This anuvāka has 16 mantras. Recitation of this anuvāka gives knowledge, long life, wealth, health and progeny.
Further reading on Rudra: Rudra is the destroyer of miseries. Ru refers to pains arising out of miseries arising out of improper usage of sensory organs and dra means to disperse. Rudra means driving away miseries. Chāndogya Upaniṣad (III.13.3) says, “Rudra-s are connected with religious rites. The prāṇa-s are called Rudra-s because they make everyone in this world cry.”
The subtle form Rudra is the cosmic energy that is capable of destroying evil energies. The gross form of Rudra is a form of Śiva. He is known for perfect discipline. He destroys anything that obstructs the path of perfection. But for sure He is compassionate and merciful. The literal meaning of Rudra is moving around crying. As a matter of fact the cry of Rudra is the creation. Rudra also means the prāna or the life force (Chāndogya Upaniṣad III.16.3). When a child is born, it starts crying, only when it inhales prāṇa or the first breath. This is the exact time of birth of a child that should be noted for casting birth charts. Often, reference is made to eleven Rudra-s and they are called ekādaśa Rudra-s. They are in fact created from the Ardhanārīśvara form of Śiva and Śaktī (male-female combined form divided vertically). It is also said that Rudra was born out the third eye of Brahma, the lord of creation. Rudra is responsible for the union of individual soul with the Supreme soul by means of OM. Probably this is the reason why Rudra is called as the lord of death. The famous ‘tryambaka mantra’ of Śrī Rudram in Yajur Veda and Rig Veda conveys the following meaning. “Oh! The Lord of three worlds, bestower of grace, provider of fullness and strength, may I be detached from the bondage of death like a ripe cucumber (A ripe cucumber bursts and comes off from the plant automatically. There is no need for plucking) from shell, but not from immortality”. Shell means the physical body and seeds and pulp of the cucumber is compared to the soul. The verse seeks Rudra’s grace to prevent a pre-mature death. Immortality is not sought and cannot be sought also. This goes to prove that Rudra is not the lord of death.}
नमो दुन्दुभ्याय चाऽऽहनन्याय च (नमो दुन्दुभ्याय च आहनन्याय च)
namo dundubhyāya cā''hananyāya ca (namo dundubhyāya ca āhananyāya ca) (7:1)
He is the form of drum and the in the form of sticks used to make drum sound.
Dundubha means drum and āhanana is a stick used to beat the drum. Sound originates from the beating of drum (damaru) of Śiva. Every alphabet originates from His drum only. Veda-s originate from Śabda Brahman (śabda means sound). Śabda Brahman at mūlādhāra and moves up to take a physical form and delivered through throat cakra in the form of vaikharī. Śabda Brahman is the Brahman in the form of sound. Like universe manifesting from the Brahman, words originate from Śabda Brahman. In reality, these two Brahman are not different. Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (I.i.7) which says, “akṣarāt sambhavatīha viśvam” which means ‘from akṣara (Śabda Brahman) the universe originates.’
नमो धृष्णवे च प्रमृशाय च
namo dhṛṣṇave ca pramṛśāya ca (7:2)
Salutations to the One, who is brave and bold and the One who never acts in haste.
He is bold and confident and behaves resolutely. He is resolute because He governs the universe with the Law of Karma known as the law of the Lord. He does not transgress His own laws. Kṛṣṇa explains to Arjuna (Bhagavad Gīta X.42) the ultimate goal “Suffice it to say that I stand bold in this entire universe by a fraction of my yogic power.”
He never acts in haste. He thinks, analyses and finally acts. This is applicable to imbalance between dharma and adharma. In one’s mind there is a persistent battle between dharma and adharma. It is the thought process that decides, what becomes victorious. Again thought process is due to the karmic imprints in one’s subconscious mind. If dharma wins, he pursues spiritual path and if adharma wins, he is doomed. Subtly it can be explained that Rudra destroys adharmic bent of mind in His devotees in order to offer them Liberation.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.3) says, “Fearing Brahman, fire gives heat, the sun shines, Indra and other gods perform their allotted duties.”
नमो दूताय च प्रहिताय च
namo dūtāya ca prahitāya ca (7:3)
Salutations to the messenger and servant.
Messengers are different gods under His control. For example, Agni is the messenger who carries the oblations to various gods and ancestors. Prahita means appointed or commissioned. He appoints various gods and goddesses to take care of various activities in the universe. He also sends his messengers to His devotes who are in dire need of His Grace. He has excellent messengers and servants. Either missiles or army, He has them in the form of various gods and goddesses, who protect the universe. God Agni, Yama, etc are certain examples. Each of them is powerful in his or her own way and they in unison sustain the universe on His behalf. For example, when there is fire, water is required to put down the fire. Instead of fire god, if wind god works in unison with fire god, then the fire spreads causing serious devastation. The combination of these energies happens according to one’s karma and karma of certain group of people.
Taittirīya Upaniṣad (I.v.1) explains this. It says, “All deities are part and parcel of the Brahman”. For example, god of fire Agni, god of air Vāyu, god of water Varuṇa, etc. are part of Brahman and act both as His messengers and servants.
नमो निषङ्गिणे चेषुधिमते च
namo niṣaṅgiṇe ceṣudhimate ca (7:4)
Salutations to the One who has a sword and a quiver.
Sword and quiver have been discussed in the previous anuvāka-s. But contextually, here the mantra says that He uses them to protect His devotees. He dispels the darkness of ignorance of His devotees. This is compared to the sun dispelling the darkness when it rises. He being the Absolute, does this out of compassion. The very thought of Rudra, dispels ignorance. Kṛṣṇa describes this compassion in Bhagavad Gīta (X.11) “Out of mere compassion for them, I, dwelling within their hearts, destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the luminous Lamp of knowledge.” The darkness referred here is born out of ignorance. Subtly it is said that He destroys such ignorance with His sword and arrows kept in His quiver.
नमस्तीक्ष्णेषवे चाऽऽयुधिने च (नमस्तीक्ष्णेषवे च आयुधिने च)
namastīkṣṇeṣave cā''yudhine ca (namastīkṣṇeṣave ca āyudhine ca) (7:5)
Salutations to Him who has sharp arrows and other weapons.
Arrows and weaponries are meant to destroy evil doers who are the cause for adharma, causing imbalance between dharma and adharma. He uses His weaponries to destroy māyā in His devotees.
Further reading on māyā: Māyā or illusion is the material cause for abhāva or non-existence. Abhāva is of four types. 1. Prāgabhāva: Non-existence of a thing prior to its production. Cloth is made out of yarn. When yarn existed, cloth did not exist. Yarn was transformed into cloth. 2. Dhvaṁsābhāva: Non-existence after destruction. Yarn in its original form did not exist after cloth was produced. 3. Atyantābhāva: Absolute non-existence. According to advaita philosophy, only the Brahman is the absolute non-existence. 4. Anyonyābhāva: Mutual non-existence. For example a pot is not cloth, nor is a piece of cloth a pot. This is known as ‘this is not that’. Upaniṣad-s elucidate Brahman by saying ‘not this, not this’ (neti, neti). An ignorant man considers soul as different from the Brahman. But according to advaita, soul and the Brahman are the same. They are considered as different because of ignorance or avidyā.
Abhāva or non-existence of an object or an attribute is cognized neither by sense perception nor by inference, but is known directly by its non-apprehension or non-perception. Brahma Sūtra (II.ii.28) says “nābhāva upalabdheḥ नाभाव उपलब्धेः” which means that external objects are non-existent, for they are perceived. This talks about internal awareness through which alone the Existent can be realized.
From the point of view of Vedānta consciousness is the subtlest of all existents. Pure consciousness is the basis of varied existence of the universe. All these variations are due to the superimposition of names and forms by māyā which is the principle of appearance that is neither real nor unreal. The Self-illuminating Brahman which is pure and limitless consciousness manifests as manifold souls in living organisms. The manifestation of the Brahman is noticeable only in the living beings, whereas it stands hidden in non-livings. In the case of human beings, the pure and limitless consciousness manifest as self with independent mind. Māyā is a mystery of omnipresent power that works like a supreme faculty of self- transformation. It appears in the form of deceptive masks producing only illusionary effects. Māyā covers the Brahman that exists in all beings in this universe. This covering is like a sheath or a veil. Unless this veil is removed, the Brahman cannot be realized. For removing this veil, knowledge is required. As long as the veil continues to remain, one continues to remain ignorant (avidyā). Macro-cosmic reflection of the Brahman is māyā. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gīta (VII.14) “For this most wonderful māyā of Mine, consisting of three guṇa-s (sattva, rajas and tamas), is extremely difficult to break through. Those who constantly adore me are able to cross it.”
नमः स्वायुधाय च सुधन्वने च
namaḥ svāyudhāya ca sudhanvane ca (7:6)
Salutations to the One who has well-armed and good weapons like His famous Trident and an excellent bow, referring to His bow pināka. Pināka also refers to His trident or triśūla which represents Divine Icchā śakti, jñāna śakti and kriyā śakti-s. The supreme divine consciousness on the point of expansion according to Her inherent nature is Icchā śakthi. The actual process of expansion is jñāna śakti and the process of diversity leading to creation of the universe is kriyā śakti. The One who is the possessor of all three śakti-s or energies is known as parā-śakti or the Supreme energy. Brahman is full of these śakti-s. He is powerful, because He is an embodiment of all these energies or śakti-s, that are required to create, sustain, destruct representing His triśūla.
नमः स्रुत्याय च प्रथ्याय च
namaḥ srutyāya ca prathyāya ca (7:7)
Salutations to the One who treks through small paths as well as wider paths.
Subtly small paths lead to heaven and wider paths lead to hells. There are different types of hells and each hell has a specific path.
Going to Heaven or hell depends upon one’s thoughts than actions as the latter arises only out of thoughts. Propagation of good thoughts depends upon the mind, which functions based on the data provided by the sense organs. That is why it has been stressed time and again to control the sensory perceptions. Bondage, desire, anger, ego and lust arise out of attaching more importance to the sensory organs. Happiness and sorrow are the products of mind and body, the former being the source of the latter. If one has a balanced mind, uninfected either by happiness or sorrow, the mental conflicts do not arise giving no room for physical infirmity.
“Arjuna, I shall now tell you the different paths pursued by yogis at the time of leaving their bodies, one to return and another, not to return. Self-realised persons, at the time of relinquishing their physical body, follow the path of fire, light, day time, bright half of the lunar month, six month period of northern course of the sun and go to the Brahman. They are led to the Brahman by these presiding deities. The other path is where yogis leave their bodies during smoke(smoke is generated due to improper fire), night, the dark fortnight of the lunar month, six month period of southern course of the sun and are led by the presiding deities of the above and reach the moon. After exhausting the effects of their good karmas, they come back. The two paths, the bright one and the dark one are eternal. Proceeding through the first of them, the yogi reaches the supreme state never to return. Proceeding by the other one, he returns to the mortal world.” (Bhagavad Gītā VIII. 23 – 26).