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Hymn to the Mighty God
by Swami Krishnananda


The translation of the Rudra Adhyaya presented herein is based on the famous Commentary of Acharya Sayana on the Veda. Many of the words of the Mantras of the Sri Rudra Prasna are difficult to understand from the point of view of classical Sanskrit grammar. In the appreciation of the significance of Veda Mantras, we have no other alternative than to follow the great Commentator.

We have a firm hope that the rendering of this great hymn to God in English will provide a necessary assistance in one's daily prayers to the Supreme Creator so majestically portrayed in this wondrous hymn of the Yajurveda.

30th June, 1988


OM, Prostrations to the Blessed Lord Rudra!

To Thee, O Rudra, prostrations,
Prostrations also to Thy Wrath,
And to Thy Arrow, to Thy Bow,
Prostrations to Thy Mighty Arms.

This Arrow Thine peaceful become,
Thy Bow which is auspiciousness,
And quiver Thine all blessedness,
With these, O Rudra, make us free.

Rudra, Thy form all benignant,
Which destroys trace of every sin,
With that Thy hallowed peaceful form,
O Mountain's Lord, reveal Thyself.

O Mount's Resident, that Thy hands,
The Arrow wield to end all foes,
May that benign become to us,
Protect us all, and harm us not.

Harm not the world, harm not any,
Who succour seek in benignance,
Which Thou art, Lord, Ruler of hills,
Redeemer of Thy supplicants.

Occupier of Mounts, we pray to Thee
With loving hymns to attain Thee;
Do deign to rid the world of ills
And peace and joy to rain on all.

Divine Physician, First of Gods,
Exalt me in Thy Being's Grace;
Cut off evil, within or out
Or from above, in all its forms.

Thou Rudra, shining as the Sun,
Thou blazing, ruddy, pink and brown,
Most blessed, enveloping all
In all directions with Thy rays,

Ranging in tens and thousand rays,
Rising to heal the woes of men,
And moving with the vitals lives',
These Rudras we propitiate.

This Blue-necked One who moves in sky,
The Reddened Glory of heavens,
Do behold all these unlettered,
And also all; Lord, bless us all.

Visible God Thou crossest skies,
Yet invisible remainest.
The high and low, the wise and fool
Do all behold this lord of day.

Nilagriva, we salute Thee,
As Indra Thou hast thousand eyes,
As rain Thou pourest on this earth,
Who attend Thee, to them we bow.

Lord, unfurl string with gracious eyes
From both the ends of Thy great bow,
These arrows Thine, set them aside,
Since foes no more can rise to life.

O Thousand-eyed Divinity!
Thou that hast endless quivers ranged,
Dismantle ends of Thy arrows
As their purpose is now fulfilled.

Setting aside Thy wrath-filled bow,
Now that it has its foes destroyed,
Be Thou auspicious to us
With charming mood to blessings rain.

May bow Kapardin's be unstringed,
May unarrowed be his quiver;
His arrows not now piercing look;
His bow be just their kind support.

Abundant Source of fulfilments!
Protect us Thou from every side
With Thy weapons and bow divine
Which now have ceased destruction's work.

Prostration to Thy great weapon
Which yet has not been fixed on bow,
But still is dread to opponents;

O Blessed Lord, may arrow Thine
And bow exclude us from all harm;
And that quiver Thine far from us

O Lord, prostrations be to Thee;
Great God, Ruler of universe;
Three-eyed One, Death of Tripuras,

Terror to fire of terrible Time,
Blue-necked One, O Thou Death of Death,
The Lord of worlds, all blessedness,

Prostrations to the golden-armed
Commander wielding all forces,
Of all directions Lord supreme,

Of all created beings Lord,
Master of everything that breathes,
Prostrations be to Thee, O Lord,

Rider on bull, we salute Thee,
Chastiser of opposing force,
Of all foodstuffs the only source,

To General ruling perfection,
And all those seeking perfection,
The sword to bondage rend at once,

To Rudra be our prostrations,
Who with outstretched bow all protects,
Ruler of every field of life,

Invisible One, of forests' Lord,
The Crimson-hued, protecting all,
Of trees and plants the ruler, friend,

Minister in the royal courts,
Thou art the merchant dealing goods,
Of living creatures breath and life,

Creator of this world, O Lord,
Of wealth the master, healing drugs'
The overlord, who thunders loud

Supreme Commander, quick in deeds,
All-enveloping Omniscience,
Refuge of all who surrender,

Confronter mighty, valiant one,
Who strikes all foes with divine strength,
Of enemies terrific uprooter,
Dharma's protector, prostrations.

Rider on hunch of mighty bull,
With sword well-armed for striking foes,
Of even thieves the Lord supreme,
Again prostrations, prostrations.

To robbers' chief be prostrations,
Armed with quiver filled with arrows,
To tricky, sly, marauder-chief,
Deceiving one be prostrations.

To cunning leader of the thieves,
Lurking at home to loot the folk,
And prowling in the thick of trees
And open streets, be prostrations.

To self-protecting animals,
Retaliating thieves who strike
To death the people on the way,
To dacoit-chief be prostrations.

To man-hunters hiding at night
With sword well-armed to booty gain;
To helmeted and turbaned chief
Roving in hills, be prostrations.

Prostration be to wielders arms'
Who hold the arrow and the bow,
Who string the bow and arrow shoot,
Who hit targets, be prostrations.

To those who sit and who recline,
To those who sleep and are awake,
To those who stand and those who run,
To them prostrations, prostrations.

To assemblies and their mentors,
To horses and the horse-riders,
To active ones, inactive ones,
Prostrations be, our prostrations.

To powers that can strike at will,
The violent ones and gentle ones,
To chiefs of sense-indulgent rakes,
To hosts of beings, prostrations.

To chiefs of hosts of men and gods,
To hosts immortal and mortal,
The formless and the all-formed ones,
To best and worst be prostrations.

To chariot-riders prostrations,
And also who have no chariots,
To chariots and their owner-lords,
Our prostrations and prostrations.

To armies be our prostrations,
To army-chiefs our prostrations,
To trained and apprentice drivers
To carpenters be prostrations.

To cars and car-makers in war,
To potters as well as blacksmiths,
To fowlers and the fishermen,
Our prostrations, be prostrations.

To artisans of bows, arrows,
To hunters and the huntsmen hordes,
To hounds and keepers of the hounds,
Prostrations be, our prostrations.

To Creator and Destroyer,
Of ills remover, Lord of all,
The blue-necked one and fair-necked one,
To matted-locked, be prostrations.

To clean-shaven be prostrations,
To thousand-eyed be prostrations,
To wielder of multiple bows,
Our prostrations, our prostrations.

To mountain-dweller prostrations,
To immanent God prostrations,
To arrow-wielder and who rains
Through clouds heavily, prostrations.

To Him of small limbs and the dwarf,
To Him of huge size, multi-formed,
To Ancient One who glories high
As eternity, prostrations.

The One Primeval, Chief of all,
Omnipresent and fast-moving,
The quick and flowing in his deeds,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

To Him who roars as waves of sea,
Who calmly stays in still waters,
Who swift rivers and islands forms,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

To eldest one and youngest one,
To ancient one and recent one,
To middling one and crawling babe,
To last of all be prostrations.

To trees and plants and their branches,
To foliage and floral blooms,
To mixed one as virtue-vice,
To life's process be prostrations.

To Yama dispensing justice,
To bestower of salvation,
To Him who rains on green harvests,
Who lives in farms, be prostrations.

Who is the Veda and their hymns,
Meditations of Upanishads,
In trees, creepers and plants who lives,
In sound and echo, prostrations.

Who dwells in armies moving fast,
In chariots rattling forth in war,
As valiant one who destroys foes,
To Him who leads be prostrations.

Who leads the hosts with shield in hand,
Helmeted and with armoured strength,
To renowned hero, ancient one,
Of forces famed our prostrations.

Who dwells in drum and tabour sounds,
Who never retreats from battle-fields,
To ablest reconnoitre chiefs,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who dwells in spies and messengers,
Who wield the sword far field's action,
Who quivers carry with arrows,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who countless weapons, sharp arrows,
Auspicious trident, blessed bow,
Wields expertly to rout the foe
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

In narrow lanes and broad highways
Who lives in dribbling streams that flow,
Who rushes as mountain torrents,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who lives in marshes and wide lakes,
In rivers and reservoirs,
Who is in wells and dug-out pits,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who is in rains and oceans vast,
Who lives in clouds and lightning strokes,
To God of Gods in every form
Our prostrations, our prostrations.

In autumn clouds and heating sun,
In winds who lives and deluge, storms,
In flooding downpours who abides,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

In land and cattle who resides,
As Uma's Lord who glories high,
Who causes foes to flee for life,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

As rising sun crimson-coloured,
As reddish sun high up risen,
Who brings abundant peace to all,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who protects creatures as parent,
Terrible uprooter of foes,
Who strikes fear to who oppose,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who strikes in front and strikes behind
The foes who dare to confront Him,
Who destroys here and in the end
Destroys the all, we salute Him.

In forms of trees with greenish leaves,
Who is Pranava embodied,
The source of bliss hereafter, here,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

All happiness who dispenses,
Heavenly as well as earthly,
Most auspicious and more than all
Exalted, to Him prostrations.

In holy waters of the shrines,
In emblems raised on river-banks,
Who abides on this shore of life
And other shore, to Him we bow.

The means to cross to other shore,
As ritual work and wisdom's light,
The cause of birth and Karma's fruit,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

In tender grass and fleeting foam
Who lives in sands on banks and shores,
Who moves as briskly flowing rivers,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

In fertile lands and broad highways,
In rocky grounds and habitats,
Who lives as all their very soul,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who matted locks does tie on head,
To suppliants reveals Himself,
Who lives in cowsheds and in homes,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

In bedsteads and in palaces
Who lives in great magnificence,
Who lives in thorny jungle thicks,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

In mountain caves as hermit lives,
In whirlpools who as waters lives,
In dewdrops who silently drips,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who lives in atoms and the dust,
Who lives in greens and what is dry,
Difficult terrains and grasses green,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

Who is in earth and gallant streams,
In fresh green leaves and dried up leaves,
Who foes does strike with weapons raised,
To Him prostrations, prostrations.

With mild or severe blows the foes
Who chastises and crushes down,
To Rudra be our prostrations,
The heart of all the hosts of gods.

O forms of Rudra, who are all
The quintessence of heaven and earth,
The souls of gods and angels high
To ye prostrations, prostrations.

To Rudra-forms our prostrations,
Who bestow wealth and blessedness,
The deathless ones, the wish-yielders,
To ye prostrations, prostrations.

The destroyers of all evil
From every side, in every form,
To ye prostrations, O Rudras,
Who are revealed abundantly.

O Wielder of justice and law,
O Lord of food, e'er unattached,
O Blue-hued and Red-hued in form,
To us and cattle be no fear.

May not our cattle stray away,
May not diseases afflict them,
Protect us all and guard our needs;
Our prostrations, our prostrations.

O Rudra, Thy auspicious form,
Auspicious panacea
For ills of all the universe,
With that do make us live in peace.

Thy Rudra-form, the blessed one
Which blesses all with salvation,
With that Thy glorious divine form
Do make us happy and live long.

To Rudra we dedicate this
Our mind and heart in submission,
To Rudra, puissant, matted-haired,
Causing the end of all our foes.

To Rudra we offer ourselves
For peace and plenty of this earth,
To rain blessings on humankind
And cattle-wealth's prosperity.

To Rudra be our obeisance
So that on earth and all beings
Prevail all health and happiness,
Robust and free may all live long.

Rudra, render us all happy
Both here as well as hereafter,
We Thee propitiate with love,
O Destroyer of all our foes!

Rudra, may we attain Thy grace,
Thy loving care and affection,
For happiness of every kind
And freedom from the griefs of life.

As Manu, first-born, divine source
Of all humanity was free,
So, thus, in that eternal poise
Install us with Thy benign grace,

Rudra, do not do harm to us,
Our kith and kin or well-wishers,
The young or old, infants or babes,
Kill not our father or mother.

Protect our person, O Rudra,
Inflict it not with any harm,
Punish it not, destroy it not,
To Thee, O Rudra, prostrations.

Rudra, in rage or anger Thine,
Bring not trouble to our life-span,
To children, offspring or cattle,
To horses or our brave servants.

We do prostrate ourselves, O Lord,
Rudra, we Thee propitiate
With salutations, prostrations,
And oblations offered to Thee.

O God of Gods, we pray to Thee,
Thy gentle form be with us ever,
Which for our good is gracious,
Which spells destruction on our foes.

Thy mighty Form which strikes forces
Of our enemy and his strength
And his belongings and henchmen,
May that protect and exalt us.

Confer Thy grace on us, O God,
Thou art the glory unrivalled
Both in this world and hereafter,
O Thou the Glory grand and great.

Do praise the One, the celebrated,
The dweller in the cave of heart,
Eternally and ever young,
Terrible to the warring foes.

Ferocious as lion in wrath
To strike to death all contenders,
And at the time of destruction
When all creation doom beholds.

O Rudra, make us all happy,
Who with this mortal frame here
Do offer Thee our heart's prayers,
May Thy powers uproot our foes.

That Rudra's weapon destructive
And burning anger of His will
Risen against the evil ones -
May that be kept away from us.

O Granter of abundant boons
To those who surrender themselves!
From us do turn away Thy wrath
Who fall prostrate before Thee ever.

Bestow Thy grace on our lives,
Our progeny and grand-descents,
O Rudra blessing-bestower,
Be kind to us, be gracious.

O Supreme Bestower of grace!
O Supremely Auspicious One!
Propitious and gracious,
Do bless us all and grant our boons.

Leaving behind on lofty tree
Thy weapon do Thou please descend,
And wearing tiger's skin as robe
With Pinaka come before us.

O Profuse Granter of our boons,
O White-hued one, our prostrations.
Whatever there is other than we -
Do that destroy with myriad arms.

With thousand weapons of Thy hands,
With all of them our foes destroy.
Lord, in Thy hands are diverse types
Of weapons whose Thou master art.

Master of all, do condescend
To turn Thy wrath away from us;
Away weapons which strike the foes,
With us be kind and benignant.

We keep unstringed a thousand leagues away
The bows of those thousands of Rudra forms
In all their thousand manifestations
Who range over this earth and everywhere.

Those forms of Rudra spread in sea of space,
In ocean vast of all this sky and heav'n;
The blue-necked, fair-necked Sarva-named Rudras,
Who wander in the nether regions deep;

The blue-necked, fair-necked Rudra-forms above,
Who reign supreme in regions heavenly;
Who, yellow-hued, as tender grass are fair,
With blue necks or sometimes with reddish hue,

Who have the trees as their abodes aloft;
Who are the lords of all the spirit hosts;
Who have their heads oft shaven shorn of hair,
Where some do sport their tied-up matted hair;

Those Rudras who afflict through food victims
And afflict those who drink excessively;
Who are protectors on the journey's way,
Who foods control and drive the foes in fight;

Who stalk about in holy bathing spots
With swords in hand and instruments to strike;
Of all these forms of Rudra thus arrayed,
And many more who fill all directions,
We keep unstringed a thousand leagues away
The bows of those thousands of Rudra forms.

To all the Rudras prostrations,
Who exist in myriad forms
In earth, atmosphere and heaven,
Whose weapon-arrows are spread out
As food and wind and rain downpour;

To them prostrations folded hands'
With ten fingers in submission
Joined forward praying to the east,
Ten fingers joined praying to south,
Ten fingers joined praying to west,
Ten fingers joined praying to north,
Ten fingers joined praying upwards;
Prostrations be to all Rudras.

May they render us all happy;
Whomsoever we disapprove
And whoever disapproves us,
Them we, thus having resorted,
Consign, O Rudras, all of them,
Inside your widely opened mouths.

The Three-eyed One we all worship,
Fragrant, with immense energy,
Increasing strength of all of us;
May we be freed from evil death
For state of immortality,
As fruit cucumber from its stalk
Is freed from bondage of its hold.

The Rudra who is in fire,
Who is in water and in herbs,
That Rudra encompassing all
Has entered all the world-regions,
To that Rudra be prostration.

Resort to Him who is well armed
With mighty arrows and high bow,
Who is the great panacea
For all the ills of all the worlds;

We worship that Rudra, our God,
The destroyer of pains of life,
With our these salutations,
For attainment of peace of mind.

This hand of mine is indeed blessed
This, mine, of course, is thrice-blessed,
This, mine, for all the ills of worlds
Is remedy, that touched Siva.

O Death of death! Death-destroyer!
Those thousands and tens of thousands
Of binding forces Thou wieldest
To put an end to mortal frames -
Those all we set aside afar
With power of our sacrifice.

May this our offering be made
To Death of death, the Supreme Death;
May this our offering be made
To Death of death, the Supreme Death.

Om, Prostration to All-Pervading Blessed Rudra Lord Supreme,
Save me from death and destruction, Thou Rudra, Vishnu, Protector.

Thou Rudra art the centre where round vital forces dance,
Enter not as the destroyer but as our saving life,
With this sustaining balm of Grace make us to fullness rise,
Om, May there be peace, may there be peace, may there be peace ever.

With that Purusha we commune,
On Mahadeva meditate;
May that Rudra direct us all
To that Great Goal we all here seek.

Om Santih, Santih, Santih.