The Shri Rudrashtakam (Sanskrit: श्री रुद्राष्टकम्, Rudrāṣṭakam) is a Sanskrit composition in devotion of Rudra, composed by the Hindu Bhakti poet Tulsidas (Sanskrit: तुलसीदास). Tulsidas composed this eulogy in the late fifteenth century in Uttar Pradesh in India and created many other literary pieces including the magnum opus Ram Charit Manas.

The devotional hymn "Rudrashtakam" appears in the Uttara Kand of the celebrated Ram Charit Manas, where Lomash Rishi composed the hymn to propitiate Lord Shiva. His main purpose was to set his pupil free from the curse of Shiva. He succeeded and asked also a second boon (devotion for himself). His pupil would be the bird ' Kaga-Bhusundi' in a next life, a devotee of Shri Rama and an excellent teller of the life story of Shri Rama.

The Ashtakam is in reverence to Rudra, though the context pertains to the Shiva, the post-Vedic transformation of Rudra. It is arguable that the distinction between Rudra and Shiva was already lost by the time of Tulsidas.

The Rudrashtakam is lucid and simple in style and plays an instrumental role in the Shaiva traditions.


The term "Astakam" is derived from the Sanskrit word aṣṭan, meaning "eight". An astakam is made up of eight stanzas.

In Rudrashtakam, each stanza is written in Jagati meter, and hence contains 48 syllables per stanza.

An astakam belong to the genre of lyric poetry, which tends to be short, extremely melodic, and contemplative. It reflects and portrays the poet's own feelings, states of mind, and perceptions about the theme or character in the Astakam.


The Rudrashtakam narrates the qualities and deeds of Shiva.

The body of the Rudrashtakam includes many qualities, attributes and motifs associated with Shiva, including the destruction of Tripura (mythology), the annihilation of Kamadeva etc. These symbols and motifs related to the life and deeds of Rudra or Shiva.


See Sanskrit for details of pronunciation.

Devanagari IAST English Translation
॥ श्री रुद्राष्टकम् ॥.. Śri Rudrāṣṭakam..Eight Stanzas on Rudra
आचार्य तुलसीदासĀcārya tulasīdāsaAcharya Tulsidas
नमामि ईशम् ईशानNamāmīśamīśānaO Lord, O' Īśāna! I prostrate before thee
निर्वाणरुपम्nirvāṇa rūpaṃWho is the embodiment of Nirvāṇa bliss
विभुम् व्यापकम्vibhuṃ vyāpakaṃWho is omni-present
ब्रह्मवेदस्वरूपम्, ।brahma veda svarūpaṃ,Who is knowledge of the Brahman in reality and totality/ Who is origin of Brahma, the originator and of the Veda
निजम्nijaṃWho is ever dwelling in his own self,
निर्गुणम्nirguṇaṃWho is quality-less, beyond attributes/ origin of every (3) qualities, hence cannot be measured by standards of qualities
निर्विकल्पम्nirvikalpaṃWho is immutable
निरीहम्nirīhaṃWho is dispassionate, desireless
चिदाकाशमाकाशवासम्cidākāśamākāśavāsaṃWho is immeasurable like the sky, and Who dwells in the sky.
भजेऽहम् ॥ १ ॥bhāje'haṃ .. 1 ..I beseech.
ओंकारमूलम्oṃkāramūlaṃThe root of Om
तुरीयम्turīyaṃAlways in stateless Turiya – The fourth and most sublime state of existence
गिराgirāGira == Vani, Voice words / Mount Kailash
ज्ञान गोतीतम् ईशम्jñāna gotītaṃ īśaṃWho is beyond the scope of voice, knowledge and words/ origin of Vani, Gyan, Words etc.
गिरीशम्girīśaṃThe ruler of Mount Kailash/ God of mount Kailash
करालम् ।karālaṃFierce
महाकाल कालम् ।mahākāla kālaṃDestroyer of Death/ Mahakaal is when the entire universe dies and He is the destroyer of that Mahakaal
कृपालम्kṛpālaṃbenevolent and compassionate
गुणागारguṇāgāraWho is the treasury of all qualities
संसारपारम्saṃsārapāraṃbeyond the Samsara, the mundane universe
नतोऽहम् ॥ २ ॥nato'haṃ .. 2 ..I bow.
तुषाराद्रिtuṣārādriLike a snowy white mountain
संकाशsaṃkāśa(His) face is sweet
गौरम्gauraṃFair and resplendent / Fair like a snowy mountain (tusharadri = snowy mountain (tushar+adri), sankash = like, gauram = Fair/ white)
गभीरम् ।gabhīraṃWho is profound / He is so deep that to understand Him one has to go to absolute depth of divinity
मनोभूतmanobhūtaWho is the mind of all beings/ elements
कोटिप्रभाkoṭiprabhāOf immense splendor
श्री शरीरम्śrī śarīraṃBeautiful bodied ( His beautiful body if of immense splendor)
स्फुरन्मौलिsphuranmaulishining forehead
कल्लोलिनी चारु गङ्गाkallolinī cāru gaṅgāWavy and enticing Ganges / sacred Ganges flows cheerfully from His shining forehead
बालेन्दुbālenduA youthful (crescent) moon / young moon is shining on His forehead
कण्ठे भुजङ्गा ॥ ३ ॥kaṇṭhe bhujaṅgā.. 3 ..Snake garlands around the neck
चलत्कुण्डलम्calat kuṇdalaṃswaying earrings
भ्रू सुनेत्रम् विशालम्bhrū sunetraṃ viśālaṃWith beautiful eyebrow and broad eyes
प्रसन्नाननम्prasannānanaṃhappy countenance/ facial expression reveals satisfaction or peace
नीलकण्ठम् ।nīla kaṇṭhaṃblue throated one
मृगाधीश चर्माम्बरम्mrigāḍhiśa carmāmbaraṃlion-skin around His waist / skin of God of deers, which is lion, is His garment
मुण्ड मालम्muṇḍa mālaṃSkull-cap garland
प्रियम् शंकरम्priyaṃ śaṃkaraṃBeloved Shankar
सर्वनाथम् भजामि ॥ ४ ॥Sarvanāthaṃ bhajāmi.. 4 ..I meditate upon the Lord of the Universe. (sarva+natham = God of everything)
प्रचण्डम्pracaṇḍaṃFierce / full of immeasurable energy
प्रकृष्टम्prakriśhtamImmense / Better than everything
प्रगल्भम्pragalbhaṃMature and bold
परेशम्।pareśaṃThe supreme Lord
अखण्डम्akhanḍamWhole and Immeasurable
भानुकोटि प्रकाशम्bhānukoṭiprakāṣaṃSplendor of a billion Suns
त्रयः शूलtrayaha śūlaThree kind of obstacles in human life – 1. Physical 2. Divine/Devil / 3. Environmental
निर्मूलनम्nirmūlanaṃOne who does not have any origin or One who removes from root (terminates all three kinds of issues from root of it)
शूलपाणिम् भजेऽहम्śulapāṇim bhaje'haṃI pray the holder of the trident
भवानीपतिम्bhavānīpatiṃThe divine consort of Bhavani
भावगम्यम् ॥ ५ ॥bhāvagamyaṃ.. 5 ..One who is achieved easily through emotions (devotion)
कलातीतKaalātītaTimeless, beyond time and death (it's कलातीत i.e. one who is having command on all forms of art, the one from whom art takes birth)
कल्पान्तकारीkalpāntakārīThe terminator of Kalpas - The destroyer (Kalpa = when our universe dies)
सदा सज्जनानन्ददाताsadā sajjanānanda dātāAlways blissful and giver of boons to righteous
पुरारि ।purāriThe enemy of the Puras – The destroyer of Tripura (mythology)
चिदानंद संदोह मोहापहारीcidānaṃdā saṃdohā mohāpahārīWho is eternal bliss, and Who absolves abundant passion (absorbs happiness which comes from materialistic wishes)
प्रसीद प्रसीदprasīda prasīdaBe pleased with me.
प्रभो मन्मथारी॥ ६ ॥prabho manmathārī.. 6 ..Lord, the destroyer of Kamadeva
न यावत्Na yāvatThose who do not / until or unless
उमानाथ पादाराविन्दम्Umānātha pādārāvindaṃThe lotus feet of Umanath
लोके परे वाloke pare vāIn the universe
नराणाम्narāṇāṃOf men
न तावत् ।na tāvatNot their / till then men will not get
सुखम् शांतिsukhaṃ śāñtiHappiness and peace
सन्ताप नाशम्sañtāpa nāṣaṃDestroy agonies
प्रसीदprasīdaBe propitious
प्रभो सर्वभूताधिवासम् ॥ ७ ॥prabho sarvabhūtādhivāsaṃ.. 7 ..O’ Lord! The Lord of all beings/ elements
न जानामिja jānāmiI don’t know
नतोऽहम्nato'haṃI always bow
सदा सर्वदाsadā sarvadāEver, always
शम्भुःŚambhuhuO shambhu, the bliss-giver
तुभ्यम् ।tubhyaṃBefore you
जराjarāOld age
जन्मjanmaBirth and life
दुःखौघduhkhaughaImmense sorrows of mundane life and existence
तातप्यमानम्tātāpyamānaṃ.Pangs of pain and agony
प्रभोprabhoO Lord
पाहिpāhiRedeem me
आपन्नमामीशāpannamāmīśaI am saluting You, O Lord!
शम्भो ॥ ८ ॥Śambho.. 8 ..O Shambhu!
रुद्राष्टकम् इदम् प्रोक्तम् विप्रेण हर तोषये । (this Brahman, tulsidas, has written Rudrashtakam to praise/ satisfy Har (Shiva))

ये पठन्ति नरा भक्त्या तेषाम् शम्भुः प्रसीदति॥ (whoever men will read this with intense devotion, O Shambhu please be propitious to them)

See also


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