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Glory of Lord Kameshwara- VI: Kama Sukta

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Glory of Lord Kameshwara- VI: Kama Sukta
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All the various seers (r̥ṣīs) of Vedas had uniformly realized the one fact that – all the Vedic hymns are actually the hymns for Rudra alone. They realized that it is Bhagawan Rudra alone who adorns various aspects for various tasks of the universe. This is why they passed those Vedic hymns to us by stating the “dēvatā (deity)” of the hymns under different names. For ignorant people, they look as hymns to different gods, but one who has discerning  eyes, would be able to understand the “r̥ṣī-hr̥daya” i.e., the heart of the seer.

Those seers know that it is Bhagawan Rudra alone whose various attributes are sung in Vedas. For instance –

Because his “desire” created the universe, he is the primordial god of desire, hence he is lord “Kāma”.

  • Because he is the Anger that keeps a control over the administration of the universe, he is lord “Manyu”.
  • Because all the created beings (including all the gods) are created by him and all of them are his “paśus”, and he is the sole lord of all, he is called “Paśupati”.
  • Because he is the one who exists as the fire in three planes – viz. – beyond the universe as the infinite fire of consciousness, within the universe he exists as the three-fold types of fires (grāhapatyā etc.) as a carrier of the sacrificial libations to the recepients; and within the microcosm (bodies of Jivas) as the gastric fire (vaisvānara) – Hence he is the one who is called as “Agni”.
  • Because he pervades everything as their lifeforce, he is the “Prana”, and so on so forth…

Everything is Bhagawan Rudra and all names point at one or other of his various attributes, or at his tasks. This is why the hymn “Kāma-Sūkta” is also addressed to Bhagawan Rudra in his aspect of the primordial god of desire. Although this hymn does not name ‘Rudra’ directly anywhere, yet, there are umpteen no. of clearcut indications from which we would know the reality. These hidden aspects have been brought out in my commentary.

Now, let’s proceed with the analysis of the hymn.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 1

“sapatnahánam r̥ṣabháṃ ghr̥téna kā́maṃ śikṣāmi havíṣā́jyena
nīcáiḥ sapátnān máma padaya tvám abhíṣṭuto mahatā́ vīryèṇa |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:1)
“To the bull that slays the enemy, to Kâma, do I render tribute with ghee, oblation, and (sacrificial) melted butter. Do thou, since thou hast been extolled, hurl down my enemies by thy great might!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here the hymn is praising Kāma calling him as the slayer of enemies and then offers sacrificial oblations to him and then seeks his protection and asks him to slay down our (the requester’s) enemies.

As this entire hymn is praise to Rudra under his name ‘Kāma’ because he is the primordial desire that resulted in manifestation of this entire universe; here the hymn is praising Rudra’s attribute of slaying the enemies. This is very much the same as what Yajurveda’s Sri-Rudram hails him as! Rudram says:

“namō hantrē ca |” (Yajurveda IV:5:8:f)
“Salutations to the slayer of enemy”.

The way Yajurveda propitiates Rudra by saluting his various attributes in Rudram and pleases him and then once he is found to be pleased, it seeks various boons in Chamakam. The same method of eulogy can be seen in this verse of ‘Kāma-sūkta’. Relate this sukta’s verse with the below verse from Sri Rudram to understand the sameness in euology and the request being placed by the singer of the hymn.

“stuhi śrutaṁ gartasadaṁ yuvānaṁ mṛgaṁ na bhīmamupahatnumugram |
mṛḍā jaritrē rudrastavānō anyantē asmannivapantu sēnāḥ ||” (Yajurveda IV:5:10:h)
“Praise the famous youth, mounted on the chariot seat, Dread and destructive like a fierce wild beast; Being praised, O Rudra, be merciful to the singer; Let thy missiles smite down (our enemies who are) another than us”.

With this verse being clear to us, let’s proceed to analyse the next one.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 2

“yán me mánaso ná priyáṃ cákṣuṣo yán me bábhasti nā́bhinándati
tád duṣvápnyaṃ práti muñcāmi sapátne kā́maṃ stutvód aháṃ bhideyam |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:2)
“The evil dream which is offensive to my mind and eye, which harasses and does not please me, that (dream) do I let loose upon my enemy. Having praised Kâma may I prevail!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

This verse is also in the same tune as that of the verse no.1. Hence it doesn’t need to be analyzed separately. Please refer to commentary on the Kāma-sūkta verse no. 1.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 3


“duṣvápnyaṃ kāma duritáṃ ca kamāprajástām asvagátām ávartim
ugrá ī́śānaḥ práti muñca tásmin yó asmábhyam aṃhūraṇā́ cíkitsāt |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:3)
“Evil dreams, O Kâma, and misfortune, O Kâma, childlessness, ill-health, and trouble, do thou O ugrá O ī́śānaḥ , let loose upon him that designs evil against us!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

This verse is again a great testimony to the fact that this hymn is addressed to Bhagawan Rudra who is being called as Kāma because he is the primordial god of desire. Notice the names with which this hymn is calling Bhagawan Kāma. It addresses him as ‘ugrá and ‘ī́śānaḥ’. These are the direct names of Bhagawan Rudra only.

Rig Veda clearly says Rudra as

“īśānādasya bhuvanasya |” (Rig Veda 2:33:9)
“[O Rudra thou art] Ishana i.e., Lord of all the worlds”.

Taittariya Aranyaka of Yajurveda says:

“īśānaḥ sarvavidyānāmīśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānām |
braḥmādhipatirbraḥmaṇō’dhipatirbraḥmā śivō mē astu sadāśivōṁ ||” (Taittariya Aranyaka 10:21:1)
“May the Supreme who is the ruler of all knowledge, ishana, controller of all created beings, the preserver of the Vedas and the one overlord of Hiranyagarbha, be benign to me. That Sadasiva described thus and denoted by Pranava(OM)”.

Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa clearly says that Bhagawan Rudra’s names are ‘īśāna’ and ‘ugra’ as cited below.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.īśāna.eva.iti |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:3:29)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art īśāna’”.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.ugra.eva.deva.iti |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:2:37)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art ugra’”.

With this analysis it is pretty clear how beautifully Atharva Veda has recognized the Kāmēśvara aspect of Bhagawan Rudra. Let’s proceed with next verse now.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 4

“nudásva kāma prá ṇudasva kāmā́vartiṃ yantu máma yé sapátnāḥ
téṣāṃ nuttā́nām adhamā́ támāṃsy ágne vā́stūni nír daha tvám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:4)
“Drive them away, O Kâma, thrust them away, O Kâma; may they that are my enemies fall into trouble! When they have been driven into the nethermost darkness, do thou, O Agni, burn up their dwelling- places!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here the eulogy regarding driving troubles of ourselves into the court of our enemies is almost same as already seen in verse no.1 of Kāma-sūkta. However let’s note here carefully one thing – this verse addresses Lord Kāma as ‘Agni’. This is again a name with which Vedas “actually” call Bhagawan Rudra. Let’s see the references now.

“tadvā agnaya iti kriyate | agnirvai sa devastasyaitāni nāmāni śarva iti yathā prācyā
ācakṣate bhava iti yathā bāhīkāḥ paśūnām patī rudro ‘gniriti tānyasyāśāntānyevetarāṇi nāmānyagnirityeva śāntatamaṃ tasmādagnaya iti kriyate sviṣṭakṛta iti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 1:7:3:8)
“That (offering) then is certainly made to ‘Agni,’ for, indeed, Agni is that god;–his are these names: Sarva, as the eastern people call him; Bhava, as the Bâhîkas (call him); Pasûnâm pati (‘lord of beasts,’ Pasupati), Rudra, Agni . The name Agni, doubtless, is the most auspicious (sânta), and the other names of his are violent: hence it is offered to (him under the name of) ‘Agni,’ and to (him as) the Svishtakrit”.

Further Yajurveda in multipl places makes the below statement. eI’m just quoting one reference for evidence.

“rudro vā ēṣa yad agnis |” (Yajurveda V:5:7)
“He who is called as Agni is verily Rudra”.

So, it is clear here once again that Kāma-sūkta is praising Bhagawan Rudra as Agni.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 5

“sā́ te kāma duhitā́ dhenúr ucyate yā́m āhúr vā́caṃ kaváyo virā́jam
táyā sapátnān pári vr̥ṅgdhi yé máma páry enān prāṇáḥ paśávo jī́vanaṃ vr̥ṇaktu |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:5)
“That milch-cow, O Kâma, whom the sages call Vâk Virâg (ruling, or resplendent speech), is said to be thy daughter; by her drive away my enemies; breath, cattle, and life shall give them a wide birth!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

The fourth pāda (part) of Veda Purusha Rudra manifests as the world, which is nothing but the fourth part of his Vâk. This fourth division of Vāk which emanates from Rudra is called as ‘vaikharī-vāk’. The other three stages of vāk remain hidden inside. Although Vāk and Purusha-Rudra are identical and she is his consort, since a part of her takes birth from Rudra – here this hymn named it as the ‘daughter’ of Kāma (Rudra).

Vāk is called as milch-cow here because she pours her milk (of divine knowledge) to the one who understands the esoteric secrets of her divine nature.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 6

“kā́masyéndrasya váruṇasya rā́jño víṣṇor bálena savitúḥ savéna
agnér hotréṇa prá ṇude sapátnāṃ chambī́va nā́vam udakéṣu dhī́raḥ |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:6)
“With the strength of Kâma, Indra, king Varuna, and Vishnu, with the impelling force (savena) of Savitar, with the priestly power of Agni, do I drive forth the enemies, as a skilled steersman a boat”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

As like as Sri Rudram hymn in its Chamakam section prays to various deities such as – Indira, Agni, Vishnu, Saraswati etc., this verse is also invoking Indra, Varuna, Savitar, and Agni alongside Kāma for the same request of driving away of the enemies of the singer.

Even though Sri Rudram names so many gods apparently invoking them for seeking various boons, people do not understand that all those names are the names of Bhagawan Rudra. It is Bhagawan Rudra who in several of his functions assumes various names and forms. For the sake of administration of world, he assumes the form and name as Indra. For protecting the universe he becomes the all-pervading Vishnu. As the presiding deity of waters and rains he becomes Varuna. As the god illuminating the universe with light and heat he becomes Savitar (Sun). As the fire within the body as well as the threefold types of fire (grāhapatyāgni etc.) he assumes the name and form of Agni.

Vedic seers who knew the ultimate truth that every thing is bhagawan Rudra alone [as voiced by Taittiriya Aranyaka (10:24:1) of Yajurveda in the words as – “sarvo vai rudrastasmai rudraya namo astu” which means, “All this is verily Rudra. To Rudra we offer our salutations” they revealed the hymns in various names, but addressing the same divinity – that is – Bhagawan Mahadeva! Let’s see how Rudra is all these gods.

Indra is none other than Rudra as stated by Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.aśanir.eva.iti yad.aśanir.indras.tena |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:3:41)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art Asani’ ; for Asani is Indra”.

Further Atharva Veda in a hymn dedicated to Rudra under his names as ‘Bhava and Sarva’ it directly says that Rudra is the one who slayed vritra. Usually we hear Indra as the slayer of Vritra, but that is all due to ignorance of the fact that entire set of Vedas sing the glories of Bhagawan Rudra alone under various names.

“sahasrākṣáu vr̥trahánā huveháṃ dūrégavyūtī stuvánn emy ugráu |” (Atharva Veda IV: 28:3)
“[O Bhava, O Sarva, Thou] the thousand-eyed slayer of Vritra, I invoke you, still praising you the strong (ugra), of wide dominion”.

We already know Agni is the auspicious name by which Vedas call Rudra. With that knowledge, let’s look at the below verse which says it is Agni (Rudra) who is in the form of Vishnu.

“tvamaghna indro vṛṣabhaḥ satāmasi tvaṃ viṣṇururughāyo namasyaḥ
tvaṃ brahmā rayivid brahmaṇas pate tvaṃ vidhartaḥsacase purandhyā ” (RV 2.1.3)
“Hero of Heroes, Agni! Thou art Indra, thou art Viṣṇu of the Mighty Stride, adorable: Thou, Brahmaṇaspati, the Brahman finding wealth: thou, O Sustainer, with thy wisdom tendest us”.

Let’s see a verse from Rig Veda addressed to Sun God (Savitar). Savitar’s rays have filled the three worlds as it says.

“ūrdhvaṃ ketuṃ savitā devo aśrej jyotir viśvasmai bhuvanāya kṛṇvan |
āprā dyāvāpṛthivī antarikṣaṃ vi sūryo raśmibhiś cekitānaḥ |” (RV 4:14:2)
“Producing light for all the world of creatures, God Savitar hath raised aloft his banner. Making his presence known by sunbeams, Sūrya hath filled the firmament and earth and heaven”.

In the above verse – ‘sūryo raśmi’ literally means – ‘rays of the sun’. But this verse has an esoteric meaning in reality. There the rays of the sun mean the all pervading Atman (Soul) which creates life on earth (as creatures), mid-air (as aerial creatures, divine beings in intermediary regions and microbial lives) and the heaven (as gods). This concept has been stated in a very direct manner in another verse of Rig Veda addressing Surya as follows.

“āprā dyāvāpṛthivī antarikṣaṃ sūrya ātmā jaghatastasthuṣaśca |” (RV 1:115:1)
“Surya (the sun), the soul (Atman) of all movable and immovable things, pervades the heaven, earth, and the intermediate regions”.

But here Vedas as usual speak in a very indirect manner. Here while praising Sun as doing all these tasks, Vedas actually address their prayers to Rudra only since it is Lord Rudra who pervades the three regions viz. Earth, Atmosphere and Sky. Rudra pervades as the indwelling Atman in all the mobile and immobile creation. He is the lord of entire Jagat. The following verses clarify that the ‘Surya’ and ‘Savitar’ of above verses actually is ‘Shiva’.

“bhavó divó bhavá īśe pr̥thivyā́ bhavá ā́ papra urv àntárikṣam |
tásyai námo yatamásyāṃ diśī̀táḥ |” (Atharva Veda 4:28:27)
“Bhava rules the sky, Bhava rules the earth; Bhava has filled the broad: atmosphere. Reverence be to him in whatever direction from here (he abides)!”

So, from above verse we learn that in every direction Bhava abides (dwells). Bhava dwells in the three regions filling them and remains as the sole ruler of everything thereon. Atharva Veda further supports this point and extends it saying:

“táva cátasraḥ pradíśas táva dyáus táva pr̥thivī́ távedám ugrorv àntárikṣam
távedáṃ sárvam ātmanvád yát prāṇát pr̥thivī́m ánu ” (Atharva Veda 4:28:10)
“Thine, O strong god (ugra), are the four regions, thine, the sky, thine, the earth, and thine this broad atmosphere; thine is this all that has a spirit and has breath upon the earth”.

Now, we are left with the god of waters, Varuna. The element as well as the presiding deity of the element both remains same. Therefore, here we can see that waters (hence varuna) are Bhagawan Rudra’s form only.

“tamabravītsarvo ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodāpastadrūpamabhavannāpo vai sarvo
‘dbhyo hīdaṃ sarvaṃ jāyate |” (Sathapatha Brahmana VI:1:3:11)
“‘Thou art Sarva.’ And because he gave him that name, the waters became suchlike, for Sarva is the waters, in as much as from the water everything (sarva) here is produced.”

So, we can now conclude this section with the understanding that this hymn is addressing Bhagawan Rudra under his various names viz., Agni, Indra, Varuna, Vishnu, Savitar and Kama.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 7

“ádhyakṣo vājī́ máma kā́ma ugráḥ kr̥ṇótu máhyam asapatnám evá
víśve devā́ máma nātháṃ bhavantu sárve devā́ hávam ā́ yantu ma imám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:7)
“My sturdy guardian, ugráḥ Kâma, shall procure for me full freedom from enmity! May the gods collectively be my refuge, may all the gods respond to this, my invocation!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here once again this verse is addressing ugra-kāma which is another epithet to call Rudra as evident from below verse from Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.ugra.eva.deva.iti |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:2:37)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art ugra’”.

All the gods are the manifestations of Rudra alone.  Svetaswatara Upanishad clarifies this as follows.

“yō dēvānā̃ prabhavaścōdbhavaśca viśvādhipō rudrō maharṣiḥ |
hiraṇyagarbhaṁ janayāmāsa pūrvaṁ sa nō buddhyā śubhayā saṁyunaktu ||” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 3:04)
“He, the omniscient seer Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!””

Therefore, this verse is in no way trying to invoke any “other” god in literal sense; it is invoking Bhagawan Rudra in all his aspects to protect the singer and to punish his enemies.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 8

“idám ā́jyaṃ ghr̥távaj juṣāṇā́ḥ kā́majyeṣṭhā ihá mādayadhvam
kr̥ṇvánto máhyam asapatnám evá |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:8)
“Taking pleasure in this (sacrificial) melted butter, and ghee do ye, (O gods), of whom Kâma is the highest, be joyful in this place, procuring for me full freedom from enmity”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here in this verse, it is said that among all the gods, Lord Kāma is the highest. This is again a direct euology to Rudra as stated in below verse from Rig Veda.

“yaḥ śukra iva sūryo hiraṇyamiva rocate śreṣṭho devānāṃ vasuḥ ” (Rig Veda 1:43:5)
“He (Rudra) shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he, The excellent, the best among all the Gods“.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 9

“indrāgnī́ kāma saráthaṃ hí bhūtvā́ nīcáiḥ sapátnān máma pādayāthaḥ
téṣāṃ pannā́nām adhamā́ támāṃsy ágne vā́stūny anunírdaha tvám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:9)
“O Indra and Agni, and Kâma, having formed an alliance, do ye hurl down my enemies; when they have fallen into the nethermost darkness, do thou, O Agni, burn up after them their dwelling places!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here also we have the prayer being addressed to Rudra’s various aspects viz. – Indra, and Agni. There’s no learning in just skipping this verse just like that. So, let’s interpret this verse in terms of Vēdanta and try to learn something from this verse.

The enemies being perceived here are the enemies arising out of samsāra such as – ṣadūrma (janma, vr̥ddhi, duḥkha, vyādhi, jarā, mr̥tyu), kāma, krōdha, lōbha, mōha, dvēṣa, mada, mātsarya – All these are the enemies of the Jīva and prevent him from attaining liberation. All these take their birth from ajnāna which is due to avidyā. This avidyā-rūpi demon is “Vr̥itrā”. Unless Vr̥itrā is slayed, with the thunder of knowledge; wisdom and detachment cannot arise, thereby preventing liberation. Indra is the one who kills Vr̥itrā, and in reality it is Bhagawan Rudra (as Dakśhiṇāmūrti) who is the original Indra who strikes avidyā-rūpi demon i.e., “Vr̥itrā” with his weapon of knowledge (viz. vajra) and slays him.

The dwelling places of him could be thought of as the three-citadels among which the ‘kāraṇadēha (causal-body)’ is the most deadly one. In the form of Agni (at the Tip of the arrow), Shiva burns the three citadels. Since the causal-body (one of the citadel) which is made up of ignorance and which is the root-cause for rebirth of the Jiva, gets destroyed along with the other two; the Jiva is totally freed up from samsaara and he gains liberation. Without burning up the dwelling places of ‘Vr̥itrā’ there are chances of slippage for the Jiva even if he is a jnānī, if he fails to the test of my mother Mahāmāyā! She tests even the jnānī as well as the Trinity also! There is none who can pass her test unless one is firmly devoted to her or her consort – Shiva, the Supreme Being. Best example for this is Nahūṣā, who was equivalent to Indra in his merits and knowledge; but his feet slipped due to a slight test of the time and he landed up in the darkness of nether world. His wits were so shrouded with darkness that he rided a palanquin carried by Sapta-Rishis and kicked Agastya with his foot.

So, it’s not just important to kill the Vr̥itrā but it is also important to permanently burn down all the dwelling places of the seeds of samsāra, so that they don’t sprout up by any chance. Hence Agni is being prayed to burn up their dwelling places. Outwardly, it is a prayer to multiple deities but actually it is all a prayer to Bhagawan Rudra in his various powers viz. Indra and Agni. And this incident could be related with “Tripura-saṁhāra”.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 10

“jahí tvám kāma máma yé sapátnā andhā́ támāṃsy áva pādayainān
nírindriyā arasā́ḥ santu sárve mā́ té jīviṣuḥ katamác canā́haḥ |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:10)
“Slay thou, O Kâma, those that are my enemies, hurl them down into blind darkness. Devoid of vigour, Without sap let them all be; they shall not live a single day!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Nothing much to explain here! It’s self explanatory and already we have analyzed similar verses before. Anyway, for a greater understanding this verse can be understood in the light of the “asaṁga śāstra” detailed in the Bhagawad Gita (BG 15:03 and BG 15:04), having cut asunder the roots of the saṁsāra-vr̥kṣa with the strong axe of detachment, that goal should be sought from where having gone none returns again praying “I  seek refuge in that Primeval Purusha from whom has come forth this cosmic  process”.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 11

“ávadhīt kā́mo máma yé sapátnā urúṃ lokám akaran máhyam edhatúm
máhyaṃ namantāṃ pradíśaś cátasro máhyaṃ ṣáḍ urvī́r ghr̥tám ā́ vahantu |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:11)
“Kâma has slain those that are my enemies, a broad space has he furnished me to thrive in. May the four directions of space bow down to me, and the six broad (regions) carry ghee to me!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Actually, this entire hymn which talks about enemies can be analyzed in terms of the blockers in the supreme path of internal awakening via. Kundalini. But to keep things simple I have not ventured into meditating or analyzing the same in that sense. However, the entire process of awakeing through the path of sushumna is an inward sacrifice (antar-yāga), where when all the enemies (blockers including the granthīs) get killed by the grace of Rudra and the fire of Kundalini present in the sacrificial altar called ‘mūlādhāra’ rises upwards, the yōgī gains supreme wisdom; and divine milk called as sōma (amr̥taṁ) flows from sahasrāra dowawards. That is the havis (libations) in the form of ghee in that sacrifice which flows down through the six regions (chakras) into the altar (at ‘mūlādhāra’). That state where sōma and agni meet is ‘agni-somātmakaṁ-jagat’ where jagat is entirely present within sushumna.

That path of analyzing this hymn would be like creating too much of complexities, hence would exit from this verse just by stating two verses from Uma Sahasram hymn where such concepts of dripping soma (via sahasrara downwards filling the six regions) for the agni stationed in the mooladhara is mentioned.

“mūrdhasomamajarāmararūpe
yuktavīkṣaṇakareṇa nipīḍya |
śambhusundari sunomi dhinomi
tvāṁ pradīptakulakuṇḍaniśāntām ||“ (umā sahasraṁ 31. 18)
“Oh Mother of immortal form! Divine Consort of Lord Shankara! I squeeze the soma juice by the hand, in the form of yogic vision and offer the same to you, who are seated in the blazing altar (yajnakunda) viz., the Muladhara Chakra”.

“āpīnaṁ bhavati sahasrapatrakañjaṁ
vatso’syāḥ paṭutaramūlakuṇḍavahniḥ |
dogdhā”tmā daharasaroruhopaviṣṭo
maunaṁ syātsurasurabhestanūṣu dohaḥ ||“ (umā sahasraṁ 18.16)
“Sahasrara is the udder of Kamadhenu, the celestial cow; Kundalini, the brightly blazing mulagni is the calf; consciousness seated in the heart-space daharakasha, is the cow-herd. Absolutely peaceful silence bereft of all worldly attractions is the act of milking”.

“dogdhryāste bhagavati dohanena labdhaṁ
vatsāgniprathamanipānasadravāyāḥ |
dugdhaṁ svādvamṛtamayaṁ pibanmamātmā
santṛpto na bhavati durbharo’sya kukṣiḥ ||” (umā sahasraṁ 18.17)
“Milk, which is like ambrosia, got from you the Kamadhenu, who is induced to give more by the calf in the form of mulagni, is not enough to fill my huge belly (The sadhaka aspires for more and more for raising his awareness higher and higher is the suggestion)”.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 12

“té ‘dharā́ñcaḥ prá plavantāṃ chinnā́ náur iva bándhanāt
ná sā́yakapraṇuttānāṃ púnar asti nivártanam |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:12)
“They (the enemies) shall float down like a boat cut loose from its moorings! There is no returning again for those who have been struck by our missiles”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

There is no returning of samsāra once cut asunder by the weapon of Rudra! The message here is that once the spiritual aspirant is liberated by the grace of Kāma (Rudra) he doesn’t return back to the vicious cycle of births and deaths.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 13

“agnír yáva índro yávaḥ sómo yávaḥ
yavayā́vāno devā́ yavayantv enam |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:13)
“Agni is a defence, Indra a defence, Soma a defence. May the gods, who by their defence ward off (the enemy), ward him off!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here we have another new term ‘sōma’; other names have already been analyzed as pointing towards Rudra alone. This sōma is also not new. It is the very own name of Bhagawan Rudra. Sōma means “He who is with Uma”. In this connection, Sri Rudram says:

“namaḥ sōmāya cha rudrāya cha |” (Yajurveda IV:5:8:a)
“Homage, to the one who is with Uma; to the one who relieves one of the miseries of samsaara”.

Here this verse is seeking defence against enemies from Bhagawan Rudra only by hailing him in his names as Indra, Agni and Soma.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 14

“ásarvavīraś caratu práṇutto dvéṣyo mitrā́nāṃ parivargyàḥ svā́nām
utá pr̥thivyā́m áva syanti vidyúta ugró vo deváḥ prá mr̥ṇat sapátnān |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:14)

“With his men reduced, driven out, the hated (enemy) shall go, shunned by his own friends! And down upon the earth do the lightnings alight; may that god ugra crush your enemies!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

We have already analysed a similar verse before where we have proved that Ugra is Bhagawan Rudra.

 Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 15

“cyutā́ ceyáṃ br̥haty ácyutā ca vidyúd bibharti stanayitnū́ṃś ca sárvān
udyánn ādityó dráviṇena téjasā nīcáiḥ sapátnān nudatāṃ me sáhasvān |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:15)
“This mighty lightning supports both – moveable (falliable) and immoveable (infalliable) things, as well as all thunders. May the rising sun by his resources and his majesty hurl down my enemies, lie the mighty one!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

It is Bhagawan Rudra who exists in the “Sūryamaṇḍala”. For the sake of granting his vision to everyone alike, he displays himself everyday in the form of sun.

“asau yōsvasarpati nīlagrīvō vilōhitaḥ |
utainaṁ gōpā adṛśannadṛśannudahāryaḥ ||
utainaṁ viśvā bhūtāni sa dṛṣṭō mṛḍayāti naḥ ||” (Yajurveda IV:5:1:h)
“He who rises in the form of the copper-colored sun, Blue-necked and ruddy, Him the cowherds have seen, Have seen the bearers of water, and him all creatures; May be, seen, be gentle unto us”.

Therefore this verse is again found to pray to Rudra in the form of the rising sun.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 16

“yát te kāma śárma trivárūtham udbhú bráhma várma vítatam anativyādhyàṃ kr̥tám
téna sapátnān pári vr̥ṅgdhi yé máma páry enān prāṇáḥ paśávo jī́vanaṃ vr̥ṇaktu |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:16)
“With that triple-armoured powerful covering of thine, O Kâma, with the charm that has been made into an Invulnerate armour spread (over thee), with that do thou drive away those who are my enemies; may breath, cattle, and life give them a wide berth!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Skipping this verse as it is a direct reference to Kāma, which is the name of Rudra.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 17

“yéna devā́ ásurān prā́ṇudanta yénéndro dásyūn adhamáṃ támo ninā́ya
téna tváṃ kāma máma yé sapátnās tā́n asmā́l lokā́t prá ṇudasva dūrám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:17)
“With the weapon with which the god drove forth the Asuras, with which Indra led the Dasyus to the nethermost darkness, with that do thou, O Kâma, drive forth far away from this world those who are my enemies!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

In the form of Indra it is Rudra who wields the thunderbolt (vajra). In fact Rudra carries thunderbolt in his hands. It is he who is sung under the epithet ‘Indra’ in Vedas. Hence the weapon that is being requested in this verse to be used against the enemies is verily the weapon of Rudra as attested in below verse from Rig Veda.

“śreṣṭho jātasya rudra śriyāsi tavastamastavasāṃ vajrabāho |
parṣi ṇaḥ pāramaṃhasaḥ svasti viśvā abhītī rapaso yuyodhi ||” (Rig Veda 2:33:03)
“In beauty thou art the most beautiful of all that exists, O Rudra, the strongest of the strong, thou wielder of the thunderbolt! Carry us happily to the other shore of our anguish, and ward off all assaults of mischief”.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 18

“yáthā devā́ ásurān prā́ṇudanta yáthéndro dásyūn adhamáṃ támo babādhé
táthā tváṃ kāma máma yé sapátnās tā́n asmā́l lokā́t prá ṇudasva dūrám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:18)
“As the gods drove forth the Asuras, as Indra, forced the demons into the nethermost darkness, thus do thou, O Kâma, drive forth far away from this world those who are my enemies!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

A similar verse we have analysed earlier, hence commentary on it here.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 19

“kā́mo jajñe prathamó náinaṃ devā́ āpuḥ pitáro ná mártyāḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥nomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:19)
“Kâma was born at first; him neither the gods, nor the Fathers, nor men have equalled. To these art thou superior, and ever great; to thee, O Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Lord Kāmēśvarā created this world and then first entered into that. Then within that world he assumed diverse forms of mobile and immobile creation. He was the first person to exist within the universe (of course he is always the one who exists even when there is no universe). This is why he is hailed with the words as ‘(pūrvaja) ancient’, ‘(jyēṣṭha) senior most’ etc., words in Yajurveda.

Atharva Veda has an entire hymn dedicated to Lord Shiva’s Vratya aspect and there it says that this Vratya created the world through prajapati (viraj) and then into that golden-egg (hiranyagarbha), this Vratya (Shiva) entered and was born within that. He was the first being to manifest within the universe (hence called as Eka-Vratya, i.e., the loner ascetic), and then became the sole lord of all others (Ishana) and was of dark and tawny complexion (Nilalohita) and was the greatest of all the gods (Mahadeva). These points are cited in below verses.

“vrā́tya āsīd ī́yamāna evá sá prajā́patiṃ sám airayat || sá prajā́patiḥ suvárṇam ātmánn apaśyat tát prā́janayat ||”(Atharva Veda 15:1:1)
“There was Vratya (Ascetic form of Lord shiva) . He roused Prajapati to action. Prajapati beheld gold in himself and engendered it”.

“téna prā́jāyata ||”(Atharva Veda 15:1:3)
“Through that he was born”.

“sò ‘vardhata sá mahā́n abhavat sá mahādevò ‘bhavat || sá devā́nām īśā́ṃ páry ait sá ī́śāno ‘bhavat || sá ekavrātyò ‘bhavat sá dhánur ā́datta tád evéndradhanúḥ || nī́lam asyodáraṃ lóhitaṃ pr̥ṣṭhám || nī́lenaivā́priyaṃ bhrā́tr̥vyaṃ prórṇoti lóhitena dviṣántaṃ vidhyatī́ti brahmavādíno vadanti ||”  (Atharva Veda 15:1:4-8)
“He grew, he became great, he became Mahadeva. He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Ishana. He became Eka Vratya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. His belly is dark-blue, his back is red (Nila-Lohita) . With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say”.

For the very same reason Yajurveda in its celebrated hymn Sri rudram prays to Rudra as follows.

“namō jyēṣṭāya cha kaniṣṭāya cha |” (Yajurveda IV:5:6:a)
“Homage to the oldest, and to the youngest”.

“namō pūrvajāya cha aparajāya cha |” (Yajurveda IV:5:6:b)
“Homage to the ancient born, and to the later born”.

Therefore this verse is verily a praise to lord Rudra’s seniority, sung under the name – Kāma!

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 20

“yā́vatī dyā́vāpr̥thivī́ varimṇā́ yā́vad ā́paḥ siṣyadúr yā́vad agníḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:20)
“O Kâma, You are greater than all. You are higher than Heaven and wider than the Earth. You are farther than the waters have swept and hotter than fire. To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Lord Rudra is the highest of all the gods. He is verily the Brahman. Only for the sake of all of us (including the gods) to remain easily accessible, he stationed himself within this universe at kailasha. Delluded fools consider him as a demi-god; however those who know his true nature, bow their heads to that highest of the high, that greatest being viz. Bhagawan Rudra!

Svetaswatara Upanishad says thus:

“tamīśvarāṇā̃ paramaṁ mahēśvaraṁ | taṁ dēvatānā̃ paramaṁ ca daivatama |
patĩ patīnā̃ paramaṁ parastād | vidāma dēvaṁ bhuvanēśamīḍyama ||” (Svetaswatara Upanishad VI:07)
“May we realize Him – the transcendent and adorable master of the universe – who is the supreme lord over all the lords, the supreme God above all the gods, and the supreme ruler over all the rulers”.

Bhagawan Rudra is infinite being nirguna Brahman in reality. He is the infinite agni-linga which is called Skambha (means Stambha) in Vedas. His ends cannot be located by any means because he is infinite. Therefore surely, he is higher than heaven, and lower than the earth sicne heaven, earth and the intermediate regions are build upon the Skambha (Shiva) and are just a small part of his limitless self. Hence the Atharva Veda says entire universe (comprising of heaven, earth and mid-most regions) are just a part of Shiva’s Agni-linga!

“yátra skambháḥ prajanáyan purāṇáṃ vyávartayat
ékaṃ tád áṅgaṃ skambhásya purāṇám anusáṃviduḥ |” (Atharva Veda X:7:26)
“Where Skambha generating gave the Ancient World its shape and form, They recognized that single part of Skambha as the Ancient World”.

This is enough to understand the limitless nature of the highest being i.e., Bhagawan Kāma (Rudra).

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 21

“yā́vatīr díśaḥ pradíśo víṣūcīr yā́vatīr ā́śā abhicákṣaṇā diváḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:21)
“Great as are the directions (of space) and the intermediate direction on either side, great as are the regions and the vistas of the sky; to these art thou superior, To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

All these attributes get covered in the Skambha Sukta verse quoted in the previous verse (See my commentary on Kāma sūkta verse 21). Rudra in his infinite Agni-Linga aspect encompasses everything but doesn’t get encompassed by anything. He is superior to everything!

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 22

“yā́vatīr bhŕ̥ṅgā jatvàḥ kurū́ravo yā́vatīr vághā vr̥kṣasarpyò babhūvúḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:22)
“As many bees, bats, kurûru-worms, as many vaghas and tree-serpents as there are; to these art thou superior . To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

All these attributes get covered in the Skambha Sukta verse quoted in the commentary on Kāma sūkta verse 21. Hence not repeating here.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 23

“jyā́yān nimiṣató ‘si tíṣṭhato jyā́yānt samudrā́d asi kāma manyo
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥nomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:23)
“Superior art thou to all that winks (lives), superior to all that stands still (is not alive), superior to the ocean art thou, O Kâma Manyu! To these art thou superior . To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here the singer is praising Kāma saying he is superior to all sentient (mobile) and insentient (immobile) beings. And here Kāma is addressed as “Manyu”.

Atharva Veda in the Skanbha Sukta clearly calls out that all the mobile and immobile creation is upheld by Skambha (Agni-Linga form of Bhagawan Rudra). Therefore he is certainly superior to all these!

“yád éjati pátati yác ca tíṣṭhati prāṇád áprāṇan nimiṣác ca yád bhúvat |
tád dādhāra pr̥thivī́ṃ viśvárūpaṃ tát saṃbhū́ya bhavaty ékam evá |” (Atharva Veda X:8:11)
“That which hath power of motion, that which flies, or stands, which breathes or breathes not, which, existing, shuts the eye. Wearing all forms that entity upholds the earth, and in its close consistence still is only one”.

Now, “Manyu” is again a very famous name of Bhagawan Rudra alone. Rudra’s wrath is called ‘Manyu’; and in the form of anger (Manyu) it is Rudra who exists. The very opening verse of Sri Rudram prays to Rudra in his Manyu (anger) aspect and requests him to calm down.

“namastē rudra manyava utōta iṣavē nama |” (Yajurveda IV:5:1:a)
“Homage to thy wrath, O Rudra!”.

Therefore here also it is ascertained that this verse to Kāma under the name of Manyu is for Rudra.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 24


“ná vái vā́taś caná kā́mam āpnoti nā́gníḥ sū́ryo nótá candrámāḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:24)
“O Kama, You are greater than all. You are faster than the wind, hotter than the Sun and greater than the Moon. You are farther than the waters have swept and hotter than fire. O Love, You are greater than all. Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Strictly speaking, win may not have speed, fire may not have heat, sun may not have luminosity, and moon may not be cool. All these experiences that we perceive with all these entities is because of the presence of Lord Shiva as our Atman.When we are alive, we dread to hold fire because our Atman tells us it is hot and it would burn our hand. A dead body doesn’t scream and run away when it is set ablaze! Similarly, the Atman tells us that the sun is shining and makes us feel the brightness. A corpse cannot see light even if you flash a torch on its eyes. Therefore, all the “experiences” that we feel are due to the presence of Bhagawan Shiva as our inner self.

It is Mahadeva whose light shines the sun, it is he whose healing properties drip through moon, it is he whose heat makes Agni hot, it is he whose speed agitates and moves the wind. Without him all these entities have no value and would lose their properties.

It is for this reason that Kenopanishad in the third chapter teaches us about the original being who is the cause behind all causes, the eye behind all eyes, the doer behind all the instruments. Agni, vayu, varuna etc;, gods thought they achieved victory by their might; but they couldn’t even burn, blow and wash away (respectively) a simple grass blade! That was because everything functions by the will of Rudra (the Brahman).

For the sake of giving an example let me cite an example from Yajurveda here to show how by the grace of Rudra the sun regained its lustre.

The Aditya who is the sun actually shines under the grace of Lord Rudra as mentioned in Yajurveda. Rudra himself is present as sun as well as moon also. But once Sun didn’t shine, all the gods prayed to Soma-Rudra (the doctor aspect of Rudra, which in later texts called as vaidyanatha), and he gave brightness to him. Soma (aspect) is Amruta hence he gives life to any dying person. Hence he is the healer. But it is lord Rudra who is the supreme light which illuminates everything. Hence the Sun started shining again when Rudra imparted brightness to him.

“asavadityo na vy arocata tasmai devah prayascittim aichan tasma etam |
somaraudram carum nir avapan tenaivasmin rucam adadhus |” (Yajurveda 2:2:10)
“Yonder sun did not shine, the gods sought an atonement for him, for him they offered this oblation to Soma and Rudra: verily thereby they bestowed brightness upon him. If he desires to become resplendent, he should offer for him this oblation to Soma and Rudra; verily he has recourse to Soma and Rudra with their own portion; verily they bestow upon him splendour; he becomes resplendent”.

Rudra alone is the supreme effulgent Atman whose light illuminates everything.

“yo vai rudraH sa bhagavAnyachcha tejastasmai vai namonamaH |” (Atharvasiras Upanishad 2:19)
“He who is Rudra, he alone is god. He is the Supreme Light and we salute him again and again”.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 25

“yā́s te śivā́s tanvàḥ kāma bhadrā́ yā́bhiḥ satyáṃ bhávati yád vr̥ṇiṣé
tā́bhiṣ ṭvám asmā́m̐ abhisáṃviśasvānyátra pāpī́r ápa veśayā dhíyaḥ |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:25)
“With those auspicious (śivā́h) and gracious forms of thine, O Kâma, through which what thou wilst becometh real with these do thou enter into us, and elsewhere send the evil thoughts!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

This is a direct evidence to see a direct correlation and conclude that Kāma is verily Rudra and Kāma-Sūkta is verily a Rudra-Sūkta!

Rudra is truly nirguna Brahman, however for the sake of the devotees as well as for the sake of administration, he assumes diverse forms – Some of the forms are auspicious and some are highly terrible. Even Mahabharata tells us that Rudra has both ghōra and aghōra forms. The Vedic rishis have therefore always wanted to face Rudra’s auspicious forms. Therefore, in all the Vedic hymns addressed to Rudra, the seer seeks the the benign forms and requests Rudra to keep his terrible forms away.

The above verse of Kāma sūkta is also not doing anything new. It is the same prayer addressed under the name of Kāma which is addressed in Sri Rudram of Yajurveda as quoted below. When we compare both these we would see the same message coming!

“yā tē rudra śivā tanūraghōrāpāpakāśinī |
tayā nastanuvā śantamayā giriśantābhicākaśīhi  ||” (Yajurveda IV:5:1:c)
“That body of thine, O Rudra, which is kindly, Not dread, with auspicious look, With that body, most potent to heal, O haunter of the mountains, do thou look on us”.

This is the concluding verse of the hymn called Kāma sūkta which is a hymn addressed to Bhagawan Shiva who is the primordial desire (Kāma) which was instrumental in the creation of the universe.

To be continued…

The article has been republished from author’s blog with permission.

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