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Sri Rudram is a hymn dedicated to the "Rudra" form of God Shiva (supreme deity). It is taken from the Krishna Yajurveda (4.5, 4.7). It is also known as Sri Rudraprasna and Rudradhyaya. It is an unique, auspicious, and the single-most beneficial hymn that brings out the favorable and unfavorable aspects of the supreme energy. It is a method through which one can surrender to RUDRA while seeking love, protection, and blessings.
It is an ancient, powerful & mysterious mechanism to self-heal while gaining divine blessings of all universal Deities. The higher power has given us this sacred tool with which our bad deeds (bad karmas) can be vanished for good if approved by the Supreme. Additionally, is it a Nuclear Bomb as it can annihilate any form of Negativity by chanting Sri Rudram with love and dedication.
Sri Rudram contains great mantras to uplift your soul providing Bliss & Spiritual enlightenment. It contains the most well known maha-mantra (Panchakshari), Na-ma-ha Shi-va-ya, in the 8th anuvaka (section). It also contains many other great mantras like "Aum Namah Bhagavathe Rudraya", and "Tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pustivardhanama urva-rukamiva bandhanan mrtyormukhi yamam mrutat" .
The Supreme certainly appreciates any one chanting Sri Rudram with love and dedication. But, there is just another layer of happiness, satisfaction & a sense of commitment from us when done systematically. Four things are very important for a systematic recitation of Sri Rudram - Tone, Breakpoints, Rhythm & Pronunciation (in order).
Sri Rudra Abhishekham -
Sri Rudram chanting becomes even more holier and vibrant especially when five substances are used to offer during Abhishekham process to the LINGA. These substances, collectively called as Panchammrut, are - Milk, Yogurt, Ghee, Sugar and Honey. The benefits of performing Abhishekham is tremendous as it considered worshiping of the Supreme Energy in direct physical form. Other substances offered are - Coconut Juice, Lemon Juice, Sugarcane Juice and Panchagavyam (cow's dunk, urine, milk, curd & ghee). After the abhishekham process is completed THE LINGA is decorated with Sandlewood paste, Sindur (Vermilion) paste, Kumkum, Vibhuti (holy ash) and Musk Oil (kasturi attar).
Chanting method -
Sri Rudram can be either chanted directly or accompanied with a fire ritual (Rudra Yagna). Sri Rudram has two parts - Namakam and Chamakam, each having 11 anuvakas (sections). In our lineage we practice chanting of Sri Rudram with other auspicious and essential hymns -
Rudram is never completed without reciting all these hymns.
Excerpt from Sri Rudram:
Namaste Astu Bhagavan Vishveshvaraaya Mahaadevaaya Trayambakaaya Tripurantakaaya
Trikaalaagni - Kaalaaya Kaalaagni - Rudraaya Nilakantaaya Mrityunjayaaya Sarveshvaraaya Sadaashivaaya Sriman Mahadevaaya Namah.
Salutations to you God, Who is the lord of the universe, Who is the greatest among gods, Who has three eyes, Who destroyed the three cities, Who is master of the three fires, Who is the Rudra who burns the world, Who has a blue neck, Who won over the God of death, Who is Lord of everything, Who is ever peaceful, And who is the greatest God with goodness, I bow down to you the greatest among gods!