Rudrashtakam

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The Rudrashtakam (Sanskrit: रुद्राष्टकम, Rudrāṣṭakam) is a Sanskrit composition in devotion of Rudra, composed by the Hindu Bhakti poet Tulsidas (Sanskrit: तुलसीदास). Tulsidas composed in the late fifteenth century in Uttar Pradesh in India and created many other literary pieces including the magnum opus Ram Charit Manas.

The devotional hymn "Rudrashtakam" appears in the Uttara Kand of the celebrated Ram Charit Manas, where Lomash Rishi composed the hymn to propitiate Lord Shiva. His main purpose was to set his pupil free from the curse of Shiva. He succeeded and asked also a second boon (devotion for himself). His pupil would be the bird ' Kaga-Bhusundi' in a next life, a devotee of Shri Rama and an excellent teller of the life story of Shri Rama.

The Ashtakam is in reverence to Rudra, though the context pertains to the Shiva, the post-Vedic transformation of Rudra. It is arguable that the distinction between Rudra and Shiva was already lost by the time of Tulsidas.

The Rudrashtakam is lucid and simple in style and plays an instrumental role in the Shaiva traditions.

Astakam as a Form and a Genre[edit]

See also: Astakam

The term "Astakam" is derived from the Sanskrit word aṣṭan, meaning "eight". An astakam is made up of eight stanzas.

An astakam belong to the genre of lyric poetry, which tends to be short, extremely melodic, and contemplative. It reflects and portrays the poet's own feelings, states of mind, and perceptions about the theme or character in the Astakam.

Context[edit]

The Rudrashtakam narrates the qualities and deeds of Shiva.

The body of the Rudrashtakam includes many qualities, attributes and motifs associated with Shiva, including the destruction of Tripura (mythology), the annihilation of Kamadeva etc. These symbols and motifs related to the life and deeds of Rudra or Shiva.

Text[edit]

See Sanskrit for details of pronunciation.

Devanagari IAST English Translation
॥ रुद्राष्टकम ॥ .. Rudrāṣṭakama .. Eight Stanzas on Rudra
आचार्य तुलसीदास Ācārya tulasīdāsa Acharya Tulsidas
नममिशामिशान Namamiśāmiśāna O Lord, O' Īśāna! I prostrate before thee
निर्वानारुपम Nirvānārupama Who is the embodiment of Nirvāṇa bliss
विभुं व्यापकं Vibhuṃ vyāpakaṃ Who is omni-present
ब्रह्मवेदास्वरुपम, । Brahmavedāsvarupama, Who is knowledge of the Brahman in reality and totality
निजम Nijama Who is ever dwelling in his own self,
निर्गुणं Nirguṇaṃ Who is quality-less, beyond attributes
निर्विकल्पं Nirvikalpaṃ Who is immutable
निरीहं Nirīhaṃ Who is dispassionate, desireless
चिदाकशामाकशावासम Cidākaśāmākaśāvāsama Who is immeasurable like the sky, and Who dwells in the sky.
भाजेहम ॥ १ ॥ Bhājehama .. 1 .. I beseech.
निराकारम् Nirākāram Formless
ओंकारमुलम oṃkāramulama The root of Om
तुरीयं turīyaṃ Always in stateless Turiya – The fourth and most sublime state of existence
गिरा Girā Gira == Vani, Voice words / Mount Kailash
ज्ञान गोतितामिषम jñāna gotitāmiṣama Who is beyond the scope of voice, knowledge and words
गिरीशं Girīśaṃ The ruler of Mount Kailash
करालं । Karālaṃ Fierce
महाकाल कालम । Mahākāla kālama. Destroyer of Death
कृपालं Kṛpālaṃ benevolent and compassionate
गुनागार Gunāgāra Who is the treasury of all qualities
संसारपारं Saṃsārapāraṃ beyond the Samsara, the mundane universe
नटोहम ॥ २ ॥ Naṭohama .. 2 .. I bow.
तुष्हरदरी Tuṣharadarī Like snow
संकाशा Saṃkāśā (His) face is sweet
गौरम Gaurama Fair and resplendent
गभीरं । Gabhīraṃ Who is profound
मनोभुता Manobhutā Who is the mind of all beings
कोटिप्रभा Koṭiprabhā Of immense splendor
श्रीशारिरम Śrīśārirama Beautiful bodied
स्फुरंमौली Sphuraṃmaulī shining forehead
कल्लोलिनी चारू गंगा Kallolinī cārū gaṃgā Wavy and enticing Ganges
लासद् Lāsad Shiny
भाला bhālā forehead
बलेंदु baleṃdu A youthful (crescent) moon
कंठे भुजंगा ॥ ३ ॥ Kaṃṭhe bhujaṃgā.. 3 .. Snake garlands in the neck
चलात्कुंदालम Calātkuṃdālama swaying earrings
भ्रू सुनेत्रं विशालं Bhrū sunetraṃ viśālaṃ With beautiful eyebrow and broad eyes
प्रसन्नाननं Prasannānanaṃ happy countenance
नीलकंठं। Nīlakaṃṭhaṃ blue throated one
दयालं Dayālaṃ Compassionate
म्रिगढिशाचार्माम्बरम Mrigaḍhiśācārmāmbarama lion-skin around His waist
मुंडा मालाम Muṃḍā mālāma Skull-cap garland
प्रियं संकरं Priyaṃ saṃkaraṃ Beloved Shankar
सर्वनाथं भजामि ॥ ४ ॥ Sarvanāthaṃ bhajāmi.. 4 .. I meditate upon the Lord of the Universe.
प्रचंडं Pracaṃḍaṃ Fierce
प्रक्रिश्ह्तम Prakriśhtama Immense
प्रगल्भं Pragalbhaṃ Mature and bold
परेशं। Pareśaṃ The supreme Lord
अखंडम Akhaṃḍama Whole and Immeasurable
अजम Ajama Birthless
भानुकोतिप्रकषम Bhānukotiprakaṣama Splendor of a billion Suns
त्रयह शुला Trayaha śulā Three kind of obstacles in human life – 1. Physical 2. Divine/Devil / 3. Environmental
निर्मुलानम Nirmulānama One who does not have any origin or One who removes from root (terminates all three kinds of issues from root of it)
शुलापनिम भजेअहम Śulāpanima bhajeahama I pray the holder of the trident
भवनिपतिम Bhavanipatima The divine consort of Bhavani
भावगम्यं॥ ५ ॥ Bhāvagamyaṃ.. 5 .. One who is achieved easily through emotions (devotion)
कालातीत Kālātīta Timeless, beyond time and death (it's कलातीत i.e. one who is having command on all forms of art, the one from whom art takes birth)
कल्याण Kalyāṇa Blissful
कल्पान्तकारी Kalpāntakārī The terminator of Kalpas - The destroyer
सदा सज्जनानन्ददाता Sadā sajjanānandadātā Always blissful and giver of boons to righteous
पुरारी। Purārī The enemy of the Puras – The destroyer of Tripura (mythology)
चिदानंदा संदोहा मोहापहारी Cidānaṃdā saṃdohā mohāpahārī Who is eternal bliss, and Who absolves abundant passion
प्रसीद प्रसीद Prasida prasida Be pleased with me.
प्रभो मन्मथारी॥ ६ ॥ Prabho manmathārī.. 6 .. Lord, the destroyer of Kamadeva
न यावथ Na yāvatha Those who do not
उमानाथ पदाराविन्दम Umānātha padārāvindama The lotus feet of Umanath
भजंतीह Bhajaṃtīha Pray
लोके परे वा Loke pare vā In the universe
नारानाम Nārānāma Of men
न तावथ । Na tāvatha Not their
सुखं शांति Sukhaṃ śāṃti Happiness and peace
संतापनाषम Saṃtāpanāṣama Ameliorate agonies
प्रसिद Prasida Be propitious
प्रभो सर्वभुताधिवासम॥ ७ ॥ Prabho sarvabhutādhivāsama.. 7 .. O’ Lord! The Lord of all beings
न जानामि Na jānāmi I don’t know
योगम Yogama Yoga
जपम Japama Meditation
नैव Naiva nor
पूजाम Pūjāma Oblations
नतोहम Natohama I always bow
सदा सर्वदा Sadā sarvadā Ever, always
शम्भू Śambhū O shambhu, the bliss-giver
तुभ्यं । Tubhyaṃ Before you
जरा Jarā Old age
जन्म Janma Birth and life
दुह्खओघ Duhkhaogha Immense sorrows of mundane life and existence
ताताप्यामनम Tātāpyāmanama Pangs of pain and agony
प्रभो Prabho O Lord
पाहि Pāhi Redeem me
अपन्नामामिषा Apannāmāmiṣā I am saluting You, O Lord!
शम्भो ॥ ८ ॥ Śambho.. 8 .. O Shambhu!

See also[edit]

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