Dear friends,
Now we start with a brief explanation of the eleven anuvaakaas of Sri rudram and the ways Sri Rudram is traditionally chanted.
From next post will commence the actual tranxlation of RUDRA NAMAKAM
VARADARAJAN


BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ANUVAAKAAS AND WAUS OF CHANTING RUDRAM

As mentioned earlier Sri Rudram is divided in to eleven sections called anuvaakas.

In the first anuvaaka consisting of eleven sukthaas , Rudra is requested by the devotee to turn his fierce exterior and not use his weapons on his devotees. He is also requested to annihilate the sins committed by his devotees.

This anuvaaka is chanted for all round development of the community as well as the well-being of the chanter. It also is supposed to provide a protective shield against diseases, devils, monsters and so on.

In the second anuvaaka consisting of two sukthaas the Rudra is part of nature in all its glory as plants and medicinal herbs. He is requested to untie the bonds of the day-to-day life. This is chanted for destruction of enemies, possession of wealth, getting of kingdom and so on.

The third anuvaaka consisting of two sukthaas describe Rudra as a thief. He might have been presumed to be the stealer of ignorance from us. This anuvaaka is chanted to cure diseases.

In the fourth anuvaaka again consisting of two sukthaas, Rudra is the common man with his deficiencies, angularities and described as the creator and worker of all kinds. This anuvaaka is supposed to cure diseases like tuberculosis, leprosy, etc.

In the fifth Anuvaaka Rudra’s consisting of two sukthaas , several aspects of his personality especially as God responsible for creation, preservation and destruction is described. This is chanted to get rid of ignorance and Maya, for victory against enemies, for begetting of a son, for avoidance of problems during pregnancy and for expansion of wealth.

In the sixth anuvaaka consisting of two sukthaas. Rudra is identified with changes of his personality over eons of time and the roles he has played in different ages. He is described as the source of the different worlds, Shrutis (Vedas) and its essence in Vedanta. This is chanted for the same aim stated in the fifth anuvaaka.

In the seventh anuvaaka again consisting of two sukthaas his all pervading presence in nature in all its fury and majesty is described. This anuvaaka is chanted for the increase of intelligence, wealth, health and longevity.

In the eighth anuvaaka, Rudra is described as He who illumines other Gods and confers powers on them. It is told that when you do not have time to chant the Rudra fully at least this eighth anuvaaka should be chanted. The Panchakshari mantra viz. “Nama Shivaaya” occurs for the first time in Vedas in this anuvaaka. This anuvaaka is chanted for the destruction of enemies and re -possession of one’s assets.

In the ninth anuvaaka, which consists of two sukthaas, the unfancied and hard to live places where Rudra lives is listed out. In essence it means he is all pervasive. This anuvaaka is chanted for obtaining wealth, a good wife, good job, and the blessings of a son who will be devoted to Lord Shiva.

In the tenth anuvaaka Rudra is again requested not to show his furious fear giving form and appear before the devotee in a peaceful calm form. The manthras unlike the ones till ninth anuvaaka do not end in Nama after every description. This anuvaaka is chanted for “possession of wealth, cure of diseases, removal of fear, getting rid of the enmity of powerful people, absence of fear from all living beings, having the vision of Bhairava (Shiva in his most fearful aspect), absence from dangers and fears, blessings and the absolution of sins”.

In the eleventh anuvaaka consisting of eleven sukthaas, Rudra’s army called Ganaas is praised and they, wherever they exist, are beseeched to protect the devotees of Rudra. This anuvaaka is chanted for acquiring knowledge of past, present and future.

This anuvaaka is followed by six stotras of Rudra.

The Chamakam, as pointed out earlier lists out the blessings that can be got by prayer to Rudra. The reading or chanting of Rudra is said to be complete only when chamakam also is chanted. There are five methods of chanting Rudra viz.,

1.Ordinary method where first Rudram is read and then Chamakam.

2.Rudra ekadasini where after chanting Rudram, the first anuvaaka of Chamakam is chanted, again after chanting Rudram the second anuvaaka of Chamakam is chanted and so on till the eleventh chanting of Rudram followed by eleventh anuvaaka of Chamakam.

3.Eleven such Rudra ekadasinis makes one Laghu Rudram

4.Eleven such Laghu Rudrams makes one Maha Rudram

and

5.Eleven such Maha Rudrams make one Athi rudram.

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What follows is the Rudra prasnam and Chamaka prasnam transliterated into English and followed by a translation in English. Care has been taken to make the English translation simple and in a form which can be chanted. The readers are cautioned that the transliteration has been given only to identify the anuvaakas and sukthaas and not for chanting. This is because Sanskrit is a very complicated language and a least phonetic language like English cannot bring out the nuances in actual chanting of this majestic and mellifluous prayer. Not being a Sanskrit scholar but one who depends upon other available translations mainly in Tamil and Malayalam, I crave your pardon for errors if any that I have committed.