Imagine you want to invite your boss for a dinner at home. You ask your wife to prepare the best dishes and you spare no expense. Not only that you also ask every family member to be on his/her best behaviour in front of your boss, you really want to leave a good impression on your boss.
Every tiny detail matters, right!
Now, lets try and understand “Rudrabhishek” and everything related to it.
रूद्र Rudra, is a form of Shiva and according to the Rigveda Rudra is the mightiest force / form / God / Deity in the whole creation. There is nothing superior to Rudra. Even the most powerful forces known to man is nothing but a tiny ant in front of Rudra.
The meaning of its roots is also; “ru” रू , to cry or to teach, “rud” रूद्, to make a person weep, and “dra” द्र to flow. Therefore, Rudra is considered as a deity who teaches the supreme knowledge to all and whose energy flows in everyone and everything.
Rudra has been described as a roaring thunder storm, when appears creates fear in the heart of enemies and uproots all evil forces like a tiny piece of grass. Forget evil forces, when Rudra appears even the Devatas like Indra, Surya (the Sun God), Vaayu (the God of Wind) and Agni (the God of fire) shiver with fear, they bow to the wrath of Rudra.
Rudra doesn’t even spare Devas if they cross the line. Remember how Rudra turned Kamadeva into ashes when he disrupted Shiva’s intense Samadhi by using his puny powers to ignite passion in Shiva, the only thing he was able to ignite was the wrath of Rudra and Rudra immediately incinerated Kamadeva into ashes.
Why is Rudrabhishek performed?
Rudrabhishek is performed to invoke Rudra, the most powerful cosmic force mentioned in the Vedas. Rudrabhishek is performed to please and impress the Rudra. Rudra sees everything, hears everything, feels everything and knows everything in this cosmic creation (both micro and macro cosmic) and beyond. Rudra is the protector of his devotees and destroyer of the evil forces.
Precaution to be taken while performing Rudrabhishek
- Make sure you fast throughout the day. One day before performing the Rudrabhishek and on the day you perform Ridrabhishek. Two days of compulsory fasting.
- While fasting you cannot consume any solid food. A glass of milk with some ghee (clarified butter) in it. You must not eat anything else.
- On the day of performing Rudrabhishek try to avoid too much intake of water. If you can go through whole day without water that will be even better but most people don’t have that kind of capacity, so drink only a glass of water in the morning.
- Consult a learned Brahmin to find out an auspicious Muhurat and Tithi to perform this pious ceremony.
- Put every other aspect of your life on standby mode until you finish the ceremony.
- Keep your anger under control. Hold your horses for a while.
- The ceremony shall be performed in a peaceful environment with no noise.
Fasting is utmost necessary because while performing Rudrabhishek you cannot take a break to have water or go to toilet. Any form of Vighna or disruption during Rudrabhishek will nullify the whole ceremony. Hence there shall not be any form of distraction or dispruption.
Every tiny detail matters! Remember!
If you do not have any devotion for Shiva or Rudra in your heart then kindly do not take part in the ceremony. Some parents insist their children to sit along to perform Rudrabhishek and they just do a few things in the ceremony with their mind is always engaged somewhere else. I’ve seen so many cases.
Some people perform Rudrabhishek to project their social status and while performing Rudrabhishek they will do everything which is advised not to do. They will be busy on their phones half the time. They will be posing for photographs and what not.
Some people nowadays don’t perform Rudrabhishek to impress Rudra, they perform this ceremony to impress other people in their social sphere.
How is Rudrabhishek performed?
- Bhasma (ashes)
- Bel Patra and flowers
Chanting of the Mantras
Most commonly the mantras chanted during Rudrabhishek is Shri Rudram Chamakam [from the Krishna Yajurveda’s Taittiriya Samhita (4.5, 4.7)].
जगताम् पतये नमः । jagatăm pataye namaha । (Yajurveda 16.18)
देवानां हृदयभ्यो नमो । devănăm hridayebhyo namo । (Yajurveda 16.46)
Homage to the Lord of the Universe.
Salutations to him who is in heart of the gods.
नम् वशिाय च वशितराय च। namaḥ śivāya ca śivatarāya ca
Salutations unto Śiva the auspicious one, unto Śivatara the one than whom none more auspicious can exist. 
Śrī Rudram is divided into 11 anuvākas (passages) and consists of 37 ṛks (verses) in various Vedic chandas (meters) in anuvāka 1, 10 and 11. Anuvākas 2 to 9 and the last line of anuvāka 11 consist of 130 yajus (sacrificial formulas).
Everything that we see wrong and evil in this world is due to the perverseness of the mind but by reciting Sri Rudram and performing Rudrabhishek, one can cleanse his inner self and free himself from the dreadful and animalistic instincts which make a man evil.
Along with Shri Rudram chanting of Mahāmṛtyuṁjaya mantra is customary while performing Rudrabhishek. Mahāmṛtyuṁjaya mantra is chanted in a cycle of 108 or 1008.
ॐ त्र्यं॑बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् ।
उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर् मु॑क्षीय॒ माऽमृता॑त् ।
We worship the fragrant and three eyed One, who confers ever increasing prosperity; like the ripe cucumber which drops from the stem, let us be saved from the hold of death and freed from its hold; let us not turn away from liberation.
Liberation From Fear of Death
Sometimes a person comes in close contact with death and narrowly escapes it. Such incidents can deeply damage a persons state of psychological being, which we understand in modern psychology as a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Chanting of Shri Rudram and Mahāmṛtyuṁjaya mantra while performing Rudrabhishek with devotion creates certain vibration patterns which frees a person from the fear of death and all other sorts of unknown fears.