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The meaning of the Rudrabhishekam
The meaning of the Rudrabhishekam is to convey that everything is Shiva, and is contained within the Shiva Tattva. There is nothing beyond the Shiva Tattva.
It is said: that which moves, and that which is steady and immobile – is the Shiva Tattva. That which is awake and that which is dormant or asleep – is also the Shiva Tattva. That which is greatest, supremely intelligent, and that which is the smallest – is the Shiva Tattva. In the Rudram chanting there is a verse which says, “Namo jyeshthaaya cha kanishthaya cha. Namo dhundhubhyaya cha hananyaya cha”. It means Salutations to that (Shiva Tattva) which is the greatest and the smallest; That which nurtures andThat which destroys and dissolves everything – is also the Shiva Tattva. Shiva Tattva is both the unmanifest, and the manifest in all forms of Creation.
The Rudram mentions “Vanchate parivanchate sthayunaam-pataye namo namaha.”. It means, “O Lord Shiva, you are the presiding Lord and Master of everything, even those who cheat and deceive others”. Another verse mentions “Namo vrikshebhyo Harikeshebhyo pashunaam pataye namo Namaha”. It means “O Lord Shiva! You are the Supreme Divinity and Lord of all plants, vegetation, and all living creatures”.
The Shiva Tattva is manifest as and present in all plants, trees, birds, animals and living creatures, even in thieves and cheats. So it means that the Shiva Tattva is the Divinity that is eternal and omnipresent in everyone and everything in Creation. This is why in the Rudram we pray, “O Lord Shiva, you alone are present everywhere and in everything. Hence shower your benevolence upon me and bless me with everything favourable”.
Towards the conclusion of the Rudram chanting we pray, “O Lord Shiva! Bless that everyone becomes my friend and is friendly to me; May everything become favorable and pleasing for me. O Lord Shiva! You as Aghora have a pleasant benevolent form; and are also Ghora – having a terrifying fearful form. I pray to You to please conceal your fearful forms, and bless me with your pleasing benevolent form”.
In the Chamakam part of the Rudram we chant, “Shancha-me, Mayascha-me, Priyancha-me, Anukamascha-me, Kamascha-me…”. ‘Shancha-me’ means ‘Bless me with peace and love’. ‘Priyancha-me’ means ‘May all favorable things happen for me, so please fulfill all my wishes’.
In the beginning we honor and worship Lord Shiva by acknowledging, “O Lord! You are everything and present everywhere. Our salutations to you; again and again”.
Then we lovingly ask the Divine for favors and blessings, by fulfilling our wishes and what we desire for. We pray that the Divine bestows Grace on us.
Then we only ask for positive and favorable things from the Divine. We do not ask or pray for punishment, or any calamity, loss, or destruction. We pray to receive peace, and love in life. We also pray that we receive everything that is favorable and good in our life. We ask for both Bhukti (fulfillment of material desires) and Mukti (liberation).
We also chant “Maanastoketanaye ma-na ayushhi ma-no goshhu ma-no ashveshu ririshhah. Viranma-no rudra bhamitoavadhi ‘rhavishhmanto namasa vidhema te” (Section 10 of Namakam in Rudram Chanting).
It means, “O Lord! Please bless everyone around me with happiness and health. May our animals be healthy and safe. Please save them all from your Ghora Rupa (your terrifying form). Bless us all with peace and happiness”.