मा नस्तोके तनये मा न आयुषि मा नो गोषु मा नो अश्वेषु रीरिषः।
वीरान् मा नो रुद्र भीमतो वधीः हविष्मन्तो नमसा विधेम ते॥
mā nastoke tanaye mā na āyuṣi mā no goṣu mā no aśveṣu rīriṣaḥ |
vīrān mā no rudra bhīmato vadhīḥ haviṣmanto namasā vidhema te || (10.6)
O Rudra! Protect our children, our descendants, our lives, our cattle and horses. Do not kill our brave men. We offer you oblations and we surrender unto you.
Repetition of this mantra gives longevity and relief from flagitious sins.
It is a prayer to Rudra seeking His Grace and invoking His Blessings to protect our children in order to uphold our lineage. Our sages and saints never prayed for themselves alone. They also prayed for the longevity of their cattle and the entire society they live in. Brave men means those who protect a village or soldiers of battle field. By constantly serving Him and surrendering unto Him, these prayers are made. Oblations here means, offerings made in Rudra homa, which has become famous only because of these types of selfless prayers. Offerings are also explained as different ways in spiritual path such as listening to hymns, mantras and verses in His praise (such as Śrī Rudram) and does not necessarily mean homa.
आरात् ते ग्रोघ्न उत पूरुषघ्ने क्षयद्वीराय सुम्नमस्मे ते अस्तु।
रक्षां च नो अधि च देव ब्रूह्यधा च नः शर्म यच्छ द्विबर्हाः ॥
ārāt te groghna uta pūruṣaghne kṣayadvīrāya sumnamasme te astu |
rakṣāṁ ca no adhi ca deva brūhyadhā ca naḥ śarma yaccha dvibarhāḥ || (10:7)
This mantra gives longevity, health and wealth.
Your frightening form destroys us, our lineage, our animals and our community and its warriors (group of people living together as community such as a village, town, etc.). (We don’t want that form of yours.) Please bless and guard us with Your felicitous form and shower Your Grace for both material happiness and the ultimate emancipation.
He has been already prayed to give us both material happiness and Liberation in the earlier anuvāka-s. It was discussed at that time, that material happiness is the foundation for spiritual life. But some of His devotees get addicted to material happiness alone. At that time, He hammers them like a sculptor hammering a rock to get a desired idol. Rudra makes such devotes suffer by withdrawing all the material comforts to make him pursue the spiritual path that is conducive to attain Him (Liberation). It can be observed that one’s spiritual life normally begins only from his or her middle age (between 40 and 50 years of age) due to this factor. Dvibarha mean two paths, one is material progress and another is Liberation.
Living a comfortable life with our earnings is absolutely fine. We have to pursue karma yoga to move forward to jñāna yoga, which is the right path to Liberation. As long as material life and spiritual life are perfectly balanced, Rudra will ensure that we are adequately protected. When we stray away from the spiritual path by succumbing to the pleasures of the material world, He interferes with His devotees and correct their path by withdrawing pleasures of their material life. These two paths are presided over by His terrible form and auspicious form respectively. Dhyāna verse for this mantra says that His auspicious form is His (cosmic) dance with His Consort Pārvatī.
स्तुहि श्रुतं गर्तसदं युवानं मृगं न भिममुपहत्नुमुग्रम्।
मृडा जरित्रे रुद्र स्तवानः अन्यं ते अस्मन्नि वयन्तु सेनाः॥
stuhi śrutaṁ gartasadaṁ yuvānaṁ mṛgaṁ na bhimamupahatnumugram |
mṛḍā jaritre rudra stavānaḥ anyaṁ te asmanni vayantu senāḥ || (10:8)
O mind! Praise Him as the famous youth seated on a chariot and is within our hearts (as the Self); as the one who remains ferocious, like a wild beast for the sinners and ultimately destroy them. O Rudra! Having praised you, be compassionate to us. Let your Rudragaṇa-s destroy the sinners and not us (the virtuous ones).
This mantra destroys desires and attachments.
Shiva is not only ferocious, but also compassionate. Taittirīya Upaniṣad (III.viii.1) says, “The wind blows out of fear for Him (the Brahman). The sun also shines out of fear. Out of fear, fire, Indra, death all rush to do their respective duties.” He is a strict disciplinarian, yet highly compassionate in nature. They are said to be eleven in number and a few texts say they are thirty three in number. Eleven Rudra-s are Hara, Bahurūpa, Tryambaka, Aparājita, Vṛṣākapi, Śaṁbhu, Kapardī, Raivata, Mṛgavyādha, Śarva and Kapālī. Rudra forcibly leads this creation upwards. He puts down all those who arrogantly obstruct His courses and kills the evil opponents. Though, terrible, he is beneficent and compassionate to the distressed. Repeated prayers are not only for the self and his or her family, but also for the entire community. That is why Rudra yajñā-s is done in the presence of many. Power of prayers is conveyed through this mantra. A devotee has already praised Rudra through these mantras and now he or she shares his or her wishes to the Lord with expectations that He would fulfil them. He also obliges His devotes, subject to his karmic account.
Following is reproduced from the introductory chapter of this series.
1. One recitation of Śrī Rudram followed by one recitation of 11 stanzas of Camakam (here also, 11th anuvāka has extension). This is called ordinary or general recitation.
2. One recitation of Śrī Rudram (all the 11 anuvāka-s) followed by first anuvāka of Camakam, again full recitation of Śrī Rudram followed by second anuvāka Camakam and so on. Thus, there will be 11 repetitions of Śrī Rudram. This is known as rudraikādaśinī (रुद्रैकादशिनी).
3. If rudraikādaśinī is done 11 times, it is known as laghurudram.
4. If laghurudram is done 11 times, it is known as mahārudrm.
5. If mahārudrm is done 11 times (14,641 times), it is known as athirudram.
परि नो रुद्रस्य हेतिर्वृणक्तु परि त्वेषस्य दुर्मतिरघायोः।
अव स्थिरा मघवद्भ्यस्तनुष्व मीढ्वस्तोकाय तनयाय मृडय॥
pari no rudrasya hetirvṛṇaktu pari tveṣasya durmatiraghāyoḥ |
ava sthirā maghavadbhyastanuṣva mīḍhvastokāya tanayāya mṛḍaya || (10:9)
Let your weaponries do not cause us pains. Let your famous wrath and shining and controlled intellect spare us. O Rudra! You always take care of your devotees and fulfil their desires. We worship you through Rudra yajñā-s. Please do not use your destructing weapons against us. Please give us happiness and to our sons and daughters (progeny).
This is one of the prayers of His devotee. He or she prays to Him with a request not to destroy us, though Rudra knows who are to be troubled and who are to be blessed. He always takes care of His devotees, by fulfilling all their desires – both material and spiritual. A mention is made that He is worshiped through Rudra yajñā-s, as discussed in the previous mantra. Such yajñā-s please Rudra and the devotee prays for the happiness of his family.