Rudra (Sanskrit: रुद्रः) is a Rigvedic god of the storm, [For Rudra as a storm god, see: Basham (1989), p. 15.] the wind, and the hunt. The name has been translated as "Roarer", [Zimmer (172), p. 181.] [Majumdar, p. 162.] [Griffith, p. 75, note 1.] "Howler", [Zimmer (1972), p. 181.] "Wild One", and "Terrible". Rudra is "thought" to be an early form of Shiva. [For Rudra as a Vedic form of Shiva, see: Zimmer (1972), p. 181.] By the time that the Ramayana was written, the name "Rudra" is taken as a synonym for Shiva and the two names are used interchangeably.


The etymology of the word "rudra" is somewhat uncertain. [For etymology of "rudra" being uncertain, see: Chakravarti, p. 4.] The commentator IAST|Sāyaṇa suggests six possible derivations for the word. [For IAST|Sāyaṇa suggesting six possible derivations see: Chakravarti, p. 5.] However, another reference states that Sayana suggested ten derivations. [ see: Sri Rudram and Purushasukram,by Swami Amiritananda, pgs. 9-10, Sri Ramakrishna Math .]

Rudra is a mutation of the German word Ruth which means red. Similar to the Tamil root word of Siva which means red.Fact|date=September 2008

In Tamil, "Shiva" literally means "the supreme one". Tamil "Siva" means Red.Fact|date=September 2008

The Sanskrit name "Rudra" is usually derived from the root "rud-" which means "to cry, howl." [For the "usual" derivation from root "rud-" meaning "to cry" see: Chakravarti, p. 4.] [For "rud-" meaning "cry, howl" as a traditional etymology see: Kramrisch, p. 5.] According to this etymology, the name Rudra has been translated as "the Roarer". [For root "rud-" as the basis of translation of the name "Rudra" as "the Roarer" see: Majumdar, p. 162.] An alternate etymology suggested by Prof. Pischel derives "Rudra" ("the Red, the Brilliant") from a lost root "rud-", "to be red" [Griffith, p. 75, note 1.] or "to be ruddy", [For the Pischel etymology as "ruddy" see: Chakravarti, p. 4.] or according to Grassman, "to shine". [For Grassman's hypothetical "rud-" meaning "to shine" see: Chakravarti, p. 4.] Stella Kramrisch notes a different etymology connected with the adjectival form "raudra", which means wild, of "rudra" nature, and translates the name "Rudra" as "the Wild One" or "the Fierce God". [Citation to M. Mayrhofer, "Concise Etymological Sanskrit Dictionary", "s.v." "rudra", is provided in: Kramrisch, p. 5.] R. K. Sharma follows this alternate etymology and translates the name as "Terrible" in his glossary for the Shiva Sahasranama. [Sharma, p. 301.]

The adjective "shiva" in the sense of "propitious" or "kind" is applied to the name Rudra in Rig Veda 10.92.9. [Kramrisch, p. 7.] [For text of RV 10.92.9 "see:" Arya and Joshi, volume 4, p. 432.] According to Gavin Flood, "Shiva" used as a name or title (Sanskrit "IAST|śiva", "the kindly/auspicious one") occurs only in the late Vedic "Katha Aranyaka" [Flood (2003), p. 73.] Axel Michaels says "Rudra" was called "Shiva" for the first time in the "Śvetāśvatara Upanishad". [Michaels, p. 217.]

Rudra is called "The Archer" (Sanskrit: "IAST|Śarva") [For IAST|Śarva as a name of Shiva see: Apte, p. 910.] and the arrow is an essential attribute of Rudra. [For archer and arrow associations see Kramrisch, Chapter 2, and for the arrow as an "essential attribute" see: Kramrisch, p. 32.] This name appears in the Shiva Sahasranama, and R. K. Sharma notes that it is used as a name of Shiva often in later languages. [Sharma, p. 306.] The word is derived from the Sanskrit root "IAST|śarv-" which means "to injure" or "to kill" [For root "IAST|śarv-" see: Apte, p. 910.] and Sharma uses that general sense in his interpretive translation of the name IAST|Śarva as "One who can kill the forces of darkness". [Sharma, p. 306.] The names IAST|Dhanvin ("Bowman") [Chidbhavananda, p. 33.] and IAST|Bāṇahasta ("Archer", literally "Armed with arrows in his hands") [Chidbhavananda, p. 33.] [For translation of IAST|Bāṇahasta as "Armed with arrows in his hands") see: Sharma, p. 294.] also refer to archery.

In other contexts the word "rudra" can simply mean "the number eleven". [Apte, p. 804]

The word "rudraksha" (Sanskrit: "IAST|rudrākşa" = "rudra" + "IAST|akşa" "eye"), or "eye of Rudra", is used as a name both for the berry of the Rudraksha tree, and a name for a string of the prayer beads made from those seeds. [For compound "rudra" + "IAST|akşa" and two meanings of the compound term, see: Apte, p. 804.]

The Maruts

Rudra is used both as a name of Shiva and collectively ("the Rudras") as the name for the Maruts. [For the terms "Maruts" and "Rudras" as equivalent, see: Flood (1996), p. 46.] Gavin Flood characterizes the Maruts as "storm gods", associated with the atmosphere. [Flood (1996), pp. 45-46.] They are a group of gods, supposed to be either eleven or thirty-three [For the number of Maruts as either 11 or 33 see: Macdonell, p. 256.] in number. The number of Maruts varies from two to sixty (three times sixty in RV 8.96.8.).Fact|date=June 2007 The Rudras are sometimes referred to as "the sons of Rudra". [Flood (1996), p. 46.] Rudra is referred to as "Father of the Maruts" in RV 2.33.1. [For "Father of the Maruts" in RV 2.33.1 see: Arya and Joshi, vol. 2, p. 78.] [For Shiva as the head or father of the group see: Apte, p. 804.] [For Rudra as the head of a host of "storm spirits, the Maruts" see: Basham (1989), p. 14.]

Rig Veda

The earliest mentions of Rudra occur in the Rig Veda, where three entire hymns are devoted to him. [For three RV hymns devoted to Rudra, see: Chakravarti, p. 1.] [For citation of the four Rig Veda hymns (1.43, 1.114, 2.33, and 7.46) see: Michaels, p. 216 and p. 364, note 50.] There are about seventy-five references to Rudra in the Rig Veda overall. [For seventy-five RV mentions, see: Chakravarti, p. 1.] [E.g., Rudra is included in a litany given in RV 7.40.5.] In the Rig Veda Rudra's role as a frightening god is apparent in references to him as "ghora" ("terrible"), or simply as "asau devam" ("that god"). [Flood (2003), p, 73.] He is "fierce like a formidable wild beast" (RV 2.33.11). [For translation of RV 2.33.11 as "fierce like a formidable wild beast" see: Arya and Joshi, vol. 2, p. 81.] Chakravarti sums up the perception of Rudra by saying:

RV 1.114 is an appeal to Rudra for mercy, where he is referred to as "mighty Rudra, the god with braided hair." [Doniger, pp. 224-225]

In Rig Veda 7.46, Rudra is described as armed with a bow and fast-flying arrows. As quoted by R. G. Bhandarkar, the hymn says Rudra discharges "brilliant shafts which run about the heaven and the earth" (RV 7.46.3), which may be a reference to the destructive power of lightning. [For RV 7.46.3 as symbolic of lightning, see: Bhandarkar, p. 146.]

Rudra was believed to cause disease, and when people recovered from them or were free of them, that too was attributed to the agency of Rudra. [For association between Rudra and disease, with Rig Vedic references, see: Bhandarkar, p. 146.] He is asked not to afflict children with disease (RV 7.46.2) and to keep villages free of illness (RV 1.114.1). He is said to have healing remedies (RV 1.43.4), as the best physician of physicians (RV 2.33.4), and as possessed of a thousand medicines (RV 7.46.3).

Rig Veda 7.40.5

Rudra is mentioned along with a litany of other deities in Rig Veda 7.40.5. Here is the reference to Rudra, whose name appears as one of many gods who are called upon:

This "IAST|Varuṇa", the leader of the rite, and the royal "Mitra" and "Aryaman", uphold my acts, and the divine unopposed "Aditi", earnestly invoked: may they convey us safe beyond evil.

I propitiate with oblations the ramifications (IAST|vayāḥ) of that divine attainable "IAST|Viṣṇu", the showerer of benefits. "Rudra", bestow upon us the magnificence of his nature. The "IAST|Aśvins" have come down to our dwelling abounding with (sacrificial) food. [RV 7.40.4 - 7.40.5 as translated in Arya and Joshi, pp. 243-244.]

One scholiast interpretation of the Sanskrit word "IAST|vayāḥ", meaning "ramifications" or "branches", is that all other deities are, as it were branches of Vishnu, [For the scholiast interpretation of "IAST|vayāḥ" as "ramifications" or "branches" see: Arya and Joshi, p. 244.] but Ralph T. H. Griffith cites Ludwig as saying "This... gives no satisfactory interpretation" and cites other views which suggest that the text is corrupt at that point. [See: "This, Ludwid remarks, gives no satisfactory interpretation; but I am unable to offer anything better at present. Grassman alters IAST|vayāḥ into IAST|vayāma: 'we with our offering approach the banquet of this swift-moving God, the bounteous IAST|Viṣṇu; i.e. come to offer him sacrificial food.'" in: Griffith, p. 356, note 5.]

Rudra hymns

Besides the few passages to Rudra in the "Rig Veda", there are important hymns in the collections of the Atharva Veda. In the various recensions of the Yajur Veda is included a litany of stanzas praising Rudra: ("Maitrāyaṇī-Saṃhitā" 2.9.2, "Kāṭhaka-Saṃhitā" 17.11, "Taittirīya-Saṃhitā" 4.5.1, and "Vājasaneyi-Saṃhitā" 16.1–14). This litany is subsequently referred to variously as the "Śatarudriyam", the "Namakam" (because many of the verses commence with the word "namaḥ" [`homage`] ), or simply the "Rudram". This litany was recited during the "agnicayana" ritual ("the piling of Agni"), and it later became a standard element in Rudra liturgy.

A selection of these stanzas, augmented with others, is included in the "Paippalāda-Saṃhitā" of the Atharva Veda (PS 14.3—4). This selection, with further PS additions at the end, circulated more widely as the "Nīlarudram" (or "Nīlarudra Upaniṣad"). [See Lubin 2007] [For an overview of the Śatarudriya see: Kramrisch, pp. 71-74.]

Dasam Granth

The 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh describes the incarnation of Lord Shiva in his book the Dasam Granth, the Canto is titled Rudra Avatar

A possible Hellenic equivalent to Rudra

In the 2nd verse of [ "Ṛc Veda" 1:114] , along with Rudra is mentioned Manu : this /MANu/ may be the etymological equivalent to the /MANēs/ who is described by Hērodotos as the grandfather, and by Dionusios of Halikarnassos as the great-grandfather, of Ludos. If so, then /LUDos/ would be the Hellenic etymological equivalent to /RUDra/. (The Indo-european phoneme /L/ is regularly changed to /R/ in the Samskṛta language.) The name of the goddess /ADIti/, mentioned with Rudra in the 2nd verse of [ "Ṛc Veda" 1:43] , may be compared with the name /ADIēs/ of the uncle of Ludos according to Dionusios of Halikarnassos.According to the [ "Golden Rosary of Padma-Sambhava"] , at the birth of Rudra there appeared 18 inauspicious signs along with famine : this matches the 18 years of famine (according to [ Hērodotos : "Kliōi"] 94) in the reign of Atus the father of Ludos.

In modern fiction

*Rudra appears alongside Agni in Devil May Cry 3 as a pair of twin swords with Rudra possessing the element of wind and Agni possessing the element of fire. The two demonic swords frequently speak to each other, much to the annoyance of the character Dante.



*cite book |last=Apte |first=Vaman Shivram |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary |year=1965 |publisher=Motilal Banarsidass Publishers |location=Delhi |isbn=81-208-0567-4 (fourth revised & enlarged edition).
*cite book |series=Parimal Sanskrit Series No. 45|last=Arya |first=Ravi Prakash|authorlink= |coauthors=Joshi, K. L. |title=IAST|Ṛgveda Saṃhitā: Sanskrit Text, English Translation, Notes & Index of Verses|year=2001 |publisher=Parimal Publications|location=Delhi|isbn=81-7110-138-7 Second revised edition. Set of four volumes (2003 reprint). This revised edition updates H. H. Wilson's translation by replacing obsolete English forms with more modern equivalents, giving the English translation along with the original Sanskrit text in Devanagari script, along with a critical apparatus.
*cite book |last=Basham |first=A. L. |authorlink= |coauthors=Zysk, Kenneth (Editor) |title=The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism |year=1989 |publisher=Oxford University Press|location=New York |isbn=0-19-507349-5
*cite book |last=Bhandarkar |first=Ramakrishna Gopal |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Vaisnavism, Śaivism, and Minor Religious Systems |year=1913 |publisher=Asian Educational Services |location=New Delhi |isbn=81-206-0122-X Third AES reprint edition, 1995.
*cite book |last=Chakravarti |first=Mahadev |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=The Concept of Rudra-Śiva Through The Ages |year=1994 |publisher=Motilal Banarsidass |location=Delhi |isbn=81-208-0053-2 (Second Revised Edition; Reprint, Delhi, 2002).
*cite book |last=Chidbhavananda |first=Swami |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Siva Sahasranama Stotram: With Navavali, Introduction, and English Rendering. |year=1997 |publisher=Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam |location= |isbn=81-208-0567-4 (Third edition). The version provided by Chidbhavananda is from chapter 17 of the Anuśāsana Parva of the Mahābharata.
*cite book |last=Flood |first=Gavin |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=An Introduction to Hinduism |year=1996 |publisher=Cambridge University Press |location=Cambridge |isbn= 0-521-43878-0
*cite book |last=Flood |first=Gavin (Editor)|authorlink= |coauthors= |title=The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism|year=2003 |publisher=Blackwell Publishing Ltd.|location=Malden, MA|isbn=1-4051-3251-5
*cite book |last=Griffith |first=Ralph T. H. |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=the Hymns of the IAST|Ṛgveda |year=1973 |publisher=Motilal Banarsidass|location=Delhi |isbn= 81-208-0046-X New Revised Edition
*cite book |series= |last=Kramrisch |first=Stella |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=The Presence of Śiva |year=1981 |publisher=Princeton University Press|location=Princeton, New Jersey |isbn=0-691-01930-4
* Lubin, Timothy (2007). “The Nīlarudropaniṣad and the Paippalādasaṃhitā: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Upaniṣad and Nārāyaṇa's Dīpikā,” in: "The Atharvaveda and its Paippalāda Śākhā: Historical and Philological Papers on a Vedic Tradition", ed. A. Griffiths and A. Schmiedchen, pp. 81–139. (Indologica Halensis 11). Aachen: Shaker Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8322-6255-6
*cite book |last=Macdonell |first=Arthur Anthony |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary |year=1996 |publisher=Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers |location=New Delhi |isbn=81-215-0715-4
*cite book |last=Majumdar |first=R. C. (general editor)|authorlink=R. C. Majumdar |coauthors= |title=The History and Culture of the Indian People: (Volume 1) The Vedic Age |year=1951 |publisher=George Allen & Unwin Ltd. |location=London|isbn=
*cite book |last=Michaels |first=Axel|authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Hinduism: Past and Present |year=2004 |publisher=Princeton University Press |location=Princeton, New Jersey|isbn=0-691-08953-1
*cite book |last=Sharma |first=Ram Karan |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=IAST|Śivasahasranāmāṣṭakam: Eight Collections of Hymns Containing One Thousand and Eight Names of Śiva. With Introduction and IAST|Śivasahasranāmākoṣa (A Dictionary of Names). |year=1996 |publisher=Nag Publishers |location=Delhi |isbn=81-7081-350-6 This work compares eight versions of the Śivasahasranāmāstotra. The Preface and Introduction (in English) by Ram Karan Sharma provide an analysis of how the eight versions compare with one another. The text of the eight versions is given in Sanskrit.
*cite book |last=Zimmer |first=Heinrich|authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization |year=1972 |publisher=Princeton University Press |location=Princeton, New Jersey |isbn=0-691-01778-6

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rudra — Научная классификация промежуточные ранги Домен:  …   Википедия

  • Rudra — (Sanskrit, m., रुद्र, Rudra, wörtl. ev.: der Heulende oder Brüllende ) ist ein vedischer Gott und wahrscheinlich der Vorgänger von Shiva. Rudra ist im Rigveda der Gott der Stürme und der Vater und Herrscher der Rudras und Maruts. Er ist eng… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rudra —    Rudra, “the howler,” is the father of the MARUTS, the storm gods of the RIG VEDA, but is also known for causing disease and for healing. The epithet SHIVA, “the benign,” is given to him in the Rig Veda (though he is most often fierce), and… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Rudra — (ind. Myth.), der Blutige, Thränen Erregende, Beiname des Schiwa; daher Rudras, dessen zerstörende Boten u. Diener; es gab ihrer 11, in Sonne, Mond, Willen, Feuer, Raum, Erde, Wasser, Leben, Büßung, Herz u. Sinnen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Rudra — Rudra, in der vedischen Mythologie ein überwiegend schadenbringender Gott von zweifelhafter Natur, von manchen für einen Sturmgott gehalten. Seine Söhne sind die Marut (s. d.). Die meisten temer Eigenschaften sind auf den spätern Çiva übertragen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Rudra — Rudra, Name eines altind. Gottes, Vater der Marut, Herr der Tiere, gedacht als schrecklicher Gott, zugleich aber als bester der Ärzte …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Rudra — Rudra,   vedischer Gott; im Hinduismus identisch mit Shiva in seinem Aspekt der Zerstörung; wird in der hinduistischen Kunst mit rollenden Augen, aufgerissenem Rachen, abstehenden Haaren und Ohrringen aus Schlangen dargestellt.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Rudra — storm god in Vedic mythology, from Skt. Rudrah, lit. the howler, roarer, from stem of rudati weeps, laments, bewails, cognate with L. rudere to roar, bellow, Lith. rauda wail, lamentation, O.E. reotan to wail, lament …   Etymology dictionary

  • rudra- — *rudra , *rudraz germ., Adjektiv: nhd. rot; ne. red (Adjektiv); Rekontruktionsbasis: ae.; Hinweis: s. *reuda ; Etymologie: s. ing. *reudʰ , Adjektiv, rot, Pok …   Germanisches Wörterbuch

  • Rudra — Les Rudras sont un groupe de dieux dont Rudra fait partie. Rudra est la deuxième facette de Shiva, appelé parfois Shiva Shankar, la face sombre de Shiva; Dieu des animaux, de la mort, des orages. Dieu hurleur effrayant et dieu des tempêtes. Il… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.