Rudra, aka: Rudrā; 20 Definition(s)
Rudra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
1) Rudra was produced from the frown of Brahmā (or Viṣṇu), and divided into eleven minor Rudras, who went by the collective name of the Ekādaśa-Rudras.
The names of these eleven emanations of Rudra, according to the Aṃśumadbhedāgama, are
- and Kapālīśa.
The general characteristics of the images of these deities are first given in the authority quoted above and in the Śilparatna. It is stated in these works that the images of all these aspects of Śiva should have three eyes, four arms, jaṭāmakuṭas and be of white colour; they should be draped also in white clothes and be standing erect (samabhaṅga) on a padmapīṭha. They should be adorned with all ornaments and with garlands composed of all flowers and they should keep their front right hand in the abhaya and the front left hand in the varada poses, while they should carry in the back right hand the paraśu and in the back left hand the mṛga.
In the Viśvakarma-śilpa, the names are given as:
- and Aparājita.
In the Rūpamaṇḍana, the names are given as:
- and Tryambaka.
(Source): Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy
2) Rudra (रुद्र):—Tenth of the eleven emanations of Rudra (ekādaśa-rudra), according to the Aṃśumadbhedāgama and the Śilparatna. The images of this aspects of Śiva should have three eyes, four arms, jaṭāmakuṭas and be of white colour. It should be draped also in white clothes and be standing erect (samabhaṅga) on a padmapīṭha. It should be adorned with all ornaments and with garlands composed of all flowers and it should keep their front right hand in the abhaya and the front left hand in the varada poses, while it should carry in the back right hand the paraśu and in the back left hand the mṛga.
Rudra (रुद्र) is a Sanskrit name referring to one of the eight manifestations of Krodha, who is a form of Bhairava. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. Each form (eg., Krodha) has a further eight sub-manifestations (eg., Rudra), thus resulting in a total of 64 Bhairavas.
When depicting Rudra according to traditional iconographic rules (śilpaśāstra), one should depcit him (and other forms of Krodha) having a smoke color; he should carry khaḍga, kheṭaka, a long sword and paraśu. The word Śilpaśāstra refers to an ancient Hindu science of arts and crafts, dealing with subjects such as painting, sculpture and iconography.(Source): Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra
Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.
Rudra, the Malevolent: The Rudra of the Ṛg-veda isa fierce god destructive like a wild beast. In the whole range of Vedic literature there are many instances indicating his malevolant character, though we find him here and there emerging as a great god capable of bestowing good on those that pray to him. Even up to the time of the Gṛhya-sūtras this darker side of the nature of this god was never forgotten and we find a sacrifice called Śūlagava mentioned in these works which was meant to appease him. With the growth of religious sentiments which exalted Śiva as a supreme god this darker side of his nature began to recede in the background though it was never wiped out altogether.(Source): Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna
Rudra (रुद्र).—A form of Śiva. General information. The birth of Rudra is from Brahmā. Even before the creation of the Prajāpatis, Brahmā had created Sanandana, Sanaka, Sanātana and Sanatkumāra. These four were not desirous of mundane pleasures and were not prepared to beget children. They were great sages and scholars, of abstinence and without any discord and animosity. When these four showed no interest at all in the creation of the world, Brahmā became angry to such an extent that he was prepared to destroy the three worlds. At that time the whole of the three worlds shone in the radiance that emanated from the fire of the fury of Brahmā. Then from his shining eyebrows which were curved with fury, a figure of unbearable radiance like the mid-day sun came out. That figure was Rudra. Half of the fierce body of that Rudra who was very furious, was a woman and the other half was a man. Brahmā, saying, "Divide body", disappeared. Instantly Rudra split himself into the figure of a man and the figure of a woman. He again divided the body of the man into eleven parts. These eleven figures are the eleven Rudras. (See full article at Story of Rudra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Rudra (रुद्र).—Born of anger of Brahmā; name explained; ‘the weapon’: places assigned to him; his women; asked to procreate and be a Prajāpati; created beings which would burn the universe; persuaded by Brahmā to stop this, and proceed to tapas; expression of the tamas.1 Claimed the remaining wealth of the Angirasa sacrificers as his own, which Nābhāga thought was his. When Nābhāga gave it to Rudra, the worshipful god presented him that wealth and disappeared; presented Pṛthu with a sword daśacandra.2 Taught Kriyā yoga to Umā; Brahmā fled in fear from;3 came with the gods to Dvārakā to ask Kṛṣṇa to go back to Vaikuṇṭha, and glorified Hari.4 No offerings by Dakṣa in his sacrifice, and Satī's voluntary death. Rudra created Vīrabhadra to cause Dakṣa's death. Brahmā pacified Rudra and revived Dakṣa and others.5 Rudra to bear the Gangā;6 addressed Kṛṣṇa as Hari;7 worship of, leads to wealth and pleasure. Conferred a boon on Vṛkāsura and came to grief.8
The presiding deity of the planet Śanaiścara. KāloRudra is Śiva; at the end of a Kalpa he assumes the form of a Samvarttaka sun and burns down all the worlds. His own messengers of death; worshipped by Kāma with Śatarudrīya.9 Enshrined in Gokarṇa.10 Destroyed the god of Love and married Umā on the advice of the seven sages; marriage rites described.11 Umā's transfer as Gaurī.12 Āḍi, son of Andhaka, who attacked him was killed.13 Agni's entrance into the harem when Śiva made him drink his vīra. This was God Subrahmaṇya nursed by Kṛttikas;14 blessed Bāṇāsura.15 Icon of; in the form of a 16 year old boy; worshipped before buildings; different postures detailed.16
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 12, 7-20; XI. 4. 5, 30. 38.
- 2) Ib. IX. 4. 6-11; IV. 15. 17.
- 3) Ib. XI. 27, 3; I. 7. 18.
- 4) Ib. IV. ch. 24 (whole) ; XI. 6. 1; 7. 1. VI. 17. 26-39.
- 5) Ib. IV. chh. 4-7.
- 6) Ib. IX. 9. 7-9; X. 7. 29; 39. 53.
- 7) Ib. X. 63. 34-45.
- 8) Ib. X. ch. 88 (whole).
- 9) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 24. 49; III. 3. 102 and 109; 23. 64; 65. 32; IV. 6. 70; 7. 38; 10. 87; 11. 33; 15. 24; 30. 8; 36. 16; 40. 13 and 27.
- 10) Ib. III. 13. 20.
- 11) Matsya-purāṇa 4. 12, 22; 11. 29; 13. 9. and 14; 138. 26; 154. 194-245, 439-83.
- 12) Ib. ch. 155.
- 13) Ib. ch. 156.
- 14) Ib. ch. 158.
- 15) Ib. ch. 188; 225. 13; 253. 42.
- 16) Ib. 259. 3-26; 265. 41; 266. 43; 268. 22.
1b) Born of Ananta from between the agitated brows: Exhibited in eleven forms with Śūla and three eyes. His name is Sankarṣaṇa.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 25. 3; XII. 5. 1-3.
1c) A mountain west of the Śitoda.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 36. 27.
1d) (hundred?) Eleven in number, heads of Gaṇas: born of Bhūta and Bhūtā: gods of the Vaivasvata epoch:1 Fought with Krodhavaśas in a Devāsura battle;2 came with the other gods to Dvārakā to invite Kṛṣṇa back to Vaikuṇṭha;3 worshipped for prowess.4 Wait upon Indra. Nīlalohita, a chief Rudra.5 According to the Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa sons of Surabhī and Kaśyapa. These are Angāraka, Sarpa, Niṛṛti, Sadasaspati, Ajaikapāt, Ahirbudhnya, Ūrdhvaketu, Jvara, Bhuvana, Īśvara, Mṛtyu, and Kapāli. Their sisters were Rohiṇī and Gāndharvī: Their overlord was Vṛṣadhvaja. Live in Śivapuram:6 Vanquished by Rāvaṇa;7 part of Viṣṇu;8 Rudras as different from Mahārudra, and as his attendants. For different names of Rudras see the text;9 one of the seven Devagaṇas of the Vaivasvata epoch: Pitāmahas considered as;10 their part in Devāsura wars.11
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 17; VIII. 13. 4; Matsya-purāṇa 5. 30-2; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 1. 31.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 10. 34.
- 3) Ib. XI. 6. 2.
- 4) Ib. II. 3. 3.
- 5) Ib. VI. 7. 2; 10. 17; XI. 16. 13.
- 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 61; 3. 72; 8. 6; 32. 22; IV. 2. 27 and 257; 20 47; 30. 8.
- 7) Ib. III. 7. 254; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 68-70.
- 8) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 1. 17 and 58.
- 9) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 33. 84-96; 34. 4-52.
- 10) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 44; 9. 29; 19. 3.
- 11) Ib. 153. 16-21; 154. 24; 171. 38-40; 247. 10; 248. 22; 285. 8.
1e) A tribe.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 98. 108.
1f) To be recited on the occasion of founding a temple.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 265. 26.
2) Rudrā (रुद्रा).—One of the ten daughters of Rudrāśva.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 125.
Rudra (रुद्र) is the name of a deity created out of Brahmā’s fury, according to the first chapter of the Brahma-purāṇa (on the origin of Devas and Asuras). Accordingly, “Subsequent to the seven sons of Brahmā who were identical with Nārāyaṇa, Brahmā created Rudra out of his fury”.
The Brahmapurāṇa (mentioning Rudra) is one the eighteen mahāpurāṇas originally composed of over 10,000 verses. The first three books of the extant edition contains a diverse amount of topics such as creation theory, cosmology, mythology, philosophy and genealogy. The fourth and last part represents pilgrimage’s travel guide (māhātmya) and narrates the legends surrounding numerous holy spots (tīrtha) around the Godāvarī region in India.(Source): Wisdomlib Libary: Brahma Purana
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)
The creation of Rudra from between the eyebrows of Brahmā as the result of his anger, generated from the mode of passion partly touched by ignorance, is very significant. In Bhagavad-gītā (3.37) the principle of Rudra is described. The egocentric attitude is a manifestation of the Rudra principle in the heart, wherein krodha (anger) is generated. This anger develops in the heart and is further manifested through various senses, like the eyes, hands and legs.
There are many earthly creatures who constantly represent the Rudra element. The snake, tiger and lion are always representations of Rudra. When the Rudra principle is exhibited by persons who are not engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the angry person falls down from the peak of his improved position.(Source): VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.12.11
Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).
Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)
1) Rudra (रुद्र, “Howling One”):—One of the male offspring from Mahākālī (tamas-form of Mahādevī). Also known as Śiva or Saṅkara (“Causing Prosperity, Beneficent, Auspicious”). Mahākālī is one of the three primary forms of Devī, the other two being Mahālakṣmī and Mahāsarasvatī. Not to be confused with Kālī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named tamas. Also see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.
2) Rudra (रुद्र) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped and given pāyasa (rice boiled in milk) according to the Vāstuyāga rite in Śaktism (cf. Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V). The worship of these 53 gods happens after assigning them to one of the 64 compartment while constructing a Balimaṇḍapa. Vāstu is the name of a prodigious demon, who was killed by 53 gods (eg., Rudra).(Source): Wisdom Library: Śāktism
Rudra (रुद्र) or Rudratantra refers to one of the twenty-three Vāmatantras, belonging to the Śāktāgama (or Śāktatantra) division of the Āgama tradition. The Śāktāgamas represent the wisdom imparted by Devī to Īśvara and convey the idea that the worship of Śakti is the means to attain liberation. According to the Pratiṣṭhālakṣaṇasamuccaya of Vairocana, the Śāktatantras are divided into to four parts, the Rudra-tantra belonging to the Vāma class.(Source): Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (shaktism)
Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
1) Rudra (रुद्र) is a Sanskrit word referring to a group of deities. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.82-88, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).
As such, Brahmā assigned the Rudras and the Ādityas to the space between the pillars (stambha). The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.
2) Rudra is to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (eg., to Rudra).(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
Rudra (रुद्र) is the Sanskrit name of a deity presiding over Kanakhāla, one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, which is one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas and presiding deities (eg., Rudra) is found in the commentary on the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.
Itihasa (narrative history)
Rudra (रुद्र) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.37) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Rudra) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).
Katha (narrative stories)
Rudra (रुद्र) is the name of name of a merchant, as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 54. Accordingly, as Hariśikha said to Naravāhanadatta: “there is in this town a merchant of the name of Rudra, and he went to the island of Suvarṇadvīpa on a mercantile expedition. As he was returning, the hoard of wealth that he had managed to acquire was lost, being sunk in the sea by his ship foundering. And he himself happened to escape from the sea alive”.
The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Rudra, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.
General definition (in Hinduism)
According to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (3.12.12), Rudra has eleven other names:
- and Dhṛtavrata.
He also has eleven wives called the Rudrāṇīs:
- and Dīkṣā.
In the Rig Veda, Rudra is a God who belongs to the atmospheric group of Gods, who are Rudra, Indra, ApamNapat, the Maruts, Vayu, Parjanya and the ocean. In the Puranas and in later texts, this name is an appelation of Lord Shiva. Conversely, in the Rig Veda, Rudra is also addressed as Shiva, completing the association.
However, in the Rig Veda, he is definitely a subordinate deity. He is the only God who is described as having negative qualities. His wife is Prsni (who is either a cow, or a storm-cloud), and the Maruts are his sons. They are either hundred and eighty or twenty one in number. Some of his attributes (he is brown colored, his form is dazzling, he has braided hair), are also attributes of Shiva.(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
Rudra (रुद्र): A Rigvedic god of the storm, the hunt, death, Nature and the Wind. Rudra is an early form of Shiva and a name of Shiva in the Shiva sahasranama.(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
General definition (in Jainism)
1) Rudra (रुद्र).—The rudras are a group of celestial beings living in the lower regions of adholoka (lower world) according to Jaina cosmology. Adholoka is made up of seven regions and offers residence to the infernal beings existing within these lands.
2) Rudra (रुद्र) is the father of Puruṣottama: the fourth Vāsudeva (“violent heroes”) according to both Śvetāmbara and Digambara sources. Since they enjoy half the power of a Cakravartin (universal monarch) they are also known as Ardhacakrins. Jain legends describe nine such Vāsudevas usually appearing together with their “gentler” twins known as the Baladevas. The legends of these twin-heroes usually involve their antagonistic counterpart known as the Prativāsudevas (anti-heroes).
The stories of king Rudra, queen Sitā and their son, Puruṣottama are related in texts such as the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita (“the lives of the sixty-three illustrious persons”), a twelfth-century Śvetāmbara work by Hemacandra.(Source): Wisdom Library: Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.
Languages of India and abroad
rudra (रुद्र).—m (S) A form or name of Shiva. Pr. kāḷā brāhmaṇa gōrā śūdra hyālā pāhūna kāmpē rudra. 2 An inferior manifestation of Shiva, a demigod; or, according to one legend, a being born from the forehead of Brahma. There are eleven. See akarā rudra. Hence 3 An allusive term for any aggregate of eleven. 4 or rudranāla m A measure of music.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
rudra (रुद्र).—m A form or name of śiva.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
Rudra (रुद्र).—a. [roditi rud-rak Uṇ.2.22]
1) Dreadful, terrific frightful, formidable.
2) Great, large.
3) Driving away evil.
-draḥ 1 Name of a group of gods, eleven in number, supposed to be inferior manifestations of Śiva or Śaṁkara, who is said to be the head of the group; रुद्राणां शंकरश्चास्मि (rudrāṇāṃ śaṃkaraścāsmi) Bg.1.23; रुद्राणामपि मूर्धानः क्षतहुंकारशंसिनः (rudrāṇāmapi mūrdhānaḥ kṣatahuṃkāraśaṃsinaḥ) Ku.2.26.
2) Name of Śiva.
4) The number 'eleven'.
5) (pl.) प्राण (prāṇa)s and इन्द्रिय (indriya)s; Mb.12.316.5 (com.).
6) N. for the hymns addressed to Rudra.(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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Search found 99 books and stories containing Rudra or Rudrā. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Brahma Purana (by G. P. Bhatt)
Satapatha Brahmana (by Julius Eggeling)
Kāṇḍa III, adhyāya 3, brāhmaṇa 1 < [Third Kāṇḍa]
Kāṇḍa II, adhyāya 6, brāhmaṇa 2 < [Second Kāṇḍa]
Kāṇḍa XIII, adhyāya 3, brāhmaṇa 4 < [Thirteenth Kāṇḍa]
The Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)
Chapter 6 - On the greatness of Rudrākṣams < [Book 11]
The Shiva Purana (by J. L. Shastri)
Chapter 1 - Greatness of Śivapurāṇa < [Śivapurāṇa-māhātmya]
Chapter 42 - The difference between Saguṇa and Nirguṇa < [Section 4 - Koṭirudra-Saṃhitā]
Chapter 13 - The creation of Brahmā and Viṣṇu < [Section 7.1 - Vāyavīya-saṃhitā (1)]
The history of Andhra country (1000 AD - 1500 AD) (by Yashoda Devi)
Part 3 - Rudra I (A.D. 1201-1248) < [Chapter VII - The Natavadis (A.D. 1104-1269)]
Part 10 - Kolani Rudra < [Chapter X - The Saronathas (A.D. 950-1260)]
Part 14 - Rudraraja (A.D. 1216-1241) < [Chapter V - The Kotas (A.D. 1100-1270)]
Pāraskara-gṛhya-sūtra (by Pāraskara)