What does it mean?
What Does It Mean?
Rudra, the mighty warrior and destroyer of negativity is worshipped in all of His eleven forms for protection from negativity and removal of sins. This ritual is usually performed as a part of Shanthi Karmas (Remedial rituals) like Shashtiabdhapoorthy (60th Birthday) and for relief from negative and evil forces.
Who is Rudra?
Rudra is a form of Lord Shiva who is considered 'The Undefeatable Warrior’ and ‘Remover of Sins'. Shaivism explains that Shiva performs all five acts (Pancha Kritya) in this universe, which are Srishti (Creation) Sthithi (Preservation) Samhara (Destruction) Thirobhava (Concealment) Anugraha (Grace/Salvation). Each of these acts is mainly administered by specific forms (aspects) of Shiva. The Vedic chant 'Sri Rudram' also known as Namakam is an important and very powerful chant in Shaivism, is dedicated to Rudra and praises all of His qualities and attributes. There are eleven forms of Rudra namely, Mahadeva Rudra, Shiva Rudra, Maha Rudra, Shankara Rudra, Neelalohita Rudra, Ishana Rudra, Vijaya Rudra, Bheema Rudra, Devadeva Rudra, Bhavodbhava Rudra and Kapalisha Rudra or Adityatmaka Sri Rudra.
Different Forms of worship
Scriptures mention various ways to perform rituals and appease Rudra and the details are as follows,
- Chamakam is a Vedic chant which contains eleven stanzas (Paragraphs) of prayers for obtaining ultimate material and spiritual blessings. Chanting Namakam for eleven times i.e., chanting one stanza of Chamakam after one complete recitation of Namakam is called Ekadasa Rudram or Rudra Ekadasini.
- Eleven priests performing Rudra Ekadasini or eleven rounds of Rudra Ekadasini is called Laghu Rudram.
- Performing eleven Laghu Rudram will constitute Maha Rudram.
- Ati Rudram is the ultimate ritual for Rudra which is a multitude of eleven Maha Rudram.