RUDRA IN THE BRĀHMAṆA LITERATURE
Vedas are the store house of knowledge. The word Veda comes from the root vid to know, with the suffix ac or ghañ. Manu says in his book Manusmṛti that the Veda is the source of dharmas or religion (Manusmṛti, 2.6). There are four Vedas in number namely the Ṛgveda, the Yajurveda, the Atharvaveda and the Sāmaveda. Each Veda has been classified into four sub-divisions—the Saṁhitās, the Brāhmaṇas, the Āraṇyakas and the Upaniṣads. The word Brāhmaṇais derived from the root bṛh. Brāhmaṇas are written in prose style. They deal in ritualistic performances, theological matters and various sacrificial rites, along with explanation of the mantras. Mention of many gods and goddesses is found in the Brāhmaṇa literature. Among the various gods and goddesses, this paper is an attempt to highlight the characteristic features of Rudra, his origin and stories related to Rudraas reflected in the Brāhmaṇa literature.