Śrī Rudram is the most sacred prayer-chant to worship Lord Shiva. It is a Vedic chant taken from the Krishna Yajurveda’s Taittiriya Samhita. It comprises of two parts, the Namakam and the Chamakam. It is believed that wherever the Rudram is chanted, that place becomes free from disease, drought, thefts and other ills. The Shiva Purāṇa explains that by chanting Rudram, one gains both worldly pleasures and liberation. In the current situation, where people are facing extremely challenging times, HSTL is proud to bring this sacred chanting program to raise positive vibrations in society.
By Ramesh Krishna, India
I came to Rudram chanting and learning class by chance. I take it as blessings from Lord Shiva that I am even here. April 27th, I had to undergo slipped disc surgery which is considered serious as it involves delicate bone disk replacement in the cervical spine. The operation was successful; however, during the post-operation consultation, the doctor mentioned that around 7% of people lose their voices due to damage to the vocal cords. This news was a bit concerning for me then, but with the grace that did not happen to me.
Few days after my discharge from the hospital, my wife showed me the FB page of Hari Narayanan Namboothiri. I take Bhagwatam classes with him, and while glancing through his page, I came across the HSTL Rudram chanting and learning session flyer. I had an interest in learning Rudram for many years and saw this as a great opportunity while I was at home recovering.
With this great opportunity, I had some concerns. It was difficult to chant for long, and I had to drink lots of warm water after a brief talk. During this time of hesitation, I remembered Hari Narayanan shared a poem on many occasions which went like, “What is the use of a tongue if you cannot chant with it? Eyes that do not see Krishna, what is the use of eyes? If you cannot hear Kirtans, then what is the use of ears?” As I considered the poem, I understood the meaning and decided to take the course. As I was recovering, my voice was coming back slowly.
During the first few days of the chanting sessions, I had to drink warm water to soothe my throat during my allotted part. However, as days passed, I felt comfortable chanting the entire Namakam and Chamakam with my fellow participants. Even the negative aspect of my health later turned into positive energy. I only missed a few days in the beginning due to my circumstance; after that, I made it every day!
In the beginning, I had few apprehensions about the whole process of learning Rudram online. It is said, one needs to learn Shri Rudram directly from a Guru face to face. But as the days passed, I was astonished that I could feel the blessings of Mohanji and the grace of Sri Parameshwaran, and I felt as if Sri Bhavan were sitting next to me and teaching me. I got to experience face-to-face teaching from a guru, and I did not feel at all this was an online course. If I felt I was making mistakes while chanting, I sent messages via WhatsApp and would get corrections immediately. I felt very grateful for all the support.
I am also very grateful to the entire HSTL Team, Sri Bhavan, Dr Revathy, Dr Unnikrishnan, Anoop, and all my fellow participants during this chanting session. Lastly, I wish you all the blessings of Sri Parameswaran and the Grace of Mohanji. Jai Mohanji! Aum Namah Shivaya!
By Hemant Panda, UK
Jai Mohanji, everyone! I would like to share my experiences of chanting Rudram over the last 41 days. I have been chanting Rudram for the last few years. We do that in a group once a week, every Friday. When we chant in a group, any mistakes that we make get camouflaged amongst everyone’s chanting. And anything that we learn or correct during that week is forgotten by the time next Friday comes.
What the daily chanting has given me in the last 41 days is, first of all, when we chant in the mornings, the mind is fresh and active. Secondly, because it’s daily, whatever we learn, we remember to follow through for the next day. Thirdly, this was more like re-learning Rudram all over again because we were going through learning modules; any errors I was making while chanting, I was able to identify and correct them.
There is a big difference between chanting Rudram and chanting Rudram correctly. Those who are familiar with Rudram will know that it is full of intonations and mātrās (rhythmic patterns). When you chant correctly or knowing that you are in a position to chant correctly gives you immense satisfaction; these 41 days have really helped me towards that.
I also discovered that when we do meditation or Kriya, the mind wavers, and it takes some time before we realise that the mind has gone somewhere and to bring it back. But while chanting Rudram, I found that it’s a continuous meditation process for 35-40 minutes. To chant with precision, the mind must be actively focused and engaged in every word, pronunciation and intonation. The moment the mind wonders, we realise it because we make errors. The intonations and mātrās simply won’t flow the way they should. This has been another advantage of chanting continuously – the mind has been able to be engaged throughout the process.