[Advaita-l] Śatarudriyam as part of 'svādhyāya' for Sannyāsin-s

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 17:12:23 CDT 2016

In the Kūrmapurāṇam the āṣṭānga yoga (the same limbs of Yoga as per the
Patanjali system) have been enumerated with explanation as to be practiced
by a mumukṣu.  Among niyama-s, svāḍhyāya, scriptural study/practice is
stated in this purāṇa as:

वेदान्तशतरुद्रीयप्रणवादिजपं बुधाः ।
सत्त्वशुद्धिकरं  पुंसां स्वाध्यायं परिचक्षते ।। ११.२२

[That is 'svādhyāya where study/recitation of the Upanishads, śatarudriyam
and praṇava japa all of which lead to purification of the mind.]

The chanting of śatarudriyam and praṇava japa is again extolled there

यावज्जीवं जपेद् युक्तः प्रणवं ब्रह्मणो वपुः ।
अथवा शतरुद्रीयं जपेदामरणाद् द्विजः ।११.१००

[Till the end of life let the twice-born be intent on the japa of the
praṇava or let one chant the śatarudriyam till death.]

The first cited verse has been quoted by Sri Viśveśvara Saraswati in the
Yatidharma sangraha, a text that is followed by the Sringeri Peetham in the
sannyāsa-related rituals and other practices of sannyāsins.

In the book 'Exalting Elucidations' under the chapter 'Japa' p.199-200 is a
dialogue with the earlier Jagadguru HH Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Swaminaḥ:


Acharyal: The śāstra-s say that even sannyāsins can chant the Rudram. ...

Disciple: How are they allowed to chant the Rudram?

Acharyal: Whenever one chants vedamantra-s, it does not mean that one has
to desire the objects mentioned there.  Mantra-s, such as the Rudram, are
very sacred. If the mind does not long for what is prayed for, purity of
the mind and the grace of Iśvara are obtained. Further, the objects
concerned are not thrust upon one by virtue of the chant. So samnyāsins
also can definitely chant the Rudram and be  benefited.


Also, it is well known from the Kaivalyopanishat, the Jābālopanishad, etc.
that the Rudram chanting is enjoined for resulting in purity of mind and
mokṣa. Hence alone the 'svādhyāya' component of yoga includes the Rudram
chanting as part of the spiritual practice for a mumukṣu.

Om Tat Sat

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