Preparing for Maha Rudra Yagna
Updated: Aug 14, 2019
Maha Rudra Yagna
Rudra refers to the fierce form of Lord Shiva. Rudra Yagna is performed to worship and appease Shiva in this form, and thus Maha Rudra Yagna is one of the most sacred and powerful among all the Maha Yagnas! Rudra means Lord Shiva’s form that removes ignorance, sorrow and sin. Rudra japa is the most effective purifier and expiates even the worst sin.
What is Rudra Yagna?
The Rudra Yagna consists of Deiva Yagna (offerings to Shiva and other deities), through different means like homa (fire worship or offerings) puja and Abhishekam, and Manushya yagna (offerings of hospitality to guests and to honour societal responsibilities) performed with many devotees seeking to fulfil their dharmic debts and win the grace of the God. It is performed to wash away all the sins and afflictions to maintain peace, prosperity and happiness, and family togetherness.
It is believed that after the demon Bhasmasura was killed, Lord Shiva performed the Tandav Nritya(dance) and the “Rudra Yagna”, for the betterment of the Human race.
Importance of Sri Rudram
Sri Rudram hymn is an invocation to Lord Shiva consisting of two parts, namely: Namakam and Chamakam. In Namakam most verses end with ‘Namaha’ and in Chamakam, they end with ‘cha me’. (Please grant me). Namakam sings the glory of Lord Shiva and Chamakam requests the Lord to grant materialistic and spiritual grace to elevate the devotee and remove suffering from the whole universe. In Maha Rudra Yagna, Sri Rudram is chanted a total of 1331 times by learned priests during the 11 days.
The Shri Rudra is an ancient type of hymn of a listing of various names in praise of Lord Shiva. It is considered to be of great benefit to humans. Various attributes of Lord Shiva are invoked and worshipped by chanting of Shri Rudra. Sri Rudram contains the Panchakshari Mantra viz.,Namah Shivaya in its core.
Amongst the four Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana , Yajur Veda is very special. In Yajur Veda ‘Sri Rudram ’ is considered the most sacred. The Yajur Veda Taiistiriya Samhita contains seven chapters and Panchakshari Mantra (NA-MA-SI-VA-YA) occupies the prime position in the middle of the 4th Chapter.
Sri Rudram chanting and performing homa had an important place in the daily worship of devotees from time immemorial. All our desires are fulfilled by chanting Sri Rudram. Rudram is considered the greatest Universal penance of all the penances. This Sri Rudram is being used in the daily worship of saints and many devotees! When devotees chant or listen to Sri Rudram with full faith and devotion, their desires are fulfilled.
The Great Penance
Sri Rudram is also known as the ‘Great Penance’! If we perform this Maha Rudra Yagna by ourself or jointly perform this with others or if we hear the chanting of the mantras, of if we participate by being nearby, or witness the yagna from a distance, it will bestow on us the benefits of great penance, complete penance to wipe off all sins, known or unknown, curses, drishtidoshas (evil eye) evil spells or curses from the elders or ancestors--all will be wiped away fully.
By participating in this special Maha Rudra Yagna, both participants and the members of their family, or those firms that helped with sponsorship, will have great benefits accrue to them. We can benefit from these effects if we just participate in the Rudra Chanting by taking part in the Sankalpa and focusing on Lord Shiva or our Sadguru Sri Swamiji! Sankalpa is a special request telling about the purpose of the worship with details of about our lineage, Birth Star, Rasi and Name with a request informing about our wishes & purpose of the said worship. By this we receive what we desire in the Maha Rudra Yagna.
Sri Rudra like Celestial Boon granting Tree
Many times, we do not ourselves fully know what we want or require for our life. Then why not hear these recitations of the mantras, why not witness the holy rites being performed, which we cannot have the fortune to see often-- a great sacrifice and penance! If we pour water in the root of a Tree, all the parts of the Tree get the benefit and reciprocates, likewise by chanting of Sri Rudram, all deities will be satisfied, and it acts and supplies us with whatever we desire like a KalpavriksaTree (Celestial Tree that gives all boons).
Importance of Sri Rudra in the Maha Yagna
Yajurveda is famed for its ritualistic elegance, grandeur and details among all the Vedas. Here, Taiitiriya Samhita occupies the vital role, in which Rudra Adhyaaya is the most significant part from the 4th Kanda (Chapter). Although the Rudra Adhyaaya has several divisions according to different methods, the division into 169 Mantras is the most prevalent and relevant pattern of conducting Rudra Yagna.
In these 169 Mantras, the Omnipresence, Omnipotence of Almighty God is amply and vividly described. Forces of Nature such as Earth, Energy and Wind along with their derivatives are extolled as the aspects of Lord Shiva. These aspects are also referred as innumerable aspects of Rudra. Hence, this part is referred as Shata Rudreeya in Veda. Therefore, these Mantras attain pre-eminence among the devout worshippers.
Veda explains that ShataRudreeya Mantra Parayana along with Homa pacifies the ferocious forms of Rudra (Shiva) and stipulates the Parayana/ Homa with Vasordhaara(offerings with a wooden ladle), after the Homa with Shatarudreeya, for appeasing and pleasing the peaceful aspects of Lord Shiva, which would result in Prosperity and Well Being. Accordingly, every day Vasordhaara Mantras are chanted along with incessant flow of ghee into the Homa Kunda, after 11 Rounds of Rudra Homa.
Various parts of this Maha Rudra Yagna
Several ancillary methods of worship such as Mahaa Nyaasa Poorvaka Ekaadasa Rudra Abhishekam, Paarthiva Linga Archana, Veda Paarayanam, Bilwa Archanam, Naama Sankeertanam, Ashta Avadhaana Seva are conducted as part of this great Yagnaa, along with Annadaanam.
Benefits of Chanting or Listening to the Rudra Mantras for Paarayana ( Recital), Homa and Abhisheka are very popular. Thousands of generations have benefited in the form of Betterment of Life, Piety, Health, Wealth, Alleviation of Poverty, Misery, Sorrows and Difficulties of Life, with the help of these Mantras.
All our desires and ambitious longings and wishes will be fulfilled for which, there is no doubt.
Rare sacred opportunity
Indeed, it is a very rare and sacred opportunity for us to participate in the event, as a glimpse of the Ritual itself will result in immense merit to one and all. The host of the event will be the Dattatreya Yoga Center located in central Trinidad, Carapichaima under the direct supervision of His Holiness Parama pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji.
Yagna is the Kamadhenu.
Yagna is for your happiness and welfare. Your life depends upon the five elements of nature. By the completion of this yagna, the cycle of nature will be replenished and enriched in the country of Trinidad and Tobago. We again emphasize that our country is on the 11 parallel or 11 longitude which carries the energies of the 11 Rudras.
(In a veiled reference in the Rig Veda, it points to the 11th parallel 11deg north and south of the equator as powerful energy centers for destroying evil as the forces act vertically upwards. Note that Trinidad is close to this parallel and has been used by Pujya Sri Swamiji to launch many of his past universal projects, needing active participation by devotees worldwide.. )
By performing Yagna , you will fulfill your duty to nature. When you do thus, nature will bestow abundance upon you and your life becomes a happy one.
When nature's cycle is broken and the laws violated, nature makes re-adjustments through earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, emergence of newer destructive micro-organisms, social strife etc.
That is why the sastras prescribe performance of 'panchamahayagnas' daily. We are unable to comply with this due to so many reasons. Hence the performance of the Maha Rudra Yajna as a community event helps one and all to partake and receive the blessings of the almighty.
Greatness of Sri Rudram in this Yagna!
The Taittiriya Samhita of the Yajur Veda has seven sections (kandas) and Sri Rudram is treasured in the fourth section It is also known as Sata Rudriyam as it is in 101 shaakhaas, and also as Rudraopanishad. It is revered as the "Crown Jewel " and the essence of Yajur Veda !
Sri Rudram Japa restores peace
As pouring water at the root of a tree nourishes all the branches ,by pleasing Sri Rudra, through Rudra Japa ,all Devataas are pleased . One attains bhukti and mukti, enjoyment of life as well as freedom from the ills of the world by chanting Sri Rudram with devotion.
Such is the prowess of the Rudram that the scriptures say that no misfortune, illness or such other bad elements can befall a town or village where even one practitioner of Sri Rudram lives and there will only be prosperity, harmony and peace . Sri Rudram hails the presence of the lord in fire, water, in trees and plants and in the entire universe.
Jivas accumulate sins in the conduct of worldy life through the non -compliance of one’s own dharma. Eg killing insects by a farmer or forester killing animals. They do not follow what is ordained in the scriptures, and knowingly or unknowingly, commit unrighteous actions. Scriptures prescribe surrender to the lord through the recitation of Sri Rudram as the greatest means of overcoming these sins. Again the Vedas teach the devotee what to ask of the lord in chamakam (11 cantos). It is believed that any one reciting the Namakam (Rudram) , Chamakam and Purusha Suktam , is well honoured in the Brahma Loka.
Sri Rudram is also known as Namakam because of the abounding namaskaarams (namaha) contained in it, Chamakam is so called on account of the recurrence of the words "cha me" meaning "Lord grant me this and this". The first canto of Sri Rudram seeks the grace of Rudra who is angered by those not following His injunctions (dharma). In the second through the nine cantos the devotee bows unto Him as Sarveshvara, Sarvaatma and Sarvaantaryaami! The 300 glorious names of the lord,Rudra trisati, is derived from these eight cantos.
In the tenth canto He is prayed for specific favours. And in the eleventh, the devotee prays to the Rudra Ganas which are His manifestations.
Chamakam is placed in the fourth kanda and seventh prapataka of the Yajur Veda. It lists 347 items that are requested from the lord , from food and other material requirements to the highest of spiritual goals.
Scriptures define several methods of Rudram recitation . However, reciting the entire Sri Rudram once followed by Chamakam, is the most common method practised in day- to- day worship. We can all see that our country and indeed, the whole world, needs this Maha Yagna!
When we think of Lord shiva invariably we get the image of "Shiv Lingam". In temples, the Linga is portrayed as Lingodbhava Murti with an unending top and bottom signifying the infinitude of the Paramaatman ! In this Lingam, the entire universe is personified. If this Lingam is cooled (pleased by devotion ),the universe is cooled(filled with peace and love) That is why constant abhisheka to Siva as an expression of our bhakti.
Siva Puja Archana
During pujas,several upacaras are offered to the lord . One important component
following the abhishekam is archana to the lord. This is performed by reciting the glorious names of the Lord ranging from ashtotra satanaamaavali (108 names- Siva ashtotram, bilva ashtotram) Shashranaama (1000 names) ,Trisati (300 names) etc.
Rudra Homa is generally accomplished by performing the homam in eleven kundas. Oblations are offered usually with ghee and samits (sacred wood sticks).
The final part of the homam is the purnaahuti and vasordhara. The chamakam occurs as the seventh prapatka of the fourth kanda of the Yajur Veda. This prapataka describes the pouring of ghee into the sacred fire with a wooden ladle made of Audhumbara wood, popularly known as vasordhara.
It should be noted that making donations of large Kalsas, Ghee, annadanam material , rice etc, flowers , just to mention a few of the required items will bring great benefit to the donors. The Ashram will itemize this in due course.
We look forward to everyone participating and supporting this rare event graced to us by our beloved Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji! Let us all chant billions of "Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha" to fully prepare for such a glorious Maha Rudra Yagna!
1. The efficacy of Sri ‘Maha rudra’ Yagna Founder Sri Mahalakshmi Yoga PeetaM Office:1B, First Floor, C.L.C. Works Road, Chrompet, Chennai – 600 044 Compilied by Guruji Kalyanarama Iyer
2. Document Ati Rudra Yagna by Avadootha Datta Peetham