Episode 34 – Why is Bhagawan Shiva referred to as “RUDRA”? Sage Paraashara explains!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced discussion on a very interesting event that conspired between Sage Dhurvaasa and Indra, with regards to a glittering garland that was owned by Goddess Mahalakshmi. We’ve seen that a random woman had offered sincere prayers to Goddess Mahalakshmi and overwhelmed by her devotion, Goddess Mahalakshmi had gifted this garland to her. As Sage Dhurvaasa passed by, this lady had passed on this garland to him, as a token of respect to the great Sage. As Sage Dhurvaasa was having this garland with him for a while, he once happened to meet Indra, leader of the Celestial Devas. Sage Dhurvaasa thinks that this ornament would be suitable for a king like Indra, rather than a Sage, who is wandering here and there. Indra was happy to receive this garland initially from Sage Dhurvaasa, but eventually lost interest in it. Thus, he put the garland around his elephant Airavata’s neck. Being an animal, elephant Airavata did not know the significance of this garland, and thus it stamped over it, destroying it completely. 

Irked by this, Sage Dhurvaasa, who is known for his anger, curses Indra straightaway without asking any questions. With the curse, Indra loses all his kingdom and property within a jiffy and becomes a popper! As he loses everything that was under his possession, he starts roaming around here and there, and undergoes a lot of sufferings. All the kingdom and property were eventually captured by the Raakshasas and they were inflicting insults and abuses at Indra every passing day. It is at this time, unable to bear the torture of the Raakshasas, Indra runs to Bhagawan Vishnu and this is where, Bhagawan Vishnu’s “Mohini” incarnation takes place. In this incarnation, as we might know – Bhagawan Shiva (Rudra) is going to play an important role here. It is because, Bhagawan Shiva was the one who took over the responsibility of consuming the poison that emerges out of the ocean while it was drilled. This is why we refer Bhagawan Shiva as “Bhagawan Neelakanta”, wherein the poison stays in His neck, and not goes inside His body – Thanks to Goddess Parvati. 

Thus here, before we go into the actual event of the “Mohiini-Avatara”, Sage Paraashara explains the birth of Bhagawan Shiva (Rudra) here. He explains how Bhagawan Brahma was responsible for the birth of Bhagawan Shiva. Bhagawan Brahma, as he was continuing with the job of creation, once contracted his forehead a little bit. It was from this contracted forehead, was Bhagawan Shiva born. As Bhagawan Shiva was a little child thus, He was constantly running towards His father, Bhagawan Brahma, with tears in His eyes. Bhagawan Brahma asks Him the reason for His crying and the little child says thus, “Oh Father! Please give me a name!” Bhagawan Brahma did not understand the significance of these words from the little child initially. However, Bhagawan Shiva – The little child wasn’t going to relent from His attempt. He repeatedly kept going again and again to His father, crying for a name! This is what Sage Paraashara refers to from the phrase, “Rodanaath dravanaascha”. This means, Bhagawan Shiva again and again was crying and running towards Bhagawan Brahma. When we combine this phrase together, we get the divine “Shabdha” called “Rudra”. Thus, the Shabdha called “Rudra” can be expanded as “Rodanaath dravanaascha Rudraha” and this is why Bhagawan Shiva’s prominent name is “Rudra”. 

Thus, we can understand here as to how Bhagawan Shiva obtained the divine name called “Rudra”. Eventually, Sage Paraashara also talks about the other important divine names that Bhagawan Shiva had obtained. We’ve seen that He’s crying everytime to Bhagawan Brahma for a name, isn’t it? Eventually, Bhagawan Brahma keeps giving Him different names, each time when He comes to him. Thus, Bhagawan Brahma gives Bhagawan Shiva eleven important names. We shall witness these names one after the other – “Rudra”, “Bhava”, “Sarvan”, “Eeshaana”, “Pashupati”, “Bheeman”, “Mahadeva” and “Pitamaha”. Thus, if we look into the Yajur Veda section of “Shri Rudram”, we would come across all these names one after the other. 

So for today, let us understand this point clearly and let us wait till the next episode to continue this further! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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