Rudra is an aspect of Lord Shiva, one of the supreme Gods of the Hindu pantheon. He is also regarded as an incarnation of Shiva and also as Shiva himself in another name.
The Rudra Shiva is one among the Trimurthis, the divine trinity of Gods, who are responsible for the fundamental aspects of existence — creation, protection and destruction. He is hailed as Mahadeva, the Great Lord, and is considered as the God of destruction. However, he himself is believed to assume all the roles, thus often representing the trinity all by himself. He is generally worshipped in the form of Shiva Linga, the Lingeswara.
Rudra is also a unique Lord in many ways. The most striking feature of his form is perhaps his fiery, brilliant and powerful third eye, which he possesses in the middle of his forehead. It is because of this extraordinary characteristic that he is also hailed as Trinetra Dhari, the three-eyed Lord.
There are legends that speak about the origin of Rudra and also about the purpose of this incarnation.
Lord Shiva is said to have manifested as Rudra, principally to safeguard the universe from the negative energies and thus, to ensure its healthy continuity.
It is Lord Brahma who holds the responsibility of creating the world and its beings, and as per one of the stories, Rudra appeared just to give life and power to Brahma, so that he can start his work of creation. There is, however, another story which associates Rudra’s advent to sage Kashyap. Once, when the Devas came under the heavy assault of the Asuras, they pleaded with Kashyap to use his spiritual powers to protect them. Heeding to their request, Kashyap did a severe penance towards Lord Shiva for a long time and the kind Lord at last manifested to him and to his spouse Surabhi, in 11 powerful Rudra forms. The Rudras then drove away the demons, annihilated the evil forces, and protected the Devas and other virtuous beings from all dangers. In the process, the Rudras were said to have spread across the entire universe, and all the 3 worlds, like the earth, heaven and the hell, acting as a shield of protection against all the destructive forces.
The mantra in praise of Lord Rudra is a one-liner and reads as ‘Om Rudraya Namah’. ‘I bow down to Lord Rudra’ is its meaning.
The mantra may look simple, but is profound in significance. This is also made up of 6 syllables, just as the famous Shiva Mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is made of. The invocation begins with the word ‘Om’ and that denotes the ultimate, cosmic energy which remains as the underlying substance of all the living beings and the non-living things, ever created in the universe. The vibrations that are generated when ‘Om’ is chanted are all-pervading and is believed to have immense potency and miraculous powers. The mantra then takes the name of Lord Rudra with great reference and ends, offering salutations to him.
Rudra Mantra is believed to have miraculous powers and it is said that chanting this can offer immense protection against all sorts of dangers that can confront an individual in life.
Rudra Mantra Benefits
Rudra is a compassionate Lord who is easy to please. While the Rudra Mantra can bestow a variety of benefits, it is regarded principally as a means of divine protection that can act as an impregnable armor against all harms. This can remove or lessen the adverse effects of sins and relieve one from the fear of death. Chanting this can create a cosmic energy field around the body and this can improve and stabilize the condition of the physique, mind and emotions. It can help overcoming feelings like fear, anger and hatred, and cast a calming effect on a person. Reciting it 108 times can also keep evil energies and adverse spells at bay. This can also generate good karmas, leading to all-round welfare.