Let me narrate a legend involving Adi Shankaracharya and Devi before proceeding to the topic.
After Adi Shankaracharya was accepted as his disciple by Gaudapada(who is considered to be an Avatar of Vyasa,who in turn is an Avtar of Vishnu),Shankaracharya wanted to write a commentary,Bhashyam.
(*Adi Shankara’s Guru was Govinda Bhagavadpada and both Govinda Bhagavadpada and Shankara studied under Gaudapada.
Hence Shankara calls him Parama Guru.)
He wanted his first work to be on Devi.
So he fixed Devi in his mind ,meditated and asked his disciple to get the manuscript from the repository.
When It was brought,it was found to be the manuscript of Vishnu Sahasranama.
Shankaracharya was annoyed and asked the disciple to bring the manuscript on Devi.
What was brought to him,not only for the second time but the third time as well was,
Shankaracharya meditated on Devi and She told him,
‘Before beginning your work on Me,complete thee work on my elder Brother Vishnu first’
Thus was born the Shankara Bhashya of Vishnu.
It can be identified as Shankara Bhashya when the phrase ‘Om Namo Bhagavathe
Vasudevaayav’Vishnu’s Mahamantra,The Dwadasa Nama, in the Dhyana sloka before
‘ Santhakaaram Bhujaka Sayanam,’and this can not be found in any other work.
Such is the unity of Hindu thought and we have Krishna Sthuthi by
Shiva,Mantrarajapadam by Shiva on Narasimha and Siva Stuthi by Krishna.
Now there is something more.
Lord Krishna says He performs Satha Rudreeya daily.
Satha Rudreeyam is on Rudra,an aspect of Shiva as Destroyer.
Lord Krishna on Satha Rudreeyam.
‘Krishna confesses that he recites the Sata-Rudriya every morning, and explains how it is the best way to please Shiva (Anushasana Parva).
“Vasudeva said, ‘I shall recite to thee the good that I have acquired and the fame that I
have won through the Grace of That High-Souled One. Verily, I shall discourse to thee
on the topic, after having bowed unto Kapardin.
Oh king, listen to me as I recite to thee
that Sata-Rudriya which I repeat; with restrained senses, every morning after rising
from bed…O sire, It is Sankara who Created All the creatures in the Universe, mobile
There is no being that is higher, O monarch, than Mahadeva. Verily, He is
the Highest of All beings in the three worlds…Formerly, when Sankara became angry, the
deities trembled with fear and bent their heads to Him. Without being appeased, Rudra
placed on His bow-string a sharp and blazing arrow. Beholding His Prowess, the deities
and the Rishis became all alarmed. Those foremost of gods began to pacify Him! Joining
their hands in reverence, they began to recite the Sata-Rudriya Mantras. At last,
Maheswara, thus praised by the deities, became gratified.’”
hanta te kathayiShyAmi namaskRRitvA kapardine |
yadavAptaM mahArAja shreyo yachchArjitaM yashaH ||
prayataH prAtarutthAya yadadhIye vishAM pate |
prA~njaliH shatarudrIyaM tanme nigadataH shRRiNu ||
sha~NkarastvasRRijattAta prajAH sthAvaraja~NgamAH ||
nAsti ki~nchitparaM bhUtaM mahAdevAdvishAM pate |
iha triShvapi lokeShu bhUtAnAM prabhavo hi saH ||
tataH praNemurdevAste vepamAnAH sma sha~Nkaram |
punashcha sa.ndadhe rudro dIptaM sunishitaM sharam ||
rudrasya vikramaM dRRiShTvA bhItA devAH saharShibhiH |
tataH prasAdayAmAsuH sharvaM te vibudhottamAH ||
jepushcha shatarudrIyaM devAH kRRitvA~njaliM tataH |
sa.nstUyamAnastridashaiH prasasAda maheshvaraH ||’
Five Methods of Chanting Rudra
There are five methods of chanting Rudra viz.,
- Ordinary method where first Rudram is read and then Chamakam.
- Rudra ekadasini where after chanting Rudram, the first anuvaka of Chamakam is chanted, again after chanting Rudram the second anuvaka of Chamakam is chanted and so on till the eleventh chanting of Rudram followed by eleventh anuvaka of Chamakam.
- Eleven such Rudra ekadasinis makes one Laghu Rudram
- Eleven such Laghu Rudrams makes one Maha Rudram and
- Eleven such Maha Rudrams make one Athi rudram.