The chants of the rudra-s: a commentary based on our discussions

bhuvanasya pitaraM gIrbhir AbhI rudraM divA vardhayA rudram aktau |
bR^ihantaM R^iShvam ajaraM suShumnaM R^idhag-ghuvema kavineShitAsaH ||

With these chants we exalt rudra, the universe’s father, by day and by night;
We specially invoke him, bright, lofty, un-aging, and well-disposed, inspired by the wise one.
[kavi= the wise one, i.e. rudra. In modern tantrika parlance the suShumna mentioned in this R^ik is taken to mean the suShumna nerve path, but it is clear that in the vaidika context in simply meant well-disposed. This word (i.e. sumna) is often used in the context of rudra. For those who are insiders of the mantra-shAstra and those who are endowed with the j~nAna, certain words reveal the deep underlying inspiration in the mantra. They who recognize the import these words are able to instantly or gradually “connect” to the mantra and cognize or see the devatA, unlike a lay practitioner, or an indologist, or one merely filled with ignorant bhakti. In the case of vaidika mantra-s this knowledge has declined among most practitioners. In the case of this mantra the key words are “bhuvanasya pitaraM” and “bR^ihantaM R^iShvam”]

rudrasya ye mILhuShaH santi putrA yAMsh cho nu dAdhR^ivir bharadhyai |
vide hi mAtA maho mahI ShA set pR^ishniH subhve garbham AdhAt ||

They who are sons of the bounteous rudra, whom the one capable of bearing bore;
The mighty ones whose fetus, the great mother pR^ishni, is known to have borne for the good purpose.
[In the vaidika world-view rudra impregnated the mighty goddess pR^ishni (often called the cow of the heavens) with the seed that gave rise to the marut-s. The dAdhR^ivi, which I believe is a hapax legomenon, signifies pR^ishni, the only one capable of bearing rudra’s seed. In the shUlagava ritual rudra, his wife and son are invoked in 3 bovines. In association with the bull dedicated to rudra an offering is made calling rudra mIDhuSha, while in association with the cow dedicated to his consort an offering is made by calling her mIDhuShI. The rahasya of this mantra is not easy and is apprehended via the word pR^ishni. The mantra offer the “sight” of pR^ishni.]

ta id ugrAH shavasA dhR^iShNuSheNA ubhe yujanta rodasI sumeke |
adha smaiShu rodasI svashochir Amavatsu tasthau na rokaH ||

When, with fierce valor and powerful weapons, they had brought together the well-formed heavenly hemispheres;
[The goddess] rodasI stood shining with her own brightness, in the midst of these impetuous ones who were like shining lights.
[There are two forms of the word rodasI in the Vedic language: 1) {ro}dasI, with an udAtta on the first syllable. This word in most cases means the two heavenly hemispheres. Very occasionally it might also mean the common wife of the marut-s (e.g. RV 5.46.8; 1.64.9; probably 10.76.1). 2) roda{sI} with an udAtta on the last syllable. This word is always the name of the goddess who is the common wife of the marut-s. It is a good example of how tonality, which was still present in old Indo-European could alter the meaning of a word. The maruts are both conceived as the force that expands the universe hemispheres as well as holds them together: compare the above mantra with : “rodasI hi marutash chakrire vR^idhe” (RV 1.85.1c) Key to grasping this mantra’s rahasya-s are the phrases: “yujanta rodasI sumeke” and “rodasI svashochiH”. The later is particularly difficult.]

taM vR^idhantaM mArutaM bhrAjad R^iShTiM rudrasya sUnuM havasA vivAse |
divaH shardhAya shuchayo manIShA girayo nApa ugrA aspR^idhran ||

That exalted troop of marut-s, with blazing spears, the sons of rudra, I seek with invocation; [these] pure compositions are to receive that celestial army, the fierce ones who have battled, like mountains [receiving] the rain.
[bhrajad-R^iShTi=blazing spears. This is a common epithet of the maruts. They are seen as the army of the gods or the devasenA. Compare divaH shardha with: devasenAnAm abhi-bha~njatInAM jayantInAm maruto yantv agram (RV 10.103.8cd). In this context it should noted that in the shUlagava or ishAna-bali ritual an oblation is made to the devasenA. The word manISha implies a work of the intellect i.e. the chant composed by the vipra. The phrases “bhrAjad R^iShTiM” and “divaH shardhAya” help in unlocking the rahasya-s]

The graspers of the mantra-rahasya-s, who have studied these mantra-s, will be able to see a certain distant partial continuity between a vision encoded in them with the vision of certain tantrika elements. One of these elements is most explicitly articulated in the vij~nAna bhairava tantra:
jalasy-ev-ormayo vahner-jvAlAbha~NgyaH prabhA raveH |
mamaiva bhairavasy-aitA vishvabha~Ngyo vibheditAH ||
vij~nAna bhairava tantra 110 ||
Just as waves arise in water, waves of flames in the fire, and rays of light in the sun, so also the waves of the universe in their differentiated forms have arisen from me the bhairava.

While I keep referring to the rahasya-s repeatedly, I do not expound them openly here. That is because they are for other dIkShita-s to discover by themselves. That is why only certain hints are provided. In an earlier phase of life with some zeal I used to openly discuss such rahasya-s, but these neither benefited me nor everyone one who listened – after all we do not live solely amongst Arya-s. It taught me that rahasya-s of the kavI-s have remained so for a reason. They are to be disclosed only within the secret circle of discussants.

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