RUDRA SHIVA: Vedic Rudra was worshiped as a fierce celestial deity of storms by vedic population. This was Shiva’s prototype and both are described to be red or fierce. Hindus feared both as they could cause destruction, death and disease. Both could protect people from sudden death and snake bites. Both were ancient healers and Gods of roaring storms. The Rigveda 2.33 specifically describes Rudra as the "Father of the Maruts", a group of storm gods. In the Rigveda, Rudra is described as ‘Sarva’ or archer which is also Siva’s attribute. In the Mahabaratha, Siva is said to have appeared to Arjuna as an archer.
In this context, Siva retains its original meaning as an adjective meaning ‘auspicious, benign, friendly’, a euphemistic epithet of Rudra. They share nearly the same attributes, the Tandava, ash clad, Triambaka – three eyed, the damaru, pot of fire and ascetic life. Among the Trinity, Shiva, though considered as destroyer, also symbolizes the Inner Self which remains intact even after everything ends.
Rudra is considered to be an earlier Vedic aspect and name of Lord Siva. Reference to Rudra Shiva, Rudra Bhairava, Rudra Samhara Murthi are but references to Lord Shiva and his forms.
Among the four Vedas the ‘Saturdriya’ also called Sri Rudram, a part of the Krishnayajurveda is held to be the hymn per excellence, on Siva. The Satarudariya is in eleven anuvakas and Sri Rudram occurs in fourth chapter. In fact most of the concepts connected with Saivite faith can be traced to the Satarudriyai. Tamil Siddhars and Nayanmaars hold to Sri Rudram to be the first Vedic reference to Lord Shiva. Siddhars go a step further to state that Lord Shiva transcends the Vedas as Para Brahma and it is His Sadashiva form that He emanates the Vedas.
There are two important and well known Mantras in Sri Rudram, the Panchakshari Mantra and Mrithunjaya Mantra. Shaivite mystics hold that within the Panchaksharaa are the tones and hues of all the intuitive knowledge of Shaivism. The mantra appears for the first time without the Om – ‘Namassivaya ca Sivataraya ca’ in the traditional Sri Rudram Vedic prayer.
The Panchakshara is a great redeeming mantra. It means ‘I bow to Shiva or Salutation to Shiva.’ Shiva is the supreme reality, the inner Self. It is the name given to consciousness that in all. Shiva is the name of your true identity – your Self. 'Nama' also takes the meaning ‘salutations’ and 'Siva' among other interpretations means auspiciousness. There can also be another literal translation: ‘Om and salutations to that which I am capable of becoming.’
SADASHIVA is the philosophical aspect of Shiva. Mahesha is the penultimate materialization of the transcendent god. Mahesha is the fully formed version of Sadashiva. Shiva worshiped as Sadashiva was prevalent during the rule of the Chola kings in South India. In Siddha writings , Mahesha is the ultimate material form of the god who manifests himself partially in the form of Sadashiva, as well as in more transcendental forms such as the Linga.
In the Southern tradition, it is in the Lingam form that Shiva has his five faces and that in his ultimate manifestation he is the lingam. The lingam is the Jyoti, or the potential flame, which represents panchabhutas, the five cosmic elements or the constituents of the cosmos. Thus, it is out of him that the cosmos is born. In another tradition, Sadashiva is conceived as Eaasan, Ishan, or as Panchavaktramatrinetram. This is a combination of Tatpurusha, Vamadeva, Aghora, Sadyojata and Ishan, representing respectively wind, water, fire, creative function and space. Thus again Shiva's five heads manifest the five cosmic elements and functions.
Panchamukha Shiva, also known as Panchanana Shiva, is an image or idol of Lord Shiva with five faces. As five is the sacred number for Lord Shiva, five mantras and syllables represent him. These five mantras also signify the five heads of Shiva. Each head has a particular name and specific Shakti energy is associated with it. Puranas describe these five aspects of Shiva as the five elements, the five senses, the five organs of perception, and the five organs of action. From below mentioned we can know detailed information on names of Panchamukhi Shiva and the Shakti or power associated with them:
ISHANA: Also known as Sadashiva, Ishana Shiva is associated with Anugraha Shakti (power of blessing).
TATPURUSHA: Also known as Maheshwara, Tatpurusha Shiva is associated with Thoridhana Shakti (power of concealment).
AGHORA: Also referred to as Rudra, Aghora Shiva associates with Samhara Shakti (power of dissolution).
VAMADEVA: Also termed as Vishnu, Vamadeva Shiva is associated with Stithi Shakti (power of sustenance).
SADYOJATA: Also named as Brahma, Sadyojata Shiva is associated with Srishti shakti (power of creation)
The concept of Panchamukha Shiva explains us Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma are not three different Gods but a single God’s three significant aspects. His seated forms, as engaged in penance, or as one engaged in yoga-sadhana – practising yoga, broadly known as Yoga-Dakshina-Murti Shiva – the most accomplished one in Yoga, or Mahayogi Shiva, and so its related form, yogasana, a cross-legged seating posture, are quite prevalent forms of Shiva’s iconography.
ANAHATA CHAKRA: Sadashiva means eternal benefactor: Sada – eternal, Shiva-benefactor. The presiding deity of this chakra is Ishna Rudra Shiva. He has a camphor-blue skin, he is two-armed. The nature of Ishana is peaceful and beneficent. He holds the trident in his right hand and a damaru drum in his left. The holy
Ganga flowing from his hairlocks is a cooling and purifying stream of self-knowledge: Tat-tvam-asi, the knowledge that ‘I am That’. The snakes coiled around his body are the passions, which he has tamed.
His energy is Kakini Shakti, her skin is rose-colored. Her sari is sky-blue and she is seated upon a pink lotus. In her four hands Kakini Shakti holds the implements necessary for one to attain balance: She wears all kinds of ornaments, and in Her four hands She carries the noose and the skull, and makes the sign of blessing and the sign which dispels fear. Her heart is softened with the drinking of nectar.
For all purposes, Rudra Shiva appears as Sadashiva Lingam behind Kundalini Shakti. This is the second Lingam called Banalingam; the first is indeed Svayambhu Lingam of the first chakra around which kundalini serpent is initially wrapped.
It is in Anahata chakra that Kundalini Shakti appears for the first time. Shakti is depicted as Trikona, triangle pointing upward; the tendency of Shakti to spiral upwards. She is typified as destructive serpent force, now becoming goddess energy. She is now no more coiled around the Lingam, but sits poised independently embodying Anahata Nada. In Siddhantam this is the ‘white noise emanating the Pranava Aum. This is Shabda Brahma and Omkara, the combination of trigunas represented by A-U-M respectively.
SYMBOLISM: The Lingam associated with Anahata chakra is synonymous with conscience. The symbolic animal is the black antelope representing the lightness of physical substance.
Meditating on this Heart Lotus gives one in full control of powerful Speech. They are ones, like Ishvara, able to protect and destroy the worlds. They are preeminently wise and noble deeds. Their mind is engrossed in Brahman thoughts. This Lotus is the celestial wishing tree, the Kalpataru which is also the abode and seat of Sarva-Shiva. It is given to male meditator upon the Anahata Chakra, ever more beloved to women than those who are most beloved to them.
Hara Hara Mahadeva
(draft Rudra chapter)
by Yogi Ananda Saraswathi