[Advaita-l] shatarudriyam as upanishad

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu May 12 00:57:45 CDT 2005

[was Re: viShNusUri]

On Sun, 3 Apr 2005, venkata subramanian wrote:

> Well, i may add just one thing here.  Vishnu Suri's Rudra Bhashya tries 
> to put forth the theory that Sri Rudra is an Upanishad.
> i spoke with Pandits from Mathur on this, they said that tradition does 
> not hold so.  Sri Rudra - is to be equated, according to them, to the 
> 11th Chapter of the Gita, nothing more, nothing less.

Today (akshaya trtiya) my brother bought a condo and at the vastu puja, I 
thought about this subject again.

The pandits of Mathur (not Mathura -- thanks for the correction) are 
indeed correct in that in the Vedic ritual Shatarudriyam or Rudradhyaya is 
not technically an upanishad however Vishnu Suri was not the only one in 
tradition to think so and it is easy to see why.

In the shrauta yajnas, it is employed during the class of Soma yajnas 
called Agnichayana where an elaborate altar made of bricks is built up in 
various shapes.  This sukta must be recited and Bhagavan Rudra propitiated 
before the foundation stone can be laid and construction can commence. 
This is because a yajna to live up to the name "sacrifice" must be fully 
ones own offering.  But Bhagavan Rudra is everywhere.  So it is only when 
we symbolically request him to vacate "our" land that the yajna can 
proceed.  Also Rudra is spoken of as one and as countless "troops" (ganas) 
of Rudras. (As in Gita 11.22)  From these ideas of pervasiveness and 
multiplicity we can see the seeds of Vedantic ideas even if they are not 
fully formed.

Although the agnichayana is rarely performed nowadays, the same concept 
continues in our grhya vastu puja.  Only when Bhagavan Rudra Vastoshpati 
has given His permission is a house fit for habitation.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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