Front Page Titles (by Subject) RUDRÁ - A Vedic Reader for Students
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
RUDRÁ - Misc (Rigveda), A Vedic Reader for Students 
A Vedic Reader for Students, by Arthur Anthony MacDonnell. Containing Thirty Hymns of the Rigveda in the original Samhita and Pada Texts, with Transliteration, Translation, Explanatory Notes, Introduction, Vocabulary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
This god occupies a subordinate position in the RV., being celebrated in only three entire hymns, in part of another, and in one conjointly with Soma. His hand, his arms, and his limbs are mentioned. He has beautiful lips and wears braided hair. His colour is brown; his form is dazzling, for he shines like the radiant sun, like gold. He is arrayed with golden ornaments, and wears a glorious necklace (niṣká). He drives in a car. His weapons are often referred to: he holds the thunderbolt in his arm, and discharges his lightning shaft from the sky; but he is usually said to be armed with a bow and arrows, which are strong and swift.
Rudra is very often associated with the Maruts (i. 85). He is their father, and is said to have generated them from the shining udder of the cow Pṛśni.
He is fierce and destructive like a terrible beast, and is called a bull, as well as the ruddy (aruṣá) boar of heaven. He is exalted, strongest of the strong, swift, unassailable, unsurpassed in might. He is young and unaging, a lord (í̄śāna) and father of the world. By his rule and univeral dominion he is aware of the doings of men and gods. He is bountiful (mīḍhvá̄ṃs), easily invoked and auspicious (śivá). But he is usually regarded as malevolent; for the hymns addressed to him chiefly express fear of his terrible shafts and deprecation of his wrath. He is implored not to slay or injure, in his anger, his worshippers and their belongings, but to avert his great malignity and his cow-slaying, man-slaying bolt from them, and to lay others low. He is, however, not purely maleficent like a demon. He not only preserves from calamity, but bestows blessings. His healing powers are especially often mentioned; he has a thousand remedies, and is the greatest physician of physicians. In this connexion he has two exclusive epithets, jálāṣa, cooling, and jálāṣa-bheṣaja, possessing cooling remedies.
The physical basis represented by Rudra is not clearly apparent. But it seems probable that the phenomenon underlying his nature was the storm, not pure and simple, but in its baleful aspect seen in the destructive agency of lightning. His healing and beneficent powers would then have been founded partly on the fertilizing and purifying action of the thunderstorm, and partly on the negative action of sparing those whom he might slay. Thus the deprecations of his wrath led to the application of the euphemistic epithet śivá, which became the regular name of Rudra’s historical successor in post-Vedic mythology.
The etymological sense of the name is somewhat uncertain, but would be ‘Howler’ according to the usual derivation from rud cry.
ii. 33. Metre: Triṣṭubh.
See Page Number 57, Hymn Number 1 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Let thy good will, O Father of the Maruts, come (to us): sever us not from the sight of the sun. May the hero be merciful to us in regard to our steeds; may we be prolific with offspring.
pitar Marutām: the whole of a compound voc. expression loses its accent unless it begins a sentence of Pāda; in the latter case only the first syllable would be accented (p. 465, 18 a). yuyothās: 2. s. inj. Ā. of 2. yu separate, with irregular strong radical vowel (p. 144, α). saṃdṛ́śas: abl. 201 A 1. vīrás = Rudra, with change from 2. to 3. prs., as is often the case (cp. i. 85, 5 c). árvati abhí kṣameta = may he not injure us in our steeds, may he spare them. Rudra must be read as a trisyllable (15, 1 d).
See Page Number 58, Hymn Number 2 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
By the most salutary medicines given by thee, O Rudra, I would attain a hundred winters. Drive far away from us hatred, away distress, away diseases in all directions.
tvá̄-dattebhī: the first member of this cd. retains the inst. case-form (p. 273); Sandhi, 47. śatám: on the concord see p. 291, b; life extending to a hundred winters or autumns (śarádas) is often prayed for. aśīya: root ao. op. Ā. of aṃś (p. 171, 4). ví: the prp. of a cd. vb. is often repeated with each object, the vb. itself being used only once. vitarám: adv. of the cpv. of ví farther (cp. út-tara) employed only with verbs compounded with ví. cātayasvā: ipv. Ā. cs. of cat, with metrical lengthening of the final vowel. víṣūcīs: A. pl. f. of víṣvañc turned in various directions, is used predicatively like an adv.
See Page Number 58, Hymn Number 3 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Thou art the best of what is born, O Rudra, in glory, the mightiest of the mighty, O wielder of the bolt. Transport us to the farther shore of distress in safety. Ward off all attacks of mischief.
jātásya: the pp. used as a n. collective noun = that which has been born, creation. vajra-bāho: it is only here that this specific epithet of Indra is applied to any other deity; the voc. o of u stems is regularly treated as Pragṛhya by the Pada text, but not in the Saṃhitā text (where for instance vá̄yav á̄ and vá̄ya ukthébhiḥ are written). párṣi: from pṛ take across, is one of a number of isolated 2. s. pr. indicatives in form, but ipv. in sense (p. 349, β). ṇas: initial n cerebralized even in external Sandhi (65 A c). pārám: acc. of the goal (197 A 1). svastí: this word is not analysed in the Pada text (like sumatí, &c.) because asti does not occur as an independent substantive; here it is a shortened form of the contracted inst. svastí̄ (p. 80, n. 2); it is several times used in the sense of a final dat. = svastáye. abhì̄tīs: = abhí itīs, hence the Svarita (p. 464, 17, 1 α); Sandhi, 47. yuyodhi: 2. s. ipv. of yu separate, with irr. strong radical vowel (p. 144, α).
See Page Number 59, Hymn Number 4 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
May we not anger thee, O Rudra, with our obeisances, nor with ill praise, O bull, nor with joint invocation. Raise up our heroes with remedies: I hear of thee as the best physician of physicians.
cukrudhāma: this form, red. (cs.) ao. (149, p. 174) might in itself be either sb. or inj., because the 1. pl. P. of these moods is identical in a stems; but the use here of the prohibitive pcl. má̄, which is employed with inj. forms only (180), decides the question. námobhis: that is, with ill or inadequate worship; cp. dúṣṭutī in b; the latter form is a contracted inst. (p. 80); on the internal Sandhi of this word see 43, 3 a. sáhūtī: contracted inst.; invocation with other deities whom Rudra might consider inferior. úd arpaya: cs. of úd ṛ (p. 197, irr. 1) = raise up, strengthen. bhiṣájām: partitive gen. (see 202 B 2 b, p. 321); cp. 3 b. śṛṇomi: pr. of śru hear; with double acc., 198, 1.
See Page Number 60, Hymn Number 5 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Rudra who is called on with invocations and with oblations, I would appease with songs of praise: may he, the compassionate, easy to invoke, ruddy brown, fair-lipped, not subject us to that jealousy of his.
hávīman: from hū call, but havís from hu sacrifice. áva diṣīya: s ao. op. Ā. of dā give(144, 3). ṛdūdáras is not analysed in the Pada text, perhaps owing to a doubt whether it is = ṛdu-udára or ṛdū-dára (the former is the view of Yāska who explains it as mṛdu-udara); for ṛdū-pá̄ and ṛdū-vṛ́dh are separated and dara is separated in puraṃ-dará. Both this word (according to the former analysis) and su-háva are Bv. (p. 455, c α). babhrús: this colour is attributed to Rudra in viii. 9, 15 also; otherwise it is applied more often to Soma (viii. 48) as well as once to Agni. su-śípras: see note on ii. 12, 6 c. rīradhat: inj. red. ao. of randh. asyái maná̄yai: that is, Rudra’s well-known wrath is deprecated; cp. 4 a b. There is some doubt as to the exact interpretation of this stanza. The chief objection to the above explanation is the necessity to take hávate in a ps. sense (= hūyate according to Sāyaṇa). The following sense has also been suggested: ‘he who invokes Rudra (thinks), “I would buy off Rudra with songs of praise”: let not Rudra subject us to that suspicion (on his part).’
See Page Number 61, Hymn Number 6 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
The bull accompanied by the Maruts has gladdened me, the suppliant, with his most vigorous force. I would unscathed attain shade in heat as it were: I would desire to win the good will of Rudra.
úd . . . mamanda: pf. of mand (nasalized form of mad) gladden; intransitive, be glad, in Ā. only. ṛṣabhás: Rudra. Marútvān: though this epithet is characteristic of Indra, it is also twice applied to Rudra (as father of the Maruts, see 1 a) as well as very rarely to a few other gods who are associated with Indra; on the Sandhi see 40, 2. ghṛ́ṇīva has been much discussed. The only natural explanation (following the Pada text) is ghṛ́ṇi iva, taking ghṛ́ṇi as a contracted inst. f. (p. 80) expressing either cause = by reason of heat (199 A 3) or time = in heat (199 A 5); Sāyaṇa’s explanation is ghṛ́ṇī iva like one heated by the rays of the sun; but a word ghṛṇín N. ghṛṇí̄ does not occur, and the accent is wrong. For the simile cp. vi. 16, 38: úpa chāyá̄m iva ghṛ́ṇer áganma śárma te vayám we have entered thy shelter like shade (protecting) from heat(p. 317, 2). aśīya: see 2 b; on the Sandhi of the final vowel of the Pāda, cp. i. 160, 4 c. á̄ vivāseyam: op. ds. of van win.
See Page Number 61, Hymn Number 7 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Where, O Rudra, is that merciful hand of thine which is healing and cooling? As remover of injury coming from the gods, to thou, O Bull, now be compassionate towards me.
kvaí̱ sya: see p. 450, b. bheṣajás is an adj. here and in one other passage; otherwise it is a n. noun meaning medicine. apabhartá̄: on the accent see p. 453, 9 d. dáivyasya: derived from the gods, that is, such as is inflicted by Rudra himself; on the Sandhi of the final vowel, cp. 6 c. abhí̄: final vowel metrically lengthened in the second syllable of the Pāda, but not in 1 c. cakṣamīthās: 2. s. pf. op. of kṣam (p. 156, 3).
See Page Number 62, Hymn Number 8 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
For the ruddy-brown and whitish bull I utter forth a mighty eulogy of the mighty one. I will adore the radiant one with obeisances. We invoke the terrible name of Rudra.
prá . . . īrayāmi: an example of the prp. at the beginning, and the vb. to which it belongs at the end of a hemistich. śvitīcé: D. s. of śvityáñc (cp. 93). mahás: gen. s. m. of máh, beside the acc. s. f. of the same adj. (Sāyaṇa: mahato mahatīm), of the great one (Rudra); cp. i. 1, 5 c. namasyá̄: according to the Pada this form has its final syllable metrically lengthened for namasyá, which is the 2. s. ipv.; otherwise it is the 1. s. sb. (p. 128), which is the more likely because the third syllable does not favour metrical lengthening, and because the 1. prs. is used both in the preceding and the following Pāda. The metre of c is abnormal because the caesura follows the third syllable, and there is a secondary caesura after the eighth. gṛṇīmási: 1. pl. pr. of gṛ sing(p. 138).
See Page Number 63, Hymn Number 9 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
With his firm limbs, having many forms, the mighty one, ruddy-brown, has adorned himself with bright gold ornaments. From the ruler of this great world, from Rudra, let not his divine dominion depart.
sthirébhir áṅgaiḥ: probably to be construed with pipiśe, by means of his firm limbs he has adorned himself with golden ornaments, that is, his limbs are adorned with golden ornaments; Sāyaṇa supplies yuktás furnished with firm limbs. pipiśe: pf. Ā. of piś. í̄śānād: pr. pt. (agreeing with Rudrād) of īś rule over with gen. (202 A a); the pf. pt. is īśāná. bhú̄res: agreeing with bhúvanasya; cp. vii. 95, 2: cétantī bhúvanasya bhú̄reḥ taking note of the wide world (where bhú̄res could not agree with any other word); Sāyaṇa takes it with Rudrá̄d. yoṣat: s ao. of yu separate(p. 162, 2; 201 A 1). asuryàm: an examination of the occurrences of this word indicates that as an adj. it should be pronounced asuría, but as a substantive asuryá.
See Page Number 63, Hymn Number 10 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Worthy thou bearest arrows and bow; worthy thy adorable all-coloured necklace; worthy thou wieldest all this force: there is nothing mightier than thou, O Rudra.
bibharṣi: 2. s. pr. of bhṛ bear; this pr. stem is much less common than that according to the first class, bhára. árhann: 52. ídám: this, viz. that thou possessest. dayase: 2. s. Ā. pr. of 2. dā divide. Sāyaṇa interprets idáṃ dayase ábhvam as thou protectest this very extensive (ábhvam) world. tvád: abl. after cpv. (p. 317, 3).
See Page Number 64, Hymn Number 11 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Praise him, the famous, that sits on the car-seat, the young, the mighty, that slays like a dread beast. O Rudra, being praised be gracious to the singer: let thy missiles lay low another than us.
yúvānam: other gods also, such as Agni, Indra, the Maruts, are spoken of as young. mṛgáṃ ná bhīmám: cp. note on i. 154, 2 b; either a bull (vṛṣabhó ná bhīmáḥ vi. 22, 1) or a lion (siṃhó ná bhīmáḥ, iv. 16, 14) may be meant. mṛḷá: ipv. of mṛḍ; with dat., p. 311, f. stávānas: here, as nearly always, in a ps. sense. asmád: abl. with anyá, p. 317, 3. sénās: that this word here means missiles is rendered probable by the parallel passage VS. 16, 52: yá̄s te sahásraṃ hetáyo ’nyám asmán ní vapantu tá̄ḥ may those thousand missiles of thine lay low another than us.
See Page Number 65, Hymn Number 12 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
A son bows towards his father who approving approaches him, O Rudra. I sing to the true lord, the giver of much: praised thou givest remedies to us.
The interpretation of a b is doubtful. It seems to mean: Rudra, as a father, approaches with approval the singer, as a son; Rudra, being addressed in the voc., is told this in an indirect manner. I cannot follow Sāyaṇa (pratinato ’smi I have bowed down to) and several translators in treating nanāma as 1. s. pf., which in the RV. could only be nanama (p. 149, n. 1). nānāma: = pr.; the lengthening of the first syllable is not metrical, see 139, 9. The meaning of c d appears to correspond to that of a b: Rudra, being praised, shows his favour by bestowing his remedies; the singer therefore extols him as the giver of riches. gṛṇīṣe: an irr. form of the 1. s. Ā. of gṛ sing. asmé: dat., p. 104; 200 A 1.
See Page Number 65, Hymn Number 13 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Your remedies, O Maruts, that are pure, that are most wholesome, O mighty ones, that are beneficent, that Manu, our father, chose: these and the healing and blessing of Rudra I desire.
Marutas: the Maruts, as the sons of Rudra (cp. 1 a) are here incidentally invoked, and their remedies associated with Rudra’s. mayobhú: the short form of the N. pl. n. (p. 82, n. 7, and p. 83, d). Mánus: the ancestor of mankind, often spoken of as a father or ‘our father’, and the institutor of sacrifice. ávṛṇītā: 3. s. ipf. Ā. (with metrically lengthened final vowel) of 2. vṛ choose. śám, yós: these words are frequently used in combination, either as adverbs or substantives.
See Page Number 66, Hymn Number 14 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
May the dart of Rudra pass us by, may the great ill will of the terrible one go by us: slacken thy firm (weapons) for (our) liberal patrons; O bounteous one, be merciful to our children and descendants.
vṛjyās: 3. s. root ao. prc. (p. 172 a) of vṛj twist. gāt: root ao. inj. of gā go. maghávadbhyas: the I. D. Ab. pl. of maghávan are formed from the supplementary stem maghávant (91, 5). áva tanuṣva sthirá̄: relax the taut, with reference to the bow, the special weapon of Rudra; used with the dat. because equivalent to mṛḷa be merciful to(p. 311 f). mí̄ḍhvas: voc. of the old unreduplicated pf. pt. mīḍhvá̄ṃs, cp. p. 66; 157 b(p. 182). mṛḷa: = mṝḷa, p. 437, a 9.
See Page Number 66, Hymn Number 15 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
So, O ruddy brown, far-famed bull, be listening here, O Rudra, to our invocation, inasmuch as thou art not wroth and slayest not, O god. We would, with strong sons, speak aloud at divine worship.
éva: to be taken with c, since in the normal syntactical order it should follow yáthā in the sense which it here has (p. 241, 1); when yathā meaning so that follows, it is normally construed with the sb. (241, 2), not with the ind., as here. cekitāna: voc. int. pr. pt. of cit note; Sāyaṇa explains it as knowing all, but the act. only has this sense (e. g. cikitvá̄ṃs knowing); this and the two preceding vocatives are unaccented because not beginning the Pāda (p. 466, 18 b). hṛṇīṣé: 2. s. Ā. pr. of 2. hṛ be angry. háṃsi: 2. s. pr. of han; Sandhi, 66 A 2. bodhi: 2. s. root ao. ipv. of bhū (p. 172, n. 1). nas: dat. to be taken with bodhi, lit. be invocation-hearing for us (not gen. dependent on havana, lit. hearing the invocation of us). vadema: see note on ii. 12, 15 d.
[P. 60, line 13,]for no read nǒ.