Anuvāka 6

Anuvāka 6 has 15 mantras and discusses more about the inner soul and His omnipresence.

नमो ज्येष्ठाय च कनिष्ठाय च

namo jyeṣṭhāya ca kaniṣṭhāya ca (6:1)


Salutations to the One, who is oldest and youngest.


Rudra is beyond time and space. He is the first one in the universe and the youngest one in the universe. Śiva is known as Manonmana.  The supra mental śaktī of Paramaśiva in its primal movement towards manifestation, though inseparable from Him is known as unmanā or unmanī.  This is beyond time and space and is immeasurable.

Viṣṇu Sahasranāma 67 is Jyeṣṭhaḥ. Jyeṣṭha means pre-eminence, first, etc.  He created Himself on His own. Nobody created Him and every other thing originated from Him. Chāndogya Upaniṣad explains this nāma in relation to the previous two nāma-s. The Upaniṣad (V.i.1) says:

यो ह वै ज्येष्ठं च श्रेष्ठं च वेद ज्येष्ठश्च ह वै श्रेष्ठश्च भवति प्राणो वाव ज्येष्ठश्च श्रेष्ठश्च॥

yo ha vai jyeṣṭhaṁ ca śreṣṭhaṁ ca veda jyeṣṭhaśca ha vai śreṣṭhaśca bhavati prāṇo vāva jyeṣṭhaśca śreṣṭhaśca ||

The meaning is – He who knows the oldest and the best, becomes the oldest and the best. When one knows the Self, he becomes That.  It is prāṇa, which is the oldest and the best. It subtly conveys that prāṇa is the earliest creation of the Brahman.

Sanaka, Sana, Sanatkumāra, and Sanāndana are the four great sages who were initiated by Dakṣiṇāmūrti.  There was a huge banyan tree under which was seated young Dakṣiṇāmūrti with his aged disciples mentioned above.  The banyan tree is the symbolic manifestation of macrocosm from microcosm.  From a tiny seed of banyan, a huge tree of banyan grows. This is compared to the formation of gross from subtle. Initiation took place without any words being exchanged. Kaniṣṭha could mean His Dakṣiṇāmūrti form.  

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (X.33), “I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all creations.”

नमः पूर्वजाय चापरजाय च

namaḥ pūrvajāya cāparajāya ca (6:2)


Salutations to the first born and the one who is presiding over the last moments of death.


He is both Hiraṇyagarbha and Kālarātrī.

Brahman has four distinctive states. They are avyakṭā, Iśvarā, hiraṇyagarbha also known as sūtrātma and virāṭ. The first state is avyakṭā, the unmanifest stage. This is also known as turya stage, beyond the three normal stages of consciousness. The next state is Iśvarā. This state is the cause of the universe and is associated with māyā. The third state is hiraṇyagarbha, which binds the universe together like a thread.  The final state is virāṭ, transfiguration of the divine happens that is visible to our eyes.  The virāṭ is also known as vaiśvānarā, meaning relating or belonging to all men, omnipresent, known or worshipped, everywhere, universal, general, common, etc. From that Supreme Brahman, also known as Parabrahman originate aparābrahman (second in hierarchy, next to Parabrahman), which is known as hiraṇyagarbha or saguṇabrahman. Parabrahman is also known as Nirguṇabrahman or without attributes. Material world originates from Saguṇabrahman. Cessation from transmigration happens after an individual soul merges with the Nirguṇabrahman. For this one has to attain the highest level of spiritual knowledge. Hiraṇy means gold and hiraṇya also means gold.  Vedānta Paribhāsā a 17th century Scripture explains hiraṇyagarbha. It says “Hiraṇyagarbha is the first soul to be born.”  The subtle body consisting of the five vital forces, the mind, the intellect and the ten organs is produced from the five basic elements.  This paves the way for the soul to experience the result of actions or in other words it causes karma-s. The subtle body is of two kinds, superior and inferior.  The superior one is the subtle body of hiraṇyagarbha and the inferior is the subtle body of living beings.  The subtle body of hiraṇyagarbha is called as mahat or the cosmic intellect and the subtle body of living beings is called ego.

It is said that Kālarātrī devi was born out of tamo guṇa of Rudra who is described like this. “She is three eyed, whose lustre is like that of rising sun, whose plaits are loose and dishevelled, who is in black garments, who holds in her four hands Liṅga, Bhuvana, truncheon and boon, who is brilliant with the lustre of different kinds of ornaments, who is cheerful and is served by the group of deva-s and whose body is torn and bruised by the arrows of the mind-born lord of love.”  Recitation of her mantra causes destruction of one’s enemies.  She is also said to be a form of Durgā. It is also said that on the eve of one’s death, this devi appears in dream bespeaking the death. Kālarātrī also refers to a particular night in the life of a man on the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventy-seventh year, after which period a man is exempt from attending to ordinances prescribed by dharma śāstra-s.

नमो मध्यमाय चापगल्भाय च

namo madhyamāya cāpagalbhāya ca (6:3)


Salutations to the One, who is in the middle, middlemost, intermediate, central (madhyama); apagalbha means wanting in maturity.


He is not only old (eternal), but also middle aged and young. This mantra says that He prevails in all the stages of a man, old, middle aged, and young and even at the time of death.

नमो जघन्याय च बुध्नियाय च

namo jaghanyāya ca budhniyāya ca (6:4)


Salutations to Him, who is in the form of animals and trees.


Every being has Him as the inner soul. He is omnipresent. Bhagavad Gītā (XI) says, “You are the abode of this universe, eternal, both manifest and unmanifest and much beyond these both too.  You are primordial, the ancient and the ultimate resort of this universe.  You are both knowledge and the knower.  It is You, who permeate this universe in different shapes and forms. You are Vāyu, Yama, Agni, Varuṇa, Moon, Brahmā, no, the father of Brahmā himself. You are limitless in power and omnipresent”.

नमः सोभ्याय च प्रतिसर्याय च

namaḥ sobhyāya ca pratisaryāya ca (6:5)


Salutations to the One, who is in the form of human beings and in the form of other living beings.


He is in the form of human beings who have both puṇya and pāpa (merits and sins). As already discussed Rudra is both good and bad. He is the self (individual soul) both in the meritorious and sinners. Hence, He is omnipresent. Sobha also means gandharvas, who normally live in the sky, or the region of the air and the heavenly waters. There is a separate world for them. He is present in gandharvas also. Sobha also means amulets, which are worn for protection. Normally, homa bhasma (ash from fire rituals) is stuffed in amulets and worn. Sometimes, rare herbs are also stuffed in amulets for protection. He is in the form of these amulets, offering protection. Pratisarya means present in amulets.

नमो याम्याय च क्षेम्याय च

namo yāmyāya ca kṣemyāya ca (6:6)


Salutations to the One, who is present in Yama loka (hell) and heaven.


Yama is the lord of death. He is known for his dharma and said to be an embodiment of dharma. Since Rudra is the Lord of Yama, worshipping Rudra will remove the fear of death. Hence Śrī Rudram is considered as very important in Vedas. It also means that He is in the form of our ancestors who are in Yama loka. Yama too does not operate on his own. He causes death according to one’s karmic account, as per the Law of Karma prescribed by Him.

Rudra also presides over the heaven. Those ancestors go to heaven based on their karma. He is present both in heaven and hell. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.2) says, “Fearing Him, fire gives heat, the sun shines, Indra, Vāyu and Yama perform their duties.”

Further reading: There are nine witnesses to all our actions. They are sun, moon, the lord of death (Yama), time (kala) and five basic elements ākāś, air, fire, water and earth.

Departed souls attain a different kind of subtle body and this is known as adhiṣṭhānadeha. When the soul leaves the body, it leaves along with the causal body and the human subtle body (mind) does not go with the causal body and the soul. In order to become mobile, the causal body gets adhiṣṭhānadeha, without which, the causal body cannot move in the heavens or hells. Adhiṣṭhānadeha is visible only to the eyes of Yama and his attendants. Rudra presides over the world of ancestors (pitṛloka), where adhiṣṭhānadeha-s sojourn and also move from one plane to another plane (plane means different lokas)

नमो उर्वर्याय च खल्याय च

namo urvaryāya ca khalyāya ca (6:7)


Salutations to the One, who is in the form paddy field and grains harvested from the land and also in the form of land where harvested grains are stored.


He is in the form of land, crops, grains, harvest, storing or harvested grains and fodder. Thus He prevails over the entire agricultural activities. Tattvabodha says that annamaya kośa is formed out of essence of the food (essence is created due to the digestive system), sustained by the essence of the food and is ultimately consumed to the earth, in which plants grow producing food grains. Rudra presides over grains.

नमः श्लोक्याय चावसान्याय च

namaḥ ślokyāya cāvasānyāya ca (6:8)


Salutations to the One, who is in the form of Vedas and the end of Vedas, Vedānta.


Vedānta is the end of Vedas. Vedānta is derived from Veda. Veda means knowledge and anta means conclusive.  Therefore Vedānta means conclusive knowledge. Vedānta is a philosophy that clears doubts about the Brahman. Knowledge here means not the worldly knowledge.  Worldly knowledge is materialistic in nature and is acquired for material prosperity.  Worldly knowledge is all about temporal and corporeal objects.  Spiritual knowledge is different from worldly knowledge. Spiritual knowledge deals with infinite and eternal Brahman. Vedānta says that spirituality alone leads to eternal joy and happiness, called as bliss. The first step to Vedānta is a simple question “who am I”.  Vedānta answers this question from different viewpoints.