Not much of is known about Rudra, excepting the Maha Mantra Sri Rudram, which is invogue to worship Lord Shiva.
Rudra is considered to be an Amsa, a part of Shiva in performance of His Duty of Destruction of The Universe.
The destruction is not annihilation but Concealment,Thirodhaana.
There are Five Attributes of Lord Shiva.
Shiva means Auspiciousness.
The Five Attributes are.
Sthithi,Stabilization and maintenance,
Samhara, Destruction as a Prelude to Concealment,
Thirodhaana, Concealment and
Anugraha,Divine Blessing-Anugraha is difficult to translate into English, it is more than Divine Blessing, Blessing by Divine with a Personal touch.
The aspect destruction is carried out by Rudra and Rudra is called as a Gana of Shiva, some other Ganas being Ganapati(Ganesha) who is the Chief of Ganas, Nandikeshwara.
The Sri Rudra begins with the Salutation,
Om Namo Bhagawate Rudaaya,
My obeisance to Lord Rudra,
My obeisance to Your Anger.
Rudra is the personification of Righteous Anger.
As such He is always portrayed as one with uncontrollable anger.
He is also called as a Hunter.,Kraatha.
I shall be writing in detail about the History of Shiva and Rudra from the available Historical evidence.
There are eleven Rudras, Ekadasa Rudras.
Mrgavadha, Sarpa, Nirriti, Ajaikapad, Ahi Budhnya, Pinakin, Dahana, Ishvara, Kapalin, Sthanu and Bhaga(Mahabharata)
Manyu, Manu, Mahmasa, Mahan, Siva, Rtudhvaja, Ugraretas, Bhava, Kama, Vamadeva and Dhrtavrata.(Vishnu Purana)
Aja, Ekapada (Ekapat), Ahirbudhnya, Tvasta, Rudra, Hara, Sambhu, Tryambaka, Aparajita, Isana and Tribhuvana(
- Mani pp. 654–5
- Daniélou, Alain (1991). The myths and gods of India. Inner Traditions International. pp. 102–4, 341, 371. ISBN 0-89281-354-7.)
Kapali, Pingala, Bhima, Virupaksa, Vilohita, Ajesha, Shasana, Shasta, Shambhu, Chanda and Dhruva –Matsya Purana.
The origin of Rudra differs.
They are eleven of the 33 children of the sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi, along with the 12 Adityas, 8 Vasus and 2Ashvins, constituting the Thirty-three gods-Ramayana.
Rudras are the sons of Kashyapa and Aditi-Vamana Purana.
Rudra – here identified with Shiva – was born from the anger of the creator-god Brahma. The furious Rudra was in Ardhanari form, half his body was male and other half female. He divided himself into two: the male and female. The male form then split itself into eleven, forming the eleven Rudras. Some of them were white and gentle; while others were dark and fierce. They are called Manyu, Manu, Mahmasa, Mahan, Siva, Rtudhvaja, Ugraretas, Bhava, Kama, Vamadeva and Dhrtavrata. From the woman were born the eleven Rudranis who became wives of the Rudras. They are Dhi, Vrtti, Usana, Urna, Niyuta, Sarpis, Ila, Ambika, Iravatl, Sudha and Diksa. Brahma allotted to the Rudras the eleven positions of the heart and the five sensory organs, the five organs of action and the mind.
The Birth Place of Rudra.
Adi Gokarna is mentioned as the birth place of Rudra.
When it took a long time for Brahma, who was ordered to Create the Universe, he became angry and as a result of His anger a child was born and when Brahma opened His eyes he found a Child crying and He asked the Child,
Why do you cry”
Brahma named the child as Rudra.
This child was considered to be aspect of Sankara and Brahma asked Him to create the Universe and He created a perfect world only with One Guna, Satvik, Pure, gentle,ascetic.
Brahma found it was not alright and produced the world with Satva ,Rajas and Tamas qualities,purity & goodness (Satvik), action and passion (Rajas), Ignorance and Inertia (Tamas).
This He produced in the Brahma Loka while Sankara created the Satvik world from the Patala Loka.
On knowing that Brahma created a world of His own, Rudra became furious and rose as a Thunder towards the sky about to annihilate the Earth.
Bhoomi (Mother Earth) was terrified by this pleaded Rudra,
“Oh my Lord, I am a woman and more so, a frightened one. I am at the risk of destruction and I will be shattered into pieces without any fault of mine. So please forgive me”.
Her fearful but innocent pleading moved Rudra.
He asked if she had any wishes. Bhoomi requested him to move out slowly from a tiny hole in her ear. She also requested him to take a tiny form (Angushta Matra).
Rudra conceded to her request and came out of Bhoomi’s ear.
After coming out, Lord Shankar showered blessings on Bhoomi.
He said Bhoomi one of your names is “Go” and as I came out of yourkarna (ear), this place where I emerged shall be known, as Gokarna. He also said, I am as good as born here and hence this place shall also be known as “Rudra Yoni”
Sages (Rishis) consecrated a ShivaLinga at the point of emergenceand It is this Shivlinga in Gokarna realm, known as “Aaadi Gokarna”
Post on Adi Gokarna Follows.
Reference.and Image credit.
For more information on Gokarn.