Rudrashtakam is a great hymn composed by poet Tulasidas in order to please the God Shiva for the removal of sorrows and suffering. The lyrics of this popular hymn explains the several qualities of great God Shiva at the same time requesting to remove the sorrows in life and to give happiness and joy. Several of the words in the lyrics have a great and in depth meaning.
The Phalastuti of the Rudrashtakam explains the benefits that are obtained by reciting this Ashtakam. Where it was mentioned that God Shiva gets pleased with the ones who recite this hymn with devotion.
Lyrics and Meaning of Rudrashtakam
Namamisha Mishana Nirvana rupam
Vibhum vyapakam Brahma Veda-swaroopam
Nijam Nirgunam Nirvikalpam Nireeham
Chidakara makasa vasam Bhajeham (1)
I bow to you the Lord, who is present as the Ishana (God Shiva’s form) and whose form is present in Nirvana state (that’s is not affected by Karma)
The one who is present everywhere, the supreme being, present in the form of Vedas.
O the truthful one, beyond the gunas, beyond the thoughts or changes (vikalpas) and beyond any movements
The divine form who abodes in the sky, I worship you (God Shiva).
Nirakaram Omkara mulam tureeyam
Giragnana gotita meesam Gireesam
Karalam Mahakala kalam krupalam
Gunagaara samsara saram natoham (2)
I bow to you, who is formless, the source of Omkara and the pure consciousness
Who is beyond speech, knowledge and senses, The Lord of Mountains
Who is fearsome (to the wicked), the Mahakala, who is beyond the time and the compassionate
The adobe of virtues, who helps me to cross the samsara (worldly existence) (I bow to you, God Shiva)
Tusharadri samkasa gouram gabheeram
Manobhuta koti prabha srisareeram
Lasat-phala-balendu kanthe bujangam (3)
I bow to you, who is white, resembling the snow mountain and whose being is very deep
Who is present in all the beings, whose body is auspicious and radiant
Whose head bears the streams of Ganga
The forehead, adorned with a crescent moon, and the neck with a snake.
Chalat kundalam shubra netram Vishalam
Prasannananam Nilakantham Dayalum
Mrugadisha charmambaram Munda-malam
Priyam Shankaram sarvanatham Bhajami (4)
The one who is adorned with hanging earrings, whose eyes are large and pleasant
Who has a cheerful face and a blue throat, O the merciful one
Who wears the skin of animals as his clothes (Tigerskin to signify the victory over animal instincts which happened while teaching a lesson to the muni’s in Chidambaram, Elephant skin as his promise to Gajasura), a garland of skulls (of the Brahmas over different kalpas)
O the beloved Lord Shankara, the Lord of all beings, I bow to you.
Prachandam Prakrushtam Pragalbham Paresam
Akhandam bhaje bhanukoti prakasam
Trayee shula nirmulanam Shulapanim
Bhajeham Bhavaneepatim Bhavagamyam (5)
Who is terrible, extraordinary, courageous and the supreme controller
O the one who filled up the entire cosmos, I worship you the Lord who shines like millions of suns
Who removes the threefold sufferings, holding a trident in hands
I bow to you, whose abode can be attained by single thought (with devotion) O the Lord of goddess Bhavani.
Kalateeta kalyana kalapantakari
Sada Sajjanananda datha Purari
Chidananda samdoha Mohapahari
Praseeda praseeda prabho Manmadhari (6)
The one who is beyond the elemental aspects, who is auspicious in nature, who brings an end to the Kalpa
You, the one who always brings happiness/joy to the good people, The destroyer of Tripuras (so called Purari)
Who is always happy immersed in eternal bliss and the remover of wrong thoughts or intensions
Be pleased, pleased O the God who killed the God of Love (Manmadha).
Nayavat Umanatha Padaravindam
Bhajamteeha loke pare va naranaam
Natavat sukham santi samtapanasam
Praseeda prabho Sarvabhuthadi vasa (7)
As long as the lotus feet of the Goddess Uma’s Lord…
are not worshipped by the beings in this world
They can’t experience the happiness, Peace or the end to their sufferings
Be pleased, O the Lord who resides in all the beings.
Najanami yogam japam naiva pujam
Natoham sada sarvada deva tubhyam
Jarajanma dhukkhau ghatatapyamanam
Prabho paahi shapan Namamisha Shambho (8)
O, my Lord, I don’t know the yagna, the japa or the puja’s
O God I always bow before you at every moment
Please help me to uplift from the sorrows of the Birth and old age, miserable I am by the sufferings
My Lord is pleased, Protect me from the state of pain, O Lord Shambhu.
Phalastuti or Benefits of Reciting
Rudrashtakam idam proktham viprena Hara tushtaye
Ye pathanthi Nara bhakthya tesham Shambhuh prasidatha
This Rudrashtakam composed by the poet is to please the Hara
For the devotee who recites( this Ashtakam), the Lord Shambhu will be pleased.
Ithi Shri Goswami Tulasidaasa krutam Sri Rudrashtakam Sampoornam
Thus ends the Rudrastakam composed by Shri Goswami Tulasidas.