See more articles, reviews, fiction and poetry, including more of my writings, at group blog PLUTO'S REALM.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Rudra - Vedic Metal

Soon after I started this blog in 2005, I started posting videos by bands that I thought were seminal, or life-changing, at least for me. That hasn't been done so much these days, because of the ease of sharing music and video on the social networking sites, though I still get lots of hits on those pages.  But given my current direction, here's a band that I find not only inspiring and motivating, but that actually helps me concentrate my psychic energies in ways that I find intuitive and correct.  Therefore, meet Rudra - a Vedic metal band from Singapore!

I wish I knew more about this band - if you do, drop me a line!  I do know they've been around since 1992 or so, have released six albums, and have just finished a world tour.  I only own and have listened extensively to their latest album, Brahmavidya: Immortal I, which was released last year.  That will change.

I don't know if there are any other Vedic metal bands.  I'm not normally a big metal fan, or haven't been - a lot of it leaves me cold.  But the energetic black metal these guys play, blended with bits of Carnatic music, which I love, and rich with Sanskrit, not nearly all of which I have translated or even identified yet, is a perfect soundtrack for the wealth I get from the Vedas.  I was usually disappointed with the lyrical content of the Nordic metal bands some of my Asatru friends like; a lot of their presentation seemed cartoonish.  But these guys have good true content, true not only to the Vedic philosophies as I understand them, but to later, but still strong, aspects of the Hindu metaphysic - especially the warrior mentality, the karma yoga of the Bhagavad Gita.  Nothing says Kurukshetra like - well, Kurukshetra!

Witness these lyrics from "Harrowing Carrions of Syllogism" on the above-mentioned album:

Mind creates a subjective notional world
Limited by knowledge we see what we want to see
The mind can't see beyond its thought constructs
The lack of a valid pramana leads to self-deception
Destroy your world by seeing yourself as the essence of the universe

Like the eye which can't see itself, the I can't see the inner I
Without shabda, you can't know your Self
Without shruti, you can't see your Self
Manobuddhyahankaracittani naham
Na ca vyomabhumir na tejo na vayu
Cidanandarupa shivoham shivoham*

Destroy your world by seeing yourself as the essence of the universe
Like clay in the pot, see yourself as the essence of the universe
Vain reasoning is a bottomless pit
Inflates the non-self with conceit

Shabda alone leads the mind beyond the limit of thoughts
To the self which is beyond logic and reason
Aham nirvikalpo nirakararupa
Vibhutvacca sarvatra sarvendriyanam
Na casangato naiva na muktirna bandha
Cidanandarupa shivoham shivoham*

[*Nirvana Shatkam]

(with thanks to

I present to you two excellent videos; the top one is "Hymns from the Blazing Chariot" from Rudra's 2009 album Brahmavidya: Transcendental I, and the one below is "Now Therefore" from the album Brahmavidya: Immortal I  (and they play a lot better if you double-click and play them on YouTube).  The first is a great depiction of the setting of the Gita, wherein Krishna tells of Arjuna of the karma marga - the path of action without attachment to results.  Enjoy!  The hippie myths of flowery Hinduism are destroyed on the Field of the Kuruks.


Unknown said...

Hi Kalki,

I used to hang out with most of the boys about 10 years ago or so. I did not realise they were still active because some of the members had left Singapore and I think all of them got married in the last 5 years so I figured they would be busy with their careers and families. Until I noticed that an album was released last year.

They are top blokes, all heavily involved in the hindu center in Singapore and practiced what they preached. They were also friendly, knowledgeable and pretty easy to get along with.

Unfortunately I was a fool 10 years ago and was very into hard partying and fighting while they were pretty much straight edge with no drink or drugs and we slowly drifted apart. I cannot believe so much time has past. It feels like it was just a couple of months.If I understood correctly the band was built around Kathir the vocalist and Shiva the drummer. I used to really enjoy talking to Kathir. He was very well read.

It is interesting that you found them. They are such a great band but have very little exposure and I guess they make no attempt to market themselves as well. They used to be called something else in the past, I forgot what but the music style was more melodic metal. if you're not into metal it would probably be easier on you than death metal.


Kalki Weisthor said...

Sorry this comment took so long to post - Blogspot changed the damned dashboard and it' hard to spot comments needing "moderatio" (which I had to add because of some idiot).

Thanks for the comment, anyway! Any additional info would be welcome.