rudraanaam shankaraashchaasmi vittesho yaksharakshasaam |
vasoonaam paavakaashchaasmi meruhu shikharnaamaham || 23 ||

 
Among the Rudras I am Shankara and among the Yakshas and Raakshasaas I am Vittesha. Among the Vasus I am the purifying fire and among the mountain peaks I am Meru.
 
rudraanaam : among the Rudas
shankaraha : Shankara
cha : and
asmi : I am
vitteshaha : Vittesha
yaksha : Yakshas
rakshasaam : among Raakshasaas
vasoonaam : among Vasus
paavakaha : purifying fire
cha : and
asmi : I am
meruhu : Meru
shikharnaam : among mountain peaks
aham : I am
 
Shri Krishna goes on to describe Ishvara’s expressions. He says that among the deities known as Rudras, he is Lord Shiva, the foremost among them. Rudras are deities that have been mentioned since Vedic times. Their name is derived from the rood “rud” which means to cry or howl. They symbolically represent the vital life energies, and therefore make people cry when they leave the body.
 
It is said that there are eleven Rudras: Hara, Bahuroopa, Trayambaka, Aparaajita, Vrishaakapi, Shambhu (Lord Shiva), Kapardin, Raivata, Mrigavyaadha, Shaarva and Kapaalin. Shri Krishna says that Lord Shiva is Ishvara’s expression because he is the calmest among them, and brings joy to his devotees.
 
Among the demigods known as the Yakshas and Rakshasaas, Ishvara is Vittesha who is also known as Kubera. Vitta means wealth, so Kubera is considered the lord of wealth. He is worshipped during the Lakshmi Pooja festival. Among the eight Vasus, deities who represent the elemental forces, Ishvara’s expression is fire because it is the greatest purifier.
 
Next, Shri Krishna says that among the mountain peaks, Ishvara is the mountain known as Meru. It is considered the most prominent mountain and the centre of the universe in the Srimad Bhaagavatam, hence it is Ishvara’s expression. The human spinal column is also known as “Meru danda” or the Meru rod, and the primary bead in a rosary is known as the Meru bead.
 
Whenever we see fire, mountains, wealth, or someone in sorrow due to punishment, we should remember Ishvara through his expressions of fire, Kubera, mount Meru and Lord Shiva.

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