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Atirudra In Hinduism - Atirudram

"Atirudra" (also written as Atirudram or Ati Rudra, is a significant ritual in Hinduism aimed at mitigating the effects of sins through elaborate recitations of the Rudra hymn, which is found in the Taittiriya Samhita (4.5) of the Yajur Veda. The Rudra hymn consists of eleven stanzas beginning with the words "namaste rudra manyava" and is also known as Rudradhyaya. This hymn is revered for its potency in appeasing Lord Rudra, a manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with fierce aspects and transformative energies.

The ritual of Ati Rrudram involves a progressive increase in the number of recitations of the Rudra hymn. Reciting the Rudra once is termed as "avartana." When recited eleven times, it's known as "Ekadasini." If the Ekadasini is repeated eleven times, it's termed as "Laghu Rudra." Eleven repetitions of the Laghurudra constitute the "Maharudra." Finally, the culmination of this progression is the "Atirudra," wherein the Rudra hymn is recited a total of 14,641 times.

Performing Maharudra and Atirudra typically requires the involvement of multiple priests, often either 11 or 121 priests. The complexity and magnitude of the ritual underscore its importance and the depth of devotion and commitment involved in seeking divine grace to offset the effects of sins.

The recitation of the Rudra hymn in Atirudra is believed to invoke the blessings and grace of Lord Rudra, thereby purifying the individual and the environment from negative influences and bestowing spiritual upliftment and well-being. It symbolizes the seeker's earnest endeavor to seek redemption and spiritual growth through devotion and penance, as prescribed in the sacred texts of Hinduism, such as the dharmashastras and the puranas.