15 Facts About Rudra


Rudra is a Rigvedic deity associated with Shiva, the wind or storms, Vayu, medicine, and the hunt.

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Rudra is called 'the archer' and the arrow is an essential attribute of Rudra.

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Rudra is one of the names of Vishnu in Vishnu Sahasranama.

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Author D A Desai in his glossary for the Vishnu Sahasranama says, Lord Vishnu in the form of Rudra is the one who does the total destruction at the time of great dissolution.

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Chakravarti sums up the perception of Rudra by saying: 'Rudra is thus regarded with a kind of cringing fear, as a deity whose wrath is to be deprecated and whose favor curried'.

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Rudra was believed to cure diseases, and when people recovered from them or were free of them, that too was attributed to the agency of Rudra.

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Rudra is used both as a name of Shiva and collectively as the name for the Maruts.

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Rudra is mentioned along with a litany of other deities in RV 7.

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Usage of the epithet shiva came to exceed the original theonym by the post-Vedic period, and the name Rudra has been taken as a synonym for the god Shiva to where the two names are used interchangeably.

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The name Rudra comes from ru, meaning 'Roar or howl' and dra, which is a superlative meaning 'the most'.

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In Tibetan Buddhism, according to the Padma Thang Yig, Rudra is a demon, formerly a human monk of noble origin named Koukuntri and then Tharpa Nakpo, who misunderstands dharma and engages in a life of vice and is condemned to Naraka.

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Rudra's birth brings about plague and famine, so he is banished to a charnel ground, but he survives by devouring his mother's corpse and returns in order to conquer the world.

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Buddha Vajrasattva, who in a previous life was Tharpa Nakpo's master Thupka Zhonu, receives the mission to destroy Rudra, for which he is accompanied by Vajrapani, himself a reborn Pramadeva or Denphak, Nakpo's servant and fellow disciple.

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Rudra takes over Rudra's realm and defeats him by plunging a three-pointed khatvanga into his chest.

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Rudra then devours Rudra, purifies him in his stomach and excretes him as a protector of dharma, who hands over his army of demons to him as attendants.

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