नमो रुद्रायाऽऽतताविने क्षेत्राणां पतये नमः॥

namo rudrāyā''tatāvine kṣetrāṇāṁ pataye namaḥ || (2:7)

Meaning: Salutation to the one who protects with His bow. Salutation to the one who protects all the fields.

Notes: He protects all those who pursue righteous path. How He protects them by removing the pains of transmigration. Kṣetrāṇāṁ pataye means protector of land or soil, which here means the universe. Kṛṣṇa explains kṣetra in Bhagavad Gītā (XIII.4). “The concept of kṣetra and kṣetrajña (individual bodies) has been explained differently by sages. This has also been explained in different Vedic verses. Brahmasūtra has conclusively proved this with logical reasoning.” Kṣetra and kṣetrajña are also explained as the gross body and the soul. Bhagavad Gītā chapter XIII dwells at length about kṣetra and kṣetrajña.

This mantra talks about three types of protections. The place we live in, our body and our souls are protected by Rudra. Anuvāka 1:1 said that bow is the aim of action. Here His action refers to the protection of those who follow righteous path.

नमः सूतायाहन्त्याय वनानां पतये नमः॥

namaḥ sūtāyāhantyāya vanānāṁ pataye namaḥ || (2:8)

Meaning: Salutations to the charioteer, the one who cannot he destroyed by enemies and the Lord of the forest.

Notes: Though it may appear that all the three attributes are not interrelated, subtle conveyance correlates them. Charioteer refers to all the beings (His creations) and He drives the chariot containing beings, to the world of delight (abundance), which means mokṣa. As a charioteer He cannot be destroyed. It is worthwhile in knowing this from Bhagavad Gītā (VIII. 3 – 5) “Brahman is Supreme and indestructible. Individual soul is adhyātma. The force that unfolds itself for creation, sustenance and dissolution of all the beings is called karma. All perishable objects are adhibhūta. The essence of each being is adhidaiva. I am Adhiyajña, remaining as a witness in this body.  He, who departs from the body thinking Me alone at the time of his death, attains My state and there is no doubt about it.”

नमो रोहिताय स्थपतये वृक्षाणां पतये नमः॥

namo rohitāya sthapataye vṛkṣāṇāṁ pataye namaḥ || (2:9)

Meaning: Salutation to the one, who is red in appearance. Sthapati has multiple meanings - a king, chief, governor, head official, an architect and master builder. In what context it is used here is difficult to interpret. He is the Lord of trees. Salutations to Him.  

Notes: Rohita also means bestower of speech. It is said that letters originated from Shiva’s ḍamru. This way, it can be explained that He is the origin of speech. If rohita is taken to mean red, then it refers to His nourishing activities. In Lalitā Sahasranāma, Lalitāmbikā is often described as red in complexion, where Her red complexion is described as compassion for the beings. The same meaning is applicable here as well. Rudra is compassionate to those who follow the path of dharma. The next word sthapati also confirms that He is compassionate, as sthapati subtly conveys that He is the nourisher. Trees also include herbs. This is explained in Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.i.2) which says, “From the Self comes space, from space air, from air, fire, from fire water, from water earth, from earth plants and herbs, from plants and herbs food and from food human beings.” He nourishes the beings with pañcabhūta-s.

नमो मन्त्रिणे वाणिजाय कक्षाणां पतये नमः।

namo mantriṇe vāṇijāya kakṣāṇāṁ pataye namaḥ | (2.10)

Meaning: Salutations to the one who is the chief of all mantras/secret knowledge. Vāṇija means a trader. He is the Lord of all traders/trade. Vāṇī means speech, language, words, diction, sound, voice, music. This means that He presides over speech, etc. (mantras and sound are interrelated). Kakṣa means hidden place and in those places also, He nourishes the plants and animals.

Notes: It is important to note that all these mantras end with pataye namaḥ, which means salutation to the Lord. Hence Śrī Rudram is also known as namaka hymn (hymns containing many namaḥ-s)

Śrī Rudram says that He is the Lord of every action that happens in the world. This mantra says that He is the chief of all mantra. Dakṣiṇāmūrti, one of the forms of Shiva is the author of many mantras. Shiva is also called Ādiguru or the first Guru. Rudra also presides over trade and traders. He is omnipresent and is present in all the places, including hidden places. Hidden places also mean secretive places, which indirectly refers to mantras, as mantras are considered as highly secretive in nature. He is the Lord of all traders as He presides over all the trades. If vāṇī is considered as speech, then He presides over Vedas, Upaniṣad-s, Purāna-s, hymns, sacred verses, etc. There are some places still not explored by humanity. He presides over those places as well. He presides over all the worlds, not just the earth. Those places not explored by humanity are referred here as kakṣa. There is also another interpretation. Just like a trader makes available, goods from remote places to everyone, Rudra makes secret knowledge of mantras available to everyone.

नमो भुवन्तये वारिवस्कृतायौषधीनां पतये नमः॥

namo bhuvantaye vārivaskṛtāyauṣadhīnāṁ pataye namaḥ || (2:11)

Meaning: Bhuvana means mankind. Salutations to the one who sustains the universe (which includes mankind) and to the one who gives us riches. He is the Lord of herbs.

Notes: Herbs are also medicinal plants and this way, He is the curer of all ailments) and hence He is also known as Vaidīśvaran (Chief of doctors). He gives both material riches and spiritual riches to the mankind.

नम उच्चैर्घोषायाऽऽक्रन्दयते पत्तीनां पतये नमः॥

nama uccairghoṣāyā''krandayate pattīnāṁ pataye namaḥ || (2:12)

Meaning: Salutation to the Lord whose devotees shout (shout is prayers). Salutations to the destroyer of enemy forces and blesses His devotees. Salutations to the Lord of soldiers on foot.

Notes: There are several things said in this mantra. Devotees always praise him loudly. This sound is reverberating even in the sky. He destroys enemy forces in order to protect His devotees. A true devotee always faces multiple obstacles and these obstacles are known as enemies of a spiritual seeker. He does not hesitate to annihilate such evil forces in order to protect His devotee. Such evil forces are destroyed by His attendants Rudragaṇa-s (His attendants, who control various forces to sustain the universe and to uphold dharma). They are called soldiers on foot. He presides over Rudragaṇa-s.

नमःकृत्स्नवीताय धावते सत्वनां पतये नमः॥

namaḥkṛtsnavītāya dhāvate satvanāṁ pataye namaḥ || (2:13)

Meaning: Salutations to the One who is omnipresent, who runs to protect His devotees and the Lord who always blesses good beings.

Notes: This is the last mantra of this anuvāka. He is both static energy and kinetic energy, hence He is called omnipresent. As static energy, He is the cause of creation and as kinetic energy, He goes to different places and blesses His devotees. The concept of Shiva and Shakti is conveyed here subtly. As the Supreme Lord, He performs pañcakṛtya. Rudra brings about the universe by His own Free Will and not by extraneous powers.  The universe is already contained in Him implicitly and He makes it explicit through His powers. Even in a soul, He does the five kṛtya-s.  He does the five-fold act of manifesting, relishing, thinking out, settling of the seed and dissolution. One fails to recognise His own powers (five kṛtya-s), because of ignorance (kṛtya means to be performed).

In this anuvāka, His various attributes such as grace, protection, blessings, etc. are discussed. Great emphasis is laid on His Grace and compassion on His devotees.

End of anuvāka 2