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RUDRA - रुद्र

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A form of Śiva.
1) 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. The names of the eleven Rudras are given differently in different Purāṇas. In a text it is said that the eleven Rudras are, Manyu, Manu, Mahīnasa, Mahān, Śiva, Ṛtudhvaja, Ugraretas, Bhava, Kāma, Vāmadeva and Dhṛtavrata. According to some other Purāṇas, the eleven Rudras are Aja, Ekapāda (Ekapāt), Ahirbudhnya, Tvaṣṭā, Rudra, Hara, Śambhu, Tryambaka, Aparājita, Īśāna and Tribhuvana. Brahmā apportioned to the eleven Rudras the eleven positions of the heart, the five organs of senses and the organs of action and to Rudra the eight positions of life, ether, air, fire, water, earth, the sun and the moon. It was said before that Rudra was divided into man and woman. From the womanportion eleven Rudrāṇīs came into being. They were Dhī, Vṛtti, Uśanā, Umā, Niyutā, Sarpis, Ilā, Ambikā, Irāvatī, Sudhā and Dīkṣā. The eleven Rudraṇīs became the wives of the eleven Rudras. [Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Aṁśa 1. Chapter 7].
2) Other information regarding Rudra.
Details about the orgin, life, character etc. of Rudra which occur in other Purāṇas are given below.
(i) Thirtythree children were born to Prajāpati Kaśyapa, by his wife Aditi, as Ādityas, Vasus, Rudras and Aśvins. [Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Araṇya Kāṇḍa, Sarga 14].
(ii) From the fury of Brahmā, Rudra was born; from the lap of Brahmā, Nārada was born; from the right thumb, Dakṣa; from the mind, Sanaka and the others; and from the left thumb, a daughter named Vīraṇī was born. [Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 7].
(iii) In the beginning of Kalpa (Age of Brahmā) Brahmā meditated upon getting a child like himself and a child of blue complexion appeared on his lap. He ran here and there crying aloud. Brahmā asked him “Why are you crying?” He replied: “I must be named.” Because he was crying (doing rodana) Brahmā named him Rudra (He who cries). He cried seven times more. Brahmā gave him seven more names. They were Bhava, Śarva, Īśāna, Paśupati, Bhīma, Ugra and Mahādeva. Thus there were eight Rudras. To each of them, Brahmā gave a position and wives and children. The Sun, water, earth, air, fire, ether, Brahmin who has taken vow and the moon were allotted to them as their positions and figures. Their wives were Suvarcalā, Uṣā, Vikeśī Śivā, Svāhā, Dīśā, Dīkṣā and Rohiṇī. This world is filled by the sons and grandsons and so on of these wives. Their sons respectively were Śanaiścara Śukra, Lohitāṅga, Manojava, Skanda, Sarga, Santāna and Budha. This Rudra who is described above, married Satī the daughter of Prajāpati Dakṣa. [Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Aṁśa 1, Chapter 8]. (For further information see under ŚIVA also).

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