Kalagni-Rudra / Kalagnirudra image


The Kalagni-Rudra literally means Lord Shiva, the concluder, in his most ferocious form 
which is like the fire of dooms-day. Shiva is the greatest ascetic, a great renunciate, most 
auspicious and regarded as an enlightened God. So his invocation helps the spiritual 
seeker to burn all his worldly delusions and taints arising out of ignorance and 
attachments to falsehoods. This paves the path for his ultimate liberation and deliverance 
from the cycle of birth and death. Lord Shiva is the designated Authority that controls 
death and destruction, not only of the gross physical world and its visible objects but also 
metaphorically of all the evil tendencies, all the blemishes and faults that are 
characteristic of this deluding world and which usually cover the soul of the creature like 
a layer of thick scum floating on the surface of the otherwise crystal-clear waters of the 
mountain lake. 
 The Rudraksha beads (seeds of the tree eleocarpus ganitrus) with five faces or 
surfaces used in rosaries and necklaces are also called Kalagni-rudra beads because these 
are very much liked by Lord Shiva. The great spiritual importance and metaphysical 
significance of the Rudraksha beads have been explained in the Rudraksha Jabal 
Upanishad of the Sam Veda tradition, the Kalagni Rudra Upanishad of Krishna Yajur 
Veda tradition, and the Brihajjabal Upanishad, Brahman 7, verse no. 8 of the Atharva 
Veda tradition. 
The Brihajjabal Upanishad of the Atharva Veda tradition is essentially revealed 
by Lord Kalagnirudra when he was approached by sage Bhususnd who wished to know 
about the immense spiritual value and metaphysical significance of the sacred ash of the 
fire sacrifice, called the ‘Bhasma’, and the three lines marked on the body from its paste, 
called the ‘Tripundra’—refer Brahmans 1-6, Brihajjabal Upanishad. 
The Brihajjabal Upanishad, Brahman 2, verse no. 1 says that Kalagnirudra 
personifies the Fire element and the Soma element. The Fire represents dynamism, heat 
and energy, while Soma represents the soothing elixir that acts as a balm for the 
scorching heat of the fire. Thus, the Lord is severe and ruthless on the one hand, and 
soothing and calming on the other hand. The sacred ash that Lord Shiva smears over his 
body represents the calmed-down fire, i.e. though it has its origin in the hot fire it has 
become finally cool. This implies that though the Lord becomes angry at times when he 
watches the creation going out of hands and wayward to the extreme, needing to be 
wiped out so that the slate can be cleaned for a fresh start, he soon becomes absolutely 
calm and tranquil, re-submerging himself in deep meditation.