Rudrashtakam (Sanskrit: रुद्राष्टकम्, Rudrāṣṭakam) is a Sanskrit devotional composition to Rudra, an epithet of Shiva. It was composed by the Hindu Bhakti poet Tulsidas (Sanskrit: तुलसीदास). Tulsidas composed this prayer in the late fifteenth century in what is now Uttar Pradesh and created many other literary pieces including the magnum opus Ramcharitmanas.
Rudrashtakam appears in the Uttara Kand of the Ramcharitmanas, where the sage Lomasha composed the hymn to propitiate Shiva. His main purpose was to set his pupil free from the curse of Shiva. He succeeded and asked also a second favour; that in the next life, his pupil would be the bird, Kakabhushundi, a devotee of Rama and an excellent teller of the life story of Rama.
This is composed in Bhujangaprayāt chhanda and Jagati meter which consists of 12 letters in each of the four stages having only YAGANA four times in single verse consists of 48 letters.[clarification needed]
The term "Astakam" is derived from the Sanskrit word aṣṭan, meaning "eight". An astakam is made up of eight stanzas.
In Rudrashtakam, each stanza is written in Jagati meter, and hence contains 48 syllables per stanza. Each line is written in the Bhujangaprayāt chhand, containing four groups of light-heavy-heavy syllables (।ऽऽ ।ऽऽ ।ऽऽ ।ऽऽ).
An astakam belong to the genre of lyric poetry, which tends to be short, extremely melodic, and contemplative. It reflects and portrays the poet's own feelings, states of mind, and perceptions about the theme or character in the Astakam.
The Rudrashtakam narrates the qualities and deeds of Rudra.
The body of the Rudrashtakam includes many qualities, attributes and motifs associated with Shiva, including the destruction of Tripura, the annihilation of Kamadeva, etc. These symbols and motifs related to the life and deeds of Rudra.
See Sanskrit for details of pronunciation.
|॥ श्री रुद्राष्टकम् ॥
|.. Śri Rudrāṣṭakam..
|Eight Stanzas on Rudra
|O Lord, O' Īśāna! I prostrate before thee
|Who is the embodiment of Nirvāṇa bliss
|Who is omni-present
|brahma veda svarūpaṃ,
|Who is knowledge of the Brahman in reality and totality/ Who is origin of Brahma, the originator and of the Veda
|Who is ever dwelling in his own self,
|Who is quality-less, beyond attributes/ origin of every (3) qualities, hence cannot be measured by standards of qualities
|Who is immutable
|Who is dispassionate, desireless
|Who is immeasurable like the sky, and Who dwells in the sky.
|भजेऽहम् ॥ १ ॥
|bhāje'haṃ .. 1 ..
|The root of Om
|Always in stateless Turiya – The fourth and most sublime state of existence
|Gira == Vani, Voice words / Mount Kailash
|ज्ञान गोतीतम् ईशम्
|jñāna gotītaṃ īśaṃ
|Who is beyond the scope of voice, knowledge and words/ origin of Vani, Gyan, Words etc.
|The ruler of Mount Kailash/ God of mount Kailash
|महाकाल कालम् ।
|Destroyer of Death/ Mahakaal is when the entire universe dies and He is the destroyer of that Mahakaal
|benevolent and compassionate
|Who is the treasury of all qualities
|beyond the Samsara, the mundane universe
|नतोऽहम् ॥ २ ॥
|nato'haṃ .. 2 ..
|Like a snowy white mountain
|(His) face is sweet
|Fair and resplendent / Fair like a snowy mountain (tusharadri = snowy mountain (tushar+adri), sankash = like, gauram = Fair/ white)
|Who is profound / He is so deep that to understand Him one has to go to absolute depth of divinity
|Who is the mind of all beings/ elements
|Of immense splendor
|Beautiful bodied ( His beautiful body if of immense splendor)
|कल्लोलिनी चारु गङ्गा
|kallolinī cāru gaṅgā
|Wavy and enticing Ganges / sacred Ganges flows cheerfully from His shining forehead
|A youthful (crescent) moon / young moon is shining on His forehead
|कण्ठे भुजङ्गा ॥ ३ ॥
|kaṇṭhe bhujaṅgā.. 3 ..
|Snake garlands around the neck
|भ्रू सुनेत्रम् विशालम्
|bhrū sunetraṃ viśālaṃ
|With beautiful eyebrow and broad eyes
|happy countenance/ facial expression reveals satisfaction or peace
|blue throated one
|lion-skin around His waist / skin of God of deers, which is lion, is His garment
|सर्वनाथम् भजामि ॥ ४ ॥
|Sarvanāthaṃ bhajāmi.. 4 ..
|I meditate upon the Lord of the Universe. (sarva+natham = God of everything)
|Fierce / full of immeasurable energy
|Immense / Better than everything
|Mature and bold
|The supreme Lord
|Whole and Immeasurable
|Splendor of a billion Suns
|Three kind of obstacles in human life – 1. Physical 2. Divine/Devil / 3. Environmental
|One who does not have any origin or One who removes from root (terminates all three kinds of issues from root of it)
|I pray the holder of the trident
|The divine consort of Bhavani
|भावगम्यम् ॥ ५ ॥
|bhāvagamyaṃ.. 5 ..
|One who is achieved easily through emotions (devotion)
|Timeless, beyond time and death (it's कलातीत i.e. one who is having command on all forms of art, the one from whom art takes birth)
|The terminator of Kalpas - The destroyer (Kalpa = when our universe dies)
|sadā sajjanānanda dātā
|Always blissful and giver of boons to righteous
|The enemy of the Puras – The destroyer of Tripura (mythology)
|चिदानंद संदोह मोहापहारी
|cidānaṃdā saṃdohā mohāpahārī
|Who is eternal bliss, and Who absolves abundant passion (absorbs happiness which comes from materialistic wishes)
|Be pleased with me.
|प्रभो मन्मथारी॥ ६ ॥
|prabho manmathārī.. 6 ..
|Lord, the destroyer of Kamadeva
|Those who do not / until or unless
|The lotus feet of Umanath
|लोके परे वा
|loke pare vā
|In the universe
|न तावत् ।
|Not their / till then men will not get
|Happiness and peace
|प्रभो सर्वभूताधिवासम् ॥ ७ ॥
|prabho sarvabhūtādhivāsaṃ.. 7 ..
|O’ Lord! The Lord of all beings/ elements
|I don’t know
|I always bow
|O shambhu, the bliss-giver
|Birth and life
|Immense sorrows of mundane life and existence
|Pangs of pain and agony
|I am saluting You, O Lord!
|शम्भो ॥ ८ ॥
|Śambho.. 8 ..
|रुद्राष्टकम् इदम् प्रोक्तम् विप्रेण हर तोषये । (this Brahman, tulsidas, has written Rudrashtakam to praise/ satisfy Har (Shiva))
ये पठन्ति नरा भक्त्या तेषाम् शम्भुः प्रसीदति॥ (whoever men will read this with intense devotion, O Shambhu please be propitious to them)
See also edit
- Shiv Chalisa, verse dedicated to Shiva