Anuvāka 4

This anuvāka consists of 17 mantras, like the previous anuvāka. If this anuvāka is repeatedly chanted, it cures serious illness. This anuvāka praises Rudra’s Supreme qualities.

नम आव्याधिनीभ्यो विविध्यन्तीभ्यश्च वो नमः॥

nama āvyādhinībhyo vividhyantībhyaśca vo namaḥ || (4:1)


Salutation to your power in different forms which strike powerfully from all sides. Salutations to you Rudra.


This mantra explains the Supremacy of Rudra in every aspect. Different forms mean different Rudragaṇa-s. They strike sinner from all sides in order to uphold dharma. Sinners are tolerated only to a certain extent. When they cross the limits, which in turn affect the natural balance between dharma and adharma, Rudragaṇa-s destroy those who are indulged in adharma.

There is a possibility to call these powers of Rudra as Śakti-s and these Śakti-s are explained in the next mantra. This is based on the fact that Rudra is inert without His Śakti. Saundaryalaharī (verse 1) says, “Śiva becomes inert without Śaktī. When Śiva is not united with Śaktī, He cannot manifest the universe. Because of Her functional nature, Divine Mother becomes supremely important.” Based on this fact, His Powers can be construed as feminine in nature, which is authenticated in the next mantra.

नम उग्णाभ्यस्तृहतीभ्यश्च वो नमः॥

nama ugṇābhyastṛhatībhyaśca vo namaḥ || (4:2)


Ugṇa is explained as Saptamātā or seven mothers and they are Brāhmaṇī, Kaumārī, Māheśvarī, Vaiṣṇavī, Vārāhī, Indrajā and Cāmunḍā. Each of these Śakti-s preside over certain qualities and if these qualities are in excess, they curb these qualities. Salutation to you Rudra who imbibes in Saptamātā-s. In other words, Rudra manifests in the form of Saptamātā-s. Salutations to Him.


Paraśakti is said to be in the form of a deity called Yogeśvarī, the goddess of desire.  There are eight mothers (aṣṭa māta-s), representing eight different human qualities.  They are 1. Yogeśvarī representing desire, 2. Māheśvarī for anger, 3. Vaiṣṇavī for greed, 4. Brāhmaṇī for passion, 5. Kalyāṇī for bewilderment, 6. Indrajā for envy, 7. Vārāhī for disdain and 8. Yamadaṇḍā for death.  Aṣṭa māta-s also refer to eight veins on both sides of human neck.

Saptamātā-s as said earlier, control the respective qualities in His devotees so that harmonious existence is possible for His devotees. Material life is the foundation for spiritual life.

How beautifully He protects His devotees by exercising proper control over them.

नमो गृसेभ्यो गृत्सपतिभ्यश्च वो नमः॥

namo gṛsebhyo gṛtsapatibhyaśca vo namaḥ || (4:3)


There are two different meanings for this mantra.

1. Salutations to those who are greedy and salutation to you, who is the chief of all greedy people.

2, Salutations to those who are wise and lead a highly dedicated life to Him. Salutations to Rudra, who is the chief of all such devotees with (spiritual) intelligence.


These two meanings convey that He presides over senses, which in turn make the people greedy and simultaneously, He tames them and make them to pursue spiritual path by endowing them with knowledge. He is both the cause and effect.

नमो व्रातेभ्यो व्रातपतिभ्यश्च वो नमः॥

namo vrātebhyo vrātapatibhyaśca vo namaḥ || (4:4)


Salutations to you in the form of various kinds of people and as the chief of all such classes, salutation to you.


Different kinds of people mean, people living in different places and different climatic conditions or people doing different classes or work. Broadly, people are classified based upon their knowledge and this classification is known as varṇa*.

Vṛtti means mode of life or conduct, course of action, behaviour, moral conduct, etc. Different people follow different codes of conduct. Rudra pervades in everyone, who follow different codes of conduct and also He is the chief of different groups of people and salutations to Him.

Further reading*: Varṇāśrama means the order of life as expounded in Vedās.  Veda-s classify people based upon their knowledge and capabilities.  For example, soldiers are needed to protect borders of countries, agriculturists are needed to grow grains for consumption to make a living, traders are needed to buy requirements, and priests are needed to perform rituals.  Veda-s say that the classification is not based upon their birth, but on the ability of a person to perform certain duties.  It would not be logical to expect a trader to protect borders effectively.  Therefore the inclination, capacity, knowledge and experience are the parameters by which a person is classified.  Such classifications are applicable only to the human race.  Since She is not different from Veda-s and all the Veda-s originated from Her, it is said that She has made these classifications.

Having created the universe, She also created the Veda-s to effectively administer the universe. Veda-s lay down rules and regulations to be followed in a human life. Path shown by Veda-s is known as dharma or righteousness. If one trespasses prescribed righteousness by Veda-s, he gets afflicted by karma-s that leads to several transmigrations.

Kṛṣṇa explains this in Bhagavad Gīta. “The duties are allocated according to guṇa-s springing from their own nature (XVIII.41). Each one attentive to his own duty, he gains the highest success.  How far one is devoted to his inborn duty, thus far he attains success (XVIII.45). If I did not perform actions in a balanced way, the universe would be annihilated and I would be the cause of improper admixture of duties (III.24).”

नमो गणेभ्यो गणपतिभ्यश्च वो नमः॥

namo gaṇebhyo gaṇapatibhyaśca vo namaḥ || (4:5)


Salutations to Rudragaṇa-s and their chief, Rudra. Rudragaṇa-s are Rudra’s attendants.


Gaṇapati, commonly known as Gaṇeśa is said to be the leader of a class or troop or assemblage of gaṇa-s, who are explained as troops or classes of inferior deities.
Each of them attends to one work of creation and sustenance. Hence they are also called inferior deities. Gaṇapati, who is the leader of such gaṇa-s is invoked before commencing any auspicious things.

नमो विरुपेभ्यो विश्वरूपेभ्यश्च नमः॥

namo virupebhyo viśvarūpebhyaśca namaḥ || (4:6)


Salutation to the One who in the form of unnatural and distorted forms and also in the form of various shapes and forms such as human, animals, birds, etc.


Virūpa means deformed or unnatural. Viśvarūpa means omnipresent, manifold nature of Brahman. The Brahman has different forms and shapes as the Brahman exists in every living and non-living being in this universe.  In the case of non-living beings, they do not have souls and hence no action takes place on their own.  There is no place in the universe, where the Brahman does not exist.  The creation takes place first in the form of total darkness.  From this darkness intellect arises.  From intellect the ego and this ego gives rise to the modifications of the five elements which ultimately creates lives in this universe.

In Bhagavad Gīta (XI.16), Arjuna addresses Kṛṣṇa, “Oh! Lord of the universe, I see you endowed with numerous arms, bellies, mouths and eyes and having innumerable forms extended on all sides.  I see neither your beginning, nor middle and nor even your end, manifested as you are in the form of universe.”  Viśvarūpā is used here to mean Kṛṣṇa’s manifestation in the form of whole universe.