What is an abhishekam?
An abhishekam is the holy bath given to a deity. This is the sacred hydration ceremony performed for inviting divine energies into our lives. It is a simple but highly effective purification process. Such a ritual is performed to the deities, who themselves are the embodiments of purity, only because this remains the most practical means of purifying our own souls.
Who is Rudra and what is Rudram?
Rudra is a fierce form of Archetype Shiva, who represents the many manifestations of the Lord. Apart from protecting the vital organs of our bodies, he also guards our prana, the life force, and atman, the soul.
Sri Rudram or Rudram is a powerful Vedic hymn, a prayer in praise of Rudra. This is chanted for transforming his fierce form into a peaceful and benevolent one, so that he can shower us with his blessings.
What is the importance of Lord Shiva?
Lord Shiva is pure consciousness. He represents the soul, the very core of a being. Scriptures regard him as one among the holy trinities, the three supreme Gods among the pantheon of divine beings. These Gods take care of the three core activities of creation, sustenance and destruction and thus govern the universe. Of these, Shiva is the God of destruction. Shiva does destroy, but only to transform and elevate. He is the only God who is referred to as “Mahadeva,” the great God or the Lord of the Gods. Being also the ruler of three powerful planets (the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn) who exercise strong control over our lives, Shiva can be said to lord over our very destinies.
How is the Rudrabhishekam performed and what are the benefits of doing it?
An abhishekam done to Rudra is termed “Rudrabhishekam.” This is the hydration ceremony performed with water to Lord Shiva, who is invoked as Rudra, amidst the ceremonial chanting of the sacred Sri Rudram hymn.
Lord Shiva as Rudra can remove the devotees’ sorrow, ensure protection, provide complete auspiciousness, clear debts and wipe out negativity. But the name Rudra essentially means “the one who dissolves.” Hence, while this worship ensures multiple benefits, it is essentially performed for the dissolution of bad karmas and liberation from karmic bondage. The greatest benefits of the Rudrabhishekam thus remain one’s evolution in consciousness and strong spiritual upliftment.