This anuvāka has 17 mantras. Recitation of this anuvāka and the next anuvāka makes one to reach Shiva’s world, royal authority and wealth. This anuvāka mainly praises His glories.
नमः सोमाय च रुद्राय च
namaḥ somāya ca rudrāya ca (8:1)
Salutations to Soma and Rudra.
Soma means Shiva with Umā, His Consort. She is the wife of Maheśvara and is known as Umā Maheśvara. She was born to Himavān, the king of mountains and his wife Mena. She started Her penance at the age of five to attain Maheśvara (Śiva) as Her husband. Śiva sūtra (I.13) says Icchā śaktir umā kumārī. Here Umā means splendour of Śiva. One’s will power in constant commune with Śiva is also known as Umā. The ever present “I” consciousness of Śiva which is free in knowing and doing all acts is known as Umā. Umā is the combination of three letters of OM – U + M + A, the praṇava. U refers to creation, M refers to destruction and A refers to sustenance. Therefore Umā also means the three acts of the Brahman. Liṅga Purāṇa (133.44) says ‘the goddess is the mother of worlds’. Liṅga Purāṇa further says “The goddess born of Rudra’s body rebuked Dakṣa and was born as Umā, the daughter of Himavān. She is bowed to, by all the worlds. Let her try to captivate the mind of Rudra by means of her beauty. Through their union Lord Skanda will be born.”
The subtle form Rudra is the cosmic energy that is capable of destroying evil energies. 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 or Rudra and Umā (male-female combined form divided vertically). 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 the lord of death.
नमस्ताम्राय चारुणाय च (नमः ताम्राय च अरुणाय च)
namastāmrāya cāruṇāya ca (namaḥ tāmrāya ca aruṇāya ca) (8:2)
Salutations to the One, who is in the redness of the rising sun and less redness of the risen sun.
He is the sun as discussed in the previous anuvāka-s. He is in the form of sun at dawn, midday and the dusk thus sustaining the universe. Sun is the source of energy for sustenance and also the source of knowledge.
Lalitā Sahasranāma 49 is sarvāruṇā. Sarvam + aruṇam = everything in red. Everything associated with Her is red. This fact has been highlighted in various nāma-s. Saundarya Laharī (verse 93) says karuṇā kācid aruṇā meaning that Her compassion which is red in colour is beyond comprehension. Similarly, Rudra is also full of compassion.
नमः शङ्गाय च पशुपतये च
namaḥ śaṅgāya ca paśupataye ca (8:3)
Salutations to the One, who gives happiness and the Lord of all beings.
He gives happiness to those who approach Him. Śiva is worshiped in different forms such as Śiva, Mahādeva, Sadāśiva, Paśupati, Kāmeśvara, etc and each form has distinct interpretation. Śiva is the lord of all the creations of the universe hence called as Paśupatī. Paśu refers to living beings. Śiva has eight forms and they are – 1. Sarva – earth form, 2. Bhava-water form, 3. Rudra – fire form, 4. Ugra – wind form, 5. Bhīma- water form, 6. Paśupati – soul form, 7. Īśāna – sun form and 8. Mahādeva –moon form. These eight forms of Śiva are His cosmic forms (Liṅga Purāṇa). Liṅga Purāṇa says paśu-s are the individual souls and pāśa is the bondage and such bondage of paśu-s are destroyed by Paśupatī, the Lord of all paśu-s (Śiva).
नमः उग्राय च भीमाय च
namaḥ ugrāya ca bhīmāya ca (8:4)
Salutations to the One who is powerful, violent, mighty, impetuous, strong, huge, formidable, terrible and to the one who is fearful, terrific, awful and tremendous.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.3) explains this; “From fear of Brahman, fire gives heat. Out of terror, the sun shines. Afraid of it, Indra, vāyu and Yama rush to perform their respective duties.” Every action that happens in this universe is headed by a god or goddess and when they do not perform their duties as prescribed, Rudra becomes wild and does not hesitate to destroy them. This mantra says that He ensures discipline in the universe for its sustenance.
नमो अग्रेवधाय च दूरेवधाय च
namo agrevadhāya ca dūrevadhāya ca (8:5)
Salutations to the One, who destroys both in front (near) as well as from far away.
Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna in the battle field, “The one whom you see going around the battle field, when you are not fighting is Rudra.” Subtly this mantra says that He destroys both internal enemies such as mind, ego and indriya-s and external enemies who cause injuries to His devotees. Senses are considered as the worst enemies to Self-realization as the mind gets corrupted due to their evil influence. But, if the mind is conditioned, such evil influences will not cause any affliction to its serenity. He protects His devotees from dreadful enemies, greed, lust and anger.
नमो हन्त्रे च हनीयसे च
namo hantre ca hanīyase ca (8:6)
Salutations to the One, who is the destroyer (literally it is undoing, again to come back) and also the annihilator (completely destroyed not to come back).
Brahman has five acts to perform and destruction and annihilation are two among them. Subtly destruction means death to transmigrate (rebirth) and annihilation is pralaya through deluge. In advanced meditations, losing one’s consciousness is also known as pralaya. This is explained in previous anuvāka-s. Rudra carries out both these acts.
नमो वृक्षेभ्यो हरिकेशेभ्यः
namo vṛkṣebhyo harikeśebhyaḥ (8:7)
Salutations to the One whose hair is like leaves of trees.
This mantra subtly conveys individual existence. The banyan tree is the symbolic manifestation of macrocosm from microcosm. From a tiny seed of banyan, a huge tree of banyan grows.
Viṣṇu Sahasranāma 555 is Vṛkṣaḥ, which is explained as follows: “Vṛkṣa means tree. He stands tall and firm like a tree. His act of sustenance is subtly conveyed here. When a soul undergoes transmigrations (known as saṁsāra), it takes rest at some point of time, however subject to its karmic account. This rest is called sojourn in the higher cosmic planes. This rest for the soul is also subtly conveyed here. Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (III.9) compares Brahman to a tree. It says, “vṛkṣaḥ iva stabdhaḥ वृक्षः इव स्तब्धः” which means “(The Self stands alone in the glory of its being) fixed like a tree. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (XV.1), “He who knows the pīpala tree, which is said to be imperishable with its roots in the Primeval Being, whose stem is represented by Brahmā (god of creation and is different from Brahman) and whose leaves are Vedas, is a true knower of Vedas.” Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.1) cites the example of a tree in a different context. It conceptualizes an inverted tree, with its roots up and foliage down. Root is compared to the Brahman and foliage to the material world. From the root, the universe appears as the material world. Foliage withers and blossoms again and this is compared to the birth and death of beings. The root of the tree remains the same, irrespective of the constant modifications taking place in its foliage.
नमस्ताराय (नमः ताराय)
namastārāya (namaḥ tārāya) (8:8)
He is the One who Liberates.
Kaivalya has been discussed in the previous anuvāka-s. This mantra subtly conveys the final liberation of a soul from saṁsāra or transmigration. A soul is the replica of the Brahman which gets afflicted due to spiritual ignorance. It gets deluded by duality and illusion. At one point of time, a soul has to reach Brahman and merge with Him, from whom it originated. When one is able to transcend the effects of māyā, the Power of the Brahman, he gradually realizes preliminary states of the Brahman to ultimately become one with Him.
नमो शम्भवे च मयोभवे च
namo śambhave ca mayobhave ca (8:9)
Salutations to the One, who gives material happiness as well as the ultimate happiness of mokṣa.
He is the source of happiness and hence He is called Śambhu. Śambhu means being or existing for happiness or welfare, granting or causing happiness, beneficent, benevolent, helpful and kind. Since two words meaning almost similar, śam is used to mean material happiness and mayas is used to mean the ultimate of happiness of mokṣa. There is difference between final liberation and reaching the Heavens which is called mokṣa. The final liberation means no re-birth and mokṣa means after exhausting all good karma-s in the Heaven (the heaven can be explained as a place where certain souls are rested for some period of time) the soul is reborn. Other souls are reborn immediately after leaving a body. The soul reaching the Heaven, does not attain perfection to become eligible to get liberated.