth upon the earth, pass us uninjured by. Thou, very gracious God, hast thousand medicines: inflict no evil on our sons or progeny”.

“mā no vadhī rudra mā parā dā mā te bhūma prasitau hīḷitasya |
ā no bhaja barhiṣi jīvaśaṃse yūyaṃ pāta … |” (Rig veda 7:46:4)

“Slay us not, nor abandon us, O Rudra let not thy noose, when thou art angry, seize us.
Give us trimmed grass and fame among the living. Preserve us evermore, ye Gods, with blessings”.

The same threat is felt in Rudram also and there also Vedas request Rudra not to injure their progeny and property as follows.

“eeshaam purushaanam esham pasunaam maa |
bhermaro  mo eshaam kincha namamath |” (Yajurveda iv:5:10:a)
“Frighten not nor injure (Any) of these people, of these cattle; Be not one of these injured”.

This is again a testimony that the Rig Veda’s Tryambaka (three eyed god) Rudra is the same who is glorified in Yajurveda’s Sri Rudram.

There is no scripture in Hinduism which associates the bow “Pinaka” to any other deity other than Rudra (umapati). Narayana’s bow is called as “Saranga”. This is again a great evidence that Sri Rudram is a hymn of Bhagawan Rudra (the umapati) alone since in the below shown verse clearly Rudram calls out the bow of Rudra as “Pinaka”.

“parame vruksha aayudham nidhaaya  kruthim vasaan
Aachara pinaaka bibradhaagahi |” (Yajurveda iv:5:10:j)

“And come to us wearing the hide of tiger.  Please bring along thine bow pinaaka,  as an ornament”.

Rig Veda says that Rudra dwells in the hearts of all and destroys the enemies of his devotees as shown below.


”stuhi śrutaṃ ghartasadaṃ yuvānaṃ mṛghaṃ na bhīmamupahatnumughram |
mṛlā jaritre rudra stavāno.anyaṃ te asman ni vapantu senāḥ |” (RV 2:33:11) 
”I praise you the famous one, seated in the heart, the ever-youthful, terrible like the beast, fierce for the purpose of destruction. Lord Rudra, having been praised by us, let your armies strike at others than us”.

The above mantra IDENTICALLY exists in Yajurveda (IV:5:10:h) (i.e., verse 8 of Sri Rudram’s ANuvaka-10) except for a slight difference. This text of this Rik is slightly different in the Krishna Yajur Vedic Rudram in that “mR^iLA” is replaced with “mR^iDA”and is a part of Sri Rudram also. “mRiDA” is again the copyright name of Mahadeva only, and his consort Uma is hence called as “mRiDANI”. This is again a great evidence to understand that Rudra of Rig Veda, Rudra of Rudram both are identical and is Mahadeva only.

Now since it has already been proved in previous section above that the Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad is the triple-eyed Maheshwara alone, we can easily prove the hymn Sri Rudram as belonging to Maheshwara only.

It is Rudra (Shiva) who creates all the gods. This means he manifests himself as Hiranyagarbha (brahma) and Vishnu and other gods i.e., it is Rudra (Shiva) who creates by becoming Brahma. This is clearly indicated in the below verse from Sri Rudram.

“namo midhushhtamaya ” (Yajurveda iv:5:5:g)
“Salutations to Lord Rudra in the form of hiranyagarbHA; the creator of the universe”.

Svetaswatara Upanishad states that Rudra is the ONLY lord who does all the functions in this universe, he alone rules over everyone. He alone creates all the worlds (Srushti) and he protects them as their protector (Sthiti) and then finally he withdraws them within himself (Laya) as follows.

“eko hi rudro na dvitiiyaaya tasthurya imaa.nllokaaniishata iishaniibhiH |
pratyaN^ janaastishhThati saJNchukochaantakaale sa.nsR^ijya vishvaa bhuvanaani gopaaH |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:02)

“Rudra is truly one; for the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second, He alone rules all the worlds by His powers. He dwells as the inner Self of every living being. After having created all the worlds, He, their Protector, takes them back into Himself at the end of time”.

The same is depicted in Sri Rudram in the below verses.

“namo bhavaya cha rudraya cha |
namah sharvaya cha pashupataye cha ||” (Yajurveda iv:5:a-b)

“Salutations to Bhava, who is the source of all things (Srusthi), and to Rudra, who is the destroyer of all ills. Salutations to Sharva, the destroyer of everything (Laya), and to Pashupati, the protector of all beings in bondage (Sthiti)”.

Svetaswatara Upanishad states that Rudra pervads in fire, water and all elements as described below.

“yo devo agnau yo.apsu yo vishvaM bhuvanamaavivesha |
ya oshhadhiishhu yo vanaspatishhu tasmai devaaya namo namaH |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 2:17 )

“The Self—luminous Lord, who is fire, who is in water, who has entered into the whole world, who is in plants, who is in trees— to that Lord let there be adoration! Yea, let there be adoration!”

This verse has been exactly adopted from Taittiriya Samhita of Yajurveda (5:5:9:i) which is also a part of Sri Rudram (as Rudram is a collection of hymns from Vedic samhitas).

“yo rudro agnau yo apsu ya oshhadhishhu
Yo rudro vishva bhuvanaaavivesha tasmai rudraya namo astu (Yajurveda 5:5:9:i )

“The Rudra in the fire, in the waters, in the plants, the Rudra that hath entered all beings, to that Rudra be homage”

In case there is any doubt if this Rudra who entered into Agni, Waters, Plants and all beings is someone else; the below evidences dispels such doubts and darkness. Satapatha Brahmana clearly states that Agni, Waters, etc eight forms i.e., Ashta Murty are the manifestations of Rudra as detailed below..

Agni became such like because of Lord Rudra:


“tamabravīdrudro ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodagnistadrūpamabhavadagniva rudro
yadarodīttasmādrudraḥ so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:10)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Rudra.’ And because he gave him that name, Agni became suchlike (or, that form), for Rudra is Agni: because he cried (rud) therefore he is Rudra. He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”


Waters became such like because of Lord Rudra:


“tamabravītsarvo ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodāpastadrūpamabhavannāpo vai sarvo
‘dbhyo hīdaṃ sarvaṃ jāyate so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:11)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Sarva.’ And because he gave him that name, the waters became suchlike, for Sarva is the waters, inasmuch as from the water everything (sarva) here is produced. He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”


Plants became such like because of Lord Rudra:

“tamabravītpaśupatirasīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodoṣadhayastadrūpamabhavannoṣadhayo vai paśupatistasmādyadā paśava oṣadhīrlabhante ‘tha patīyanti so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me
nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:12)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Pasupati.’ And because he gave him that name, the plants became suchlike, for Pasupati is the plants: hence when cattle (pasu) get plants, then they play the master (patîy). He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”


Then it states that the boy (Rudra) entered into each of these eight forms one by one and that’s how these eight deities viz. Agni, Varuna, Vayu, Indra, Parjanya, Plants/Earth, Sun, and Moon.

“kumāro rūpāṇyanuprāviśanna vā agniṃ kumāramiva paśyantyetānyevāsya rūpāṇi
paśyantyetāni hi rūpāṇyanuprāviśat |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:19)

“That boy entered into the forms one after another; for one never sees him as a mere boy (kumâra), but one sees those forms of his 1, for he assumed those forms one after another”.

For the point Rudra entered all beings here is a reference from Taittiriya Aranyaka of Yajurveda.

“iishaanaH sarvavidyaanaamiishvaraH sarvabhuutaanaaM |” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.21.1)
“May the Supreme who is Ishana the ruler of all knowledge, who is Ishwara, the controller/indweller of all created beings.”

Even for a demented person the above evidences should be enough to understand Rudra of Rudram hymn is Mahadeva alone. But still let’s proceed further. Svetaswatara Upanishad clearly prays in the below verse to Girisha the lord of Kailash mountain.

“yaa te rudra shivaa tanuuraghoraa.apaapakaashinii |
tayaa nastanuvaa shantamayaa girishantaabhichaakashiihi |” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:05)

“O Rudra, thou dweller in the mountains, look upon us with that most blessed form of thine which is auspicious, not terrible, and reveals no evil!”

And the above verse exactly has been copied from Sri Rudram as shown below.

“ya te rudra siva tanur aghora’papa-kasini |
taya nas tanuva santamaya girisantabhicakasih |” (Yajurveda iv:5:1:c)

“O Rudra, thou dweller in the mountains, look upon us with that most blessed form of thine which is auspicious, not terrible, and reveals no evil!”

Kaivalya Upanishad extols Shiva with supreme attributes as stated below. Note that kaivalya Upanishad clearly calls that deity as the consort of Uma.

“hR^itpuNDariikaM virajaM vishuddhaM vichintya madhye vishadaM vishokam.h
achintyamavyaktamanantaruupaM shivaM prashaantamamR^itaM brahmayonim.h |6
tamaadimadhyaantavihiinamekaM vibhuM chidaanandamaruupamadbhutam.h
umaasahaayaM parameshvaraM prabhuM trilochanaM niilakaNThaM prashaantam.h
dhyaatvaa munirgachchhati bhuutayoniM samastasaakShiM tamasaH parastaat.h |” (kaivalyopanishat 6-7)

“(Who is) unthinkable, unmanifest, of endless forms, the good, the peaceful, Immortal, the origin of the worlds, without beginning, middle, and end, the only one, all-pervading, Consciousness, and Bliss, the formless and the wonderful. Meditating on the highest Lord, allied to Uma, powerful, three-eyed, blue-necked, and tranquil, the holy man reaches Him who is the source of all, the witness of all and is beyond darkness (i.e. Avidya)”.

And the same Upanishad in its entirety sings the glories of Shiva alone and finally states the following fact. It says that by reciting Sata-Rudriya hymn one attains liberation.

“yaH shataruudriyamadhiite so.agnipuuto bhavati suraapaanaatpuuto bhavati
sa brahmahatyaayaaH puuto bhavati sa suvarNasteyaatpuuto bhavati
sa kR^ityaakR^ityaatpuuto bhavati tasmaadavimuktamaashrito
bhavatyatyaashramii sarvadaa sakR^idvaa japet.h |” (Kaivalyopanishad 25)

“He who studies the Shatarudriya, is purified as by the Fires, is purified from the sin of drinking, purified from the sin of killing a Brahmana, from deeds done knowingly or unawares. Through this he has his refuge in Shiva, the Supreme Self. One who belongs to the highest order of life should repeat this always or once (a day)”.

This proves that Sata-rudriyam is verily a hymn of Mahadeva only. This above analysis itself is enough to understand that the triad viz. Rudra of Vedas, Rudra of Sri Rudram and Rudra of Upansiahds is umapati Maheshwara alone!


2.2 Smriti recognizes Rudra of Sri Rudram as Umapati-Shiva alone


There is a commentary on Sri Rudram by lord Kartikeya, the son of lord Shiva. His commentary goes by the name of “Skandadeva Bhashyam” and is available in the chapters 26-33 of book 12 of Shivarahasya-Itihasa, which is a scripture of one hundred thousand verses (as massive as Mahabharata). These one lakh verses have been divided into 12 books called “amsAs”.

This Bhashyam (Commentary) on Sri Rudram is authored by Skanda who taught that to Jaigishavya and other sages. It is also stated there that Skanda composed this Bhasyam just as he heard the meanings of Sri Rudram explained by Shiva to Parvati. In this work, for every verse of Rudram, Skanda has given a corresponding “dhyAna-shlOka” describing Rudra’s appearance and his qualities etc. From those verses we can clearly see Rudra being described as Umapati alone. I cannot quote that massive work completely here. However, let’s see some selective verses.

Every verse of each anuvaka is given with a dhyAna-shlOka, and also accompanied with a commentary. Here is one such verse taken from the first anuvAka. Here skanda clearly calls Rudra as the consort of Uma.

“bhaktAnAm sugamam mahAdhyaharaNam lOkAdhipatyapradam |
rAjnA chAnamatAm prasAdasumukham shrIkashyapArAdhitam |
yOdhAkAram umAsahAyam chirAdAkarNakRShtE sharam |
chApE bhAsvati sanddhAnamanisham rudram yuvAnam bhajE |” (Shivarahasyaitihasa 12:26:14)

“I constantly contemplate (Worship) the youthful Rudra associated with Uma and presenting himself as a soldier with an arrow fixed on his shining bow drawn to the ear. The lord worshipped in this form by sage Kashyapa, appears with a pleasing face suggesting favourable dispusition towards those who propitiate him, becomes easily accessible to the devotees, removes great sins and bestows the lordship of the whole world to the (devoted) kings”.

The below dhyAna-shlOka has been taken from anotehr verse. Here Skanda clearly calls Rudra as crescent wearing, and decorated with serpents.

“yuddhE vairibhayApaham praNamatAm shrIrudramArAdhitam |
dEvam nAradanAmakEna muninA nAnAyudhAlankRtam |
udhyadbhAskarakOtidIdHititanu dIptOttamAnkOjwalam |
kAntam bhIShaNabhOgibhUShaNamaham dhyAyAmi bhaktEShtadam |” (Shivarahasyaitihasa 12:26:48)

“I meditate on Rudra possessing the brilliance of crores of suns rising together, having the crescent moon shining bright on his blazing head, adorned with various weapons and having the fierce serpents for his ornaments. The lord worshipped in this form by sage Narada is the remover of fear from the enemies in battle and is the bestower of the wishes of his devotees”.

Now coming to standard Puranas – Sata Rudriyam is also available in Shiva Mahapurana where it is given as a eulogy to Mahadeva alone. There is no Purana which has ever stated that Sri Rudram is a hymn to Narayana. All Puranas (whichever Purana contains Sata Rudiram or related discussion, if any) equivocally point Sata Rudriyam as a hymn to Bhavanipati alone.

This concept of Rudram being a hymn of Narayana has no place in any Puranas. Even there is no Vaishnava Purana as well, which has ever mapped this hymn to Vishnu. This baseless concept is an invention of over-imaginative brains of Vaishnava Acharyas of Kaliyuga. Otherwise why didn’t Vedavyasa anywhere in any Purana ever mention it as a hymn of Vishnu? There is no answer because this hymn is always a hymn of Umapati alone.

2.3 Itihasa (Mahabharata) recognizes Rudram as a hymn of Shiva alone


2.3.1 Vedavyasa clearly understands Rudram as a hymn of Mahadeva alone

In Mahabharata Drona parva has a discussion between Vyasa and Arjuna. Vyasa narrates to Arjuna the greatness of Maheswara. In this chapter Vedavyasa has composed another Sata-Rudriyam hymn and it exists in Mahabharata. The Rudram hymn of Yajurveda is something which everyone is not eligible tor ecite. It requires a special intonation (swaram) to sing and it requires one to get initiated under a Veda Pandit Guru before reciting. Since this Vedic hymn is very potent in its mantras, it is not advisable to recite without initiation and is usually restricted to Brahmanas. However, the illustrious sage Vyasa is so benevolent to the humanity that he has given a similar Sata-Rudriyam hymn composed by himself and made it available in Mahabharata. This Rudram of Mahabharata can be read by all the four varNas and it doesn’t require any intonations (swaram), one need not get initiated by any guru to recite this. This is the greatest benefit that Vyasa has done to us.

Now, while reciting his composition, viz. Rudram to Arjuna, Vyasa states that the Yajurvedic Rudram belongs to Maheswara alone as follows. Note it carefully that he says the names contained in Rudram of Yajurveda are all Maheswara’s names derived based on his supremacy and his acts. Note that the same point even lord Krishna said which I’ll show in next section. Nowhere has he mentioned that those names are Narayana’s names applied on Maheshwara (These kind of theories can only be formulated by the Vaishnava Acharyas of Kaliyuga who consider themselves superior that Vedavyasa!).

“nāmadheyāni lokeṣu bahūny atra yathārthavat |
nirucyante mahattvāc ca vibhutvāt karmabhis tathā |
vede cāsya samāmnātaṃ śatarudrīyam uttamam |
nāmnā cānanta rudreti upasthānaṃ mahātmanaḥ |” (MBH 7:173:78-79)

“Many also are the names, of truthful import, of this Deity in all the worlds. Those names are founded upon his supremacy, his omnipotence, and his acts. In the Vedas the excellent hymn called Sata Rudriya, hath been sung in honour of that great God called Rudra the infinite. That God is the lord of all wishes that are human and heavenly”.

Here Vyasa again affirms that the hymn contained in Veda viz. Sata-Rudriyam is a hymn of Mahadeva the Umapati alone.

“caritaṃ mahātmano divyaṃ sāṃgrāmikam idaṃ śubham |
paṭhan vai śatarudrīyaṃ śṛṇvaṃś ca satatotthitaḥ |” (MBH 7:173:104)

“The hymn approved of the Vedas, and called Sata-Rudriya, in honour of that God of gods, that excellent, famous, life-enhancing, and sacred hymn, has now, O Partha, been explained to thee”

In Vyasa’s composition here are the praises by Vyasa. Vyasa clearly calls rudra as everything, he sees him present in the form of all gods. And especially note that he calls Rudra as sinless (Only vaishnavas call rudra as sinful based on their incorrect interpretation of Satapatha Brahmana).

“sa vai rudraḥ sa ca śivaḥ so ‘gniḥ śarvaḥ sa sarvavit |
sa cendraś caiva vāyuś ca so ‘śvinau sa ca vidyutaḥ |
sa bhavaḥ sa ca parjanyo mahādevaḥ sa cānaghaḥ |
sa candramāḥ sa ceśānaḥ sa sūryo varuṇaś ca saḥ |
sa kālaḥ so ‘ntako mṛtyuḥ sa yamo rātryahāni ca |
māsārdha māsā ṛtavaḥ saṃdhye saṃvatsaraś ca saḥ |
sa ca dhātā vidhātā ca viśvātmā viśvakarmakṛt |” (MBH 7:173:65-68)

“He is Rudra he is Siva, he is Agni, he is everything, and he hath knowledge of everything. He is Indra, he is the Wind, he is the twin Aswins, and he is the lighting. He is Bhava, he is Parjanya, he is Mahadeva, he is sinless. He is the Moon, he is Isana, he is Surya, he is Varuna. He is Kala, he is Antaka, he is Mrityu, he is Yama. He is the day, and he is the night. He is the fortnight, he is the month, he is the seasons. He is the morning and evening-twilights, he is the year. He is Dhatri, he is Vidhatri, he is the Soul of the universe, and he is the doer of all acts in the universe”.

Note that further Vedavyasa clearly says that whatever are the hidden secrets of Vedas and Upanishads and all scriptures is Mahadeva alone! I’m not sure how Vaishnavas fail to realize this truth.  Note here carefully that Vyasa says that Rudra is without birth and Vyasa admits that he cannot recite the virtues and glories of Rudra even in thousand years.

“īdṛśaḥ sa mahādevo bhūyaś ca bhagavān ajaḥ |
na hi sarve mayā śakyā vaktuṃ bhagavato guṇāḥ |” (MBH 7:173:70)

“Whatever is highly mysterious in the several branches of the Vedas, in the Upanishads, in the Puranas, and in those sciences that deal with the soul, is that God, viz., Maheswara, Mahadeva is even such. That God is, again, without birth. All the attributes of that God are not capable of being enumerated by me even if, O son of Pandu, I were to recite them continually for a thousand years”.

Vyasa further states that it is Umapati-Rudra whose riches reflect in the wealth of other gods. And he is the lord of even the supreme ones. This clearly shows he is independent and the one boss of all whose boss exists not.

“sendrādiṣu ca deveṣu tasya caiśvaryam ucyate |
sa caiva vyāhṛte loke manuṣyāṇāṃ śubhāśubhe |
aiśvaryāc caiva kāmānām īśvaraḥ punar ucyate |
maheśvaraś ca bhūtānāṃ mahatām īśvaraś ca saḥ |” (MBH 7:173:73-74)

“The prosperity is his that is seen in Indra and other gods. He is ever engaged in the good and evil of men in this world. In consequence of his supremacy, he can always obtain whatever objects he desires. He is called Maheswara and is the lord of even the supreme ones”.

2.3.2 Lord Sri Krishna clearly understands Rudram as a hymn of Mahadeva alone

In Mahabharata there is a conversation between Sri Krishna and the righteous king Yudhishthira about the nature and glories of lord Shiva. Vasudeva narrates all the avrious attributes, forms and glories of Mahadeva to Yudhishthira as spoken of in Sri Rudram of Yajurveda. Let’s see what he says in this context.

In the below verse Krishna clearly states that it is Rudra whom Vedas call by various names like Agni, Maheshwara, Surya, Chandra etc. it is very true since Vedas have also stated the same thing.

“yudhiṣṭhira mahābāho mahābhāgyaṃ mahātmanaḥ |
rudrāya bahurūpāya bahu nāmne nibodha me |
vadanty agniṃ mahādevaṃ tathā sthāṇuṃ maheśvaram |
ekākṣaṃ tryambakaṃ caiva viśvarūpaṃ śivaṃ tathā |
dve tanū tasya devasya veda jñā brāhmaṇā viduḥ |
ghorām anyāṃ śivām anyāṃ te tanū bahudhā punaḥ |
ugrā ghorā tanūr yāsya so ‘gnir vidyut sa bhāskaraḥ |
śivā saumyā ca yā tasya dharmas tv āpo ‘tha candramāḥ |” (MBH 13:146:1-4)

“Vasudeva said, ‘O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, listen to me as I recite to thee the many names of Rudra as also the high blessedness of that high-souled one. The Rishis describe Mahadeva as Agni, and Sthanu, and Maheswara; as one-eyed, and three-eyed, of universal form, and Siva or highly auspicious. Brahmanas conversant with the Vedas say that that god has two forms. One of these is terrible, and the other mild and auspicious. Those two forms, again, are subdivided into many forms. That form which is fierce and terrible is regarded as identical with Agni and Lightning and Surya. The other form which is mild and auspicious is identical with Righteousness and water and Chandramas. Then, again, it is said that half his body is fire and half is Soma (or the moon)”.

In below extract Krishna narrates the meanings of all the various names of Mahadeva. Here Krishna describes Rudra as thousand eyed, myriad eyed etc. which are the same attributes sung in Purusha Suktam about Rudra.

“īśvaratvān mahattvāc ca maheśvara iti smṛtaḥ |
yan nirdahati yat tīkṣṇo yad ugro yat pratāpavān |
māṃsaśoṇitamajjādo yat tato rudra ucyate |
devānāṃ sumahān yac ca yac cāsya viṣayo mahān |
yac ca viśvaṃ mahat pāti mahādevas tataḥ smṛtaḥ |
samedhayati yan nityaṃ sarvārthān sarvakarmabhiḥ |
śivam icchan manuṣyāṇāṃ tasmād eṣa śivaḥ smṛtaḥ |
dahaty ūrdhvaṃ sthito yac ca prāṇotpattiḥ sthitiś ca yat |
sthiraliṅgaś ca yan nityaṃ tasmāt sthāṇur iti smṛtaḥ |
yad asya bahudhā rūpaṃ bhūtaṃ bhavyaṃ bhavat tathā |
sthāvaraṃ jaṅgamaṃ caiva bahurūpas tataḥ smṛtaḥ |
dhūmraṃ rūpaṃ ca yat tasya dhūrjaṭīty ata ucyate |
viśve devāś ca yat tasmin viśvarūpas tataḥ smṛtaḥ |
sahasrākṣo ‘yutākṣo vā sarvato ‘kṣimayo ‘pi vā |
cakṣuṣaḥ prabhavas tejo nāsty anto ‘thāsya cakṣuṣām |
sarvathā yat paśūn pāti taiś ca yad ramate punaḥ |
teṣām adhipatir yac ca tasmāt paśupatiḥ smṛtaḥ |” (MBH 13:146:6-14)

“Because he is great and the Supreme Lord of all (Iswara), therefore he is called Maheswara. And since he burns and oppresses, is keen and fierce, and endued with great energy, and is engaged in eating flesh and blood and marrow, he is said to be Rudra. Since he is the foremost of all the deities, and since his dominion and acquisitions are very extensive, and since he protects the extensive universe, therefore he is called Mahadeva. Since he is of the form or colour of smoke, therefore he is called Dhurjati. Since by all his acts he performs sacrifices for all and seeks the good of every creature, therefore he is called Siva or the auspicious one. Staying above (in the sky) he burns the lives of all creatures and is, besides,fixed in a particular route from which he does not deviate. His emblem, again, is fixed and immovable for all time. He is, for these reasons, called Sthanu. He is also of multiform aspect. He is present, past, and future. He is mobile and immobile. For this he is called Vahurupa (of multiform aspect). The deities called Viswedevas reside in his body. He is, for this, called Viswarupa (of universal form). He is thousand-eyed; or, he is myriad-eyed; or, he has eyes on all sides and on every part of his body, His energy issues through his eyes. There is no end of his eyes. Since he always nourishes all creatures and sports also with them, and since he is their lord or master, therefore he is called Pasupati (the lord of all creatures)”.

Note here carefully that even Krishna is saying the same fact which Vyasa told to Arjuna about Rudra. Krishna also says that all the names of Rudra are derived based on his acts and his supremacy. Neither Vyasa nor Krishna has stated that the names of Rudra are derived from Narayana. Only Vaishnavas can make such anti-Vedic, unauthentic and stupid claims

Also note here that Krishna says that Sata-Rudriya of Yajurveda and the Sata-Rudriya composed by Vyasa both are recited in Rudra’s honour. It should again be a jolt on the Vaishnava philosophy which states that Sata-Rudriyam is a hymn in honour and praise of Narayana.

“nāmadheyāni vedeṣu bahūny asya yathārthataḥ |
nirucyante mahattvāc ca vibhutvāt karmabhis tathā |
vede cāsya vidur viprāḥ śatarudrīyam uttamam |
vyāsād anantaraṃ yac cāpy upasthānaṃ mahātmanaḥ |” (MBH 13:146:22-23)

“Amongst the gods he has many names all of which are fraught with grave import. Verily, the meanings of those names are derived from either his greatness or vastness, or his feats, or his conduct. The Brahmanas always recite the excellent Sata-rudriya in his honour that occurs in the Vedas as also that which has been composed by Vyasa”

Here once again we see the same fact which Vyasa revealed to Arjuna, being revealed to Yudhishthira by Vasudeva. The wealth that Indra and other gods enjoy is actually the property of Umapati only.

“sa dadāti manuṣyebhyaḥ sa evākṣipate punaḥ |
śakrādiṣu ca deveṣu tasya caiśvaryam ucyate |” (MBH 13:146:27)

“Long life, health and freedom from disease, affluence, wealth, diverse kinds of pleasures and enjoyments, are conferred by him, and it is he also who snatches them away. The lordship and affluence that one sees in Sakra and the other deities are, verily his”.


2.3.3 Bheeshma clearly understands Rudram as a hymn of Mahadeva alone


In Mahabharata Yudhishthira asks Bhishma a question about the sacred Mantras which when recited bestows success. Bhishma narrates various Mantras but I’m quoting here the one which he stated about Sata-Rudriyam.

Bhishma clearly states that Sata-Rudriya hymn of Vedas contain the mention about the glories of the eleven Rudras depicted as a hundred (means uncountable). Rudras are the sons of Rudra (Umapati), they are never the children of Narayana or any other God. And it is a well known fact that the Sri Rudram hymn at many places prays to Rudra along with his troop of Rudras. This is again a good evidence to understand that Bhishma didn’t know of any Narayana as the deity of Rudram. This means Bhishma’s opinion about Sri Rudram is that it is a hymn of Rudra (Umapati) and his troop of Ekadasa Rudras.

Aja. Ekapada, Ahivradhna, the unvanquished Pinakin, Rita Pitrirupa, the three-eyed Maheswara, Vrishakapi, Sambhu, Havana, and Iswara–these are the celebrated Rudras, eleven in number, who are the lords of all the worlds. Even these eleven high-souled ones have been mentioned as a hundred in the Satarudra (of the Vedas)”. (MBH 13:CL)


2.3.4 Krishna and Arjuna clearly understands Rudram as a hymn of Mahadeva alone

Arjuna received Pashupatastra from Maheswara in Kairata Parva of Mahabharata, but during the Mahabharata war he forgets the mantra to invoke Pashupata. On the night before the Jayadrata killing day, Arjuna becomes distressed and worried because he knew that Drona would surely protect him with  some complex strategy and since Arjuna was bound by an oath which he himself took in haste that if he failed to kill Jayadratha by next day’s sunset, he would set himself on fire. Seeing his anxiety, Vasudeva comes in his dream and takes him through Sukshma-Deha-Yatra (aerial travel through subtle body) to Kailasa, the abode of Mahadeva.

There they pray to shiva to grant pasupata again. And when Shiva orders them to bring that weapon present in a nearby lake, they see that weapon and a mighty bow transformed in the form of a snake. To get them they pray to Mahadeva by uttering his praise from yajurveda called as Sata Rudriyam. That’s how they succeed in getting Pasupata weapon again.

Here also there is clear cut evidence that this hymn is a praise of Bhavani-pati Mahadeva only.

“tataḥ kṛṣṇaś ca pārthaś ca saṃspṛśyāpaḥ kṛtāñjalī |
tau nāgāv upatasthāte namasyantau vṛṣadhvajam |
gṛṇantau vedaviduṣau tad brahma śatarudriyam |
aprameyaṃ praṇamantau gatvā sarvātmanā bhavam |
tatas tau rudra māhātmyād dhitvā rūpaṃ mahoragau |
dhanur bāṇaś ca śatrughnaṃ tad dvaṃdvaṃ samapadyata |” (MBH 7:57:70-72)

“Then Krishna and Partha having touched water, joined their hands, and approached those snakes, having bowed unto the god having the bull for his mark. And as they approached the snakes, conversant as they were with the Vedas, they uttered the hundred stanzas of the Veda called Sata-Rudriyam, to the praise of Rudra, bowing the while with their sincere souls unto Bhava of immeasurable power. Then those two terrible snakes, in consequence of the power of those adorations to Rudra, abandoned their snake-forms and assumed the forms of a foe-killing bow and arrow”.


2.3.5 Non-Vaishnavite Commentators of Kaliyuga recognize Rudram as a hymn of Shiva alone


There have been many commentaries on Sri Rudram by various scholars of Kaliyuga – Sayanacharya, Abhinava Shankara, and Bhatta Bhaskara have written commentaries on Sri rudram. They were NOT secetarian, especially Sayana whom everyone recognizes as a great scholar who wrote commentaries on all the Vedas, he also stated the deity of Sri Rudram hymn as Umapati Rudra only.

I am not being partial here favouring these commentators compared to the Vaishnava commentators who caleld deity of Rudram as Narayana. The logic is very simple. The aforementioned commentators followed what Vyasa, Krishna, Arjuna and Bhishma had opined in Mahabharata above and they didn’t contradict Vedas and Mahabharata. On the other hand the Vaishnava commentators went against the understanding of Vyasa, Krishna, Arjuna and Bhishma and also Sayana and stated Rudram belongs to Vishnu.

Therefore it is clearly evident whose ideas should be accepted and whose imaginary propositions should be trashed. I leave the decision to the readers discretion!

3. Refutation of Rudra’s birth related Misconceptions

Vaishnavas purposely misinterpret Satapatha Brahmana’s chapter of Rudra’s manifestation as Rudra’s “birth” in literal sense. They say Rudra was not guarded against evil hence Prajapati gave him auspicious names of Narayana and then those names became Rudra’s names. How cunning these words are!

There is no scripture which says that the eightnames that Rudra has are originally those of Narayana. In fact one may show five of the eight names present in Vishnu Sahasranama viz. Rudra, Bhava, Sarva, Isana, and Ugra. But in the Vishnu Sahasranama also the following names do NOT exist – pashupati, and Asani! Therefore this itself is a clear evidence to know that those eight names were actually Rudra’s names only, out of which the five names were copied or borrowed into Vishnu Sahasranama.

Let’s see the Satapatha Brahmana episode now.

“tam prajāpatirabravīt | kumāra kiṃ rodiṣi yacramāttapaso ‘dhi jāto ‘sīti so
‘bravīdanapahatapāpmā vā asmyahitanāmā nāma ma dhehīti tasmātputrasya jātasya
nāma kuryātpāpmānamevāsya tadapahantyapi dvitīyamapi tṛtīyamabhipūrvamevāsya
tatpāpmānamapahanti |” (Satapatah Brahmana 6:1:3:9)

“Pragâpati said to him, ‘My boy, why criest thou, when thou art born out of labour and trouble?’ He said, ‘Nay, but I am not freed from (guarded against) evil; I have no name given me: give me a name!’ Hence one should give a name to the boy that is born, for thereby one frees him from evil;–even a second, even a third (name), for thereby one frees him from evil time after time”.

Vaishnavas say Rudra is not freed from evil hence he was sinful. This is clearly a ill-minded thinking and is not true since Yajurveda clearly calls Rudra as the one who is bereft (devoid) of sins as follows.

“aghoraa papakasini |” (Yajurveda iv:5:1:c)
“O Rudra your aspect which is peaceful, and is bereft of sins.

The Satapatha Brahmana words are NOT literal in nature. The central message is important which is the manifestation of Ashtamurty from Rudra. The reference of Evil is because of prajapati’s action with his daughter Usha, but it is nothing to do with Rudra. Satapatha Brahmana treats Prajapati’s copulation with usha as sinful as stated below.

“prajāpatirha vai svāṃ duhitaramabhidadhyau | divaṃ oṣasaṃ vā mithunyenayā
syāmiti tāṃ sambabhūva |” (Satapatha Brahmana 1:7:4:1-2)

“Pragâpati conceived a passion for his own daughter,–either the Sky or the Dawn. ‘May I pair with her!’ thus (thinking) he united with her. This, assuredly, was a sin”.

In this scenario the actors are same viz. Prajapati and Usha, and when they mated, Rudra was invoked by gods and he pierces prajapati because of his sinful act. In earlier scenario also actors are same viz. Prajapati and Usha and they mated, again act was sinful and here also here Rudra appeared, but Rudra didn’t pierce prajapati but he tactfully made him to pronounce the holy eight names of Rudra viz. Bhava, Sarva, Ugra, Pasupati, Asani, Mahadeva and Isana; and Rudra playfully stated as if he himself was not freed from sin. And on Rudra’s request, Prajapati uttered Rudra’s eight holy names and Prajapati became freed of his sin and also escaped Rudra’s wrath.

This is the only interpretation that we can make. Otherwise why did Rudra pierce Prajapati when for second time he mated with his daughter Usha and why not at the first mistake itself (when Rudra appeared)?

Therefore the evil is neither in Prajapati, nor in Rudra; but the evil is deeply rooted in the brains of Vaishnavas. It is advisable for them to recite Rudra’s eight names daily to free themselves from sin.

Practically speaking, the manifestation of Rudra from Prajapati is just a human birth kind of tale but Prajapati was the year (symbolic of Time) and Usha symbolizes space. Therefore, Rudra’s manifestation through Prajapati and Usha is just another way to say that Rudra who is beyond time and beyond space, he entered and appeared within this universe of space-time coordinates and from his own eight names he transformed himself into eight gods viz. Agni, Vayu, Varuna, Plants (representing earth), Indra, Parjanya (representing cloud and sky), Chandrama, Surya.

Still, if someone really wants to take this “not freed from evil” words literally to be true then what can one say about the same story narrated differently in Kaushitaki Brahmana of Rig Veda as cited below? In Kaushitaki Brahmana there is no mention of evil, rather Rudra wants to eat food there.

“sa.prajāpatir.hiraṇmayam.camasam.akarod.iṣu.mātram.ūrdhvam.evam.tiryañcam |
tasminn.enat.samasiñcat | tata.udatiṣṭhat.sahasra.akṣaḥ.sahasra.pāt | sahasreṇa.pratihitābhiḥ |
sa.prajāpatim.pitaram.abhyāyacchat | tam.abravīt.kathā.mā.abhyāyacchasi.iti | nāma.me.kurv.ity.abravīt | na.vā.idam.avihitena.nāmnā.annam.atsyāmi.iti | (Kaushitaki Brahmana 6:02)

“As Purusha the cosmic man with a thousand heads and thousand legs the god (Rudra) is born at a sacrificial session and out of a golden bowl held by prajapati. Arisen the overpowering figure (Rudra) who grasped the father. Prajapati asked, ‘Why dost you grasp me?’ He replied, ‘Given a name’, saying, ‘For without a name assigned, I shall not eat food here in this world’.”

Then Prajapati gives him a name “bhava”, and then again he grasps Prajapati for the second time and the when asked Rudra says, “Give me a second name because with only one name I’m not going to eat food in this world”. Likewise Rudra grasps prajapati eight times and gets eight names for himself each time saying he would not eat food with those no. of names. Only with eighth name he gets satisfied.

The Kaushitaki Brahmana’s tale has a condition of getting names for eating food. What does it mean? Rudra’s food is not what we eat. His food is the hymn of his praise which when sung, it appeases him. His hymn which is Sri Rudram is a collection of his various names. And when someone sings all his names, Rudra gets satisfied. That’s the esoteric meaning of Rudra eating food. For him his food is Sata Rudriya hymn comprising of all his names.

In this context we have clear evidence in Satapatha Brahmana as follows. Rudra stood in wrath demanding food, all gods were afraid of him. Then they collected for for him which is Satarudriya hymn in his praise and sang. That appeased the hunger of Rudra.

“śataśīrṣā rudraḥ sahasrākṣaḥ śateṣudhiradhijyadhanvā pratihitāyī bhīṣayamāṇo
‘tiṣṭhadannamicamānastasmāddevā abibhayuḥ | te prjāpatimabruvan | asmādvai bibhīmo yadvai no ‘yaṃ na hiṃsyāditi so ‘bravīdannamasmai sambharata tenainaṃ śamayateti tasmā etadannaṃ samabharañcatarudriyaṃ |” (Satapatha Brahmana 9:1:1:6-7)

“This Rudra with a thousand heads, thousand eyes, and thousand quivers, stood with his bow strung, and his arrows fitted on the string, causing terror, and demanding food. The gods were afraid of him. They said to Prajapati,:’We are afraid of this being, lest he destroy us.’ Prajapati said to them: ‘Collect for him food, and with it appease him.’ They collected for him this food, the satarudriya.”

This makes it clear that the food that Rudra wanted to eat in this world is to hear his hymn Sata-Rudriya. For that reason he was asking prajapati to give him names with which he would eat food (listen to his hymn). Here also, we cans ee that Rudra made Prajapati pronounce his holy eight names and manifested eight forms from his eight names.

Hence, I conclude that there is no sin or evil that can touch Rudra since Rudra is the Brahman of Vedas and he is beyond sins, merits, virtues and vices! He was before the universe was created (we have seen this in above sectiosn), and he alone entered within this universe as the first God, and he again manifested himself into various other Gods including Vishnu (we have seen this in above sections). So, calling Rudra as sinful or attached with evil is a highly sinful act for which there is no atonement. Vaishnavas are advised to abandon such evil thoughts for Rudra.

Rudra is in reality unborn (hence he has a name “Aja Ekapada which means, the Unborn one footed lord”). Rudra is verily the Brahman and we have ample proofs in Vedas to support this. Let me give one example. Kena Upanishad supports Rudra as the Supreme Brahman as nararted below.

“sa tasminnevAkAshe striyamAjagAma bahushobhamAnAmumA.N haimavatIM tA.NhovAcha kimetadyakShamiti |” (Kena Upanishad 3:12)
“Then in the same space (ether) he came towards a woman, highly adorned: it was Umâ, the daughter of Himavat. He said to her: ‘Who is that sprite?’”

“sA brahmeti hovAcha brahmaNo vA etadvijaye mahIyadhvamiti tato haiva vidA~nchakAra brahmeti |” (Kena Upanishad 4:01)
“She replied: ‘It is Brahman. It is through the victory of Brahman that you have thus become great.’ After that he knew that it was Brahman”

Shiva Purana and Skanda Purana narrate the same story and clearly there they call this Yaksha (Brahman) as Shiva. When Puranas support Shruti, they cannot be rejected as Tamasik. Therefore this Brahman of Vedas is Umapati Bhagawan Rudra alone.

Vaishnavas wishfully narrate above mentioned Rudra’s manifestation from Satapatha Brahmana as “birth of Rudra” and say that he was given names of Narayana. This is wickedness at its peak. Rudra is the Brahman who engendered Hiranyagarbha and entered into it and appeared inside again as Rudra. And after entering Hiranyagarbha and apeparing there as the “first god” he manifested himself as Vishnu also. Therefore Vishnu can never be the origin of Rudra, because Rudra is the father of Vishnu! And all the names of Rudra present in Vishnu Sahasranama are inherited bu Vishnu from his father viz. Rudra and they are originally Rudra’s names.

Vaishnavas’ wishful thinking and wickedness towards Mahadeva cannot falsify the truths.  From this above analysis any rational thinker, any normal Hindu (non-Vaishnava) would be easily able to see the truths and also will be able to see how Vaishnavas twist the same.



We have the following to conclude

  1. Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad is Umapati-Mahadeva only
  2. The deity who the hymn Sata Rudriyam is addressed is again Umapati-Rudra only
  3. Rudra is unborn supreme reality, the supreme Brahman who engendered Hiranyagarbha and entered inside
  4. Narayana (Vishnu) is never the origin of Rudra, in fact Rudra is the father of Narayana!

If these evidences are still not enough to convince someone that Rudra of Svetaswatara and Satarudriyam hymn is Umapati Mahadeva alone, then rest assured even Brahma cannot convince such a person. Let me close this article with a verse from Atharvashika Upanishad which should clarify many things in a nutshell.

“sarvakaraNAni manasi saMpratiShThApya dhyAna.n viShNuH prANaM manasi saha karaNaiH saMpratiShThApya dhyAtA rudraH prANaM manasi sahakaraNairnAdAnte paramAtmani saMpratiShThApya dhyAyIteshAnaM pradhyAyitavya.n sarvamidaM |” (Atharvashika Upanishad 2:1)
“The pranava (the sound of Om) makes all the souls to bow before it. It is the one and only one which has to be meditated upon as the four Vedas and the birth place of all devas. One who meditates like that goes away from all sorrows and fears and gets the power to protect all others who approach him. It is because of this meditation only that Lord Vishnu who is spread every where, wins over all others. It is because Lord Brahma controlled all his organs and meditated upon it, he attained the position of the creator. Even Lord Vishnu , parks his mind in the sound (Om) of the place of Paramathma (ultimate soul) and meditates upon Eeshana, who is most proper to be worshipped. All this is only proper in case of Eeshana”.

|| ētat sarvaṁ ṣrī umāmahēṣvara parabraḥmārpaṇamastu ||


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