Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lord Rudra --- The Heart of Rishi Śvetāśvatara.

Śvetāśvatara Upanishad was attributed to a sage called "Shvetashvatara" or to his line of ancient spiritual teachers. The name "Shvetashvatara" is not uncommon in vedic literature. It means "White Mule". The Mule was a prized animal in ancient vedic India. A person who owns a white horse is called "Shvetashva" and one who owns a white mule can be called "Shvetashvatara". One of Arjuna's names in the epic Mahabharata is "Shvetashva." In the Rigveda, too, we find a sage's name as "Shyavashva," meaning "One who owns a black horse."


" Sage Shvetashvatara got this knowledge of Brahman, which is very sacred and revered by many great sages, through his penance and through God's grace, and he taught it very well to his disciples." ( Śvetāśvatara Upanishad VI-21)

From the above verse, it is clear that the seer of the upanishad is Rishi Svetasvatara.


Vaishnavite attacks:

The vaishnavites quote several verses of the upanishad in their respective treatises in support of their claims. The special feature of the Upanishad is the prominent conception of Devotion or Bhakti. In other Upanishads, the concept of Bhakti is indirectly voiced in the form of Upasana, but here, leaving no room for guesswork, it is explicitly mentioned. The word para-bhakti is explicitly used at the end of the sixth chapter. There are many words which voice submission to God or Brahman (words such as Sharanam, Prapadye, etc.). This concept of devotion later found profound expression in the Bhakti Sutras and other treatises on Bhakti. So the vaishnava acharyas quote the verses from Svetasvatara upanishad in support if their 'Bhakti' doctrine. Of course, they can do so.

But unfortunately, Some vaishnavas are over enthusiastic and try to claim that Rishi Svetasvatara was not a worshipper of Lord Shiva. They even say that Rishi Svetasvatara used the word 'Rudra' as an epithet of Lord Vishnu but not to refer 'Rudra' ( a demi-god in their view) of vedas. But such useless ramblings only bring disgrace to the vaishnava sect. A careful analysis of both Śvetāśvatara Upanishad and vedas prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the Rudra of Śvetāśvatara Upanishad and the Rudra of Vedas are one and the same. it is really foolish to think that Rishi Svetasvatara used the word 'Rudra' to refer someone else other than vedik Rudra.


Rudra of Śvetāśvatara Upanishad is none other than Rudra of vedas.

Actually, most of the people do not know the fact that several mantras used in Śvetāśvatara Upanishad were actually adapted from Veda samhitas. That's why the Śvetāśvatara Upanishad is popular as 'Mantra Upanishad' . The hymns in praise of Rudra in Śvetāśvatara Upanishad were actually taken from Samhita portions of Rigveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvana Veda.


1)

yo devo agnau yo’psu
yo viśvaṃ bhuvanam āviveśa
ya oṣadhīṣu yo vanaspatiṣu
tasmai devāya namo namaḥ ( Śvetāśvatara Upanishad II-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!


The above mantra was actually adapted from Yajurveda Taittiriya Samhita. The verse is addressed to Rudra. The verse describes the omnipresence of Lord Rudra. It says that Rudra is the indweller of elements of nature and beings as well. So it is clear that the Rudra of Śvetāśvatara Upanishad is none otherthan lord Rudra of Vedas.

Adapted from:

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

MEANING: The Rudra in the fire, in the waters, in the plants, the Rudra that hath entered all beings, to that Rudra be homage.



2)

eko hi rudro na dvitīyāya tasthur
ya imāṃl lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ
pratyaṅ janāṃs tiṣṭhati sañcukocānta-kāle
saṃsṛjya viśvā bhuvanāni gopāḥ ( SV Up III-2)

Meaning : 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 above verse clearly says that Rudra is truly one. Rishi Svetasvatara reasserts "Ekam eva advitiyam Brahma". This verse which proclaims the absoluteness of Lord Rudra was also adapted from Taittiriya samhita. The verse clearly refutes the vaishnavite claims that Rudra is a demi-god and subordinate to Vishnu. Lord Rudra is not a demi god but lord Rudra is Absolute brahman who is beyond the comprehension of human minds. Vedas testify the absoluteness of Lord Rudra. This verse also makes it clear that Rudra of Śvetāśvatara Upanishad is none otherthan lord Rudra of Vedas.

Adapted from:

Eka eva rudra na dvitīyāya tasthur ( Yajurveda 1:8:6 d)

ie., Rudra is truly one for the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second.



3)

viśvataś cakṣur uta viśvato-mukho
viśvato-bāhur uta viśvatas-pāt
saṃ6 bāhubhyāṃ dhamati sampatatrair
dyāv-ābhūmī janayan deva ekaḥ ( Sv Up III-3)

His eyes are everywhere, His faces everywhere, His arms everywhere, everywhere His feet. He it is who endows men with arms, birds with feet and wings and men likewise with feet. Having produced heaven and earth, this God (deva ekaḥ) remains as their non—dual manifester.



yā te rudra śivā tanūr aghorā’pāpa-kāśinī
tayā nas tanuvā śantamayā giriśantābhicākaśīh ( Sv Up III-5)

Lord Rudra, you who dwell on Mount Kailas and who confer happiness, by that
form of yours which is not terrible, which will not injure us, and which is highly
auspicious, behold and illuminate us.


The above verse of Svetasvatara upanishad asks Rudra to shower his blessings in auspicious form. This verse is like a jolt upon those vaishnavas who claim that Rudra of svetasvatara upanishad is different from Rudra of vedas whom the advaitins and Shaivates worship. This verse is taken 'AS-IT-IS' from the popular Sri Rudram portion of Yajurveda. The Vaishnavites often say that Rudra,who is worshiped by Advaitins and shaivates by chanting Rudram, is a demi-god and subordinate to Vishnu. So they say that the Rudra of Śvetāśvatara upanishad is Vishnu but not Rudra of Shaivates. Such senseless claims of vaisnavas are rebutted by this verse. If Śvetāśvatara maharshi's Rudra is different from Shaivates' Rudra then why did he take this mantra "AS-IT-IS" from Sri Rudram ? if Śvetāśvatara maharshi want to distinguish between his Rudra and Shaivates' Rudra then he wouldn't have quoted from Sri Rudram at all.


Adapted from:

yā te rudra śivā tanūr aghorā’pāpa-kāśinī
tayā nas tanuvā śantamayā giriśantābhicākaśīh ( YV Taittiriya Samhita IV-5-1-c)



4)

yābhiṣuṃ giriśanta haste bibharṣy astave
śivāṃ giritra tāṃ kuru mā hiṃsīḥ puruṣaṃ jagat ( SV Up III-6)

My Lord who dwells on Mount Kailas and confers gladness to all! You, who fulfills
your vow of protecting all who serve you and take refuge in you; that arrow of
yours which you hold ready to let fly, withhold it and make it tranquil and
auspicious.


The above verse is once again a jolt upon such vaishnavas. Because this verse is also taken 'AS-IT-IS' from Sri Rudram portion of yajurveda. If Śvetāśvatara maharshi's Rudra is different from Shaivates' Rudra then why did he take this mantra "AS-IT-IS" from Sri Rudram ? if Śvetāśvatara maharshi want to distinguish between his Rudra and Shaivates' Rudra then he wouldn't have quoted from Sri Rudram at all. Of course, there are a category of vaishnavas who conveniently changes their color just like chameleon. They argue that the Sri Rudram portion of Vedas are refering to Narayana but not Rudra of Shaivates. This is really a funny claim. it is something similar like 'Vishnu of vaishnavas is not same as Vishnu of Vishnu puran or pancharatra agama'. The shaivates are not bothered about any other Rudra whom the Vaishnavites are referring to. For Shaivates, God is 'Rudra' who is eulogized in Sri Rudram, Who is eulogized in Rigveda samhita with name 'Rudra', Who is eulogized in Atharvana veda with names 'Rudra' 'Sarva' Bhava' 'vratya' skambha...etc, Who is eulogized in Brahmanas as 'Mahadeva' , Who is eulogized in Aranyakas, who is eulogized in kena upanishad as Lord of Uma hymavati (umapati). who is eulogized as 'Maheswara', 'Parameswara', 'iswara' , 'Hara', 'Shiva' 'Ishana' in Svetasvatara upanishad. Shaivates are unaware of any other 'Rudra' whom these vaishnavas are referring.

Adapted from :

yābhiṣuṃ giriśanta haste bibharṣy astave
śivāṃ giritra tāṃ kuru mā hiṃsīḥ puruṣaṃ jagat ( YV Taittiriya samhita IV-5-1 d)


5)

tvaṃ strī pumān asi
tvaṃ kumāra uta vā kumārī
tvaṃ jīrṇo daṇḍena vañcasi
tvaṃ jāto bhavasi viśvato-mukhaḥ ( SV Up IV-3)

Meaning: Thou art a woman, and a man; thou art a damsel and a boy.
Grown old thou totterest with a staff, new-born thou lookest every way.


The above verse describes Lord Rudra as everyone and everything. But this verse is adapted from the Skambha Suktam of Atharvana Veda samhita. 'Skambha' means 'pillar'. Lord Rudra appeared as pillar without begining or ending. Both Hari and Brahma failed to know the origin and end of skambha. 'Linga' is a symbol of Skambha.

Adapted From:

tváṃ strī́ tváṃ púmān asi tváṃ kumārá utá vā kumārī́||
tváṃ jīrṇó daṇḍéna vañcasi tváṃ jātó bhavasi viśvátomukhaḥ (Atharva Veda Śamhita 10,8.27)



6)

yo devānām adhipo
yasmin lokā adhiśritāḥ
ya īśe asya dvipadaś catuṣpadaḥ
kasmai devāya haviṣā vidhema ( SV Up IV-13 )

Meaning:
He who is the sovereign of the gods, in whom the worlds find their support, who rules over all two—footed and four—footed beings—let us serve that God, radiant and blissful, with an oblation.



Here Śvetāśvatara maharshi calls Rudra is called as Lord of both two-footed and four-footed. (ya īśe asya dvipadaś catuṣpadaḥ). This epithet is not a new one. In Veda samhitas, Rudra is always adressed as the lord of both two-footed and four-footed. Rudra is addressed as Lord of two-footed and four-footed for more than 100 times. So from this, it is clear that Rudra of Svetasvatara and Rudra of Vedas are both one and the same.

Adapted from:

bhávāśarvau manvé vāṃ tásya vittaṃ yáyor vām idáṃ pradíśi yád virócate
yā́v asyéśāthe dvipádo yáu cátuṣpadas táu no muñcatam áṃhasaḥ ( Athava veda IV-28-1)

O Bhava and Sarva, I am devoted to you. Take note of that, you under whose control, is all this which shines (the visible universe)! You rule all these two-footed and four-footed creatures, you, Deliver us from grief and trouble.


yáyor vadhā́n nā́papádyate káś canā́ntár devéṣūtá mā́nuṣeṣu
yā́v asyéśathe dvipádo yáu cátuṣpadas táu no muñcatam áṃhasaḥ ( Athava veda IV-28-5)

You from whose blows no one either among gods or men escapes; you who rule all these two-footed and four-footed creatures, deliver us from grief and trouble.



7)

sūkṣmātisūkṣmaṃ kalilasya madhye
viśvasya sraṣṭāram aneka-rūpam
viśvasyaikaṃ pariveṣṭitāraṃ
jñātvā śivaṃ śāntim atyantam eti ( SV Up IV-14 )

Finer beyond fineness. He hath hidden him in the midmost of this hustling chaos. He hath created this universe by taking many figures and as the One He encompasseth it around and girdeth it; having known Shiva, the Blessed One, man goeth to unutterable peace


The above verse explicitly identifies Lord Rudra with Shiva. The words " jñātvā śivaṃ " clearly says that the absolute is to be known or realised as SHIVA.,then only one can have supreme peace. If Lord Rudra is not 'Shiva' of Shaivates then why is Śvetāśvatara Maharshi saying that the absolute is to be known as 'Shiva'. (jñātvā śivaṃ) ?



ghṛtāt paraṃ maṇḍam ivātisūkṣmaṃ
jñātvā śivaṃ sarva-bhūteṣu gūḍham
viśvasyaikaṃ pariveṣṭitāraṃ
jñātvā devaṃ mucyate sarva-pāśaiḥ ( SV Up IV-16)

As the rare and fine cream in clarified butter, and it is richer than the butter, so Shiva the Blessed One hath hidden Him in every one of all His creatures; but as the One He encompasseth this whole world and girdeth it around. Know God and thou breakest every bondage.


Here again Rishi Śvetāśvatara telling us to realise that, it is Shiva who resides in the hearts of all beings. (jñātvā śivaṃ sarva-bhūteṣu gūḍham ).



8)

yadā’tamas tan na divā na rātrir
na san na cāsac chiva eva kevalaḥ
tad akṣaraṃ tat savitur vareṇyaṃ
prajñā ca tasmāt prasṛtā purāṇī (SV Up IV-18)

When there is no darkness of ignorance, there is no day or night, neither being nor non—being; SHIVA alone exists. That immutable Reality is the meaning of "That"; It is adored by the Sun. From It has proceeded the ancient wisdom.


Oh... here once again !! Rishi Śvetāśvatara proclaimed "Shiva eva kevalaḥ" ie., Shiva alone exists. if Svetasvatara Rishi's Lord Rudra is different from the Shiva of Shaivates why is he using the word 'Shiva' again and again ?


9)

ajāta ity evaṃ kaścid bhīruḥ prapadyate
rudra yat te dakṣiṇaṃ mukhaṃ tena māṃ pāhi nityam ( SV Up IV-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 benign face protect me for ever!


Here Maharshi Śvetāśvatara says that only rare souls take refuge(prapadyate) of Rudra. He is asking Rudra's bengin face (dakṣiṇaṃ mukhaṃ) to protect forever. Here Rishi takes refugee of Shiva's bengin form ie., Dakshina murthy. Rudra has both Ghora and Aghora forms.

10)

mā nas toke tanaye mā na āyuṣi
mā no goṣu mā na aśveṣu rīriṣaḥ
vīrān mā no rudra bhāmito
vadhīr haviṣmantaḥ sadāmit tvā havāmahe ( SV Up IV-22)


O Rudra, do not, in Thy wrath, destroy our children and grand—children. Do not destroy our lives; do not destroy our cows or horses; do not destroy our strong servants. For we invoke Thee always, with oblations, for our protection.


The above verse is also taken 'AS IT IS' from Sri Rudram portion of Yajurveda. Here Rudra is asked to show mercy upon the progency. It is typical to Rudra in vedas. If Lord Rudra of Svetasvatara maharshi is different from the Rudra of vedas, why has he taken Sri Rudram verse 'AS IT IS' ? So it is very clear that Rudra of Shaivates and Rudra of Svetasvatara Upanishad are one and the same.

Adapted from:

Manastoke tanaye ma na ayushhi ma no goshhu ma no ashveshhu ririshhah
Viranma no rudra bhamitoavadhi rhavishhmanto namasa vidhema te ( Yajur veda TS IV-5-10-f)

Lord Rudra! Getting angry at our transgressions hurts not only our children, our
sons in particular, but also our cattle and horses, and our warriors.
Making offerings into the sacred fire, we shall serve and calm you by our
Namaskars (salutations).


Verses which explicitly identifies Lord Rudra with Shaivate names.

kṣaraṃ pradhānam amṛtākṣaraṃ haraḥ ( SV Up I-10)
ie., prakriti is perishable but Hara is imperishable.


jñātvā devaṃ sarva-pāśāpahāniḥ ( SV Up I-11)

jñātvā devaṃ mucyate sarva-pāśaiḥ ( SV Up II- 15 )
By knowing the deity all pashas ie., Bondages will be gone.

ya eko jālavān īśata īśanībhiḥ sarvāṃl lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ ( SV Up III-1)

eko hi rudro na dvitīyāya tasthur ya imāṃl lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ (SV Up III-2)

yo devānāṃ prabhavaś codbhavaś ca
viśvādhipo rudro maharṣiḥ
hiraṇyagarbhaṃ janayāmāsa pūrvaṃ
sa no buddhyā śubhayā saṃyunaktu (SV Up III-4)

yā te rudra śivā tanūr aghorā’pāpa-kāśinī
tayā nas tanuvā śantamayā giriśantābhicākaśīhi (SV Up III-5)

yābhiṣuṃ giriśanta haste bibharṣy astave
śivāṃ giritra tāṃ kuru mā hiṃsīḥ puruṣaṃ jagat (SV Up III-6)

sunirmalām imāṃ prāptim īśāno jyotir avyayaḥ ( SV Up III-12)

sarvasya prabhum īśānaṃ sarvasya śaraṇaṃ bṛhat( SV Up III-17)

māyāṃ tu prakṛtiṃ vidyān māyinaṃ ca maheśvaram ( SV Up IV-10)

tam īśānaṃ varadaṃ devam īḍyaṃ (SV Up IV-11)

ya īśe asya dvipadaś catuṣpadaḥ kasmai devāya haviṣā vidhema ( SV Up IV-13)

jñātvā śivaṃ sarva-bhūteṣu gūḍham ( SV Up IV-16)

na san na cāsac chiva eva kevalaḥ ( SV Up IV-18)

ajāta ity evaṃ kaścid bhīruḥ prapadyate
rudra yat te dakṣiṇaṃ mukhaṃ tena māṃ pāhi nityam ( SV Up IV - 21)

mā nas toke tanaye mā na āyuṣi
mā no goṣu mā na aśveṣu rīriṣaḥ
vīrān mā no rudra bhāmito
vadhīr haviṣmantaḥ sadāmit tvā havāmahe ( SV Up IV-22)

bhāva-grāhyam anīḍākhyaṃ bhāvābhāva-karaṃ śivam ( SV Up V-14)

tam īśvarāṇāṃ paramaṃ maheśvaraṃ ( SV Up VI-7)

ya īśe’sya jagato nityam eva nānyo hetur vidyata īśanāya ( SV Up VI-17)


All the above mentioned verses clearly indicate that Rudra of Svetasvatara Upanishad and Rudra of vedas are one and the same. Rishi Svetasvatara devoted himself heart and soul to Lord Rudra. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He worshiped 'Hara'. He surrendered to 'Maheswara'. He took refuge of Ishana alone. By surrendering to Pashupati he broke all Paashaas(Bondage) and finally attained salvation by the grace of Lord Rudra. It is really unfair on the part of Vaishnavas to deny the True heart of Svetasvatara Maharshi.

Svetasvatara worshiped Lord Shiva who is beyond form and name. He did Rudropasana. He meditated on the bengin aspect of Lord Rudra. He realised that all gods including Vishnu were created by Lord Rudra alone. Rudra alone bestowed powers upon the gods. He called Rudra with various names like Shiva,Maheswara,Hara,ishana,pashupati,Parameswara..etc. In the Upanishad , he adapted Sri Rudram mantras. All these things clearly prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Rudra of Svetasvatara upanishad and Rudra of Vedas are one and the same.

2 comments:

  1. Nice posting. Do you know about these Samhita texts?

    http://www.YogaVidya.com/ss.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Om Shiv Shakti !!!

    Great Work dude !!!!

    I was following ISKCon once, but got disgusted with mere THEORIZING !! I (& most shaivites) have nor problem surrendering to Hari-Hara. Both are dear to me but Shri Rudra rings a vibration in my heart !!! he givs courage,manhood.

    Swami Vivekananda - the only sanyaasi to have performed CHANDI HOMA, said "Your lord is the lord of Gauri! Say thus - Oh lord, vouchsafe manliness to me and take away this unmanliness !!"

    Forget abt vaishnavas who theorize but the common manin Tamil Nadu knows God as Shiva-Shakti. The mere sight of those people with Tripundra, Rudraksha & Panchakshari makes my eyes moist. Their God is Skanda - Rudra Veerya Samudbhava. No wonder they are valorous...

    Also , let people remember: The crucial savings of Bharat Mata from Muslims have been done by Shiv Shaktas - Guru Gobind Singh (Chandi devotee), Kumara Kampanna (Vijayanagar empire - Shri Parvati gave him her sword) & the great HINDU PAD PADSHAHI CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ (devotee of Shakti).

    Vaishnavas, have failed to adore Shakti , so they are paying the price. Lets bow to Shakti , who works with the FULL sanction of Shri Shiva.

    Om Shiv Shakti.

    "Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraaya Vishnave Mrityur me Paahi"

    ReplyDelete

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