Nīla rudra is part of the Atharvana veda -paippalāda saṃhitā (sūkta 3 of kāṇḍa 14). It is also considered as a upaniṣad of the early pāśupatas equivalent to the śvetāśvatara of the kṛṣṇa yajurveda. In śrauta traditions of the atharvaṇas the brahmā recites the sūkta mentally, standing beside the yajamāna, when the fifth layer of the altar for the soma ritual was completed.
apaśyaṃ tvāvarohantaṃ divitaḥ pṛthivīma ava .
apaśyama asyantaṃ rudraṃ nīlagrīvaṃ śikhaṇḍinaṃ .. 1
Om. Thee I beheld in thy descending down from the heavens to the earth, I saw Rudra, the Terrible, the azure-throated, the peacock-feathered, as he hurled.
diva ugro .avārukṣaḥ pratyaṣṭhā bhūmyāma adhi .
janāsaḥ paśyatemaṃ nīlagrīvaṃ vilohitaṃ .. 2
Fierce he came down from the sky, he stood facing me on the earth as its lord; the people behold a mass of strength, azure-throated, scarlet-hued.
eṣa aitya avīrahā rudro jalāṣa bheṣajī .
vi te kṣepama anīnaśada vātīkāro vya etu te .. 3
This that cometh is he that destroyeth evil, Rudra the Terrible, born of the tree that dwelleth in the waters; let the globe of the storm winds come too, that destroyeth for thee all things of evil omen.
namaste bhava bhāmāya namaste bhava manyave .
namaste astu bāhubhyāma uto ta iṣave namaḥ .. 4
Salutation to thee who bringeth the world into being, salutation to thee, the passionate with mighty wrath. Salutation be to thy arms of might, salutation be to thy angry shaft.
yāma iṣuṃ giriśanta haste bibharśya astave .
śivāma giriśritāma kṛṇu mā himsīḥ puruṣāna mama .. 5
The arrow thou bearest in thy hand for the hurling, O thou that liest on the mountains, make an arrow of blessing, O keeper of the hills, let it not slay my armed men.
śivena vacasā tvā giriśāchā vadāmasi .
yathā nasa sarvama ija jagada ayakṣmaṃ sumano asata .. 6
With fair speech, O mountain-dweller, we sue to thee in the assembly of the folk, that the whole world may be for us a friendly and sinless place.
yā ta iṣuśa śivatamā śivaṃ babhūva te dhanuḥ .
śivā śaravyā yā tava tayā no mṛlda jīvase .. 7
That thy arrow which is the kindliest of all and thy bow which is well omened and that thy quiver which beareth blessing, by that thou livest for us, O lord of slaughter.
yā te rudra śivā tanūra aghorāpāpakāśinī .
tayā nasa tanvā śantamayā giriśantābhi cākaśaḥ .. 8
That thy body, O terrible One, which is fair and full of kindness and destroyeth sin, not thy shape of terror, in that thy body full of peace, O mountaineer, thou art wont to be seen among our folk.
namo .astu nīlaśikhaṇḍāya sahasrākṣāya vājine .
atho ye asya satvānasa tebhyo .ahama akaraṃ namaḥ .. 9
namāṃsi ta āyudhāyānātatāya dhṛṣṇave .
ubhābhyāma akaraṃ namo bāhubhyāṃ tava dhanvane .. 10
pramu¤ca dhanvanaḥ parya ubhayora ārtnyora jyāṃ .
yāśa ca te hasta iṣavaḥ parā tā bhagavo vapaḥ .. 11
avatatya dhanusa tvaṃ sahasrākṣa śateṣudhe .
niśīrya śalyānāṃ mukhā śivo naśa śaṃbhura ā cara .. 12
asau yasa tāmro aruṇa uta babhrura vilohitaḥ .
ye ceme abhito rudrā dikṣu śritāsa sahasraśo .avaiṣāṃ helda īmahe .. 13
This Aruna of the dawn that is tawny and copper-red and scarlet-hued, and these thy Violent Ones round about that dwell in the regions in their thousands, verily, it is these whom we desire.
adarśaṃ tvāvarohantaṃ nīlagrīvaṃ vilohitaṃ .
uta tvā gopā adṛśanna uta tvodahāryaḥ .
uto tvā viśvā bhūtāni tasmai dṛṣṭāya te namaḥ .. 14
Let the blue‐necked one render us happy, the one who rises in crimson splendour, whom the cowherds, the water‐maidens and all the creatures in the world can see.Let Him grant Happiness to us.
vijyaṃ dhanuśa śikhaṇḍino viśalyo bāṇavāna uta .
aneśanna asyeṣavaśa śivo asya niṣaṅgathiḥ .. 15
Let the bow of śikhaṇḍin, Rudra of the matted locks, be without its string. Let there be no arrows in His quiver. Let His arrows lose their capacity to strike and pierce. Let the sheath of his sword be not removed.
pari te dhanvano hetira asmāna vṛṇaktu viśvataḥ .
atho ya iṣudhisa tavāre asmina ni dhehi taṃ .. 16
Let the arrow of Your bow spare us in all ways. And place your quiver of arrows far away from us.
yā te hetira mīḍhuSṭama haste babhūva te dhanuḥ .
tayā tvaṃ viśvato asmāna ayakṣmayā pari bhuja .. 17
O! Supreme lord who showers mercy! Protect us from all wordly troubles with the weapons and bow in your hands, which are not for hurting us.
Shri Aurobindo's Interpretation :