The Rudra-Gita is contained in Slokas 16-79 of chapter 24 – Skandha IV of Srimad Bhagavata and chapters 70-72 of Varaha-purana.
Hymn of Liberation
1. Oh holy one! How did the Prachetas happen to meet with Sri Rudra on the way, and what was the precious instruction he imparted to them?
2. Embodied beings cannot contact Sri Rudra. Even rishis practising renunciation can commune with him only in meditation but not physically.
The Perennial Philosophy considers that Pure Consciousness is the true state of the divine Ground or the Godhead and it permeates the whole universe as the pure activity of the Godhead. God is, therefore, Spirit and one can commune and be one with God only in spirit – in consciousness.
3. Even though Sri Rudra is immersed in the bliss of the Self, he, for the proper functioning of the world order, often goes about in a mood and form that strike terror in all.
The pure Infinite Consciousness appears to become whatever forms It takes whenever It manifests Itself. When the Infinite Consciousness in the form of life-breath enters into bodies and begins to vibrate various parts, it is said that those bodies are living. It is a small part of the Infinite Consciousness that becomes the intelligence in these bodies. This intelligence, entering into these bodies, brings into being the different organs like the eyes, hands, legs, etc.
It is this intelligence which is part of the Infinite Consciousness that fancies itself differently in different objects. When it fancies itself to be a human being, it becomes so.
4. The noble-minded Prachetas, in obedience to their father’s command, set their mind on practising austerity and, for this, travelled in a westerly direction.
Austerity does not mean the practice of mortification which does not necessarily lead to a virtuous life. The mortified may practise all the cardinal virtues such as prudence, fortitude, temperance and chastity and yet remain a thoroughly bad man. This is for the reason that his virtues are accompanied by, and connected with, the sins of pride, envy, chronic anger and uncharitableness assuming the proportion of active cruelty. Mistaking the means for the end, the puritan fancies himself holy because he is austere. But austerity is just the exaltation of the ego of the individual. Holiness, on the other hand, is the total denial of the separative self and abandonment of the will to God. To the extent that there is attachment to ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘mine’, there is no attachment to God and only affirmation of self. It is austerity coupled with holiness that leads to divinity.
5. On nearing the sea coast, they found an extensive lake with water as pure and limpid as the minds of mahatmas.
6-7. Blue lotuses, red lotuses, white lotuses, kalhara, blue water-lilies, etc were blooming on the surface of the lake. Birds like swans, storks, chakravakas and karandavas filled the air with their varied warblings. There were trees and creepers which looked as if they were covered with horripilations on hearing the buzzing of honey-beetles maddened with flower-nectar. The whole atmosphere there was fragrant with the pollen of flowers, with which the place abounded.8. The Prachetas were astonished to hear notes of heavenly music to the accompaniment of many musical instruments like mridanga and panava.
9-10. They saw coming out of that lake the blue-throated, three-eyed Lord Siva of the complexion of burnished gold, accompanied by his retinue and a host of singing gandharvas and Devas. Seeing him, the thrilled Prachetas made prostrations before him.
11. Lord Siva, who always relieves the sufferings of those who seek his protection and who is fond of those who follow the dharma, was highly pleased with the Prachetas for their virtues and their knowledge of the ways of righteous living. He spoke to them as follows:
Prayer is the most important medium of spiritual practices. Prayer is the petition asking of something for ourselves; and intercession for others.
To acquire his petition answered, a man need not have to know or to love God or even His image. All that he requires is a burning sense of fulfillment of his desires, coupled with firm conviction that there exists, out in the universe, something not himself, which can be dragooned into satisfying these desires. With the necessary degree of faith and persistence, the chances are that, sooner or later, somehow or other, he gets what he wants. It is the experience of human beings through ages that whatever is sought with firm faith and conviction that God delivers. Whether what he gets, in response to his petition, is morally or materially good or not, only time can say. It may, however, be legitimate for us to pray for anything, which is legitimate for us to desire.
12. You are the sons of Prachinabarhis. I understand what you are after. May good fortune attend on you! It is only to bless you that I have made myself visible to you.
13. Dear to me is that fortunate devotee who has taken shelter whole-heartedly at the feet of Vasudeva, who is subtler than, and transcends, both Prakrti and Purusa.
Vasudeva is the Brahman, considered the Supreme Deity. IT is not one among many. Everything in the world has its being in the Brahman. It is concrete in the sense that IT IS and asserts itself in the form ‘I-AM’. We only know that IT IS. It cannot be a person, as the word is generally understood. IT IS, and yet indeterminate, beyond speech and concept.
The Brahman – the highest Being is the Absolute, Transcendental Self. The three distinctions – Being (Existence), Reality and Truth become one in the Absolute Reality.
14. Those, who have lived adhering to their svadharma for a hundred lives, go to the sphere of Brahma; those, who have done so for a still longer period, come to my sphere. But the greatest devotees of Mahavisnu go directly to His transcendent sphere immediately after the death of the physical body, just as Indra, I and other Kalas (specially commissioned souls) do at the end of our mission.
The Bhagavad-Gita teaches, ‘It is better to perform one’s own svadharma (obligations) poorly than to do another’s well’. Svadharma does not refer to one’s individual or chosen personal obligations. Indeed it connotes an impersonal generic ethical category, which impels one to discharge one’s duties determined by one’s place in society. Svadharma embodies the same ethical values, as does varna-asramadharma.