शिवेन वचसा त्वा गिरिशाच्छा वदामसि।
यथा नः सर्वमिज्जगदयक्ष्मसुमना असत्॥
śivena vacasā tvā giriśācchā vadāmasi |
yathā naḥ sarvamijjagadayakṣmasumanā asat || (1:5)
We worship you directly with auspicious words in order to attain you, the Lord of Knowledge. Let the whole world be free of diseases and be healthy.
1:4 and 5 together form one single mantra. This mantra is said to free everyone from unnatural and premature death.
Greatness of Vedas lies in the fact that many of these mantras are for universal happiness and prosperity, as against individual benefits. Auspicious words here mean the prayers that we address to Him. Even Śrī Rudram, this way is considered as highly auspicious. Purpose of such auspicious prayers are meant for Liberation and not for any personal gains. That is why, the verse says that we chant this mantra in order to attain you. This could be referring to the stage of kaivalya. Kaivalya is the final stage of life of a living being. Nobody is there with that being during that time. He is all alone without any help around and he has to achieve on his own. This is the final stage of one’s evolution. The soul is about to leave its present body and getting ready to merge with the Brahman. Kaivalya is liberation or salvation and hence it is called the final stage. This final stage can be reached in two ways. One is the mundane stage associated with desires and attachments where soul gets ready for rebirth. The other stage is the stage of samādi, where the soul gets ready for its union with the Brahman not to be born again. This is kaivalya.
अध्यवोचदधिवक्ता प्रथमो दैव्यो भिषक्।
अहीश्च सर्वान् जम्भयन्त्सर्वाश्च यातुधान्यः॥
adhyavocadadhivaktā prathamo daivyo bhiṣak |
ahīśca sarvān jambhayantsarvāśca yātudhānyaḥ || (1:6)
O! Rudra! You are Supreme. You have the divine qualities of all gods. You are the healer of our pains (saṃsāra or transmigration); you are the one who forgives our sins and accept us; you protect us from snakes and other poisonous creatures.
Rudra is accepted as Supreme God (pradama); hence He is often called Rudra Shiva. He is considered Supreme not only because of His Powers, but also He represents all other gods, which also goes to prove that He is the Supreme Power. Pains here mean pains of experiencing of our karmas. When He pervades our mind, He ensures that further accrual of karmas cease. Karmas will continue to accrue as long as one does not surrender to Him (Self-realization). Protecting from snakes, etc., mean protecting us from demonic qualities such as greed, ego, jealousy, amorousness, etc. These are the qualities that act as major deterrent factors in our spiritual pursuit. If these deterrent factors are active, we continue to accrue our karmas, which results in pains, both mental and physical. Only by surrendering to Him, we get rid of such pains, hence He is worshiped as the healer of our pains. When we think about Him, all our ailments get cured.
असौ यस्ताम्रो अरुण उत बभ्रुः सुमङ्गलः।
ये चेमा रुद्रा अभितो दिक्षु श्रिताः सहस्रशोऽवैषाहेड ईमहे॥
asau yastāmro aruṇa uta babhruḥ sumaṅgalaḥ |
ye cemā rudrā abhito dikṣu śritāḥ sahasraśo'vaiṣāheḍa īmahe || (1:7)
Red like copper, in fact brighter than copper red, appearing like a golden hue, full of auspiciousness is this Rudra, who is like the sun. The entire world is pervaded by thousands of such Rudras and we pray for the pacification of their wrath.
A comparison is made to the rising sun which gives different colour at different moments of its rise and sun rise is considered as auspicious occasion. Every source of energy is considered as a Rudra and hence reference is made to thousands of Rudras. In other words, if we worship Rudra, it is equivalent to worshipping every single god who controls different activities of the universe. These Rudras are angry when one fails to follow his or her laid down path.
असौ योऽवसर्पति नीलग्रीवो विलोहितः।
उतैन गोपा अदृशन्न्दृशन्नुदहार्यः।
उतैनं विश्वा भूतानि स दृष्टो मृडयाति नः॥
asau yo'vasarpati nīlagrīvo vilohitaḥ |
utaina gopā adṛśanndṛśannudahāryaḥ |
utainaṁ viśvā bhūtāni sa dṛṣṭo mṛḍayāti naḥ || (1:8)
Rudra’s neck is blue and He alone rises as the red hued sun. He is worshiped by sheepherders and women carrying water in pots. Not only they, but all the beings see Him. Let this lord Rudra make us happy.
Recitation of this mantra causes rain.
Shiva’s neck is blue due to the poison He had taken. This goes to prove that there is a strong link between Purāṇic Shiva and Vedic Rudra. In this verse, sun is referred as Lord of all beings. Contextually, this verse refers to the setting sun, as the rising sun has already been worshiped in the previous verse. This is based on the word “avasara” which means descending. Sheepherders return home with their sheep and cattle after allowing the herds to graze for the whole day due to the grace of the sun. A prayer is made to Rudra to keep us happy, probably referring to peace and happiness in the night. Thus, His perpetual Grace is sought throughout the day and night. This also goes to prove that Rudra is omnipresent.