[Advaita-l] Rudra, the Brahman of the Shvetashvataropanishat

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 05:21:41 CDT 2016

In the Atharvaśirā Upaniṣad occurs this mantra:

एको रुद्रो न द्वितीयाय तस्मै य इमांल्लोकानीशत ईशनीभिः ।
प्रत्यङ्जनास्तिष्ठति सञ्चुकोचान्तकाले संसृज्य विश्वा भुवनानि गोप्ता ।

The above is a rephrasing of the Śvetāśvataropaniṣat mantra 3.2:

एको हि रुद्रो न द्वितीयाय तस्थुर्य इमांल्लोकानीशत ईशनीभिः ।
प्रत्यङ्जनास्तिष्ठति सञ्चुकोचान्तकाले संसृज्य विश्वा भुवनानि गोपाः ॥ २ ॥

[2. Rudra is truly one; for the knowers of Brahman do not admit the
existence of a second, He alone rules all the worlds by His powers. He
dwells as the inner Self of every living being. After having created all
the worlds, He, their Protector, takes them back into Himself at the end of
time. ]

The following mantra from the Atharva śirā:

 यो योनिं योनिमधितिष्ठत्येको येनेदं सञ्चरति विचरति सर्वम् ।
तमीशानं वरदं देवमीड्यं निचाय्येमां शान्तिमत्यन्तमेति ।

is available in the Śvetāśvataropaniṣat as mantra 4.11:

यो योनिं योनिमधितिष्ठत्येको यस्मिन्निदं सं च विचैति सर्वम् ।

तमीशानं वरदं देवमीड्यं निचाय्येमां शान्तिमत्यन्तमेति ॥ ११ ॥

[11. By truly realising Him who, though non-dual, dwells in prakriti, both
in its primary and in its secondary aspect and in Whom this whole world
comes together and dissolves—by truly realising Him Who is the Lord, the
bestower of blessings, the Adorable God, one attains the supreme peace. ]

In the Skanda purāṇam (sūtasamhitā) is an instruction by Viṣṇu:

न तस्य कार्यं करणं वस्तुतो विद्यतेऽनघ ।
न तत्समश्चाभधकश्चेतनो विद्यते क्वचित् ॥ ४१ ॥
तथापि परमा शक्तिर्विविधा तस्य शूलिनः ।
श्रूयते सर्ववेदेषु स्वज्ञानं च बलं स्वकम् ।
स्वव्यापारश्च तस्यास्य स्वतः सिद्धो न चान्यतः ॥ ४२ ॥

[The above verses are a rephrasing of the Śvetāśvataropaniṣad mantra 6.8:

न तस्य कार्यं करणं च विद्यते न तत्समश्चाभ्यधिकश्च दृश्यते।
परास्य शक्तिर्विविधैव श्रूयते स्वाभाविकी ज्ञानबलक्रिया च ॥

8. He is without a body or organs; none like unto Him is seen, or better
than He. The Vedas speak of His exalted power, which is innate and capable
of producing diverse effects and also of His omniscience and might.

मम ब्रह्मादिदेवानामपि तस्य प्रसादतः ।
विज्ञानादित्रयं यस्मात्स एव भवमोचकः ॥ ४३ ॥
अहं ब्रह्मादिदेवाश्च प्रसादात्तस्य शूलिनः ।
प्रणाड्यैव हि संसारमोचका नात्र संशयः ॥ ४४ ॥

Viṣṇu continues: Mine and the Devas' such as Brahmā too the knowledge,
power and action obtain from His (Śiva's) grace. I and all the other devas
such as Brahmā can liberate bound ones through Śiva's grace alone; there is
no doubt about this.

The following mantra of the Atharvaśirā Upaniṣad is available in the Sri
Rudram of the Krishnayajurveda in a slightly different form:

योऽग्नौ रुद्रो योऽप्स्वन्तर्य ओषधीर्वीरुध आविवेश । य इमा विश्वा भुवनानि
चक्लृपे तस्मै रुद्राय नमोऽस्त्वग्नये । यो रुद्रोऽग्नौ यो
रुद्रोऽप्स्वन्तर्यो रुद्र ओषधीर्वीरुध आविवेश । यो रुद्र इमा विश्वा भुवनानि
चक्लृपे तस्मै रुद्राय नमोनमः । यो रुद्रोऽप्सु यो रुद्र ओषधीषु यो रुद्रो
वनस्पतिषु ।

It looks very likely that the following mantra of the Atharvaśirā Upaniṣad
alone is the basis for a very popular story of Brahmā and Viṣṇu attempting
to find the limits of Rudra:

अथ कस्मादुच्यतेऽनन्तो यस्मादुच्चार्यमाण एव तिर्यगूर्ध्वमधस्ताच्चास्यान्तो
नोपलभ्यते तस्मादुच्यतेऽनन्तः । [Further, how is He called Ananta, infinite?
Since His limits are not to be found longitudinally and latitudinally, He
is called Ananta.]

Om Tat Sat

2016-10-06 17:32 GMT+05:30 V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>:

> In the Śvetāśvataropaniṣad we have innumerable references to Rudra as the
> Para Brahman. There are some mantras of the Sri Rudram too incorporated in
> this Upaniṣad.

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