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I would like to know the best time to read Sri Rudram (Namakam Chamakam) and also the order in which we need to read. Are there any rituals that should be performed while reading Sri Rudram?

The Great Sri Rudra Pasupathi Nayanar used to chant Sri Rudram standing in water with his neck deep. Do we also have to do like that? What if there is no river?

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    there is no better time to read Sri Rudram than now! Start reading, for no one knows what is in store tomorrow. Once you start, the Lord Himself (Shiva) will guide you and make you complete it. Shiva is above and beyond time. He is not affected by time. Once you have surrendered to Him, then every time will be auspicious. All the best Sir – Sai Nov 10 '14 at 19:26
  • Great! what do you mean by 'make you complete it', does it mean complete reading the mantra or any thing else? – user12458 Nov 11 '14 at 14:27
  • Yes I meant completion of reciting the Rudram chanting. – Sai Nov 11 '14 at 14:31
  • What about the practice of reading it like The Great Sri Rudra Pasupathi Nayanar? – user12458 Nov 11 '14 at 14:38
  • Devotion is like a nectar. The one who is full of Bhakti, is fully immersed in the thought of God. At that point, He is said to be totally and completely oblivious (unconcerned) to the world outside. Nothing can affect Him. The Great Sri Rudra Pasupathi Nayanar was a great devotee of God (Lord Shiva). He was so saturated with love for His Lord that nothing bothered him. The external immersion in water is His message to the world to say that when we chant the divine name of God, we should be totally immersed in Him. The internal feeling or bhava is more important than the immersion in water. – Sai Nov 11 '14 at 16:38
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Lord Shiva himself is the controller of time. So, there is no use of waiting for specific time while being devoted towards Lord Shiva. But still if specific time is choosen then morning after rising from the bed is considered best. Lord Krishna himself also used to chant Sri Rudram daily after rising from bed in the morning:

Vasudeva said, 'I shall recite to thee the good that I have acquired and the fame that I have won through the grace of that high-souled one. Verily, I shall discourse to thee on the topic, after having bowed unto Kapardin. O king, listen to me as I recite to thee that Sata-rudriya which I repeat; with restrained senses, every morning after rising from bed. The great lord of all creatures, viz., the Grandsire Brahman himself, endued with wealth of penances, composed those Mantras, after having observed especial penances for some time. O sire it is Sankara who created all the creatures in the universe, mobile and immobile. There is no being that is higher, O monarch, than Mahadeva. Verily, he is the highest of all beings in the three worlds........ (Mahabharata Anushashana Parva CLX)

For rituals it may differ from people. You can simply chant it being devoted to Lord Shiva. Some also use special rituals using Karanyas-Anganyas, Kavacham and so on. If you want these Karanyas Anganyas and Kavacha procedures and their order of chanting, you can see this video. It isn't necessary that you should stand in river and chant it.

For the benefits of chanting Sri Rudram, Kaivalya Upanishad says:

  1. He who studies the Shatarudriya, is purified as by the Fires, is purified from the sin of drinking, purified from the sin of killing a Brahmana, from deeds done knowingly or unawares. Through this he has his refuge in Shiva, the Supreme Self. One who belongs to the highest order of life should repeat this always or once (a day).
  2. By means of this, one attains the Knowledge that destroys the ocean of Samsara or repeated transmigration. Therefore, knowing thus one attains the fruit of Kaivalya or liberation, verily one attains liberation.
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    The first two sentences of your answer are all that is really needed to be understood. Very good answer – user3547 May 27 '16 at 20:22

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