Srirudram, also known as Rudraprasna, is a hymn devoted to lord Shiva. It is part of the Yajur Veda and one of the greatest of the Vedic hymns for all round benefits and to remove all doshas & difficulties. In most of the poojas and homas it recited by the Vedic pundits. Sri Rudram is in two parts. The first part, chapter 16 of the Yajurveda, is known as Namakam because of the repeated use of the word “Namo” in it. The second part, chapter 18 of the Yajurveda, is known as chamakam because of the repeated use of the words “Chame”.
Rudram is divided into 11 sections called Anuvakas. In the first Anuvaka, Rudra is asked to turn away his Ghora rupa (fierce appearance) and to please keep his and his followers’ weapons at bay. Having been pacified, Rudra is requested to destroy the sins of those for whom it is being chanted.
Apart from being a hymn devoted Lord Shiva, Srirudram also contains may hidden secrets in coded format. For example the verses contain coded instructions for preparing various ayurvedic medicines.
This first Anuvaka is chanted to destroy all sins, obtain leadership and divine benevolence, protection from famine, freedom from fear, obtain food, and protect cows, for absence from untimely fear of death, of tigers, thieves, from monsters, devils, demons. It is also chanted as a shield (kavaca) for virulent fever, to cure diseases, fetal disorders, absolution from evils stars and bad karma, for the fulfilment of ones desires, sumptuous rainfall, family protection, blessings with good children, fulfillment of all material desires and the destruction of enemies.
In the second Anuvaka, Rudra is prayed to as one who pervades the earth and as the green foliage and heritage of medicinal herbs. He is asked to loosen the bonds of samsara (illusion). This Anuvaka is chanted for the destruction of enemies, possession of wealth, getting kingdom (getting Job) and possession of intelligence.
In the third Anuvaka Rudra is described as the Lord of thieves who exists in everything. He is Sarvatma; the self of all. In this context, we who are unenlightened have stolen the immortal status of the Self and replaced it with our own limited conception of ego. And in turn it is Rudra who will come and steal our ignorance from us, restoring us to our natural status of enlightenment. This Anuvaka is also chanted for the cure of diseases.
In the fourth Anuvaka, Rudra is described as the creator and worker of all kinds. He is the cause of both the significant and minor. This Anuvaka is chanted for the cure of tuberculosis, diabetics and leprosy.
In the fifth Anuvaka Rudra’s existence in running waters is praised and his five activities are described (creation of the universe, preservation of it, destruction at the time of Pralaya, bondage in ignorance and the release of moksha).
In the sixth Anuvaka Rudra is identified with time (Kalarupa). He is described as the source of the different worlds, Shrutis (Vedas) and its essence in Vedanta. The fifth and sixth Anuvakas are chanted for the expansion of one’s own assets, victory against enemies, blessings for a son with the stature of Rudra, avoidance of a miscarriage and easy childbirth, averting difficult astrology and protection of one’s own son.
In the seventh Anuvaka his all-pervading presence in waters, rains, clouds, storms and its various forms are described. This Anuvaka is chanted for the increase of intelligence, improvement of health, wealth, progeny, clothes, cows, sons, education, lands, longevity and obtaining liberation.
In the eighth Anuvaka Rudra is described as He who illumines other Gods and confers powers on them. He is seen as ever present in holy rivers and He who can absolve all sins. This Anuvaka is chanted for the destruction of enemies and possession of ones own kingdom (lands).
In the ninth Anuvaka the strength and power his attendants is celebrated because they illumine the gods and the world and control the forces of the universe. This Anuvaka is chanted for obtaining gold, a good wife, a job, and the blessings of a son who will be devoted to Lord Shiva.
In the tenth Anuvaka Rudra is again asked to shed his fury and shower benevolence by his displaying his Pinaka bow without arrows and to gracefully appear with his tiger skin on his body with pleasing countenance ready to shower boons upon his devotees. This Anuvaka is chanted for possession of wealth, cure of diseases, removal of fear, getting rid of the enmity of powerful people, absence of fear from all living beings, having the vision of Bhairava (Shiva in his most fearful aspect), absence from dangers and fears, blessings and the absolution of sins.
In the eleventh Anuvaka Rudra’s accomplishments are profusely praised and his benevolence is invoked with unconditional salutations. This Anuvaka is chanted for blessings of one’s progeny, the enhancement of longevity, visiting of sacred places, and acquiring knowledge of past, present and future.
After praying and identifying Rudra with everything in the Namakam, the Chamakam is recited, in which the devotee identifies himself with Lord Shiva and asks him to give him everything!!
This excellent prayer is intended for the bulk of the people and every thing to be cherished in the world is included in this ascend to the state of Jnani to attain Moksha i.e. eternal happiness. Chamakam assures granting of what all you ask in a full-throated manner unabashed. The creator makes no distinction between the things of the world and the other world. Both belong to him and desire born out of Virtue is really manifestation of divinity and Dharma.
Chamakam furnishes completely the ideal of human happiness and defines in the highest degree the desires and do not delimit to be asked or to be granted.
In the first Anuvaka prayer is made to keep fit in the human being his vitalities internal and sensory organs and mind hale and healthy, a long and peaceful and happy old age.
The Second Anuvaka prominence and leadership, common sense, intellectual acumen, capability to face trying circumstances, Spiritual elevation, worldly splendour and enjoyments.
The third develops innate urge of God and meditative flights and spiritual ecstasy, service to Divinity and humanity and a condition where the world wants him and he wants the world for upliftment.
The fourth assures of courtesy, fitness of the body and the best food for the body, cosy and comfort.
The fifth asks for the Nava ratnas, the precious stones and all the animals to sub-serve his interest and the qualified materials best in their form for his rituals.
The sixth emphasizes the importance of Indra as a co-sharer in the offerings to the other Gods. Thus makes him big to get the major obtainers of Havis among all Gods and his special honour and supremacy.
The Seventh lists the various instruments necessary for some and sacrifices in the “Homa Kunda”, the site of offerings to the fire God with Svahakara.
The eigtht anuvaka lists the Bahiranga Yagna Sadhanas or ingredients necessary for the performance of yagya sacrifices and prays Rudra to grant them to the devotee.
The ninth is the prime prayer consists of all the contents of four Vedas.
The tenth invokes all the biological species to co-operate in his daily wealth and also for the sacrificial fire. It also involves higher spiritual elevations, and makes it as Jnana Yajna.
The Eleventh Anuvaka brings out the long list of benedictions asked for in the odd divine number and even human numbering. Chamakam roots are firmly implanted in the worldly desires ultimately leading to the divine fulfillment. It is prayed that the Divine is immortal, infinite and is the cause of earth and heaven, space and time, reborn after the end of every thing and is the presiding deity.
Chamakam Namakam caiva purusa suktam tathaiva ca |
Nityam trayam prayunjano Brahmaloke mahiyate ||
He who ever recites Namakam and Chamakam along with Purusa suktam daily will be honoured in Brahmaloka.