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Rudram Chamakam

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Rudram or Namakam Chamakam
Importance of Namakam Chamakam      Shat Rudreeya     How a Koti Rudram Was Organized?    Listen to Rudram Chamakam here

What is it and Where Does it Appear?
Shree Rudram or Rudram Chamakam or Shat Rudreeya is one of the five scriptural texts chosen by the ancients for constant repetition and meditation. These five texts are the Upanishads of one's own Shaakhaa - The Bhagavad Geetaa, The Vishnu Sahastranaam (there are a few Vishnu Sahastra Naam available but the most popular one is recited by Bheeshm to Yudhishthir in Anushaasan Parv of Mahaabhaarat), Shree Rudram and Purush Sooktam. Vaidik Literature states - as by pouring water at the root of a tree, all its branches are nourished, by pleasing Shree Rudra through Rudra Jap, all the Devtaa are pleased. One attains Bhukti and Mukti, enjoyment of life as well as freedom from the ills of the world by the chanting of Shree Rudram with devotion

The Shree Rudram Chamakam (Sanskrit श्रि रुद्रम् चमकम्) is a Vaidik Stotra from Krishn Yajur Ved dedicated to Rudra (Shiv). Shree Rudram is also known as "Shree Rudra Prashn", "Shat Rudreeya", "Rudra Upanishad", "Shree Rudram", "Rudra Adhyaaya". Shree Rudram (Shat Rudreeyam) and Chamakam (or Vasordaraa) are two great precious Ved Mantra. These two great precious Ved Mantra occupy a central position in the Krishn Yajur Ved (Taittireeya Sanhitaa). This Sanhitaa has 7 Kaand or chapters. Sree Rudram and Chamakam are enshrined in the 4th Kaand.

(1) They provide expiation for even the gravest of sins (Paatak).
(2) They ward away sorrows and dangers.
(3) They ensure fulfillment of prayers and Abheesht.

The text is important in Vedaantik religion describing Lord Shiv as the Universal Brahm. The hymn is an early example of enumerating the names of a deity, a tradition developed extensively in the Sahastra Naam literature of Hinduism. Shree Rudram is one of the five scriptural texts chosen by the ancients for constant repetition and meditation. These five texts are the Upanishads, The Bhagavad Geetaa, The Vishnu Sahastranaam, Shree Rudram and Purush Sooktam.

It is a magnificent vision of the Creator of the universe, designated here as Shiv or Rudra, in his aspects as an awe-inspiring immanence in everything that can be found or even conceived of in Creation. In this comprehensive attitude of devotion to God, the Chamakam resembles the description found in the Purush Sookt.

By the first few centuries AD, the recitation of the Shata-rudreeya is claimed, in the Jaabaal Upanishad, to lead to immortality. The hymn is referred to in the Shiva Puraan. The text is also famous for its mention of the Shaivite Panchaakshar ("five-syllable") Mantra (Sanskrit : Namah Shivaaya), which appears in the text of the Shata-Rudreeya in the 8th Anuvaak. The text also contains the Mantra "Aum Namo Bhagavate Rudraaya". The Braahman who recites this Mantra daily will be honored in Brahm Lok.

It consists of two texts from Book 4 of the Taittireeya Sanhitaa (TS 4.5, 4.7), which is a part of the Krishn Yajur Ved.

Shree Rudram or the Namakam (Ch 5) describes the name or epithets of Rudra, which represent his aspects. This first part, chapter 16 of the Yajur Ved, is known as Namakam because of the repeated use of the word "Namo" in it. Additionally, the devotee asks for the benevolent aspect of Shiv to be invoked rather than the terrible aspect and requests forgiveness of sins. The Chamakam (Ch 7) asks for the fulfillment of wishes. Each part consist of eleven Anuvaak or hymns. The Anuvaaks of Shree Rudram correspond to the 11 hymns of Taittireeya Sanhitaa 4.5, with the final Anuvaak extended by an additional 8 verses, including the Tryambakam (literally, "the three-eyed One") Mantra (TS 1.8.6.i). The central Shaivite Mantra, "Aum Namah Shivaaya" is also derived from the Shree Rudram, it appears (without the Om) in Taitteerya Sanhitaa S 4.5.8.l.

Rudram is divided into 11 sections called Anuvaaks. In the first Anuvaak, Rudra is asked to turn away his Ghor Roop (fierce appearance) and to please keep his and his followers’ weapons at bay. Having been pacified, Rudra is requested to destroy the sins of those for whom it is being chanted. The hymn identifies 346 desires of human beings to be fulfilled, to have a peaceful daily life. Apart from being a hymn devoted Lord Shiv, Shree Rudram also contains many hidden secrets in coded format. For example the verses contain coded instructions for preparing various Aayurvedik medicines.

Its First Part "Namakam" - 11 Anuvaak

This 1st Anuvaak is chanted to destroy all sins, obtain leadership and divine benevolence, protection from famine, freedom from fear, obtain food, and protect cows, for absence from untimely fear of death, of tigers, thieves, from monsters, devils, demons. It is also chanted as a shield (Kavach) for virulent fever, to cure diseases, fetal disorders, absolution from evils stars and bad karma, for the fulfillment of ones desires, sumptuous rainfall, family protection, blessings with good children, fulfillment of all material desires and the destruction of enemies.

In the 2nd Anuvaak, Rudra is prayed to as one who pervades the earth and as the green foliage and heritage of medicinal herbs. He is asked to loosen the bonds of Sansaar (illusion). This Anuvaak is chanted for the destruction of enemies, possession of wealth, getting kingdom (getting Job) and possession of intelligence.

In the 3rd Anuvaaka Rudra is described as the Lord of thieves who exists in everything. He is Sarvaatmaa; the self of all. In this context, we who are un-enlightened have stolen the immortal status of the Self and replaced it with our own limited conception of ego. And in turn it is Rudra who will come and steal our ignorance from us, restoring us to our natural status of enlightenment. This Anuvaak is also chanted for the cure of diseases.

In the 4th Anuvaak, Rudra is described as the creator and worker of all kinds. He is the cause of both the significant and minor. This Anuvaak is chanted for the cure of tuberculosis, diabetes and leprosy.

In the 5th Anuvaak Rudra’s existence in running waters is praised and his five activities are described (creation of the universe, preservation of it, destruction at the time of Pralaya, bondage in ignorance and the release of Moksh).

In the 6th Anuvaak Rudra is identified with time (Kaal Roop). He is described as the source of the different worlds, Shrutis (Ved) and its essence in Vedaant. The fifth and sixth Anuvaak are chanted for the expansion of one’s own assets, victory against enemies, blessings for a son with the stature of Rudra, avoidance of a miscarriage and easy childbirth, averting difficult astrology and protection of one’s own son.

In the 7th Anuvaak his all-pervading presence in waters, rains, clouds, storms and its various forms are described. This Anuvaak is chanted for the increase of intelligence, improvement of health, wealth, progeny, clothes, cows, sons, education, lands, longevity and obtaining liberation.

In the 8th Anuvaak Rudra is described as He who illumines other Gods and confers powers on them. He is seen as ever present in holy rivers and he who can absolve all sins. This Anuvaak is chanted for the destruction of enemies and possession of ones own kingdom (lands).

In the 9th Anuvaak the strength and power his attendants is celebrated because they illumine the gods and the world and control the forces of the universe. This Anuvaak is chanted for obtaining gold, a good wife, a job, and the blessings of a son who will be devoted to Lord Shiv.

In the 10th Anuvaak Rudra is again asked to shed his fury and shower benevolence by his displaying his Pinaak bow without arrows and to gracefully appear with his tiger skin on his body with pleasing countenance ready to shower boons upon his devotees. This Anuvaak 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 Bhairav (Shiv in his most fearful aspect), absence from dangers and fears, blessings and the absolution of sins.

In the 11th Anuvaak Rudra’s accomplishments are profusely praised and his benevolence is invoked with unconditional salutations. This Anuvaak is chanted for blessings of one’s progeny, the enhancement of longevity, visiting of sacred places, and acquiring knowledge of past, present and future.

After praying and identifying Rudra with everything in the Namakam, the Chamakam is recited, in which the devotee identifies himself with Lord Shiv and asks him to give him everything. 

It is believed that it should be recited only in formal sittings.

Its Second Part "Chamakam" - 11 Anuvaak

The second part of the text, corresponding to Tattireeya Sanhitaa 4.7, asks God for fulfillment of wishes. The repeated phrase, "cha me" literally means, "and to me [be this granted]", accompanied by lists of desirables. Thus this second part, chapter 18 of the Yajur Ved, is known as "Chamakam" because of the repeated use of the words "Cha me". The original context of the Chamakam is the piling up of the fire-altar of Vaidik religion.

This excellent prayer is intended for the bulk of the people and every thing to be cherished in the world is included in this ascend to the state of Gyaanee to attain Moksh, means eternal happiness. Chamakam assures granting of what all you ask in a full-throated manner unabashed. The creator makes no distinction between the things of the world and the other world. Both belong to him and desire born out of Virtue is really manifestation of divinity and Dharm. Chamakam furnishes completely the ideal of human happiness and defines in the highest degree the desires and do not delimit to be asked or to be granted.

In the 1st Anuvaak prayer is made to keep fit in the human being his vitalities internal and sensory organs and mind hale and healthy, a long and peaceful and happy old age.

The 2nd Anuvaak prominence and leadership, common sense, intellectual acumen, capability to face trying circumstances, Spiritual elevation, worldly splendor and enjoyments.

The 3rd Anuvaak develops innate urge of God and meditative flights and spiritual ecstasy, service to Divinity and humanity and a condition where the world wants him and he wants the world for upliftment.

The 4th Anuvaak assures of courtesy, fitness of the body and the best food for the body, coziness and comfort.

The 5th asks for the Nava Ratn, the precious stones and all the animals to sub-serve his interest and the qualified materials best in their form for his rituals.

The 6th Anuvaak emphasizes the importance of Indra as a co-sharer in the offerings to the other Gods, thus makes him big to get the major obtainers of Havishya among all Gods and his special honor and supremacy.

The 7th Anuvaak lists the various instruments necessary for some and sacrifices in the “Hom Kund”, the site of offerings to the fire God with Swaahaa-kaar.

In the 8th let the following Bahirang Yagya Saadhanaa or mediate ingredients necessary for the performance of sacrifices be granted to me : Dried holy sticks; and Darbhaa or holy grass; and the Vedhi or the narrow platform between the sacred fires; and the Dhishniyas or the platforms raised for the Hotaa, etc; and the Sruchas or the vessels made of Purasa wood used for Hom in Ishti sacrifices; and the Chamas or wooden plates for pouring the Som juice and drinking it; and the Gravan or small pebbles used for crushing the Som creeper; and Svarav or wooden knives stuck in the Yoop or sacrificial post; and Uparavas or four pits each a cubit deep dug in the Havirdhaan; and the Adhi-shavan or two flat pieces of wood cut from the fig tree with the bark; and the Drone Kalash or a vessel shaped like a mango made out of the banyan tree on which the squeezed Som juice is kept; and the Vayavyaas or the vessels made of wood and mud for placing the Som juice in the Havirdhaan; and the Poothabrith or the mud vessel among the Chamas for keeping the Som juice; and the Aadhavaneeya or another mud vessel for keeping the purified Som juice.

The 9th Anuvaak is the prime prayer consists of all the contents of four Ved.

The 10th Anuvaak invokes all the biological species to co-operate in his daily wealth and also for the sacrificial fire. It also involves higher spiritual elevations, and makes it as Gyaan Yagya.

The 11th Anuvaak brings out the long list of benedictions asked for in the odd divine number and even human numbering.

Chamakam roots are firmly implanted in the worldly desires ultimately leading to the divine fulfillment. It is prayed that the Divine is immortal, infinite and is the cause of earth and heaven, space and time, reborn after the end of every thing and is the presiding deity.

Chamakam Namakam Chaiva Purush Sooktam Tathaiva Cha |
Nityam Trayam Prayunjano Brahm Lok Maheeyate ||

He who ever recites Namakam and Chamakam along with Purush Sookt daily will be honored in Brahm Lok.
The interpretations of the text commonly taught today are clearly Vedaantik, while the Vaidik texts at the time of their composition were probably intended for the context of ritual sacrifice.

Shree Rudram occurs in the 4th Kaand of the Taittireeya Sanhitaa in the Krishn Yajur Ved.

How to Chant Rudram Chamakam or Types of Abhishek

Sage Shatapath in his treatise “Mahaarnav Karm Vipaak” has listed four types of Abhishek procedures compatible with Vaidik and scriptural lore. Those are Rudram, Ekaadash Rudram, Mahaa Rudram and Ati Rudram – each being more potent than the preceding one. Of these, the most potent form of Ati Rudram involves 14,641 Rudram (Rudram is a combination of Namakam and Chamakam given in Rudra Adhyaaya in the 5th Prapatakam of the 4th Kaand of Krishn Yajur Ved Sanhitaa). Namakam and Chamakam Paath may be done in the following ways ----

(1) One Rudram or Shree Rudram - When Namakam is recited once and then the Chamakam is recited once.
(2) Ekaadash Rudram - Recital of whole Namakam 11 times, along with one Anuvaak of Chamakam at the end of each full Namakam, thus completing one Chamakam constitutes the Ekaadash Rudram.
(3) Laghu Rudram or Rudra Ekaadishinee - Recital of this Ekaadash Rudram (11 times or chanted by 11 Ritwik or Ritwij) is called one Laghu Rudram or Rudra Ekaadashinee.
(4) Mahaa Rudram - Recital of 11 Laghu Rudram chanted by 11 Ritwik, is called one Mahaa Rudram. Or
chanting of 1 Laghu Rudram 121 times OR
chanting of 1 Laghu Rudram 11 times by 11 Ritwik is called Mahaa Rudram)
(5) Ati Rudram - Recital of Mahaa Rudram for 11 consecutive days by the same Ritwik is called one Ati Rudram.

Therefore, in Ati Rudram 14,641 Rudram include 14,641 Namakam and 1331 Chamakam chanted by 121 Ritwik for 11 days. Simultaneously with Rudraabhishek, Rudra Hom are conducted by these 121 priests well versed in Vaidik rituals in 11 Hom Kund erected for the purpose. A Ling is being installed especially for the purpose of conducting Rudraabhishekam daily. Side by side the Rudra Paaraayan and Rudra Hom, other related rituals such as Sree Saai Gaayatree Hom, Lingaabhishek Poojaa, Kram Archanaa Paaraayan and Tarpan are also to be performed.

This Mahaa Yagya is being performed for Lok Kalyaan and good of all mankind as well as to ensure universal peace and prosperity.

Types of Rudram
1. Ordinary Rudram where first the whole Rudram is recited and then he whole Chamakam is recited.
2. Rudra Ekaadashinee, where after chanting Rudram, the first Anuvaak of Chamakam is chanted. Again after chanting Rudram the second Anuvaak of Chamakam is chanted and so on till the eleventh chanting of Rudram followed by eleventh Anuvaak of Chamakam.
3. Laghu Rudram, where Rudra Ekaadashinee is chanted eleven times
4. Mahaa Rudram, where Laghu Rudram is chanted eleven times
5. Ati Rudram, where Mahaa Rudram is chanted eleven times

Meanings of Rudram Chamakam
In the famous Rudra Adhyaaya of the Yajur Ved, we have a majestic, universalized description of Lord Shiv, a chant which we are accustomed to everyday in Shiv Temples. Only those who know what Sanskrit is, what the Ved are and what the worship is, can appreciate what this Shat Rudreeya chant also is. It is one of the most powerful prayers ever conceived by the human mind. It is filled with a threefold meaning. According to Hindu culture, everything is threefold - objective , subjective and universal. Everything in the world, from the smallest to the biggest, has an objective character, a subjective character and an universal character. Objectively you are something, subjectively you are another thing and universally you are a third thing. It all depends upon from what point of view you interpret a particular thing, person or object. When you objectively interpret a thing, it looks one thing; when you subjectively analyze it, it is another thing; and from the universal point of view, it is something third altogether.

Likewise, this Mantra, the Shat Rudreeya of the Yajur Ved, a hymn to Lord Shiv, has an objective meaning, a subjective meaning and a divine, supreme, supramental, universal meaning. Objectively, it is a prayer for the control of the forces of nature. Subjectively, it is a prayer for self-control and the rousing of the spiritual consciousness. Universally, it is a surge of the soul towards God-realization. It has an Adhi-Bhautik, Adhi-Daivik and Adhyaatmik meaning, as we usually put it. The Ved, the Mantra of the Ved, are filled with such threefold or fourfold meaning, hence it is difficult to understand the full meaning of any Mantra of the Ved. "Anant Vai Vedah" - Infinite meanings are the meanings of the Ved Mantra. It has no end at all - it is mathematics, it is chemistry, it is physics, it is Aayur Ved, it is psychology, it is metaphysics, it is philosophy, it is spirituality, it is meditation, it is love, it is ecstasy. You will find everything in every Mantra of the Ved. All depends upon how you look upon it, how you feel it. A person can be a father, he may be a brother, he may be a son, he may be a friend, but all the while he is one and the same person. Attitudes are different on account of various relationships connected. So the Rudra Adhyaaya is before us, a majestic prayer for world-peace, international- peace, subjective peace, universal peace and God-Consciousness.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 03/20/13