Shiva Rudrashtakam

“namami shami shana nirvana rupam vibhum vyapakam brahma veda swarupam”
We sing of Consciousness: the ontological fundament of the physical Universe, the contemplation of whose nature is the source of inexhaustible Joy. We sing of that which is all-powerful for those who meditate upon energy (latent motion), all-encompassing for those who meditate upon motion (activated energy) and the primal cause for those who meditate upon causation (source of motion-energy).

“nijam nirgunam nirvikalpam niriham chidakasha makasha vasam bhajeham”
We know that to be Shiva which is the devourer of the interior perception; that which is beyond categories, beyond qualities, beyond causality and differentiation. We know that to be Shiva which is the devourer of the exterior perception, the deconstructor of all narratives of external reality, who exists beyond the physical universe.

“nirakaramonkara moolam turiyam gira gyana gotitamisham girisham”
We know that to be Shiva that is formless yet forms the substrate for all levels of Consciousness, the generator of Turiya, undifferentiated Consciousness. We know that to be Shiva that transcends all these levels, beyond individuated comprehension.

“karalam mahakala kalam kripalam gunagara samsara param natoham”
Shiva is that which unfolds both the involution and evolution of the Universe. Shiva exists beyond the realm of physical reality.

“tusharadri samkasha gauram gambheeram manobhuta koti prabha shri shariraram”
Shiva manifests in external awareness as the perilous, blinding radiance of the mightiest snow covered mountains. Shiva manifests in internal awareness as a formless form verily defined by the reflections of countless rays of light.

“sphuranmauli kallolini charu ganga lasaddhalabalendu kanthe bhujanga”
From the creativity of Shiva springs the sustenance of all that lives. From the will of Shiva spring all mysteries and death.

“chalat kundalam bhru sunetram vishalam prasannanam nilakantham dayalam”
All archetypes of physical beauty stem from Shiva, all aestheticism is but the comparison of the percept of the object to the percept of Shiva. All archetypes of morality stem from Shiva, all virtues are judged relative to the anthropomorphized nature of Shiva.

“mrigadhisha charmambaram mundamalam priyam shankaram sarvanatham bhajami”
All asceticism finds its root in Shiva, all practices of yoga and meditation stem from the desire to perceive Shiva. We sing, therefore, of Shiva, the universally beloved.

“prachandam prakrashtham pragalbham paresham akhandam ajam bhanukoti prakasham”
The ferocity of storms, the luminosity of stars, the indivisibility of unity are all pale reflections of the potency of Shiva. Shiva sows the Seed for all of Creation, and appears in the perception of all that is created as the brilliance of a billion suns.

“trayah shool nirmoolanam shool panim bhajeham bhavani patim bhavagamyam”
The thought of Shiva heals suffering through alienation from the Source in the physical, subtle and causal realms. The thought of Shiva is accessible only when thought of the self dissipates through the arousal of Divine Love.

“kalatita kalyana kalpanta kari sadasajjananda data purari”
The thought of Shiva suspends awareness of Time, it generates deep insights and transformative catharses. The thought of Shiva always rejoices those who seek it sincerely.

“chidananda sandoha mohapahari prasida prasida prabho manmathari”
The interior representation of Shiva takes the form of supreme awareness and bliss, dispelling delusion. Therefore, we sing and embrace the thought of Shiva.

“na yavad umanath padarvindam bhajantiha loke pare va naranam
na tavatsukham shanti santapa nasham prasida prabho sarva bhutadhivasam”
A fascination with external categories and causalities associated with them inevitably leads to uncertainty, alienation and unhappiness which manifest themselves as deleterious transactions with the external environment. We sing and remain mindful of Consciousness that moves all thoughts and action so that they may always remain useful.

“na janami yogam japam naiva pujam natoham sada sarvada shambhu tubhyam”
Self-awareness requires no denominational practices or rituals. The only requirement is a continual and persistent mindfulness of the interior representations of Shiva.

“jara janma dukhaugha tatapyamanam prabho pahi apannamamisha shambhu”
It is miraculous that finite instantiations of the Infinite can hope to merge with it. We sing, therefore, in the hope of perceiving the heart of Shiva.

[The Shiva Rudrashtakam is a piece composed by Tulsi Das. It is written in Sanskrit and contains eight couplets in praise of Shiva.]

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