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Rudra (रुद्रः)

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Rudra in Vedas: added etymology section
Rudra (Samskrit: रुद्रः) is generally considered to be a form of Shiva. One of the Prajapatis, Rudra is said to be of tamasic guna and is known to be of fierce nature. The birth of Rudra is from Brahma. Like Vishnu , Rudra is not said to have taken many avataras.  == व्युत्पत्तिः || Etymology ==Amarakosha gives many names to Shiva or Rudra, a few of which are Shambhu, Isha, Pashupati, Shuli, Pinaki, Sthanu, Bhutesha, Vamadeva, Gangadhara, Vyomakesha, Tripurantaka, Kaparthi among others.<blockquote>शम्भुरीशः पशुपतिः शिवः शूली महेश्वरः ।। १.१.७२ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>ईश्वरः शर्व ईशानः शंकरश्चन्द्रशेखरः ।। १.१.७३ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>भूतेशः खण्डपरशुर्गिरीशो गिरिशो मृडः ।। १.१.७४ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>मृत्युञ्जयः कृत्तिवासाः पिनाकी प्रमथाधिपः ।। १.१.७५ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>उग्रः कपर्दी श्रीकण्ठः शितिकण्ठः कपालभृत् ।। १.१.७६ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>वामदेवो महादेवो विरूपाक्षस्त्रिलोचनः ।। १.१.७७ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>कृशानुरेताः सर्वज्ञो धूर्जटिर्नीललोहितः ।। १.१.७८ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>हरः स्मरहरो भर्गस्त्र्यम्बकस्त्रिपुरान्तकः ।। १.१.७९ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>गङ्गाधरोऽन्धकरिपुः क्रतुध्वंसी वृषध्वजः ।। १.१.८० ।।</blockquote><blockquote>व्योमकेशो भवो भीमः स्थाणू रुद्र उमापतिः ।। १.१.८१ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>अहिर्बुध्न्योऽष्टमूर्तिश्च गजारिश्च महानटः ।। १.१.८२ ।।</blockquote><blockquote>कपर्दोऽस्य जटाजूटः पिनाकोऽजगवं धनुः ।। १.१.८३ ।। (Amar. Kosh. 1.1.72-83)<ref>Amarakosha ([ Kanda 1])</ref></blockquote>
== Role of Rudra ==
Rudra and his more calmer form Shiva (in the later ages), have been revered from Vedic times for his role in creation. Shiva as one of the trimurthis is said to control death and pralaya (destruction of creation). Although a few mantras/suktas of the [[Rigveda (ऋग्वेदः)|Rigveda]] are devoted to describing and praising Rudra, there is a whole section of Taittriya Samhita, the Rudraprasna dedicated to him. Some of the attributes of Rudra are summarized as follows
* '''भिषक् ॥ Bhishak or Vaidya (वैद्या ॥ doctor)''' : Rudra is hailed as the bhishak (doctor) as are the Asvini Kumaras in the later ages.
* '''लयकारः ॥ Layakara:''' Rudra is known for his role in the destructive process of creation from the early times of Rigveda.
* '''मृत्युन्जयः ॥ Mrtyunjaya:''' Rudra or Shiva is one of the main deities worshipped to overcome death and attain immortality. For example Markandeya intensely performed tapas to propitiate Shiva for longevity.
* '''भूतनाथः ॥ Bhutanath:''' He is regarded as the palaka or ruler of the bhutaganas (the being of rudraloka).
* '''नटराजः ॥ Nataraja:''' Known for his cosmic dance, Rudra or Shiva represents the eternal dancer and hence called as Nataraja.
* '''नीलकण्ठः ॥ Neelakantha:''' Rudra or Shiva came to be known as Neelakantha after he consumed the kalakuta poison which arose from samudra manthan.
While the highest number of suktas in Rigveda pertain to Indra, Rudra has been exclusively praised in three to five<ref name=":42">Pt. Suryanarayana Sastry Malladi. (1982) ''Samskruta Vangmaya Charitra, Volume 1, Vaidika Vangmayam.'' Hyderabad : Andhra Sarasvata Parishat (Page 134-137)</ref> suktas and mentioned about fifty times in context with other devatas. In Rigveda Rudra occupies a place of lesser importance, however in Yajurveda and Atharvaveda Rudra plays a prominent role.<ref name=":22322222">Gopal Reddy, Mudiganti and Sujata Reddy, Mudiganti (1997) ''[ Sanskrita Saahitya Charitra] (Vaidika Vangmayam - Loukika Vangamayam, A critical approach)'' Hyderabad : P. S. Telugu University. (Pages 119-125)</ref>
Rudra Sukta (1.1.43) of Rig Veda praises the qualities of Rudra that he is a Jnani (Knowledgeable), as one who gives good health and happiness along with longevity and as one who removes all the causes for ill-health. Along with Mitra, Varuna, Rudra aids in dispelling causes of diseases and ill-health.<ref>Pt. Sripada Damodar Satvalekar (1985) ''Rigved ka Subodh Bhashya, Volume 1 (Mandala 1).'' Parady : Svadhyaya Mandal (Pages 102-104)</ref>
Rigveda (2.33.1) further describes Rudra as the father of Marutganas. He is extremely fierce in dealing with those on the wrong path, while he is very kind to his bhaktas.<ref name=":03">Raghunathacharya, S. B. (1982) ''[ Arshavijnana Sarvasvamu, Volume 1 : Vedasamhitalu (Telugu)]'' Tirupati : Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (Page 53)</ref>
Rigveda (7.46) is a short sukta consisting of four rks, two of which are as follows<blockquote>इमा रुद्राय स्थिरधन्वने गिर: क्षिप्रेषवे देवाय स्वधाव्ने । अषाळ्हाय सहमानाय वेधसे तिग्मायुधाय भरता शृणोतु नः ॥१॥</blockquote><blockquote>स हि क्षयेण क्षम्यस्य जन्मन: साम्राज्येन दिव्यस्य चेतति । अवन्नवन्तीरुप नो दुरश्चरानमीवो रुद्र जासु नो भव ॥२॥</blockquote>Summary : This sukta in praise of Rudra describes Him as a protector (as one bearing a strong bow capable of shooting fast arrows), nourisher (providing anna or food), and provider of astras which makes His worshippers as winners. He is known as one who brings prosperity to both the beings of Prthvi (earth) and Svarga (heavens) and protects one who worships Him by dispelling diseases and granting many divine aushadhas (medicinal herbs). The sukta says - O Rudra! do not harm our children and their progeny, and let us not be part of those bound by your Krodha (anger). Do not kill us but do not leave us, please come for our yajnas and protect us.<ref>Pt. Ramgovind Trivedi. (1954) ''Hindi Rigveda''. Prayaga:Bharat's Press Ltd (Pages 828-829)</ref> Scholars<ref name=":42" /> opine that from the Rigvedic times, the mantras of the five Rudra Suktas have been used in the daily worship of people, a practice seen even in the present day. These suktas are known famously as the Pancha Rudra Suktas in the present day. They are include mantras in suktas 1.43.9(Kanva), 1.114.11(Kutsa Angirasa), 2.33.15(Ghrtsamada), 6.74.4(Bharadvaja), and 7.46.4(Maitravaruna Vasishta). Some others include the rks 4.3.1 and 5.42.11 also for the worship of Rudra.
=== Yajurveda ===

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