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Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra

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Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra
See also    Mantra - Parts;    Mrityunjaya Mantra
See also       Naarad Puraan, 1/27  --- for more elaborated explanation;   KeelakMantra (in Astrology);   Panchaakshar;    Poojaa;   Soham,   
Mantra;    Mantra Hare Krishn;    Mantra Jaap (for "How to do Mantra Jaap");    Mantra-Mrityunjaya;     Mrityunjaya Mantra (in Shiv);    Mantra-Panchaakshar;   
Panchaakshar (in Shiv);     Mantra-Planets;    Mantra-Principles  (How Mantra works);    Mantra-Recitation (for the method of recitation of Mantra);
Mantra-Saadhanaa;    Mantra, Tantra, Yantra,    Mantra-Principles;    Importance of Number 108    Jaap;

Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra is a Vaidik Mantra, appeared in Yajur Ved (Taittireeya Sanhitaa, 1.8.6.i  VS 3.60) addressed to Shiv the Tryambak (three-eyed). It appears in Rig Ved also - 7.59.12. Its Rishi is Vashishth and Mantra Devtaa is Rudra. Sometimes it is called "Mrit Sanjeevane Mantra". This is called the heart of Ved. Along with Gaayatree Mantra, it holds he highest place among the Mantra. It is called Rudra Mantra referring to Shiv's furious aspect. It is the highest Mantra along with Gaayatree Mantra.

Originally this Mantra was given by Shiv himself to Shukraachaarya after severe austerities - by hanging upside down from a tree for 20 long years - Vinshottaree Dashaa Period, with smoke blowing into him from a fire lit beneath. Even Brihaspati Jee was shocked at the prospect of such a terrible penance. Definition of Tapaswee Yog comes from this penance, as Shani Dev (Saturn) - punishment or hard toil; Ketu - as smoke blown into the nose and other forms of self-inflicting torture; and Shukra (Venus) must come together to define the personal ability of the Tapaswee.

Later it was handed over to Brihaspati Jee through his son Kach; and then to Guru Vashishth Jee for the benefit of mankind.

The Mantra and Its Explanation
The Mantra and explanation was given by Shukraachaarya to Rishi Dadheechi when Dadheechi's body was cut and thrown by Raajaa Kshuv - the story as appeared in Shiv Puraan.Shukraachaarya Jee said - "O Dadheechi, I pray to Lord Shiv and give you the Upadesh of the highest Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra. The Mantra is in Anushtup Chhand and accordingly, is divided into four Pad composed of eight syllables each.

Om Tryambak Yajaamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam |
Urvaarukmiv Bandhanaan, mrityormuksheeya Maamritaat ||

Shukraachaarya said - "The first Pad is "Tryambakam Yajaamahe" and means - we worship or sing the praise of Lord Tryambak. Tryambak is the name of Lord Shiv as the father of the three worlds - Bhoo, Bhuvah and Swarg Lok. He is the father and the Lord of the three Mandal's - Soorya, Som and Agni Mandala. He is Maheshwar, the Lord of the three Gun's - Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. He is the Sadaashiv, the teacher of the three Tattwa - Aatmaa Tattwa, Vidyaa Tattwa and Shiv Tattwa. He is the father (cause and source) of the three energies (Agni) - Aavaahaneeya, Garhapatya and Dakshinaagni. He is the father of all physical creation through the three Moorti Bhoot - Prithvi (solid), Jal (liquid) and Agni (Tejas or energy). He is the Lord of the three Heavens created by the dominance of the three Gun - Rajas (Brahmaa), Satta (Vishnu) and Tamas (Shiv). Know Him to be the Nir-Aakaar (formless) Sadaashiv as He is above this physical mode and is their Maheshwar. This is the first foot of the Mantra (composed of eight syllables)."

The second Pad of the Mantra is "Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam". Sugandhim refers to the fragrance of the flower that spreads in all directions, and in a similar way Shiv is present in the entire creation, both animate and inanimate. In all the Bhoot (modes of existence), in the three Gun (nature of creation as being Sattwa, Rajas or Tamas), in the ten Indriyaan (five Gyaan Indriyaan or senses and five Karm Indriyaan or organs of action), in all the Dev (33 Devtaa are the source of all illumination and enlightenment) and the Gan (hosts of demi-gods), Shiv exists and pervades as the illumine Aatmaa (soul) and is their essence. Pushtivardhanam is now being explained. That inward dwelling spirit (Aatmaa), the Purush Shiv is the real sustainer of Prakriti (and not vice-versa as all people perceive). Starting with the Mahaa Tattwa (primordial state of matter/energy) to the individual parts of creation, the entire sustenance of the physically created beings (both animate and inanimate) is done by the imperishable Purush. You, I, Brahmaa, Vishnu, the Muni and even Indra and devtaa are maintained/ sustained (by the Aatmaa and that is Him). Since the Purush (Aatmaa - Shiv) is the granter of sustenance to prakriti (body/nature), he is 'Pushti-vardhanam'."

The next two Pad (consisting of sixteen syllables), "Urvaarukmiv Bandhanaan Mrityormuksheeya Maamritaat" means - "Hey Prabhu! Just as the ripe cucumber is severed from the bondage of the creeper, in the same manner may we be delivered from death for the sake of immortality (Moksh). Rudra Dev is like Amrit (nectar of immortality). Those who worship Him with good Karm, penance and repentance, meditation, contemplation, prayer or praise, will surely renewed life and vigor. The strength of truth force (in this Mantra) is such that Lord Shiv shall definitely free the worshipper from the bondage of death because Shiv alone is the giver of bondage and Moksh.

This is the Mrit Sanjeevanee Mantra and has the power to give back life and rescue from death and great evils. You should adore Lord Shiv and recite this Mantra. Water sanctified with this Mantra should be drunk all the time. [Authors note: It is well known that the Rudraaksh bead is placed in a glass of water after being held in the palm during the recitation of the Mantra. This water is drunk during the day.]

Meaning of the Mantra
Aum, We worship the three-eyed Shiv, who is fragrant, who increasingly nourishes [his devotees]. By worshipping him, we may be liberated from death for immortality, just as the ripe cucumber easily separates itself from its binding stalk.

Aum is not spelt out in the Rig Ved, but has to be added to the beginning of all Mantra as given in an earlier Mantra of the Rig Ved addressed to Ganapati. This Mantra is given in the prayer page of the Book "Maharishi Jaimini's Upadesa Sutra".

TRYAMBAKAM refers to the three eyes of Lord Shiv. 'Trya' means 'Three' and 'Ambakam' means eyes. These three eyes or sources of enlightenment are the Tri-Moorti or three primary deities, namely Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv and the three 'Ambaa' (also meaning Mother or Shakti' are Saraswatee, Lakshmee and Gauree). In Vaidik Paribhaashaa (definition), the three mothers are Gayatri Chhand (Gyaan Shakti); Trishtup Chhand (Ichchhaa Shakti); Jagatee Chhand (Kriyaa Shakti).

YAJAAMAHE means, "We sing Thy praise". Yajamahe" indicates, the Union through the combination of the Three Saktis with Lord Siva who is Amara, and thereby enemy to Death, who is Prakash, thereby enemy to Darkness, who is staanu, and thereby enemy to Astirtva; who is supreme source of Amrita, Prakash, an Sthira Bhavas. Hence, we surrender ourselves completely to Lord Siva; and through surrender live in contact with and related to Him while we chant "Yajamaha"&

SUGANDHIM refers to His fragrance (of knowledge, presence and strength ie three aspects) as being the best and always spreading around. Fragrance refers to the joy that we get on knowing, seeing or feeling his virtuous deeds. It is sugar or Visham Gandh. This Sugandh is the fragrance that bestows Pusthi or growth or development on other things, and protects them from Vikaar.

PUSHTIVARDHANAM: Poshan refers to him as the sustainer of this world and in this manner, he is the Father of all. Poshan is also the inner impeller of all knowledge and is thus Savitur or the Sun and also symbolizes Brahmaa the Omniscient Creator. In this manner He is also the Father (Genitor) of all. is Lord Siva, who nourished well all beings, who bestows growth and development who develops small things from smaller to larger avastas, of diverse and numberless sizes, and to him we offer our prayers for immortality while we utter 'Pushtivardhanam'. Thus in this word, we are referring to God as Omniscient (Brahmaa), Omnipresent (Vishnu) and Omnipotent (Shiv). This is the wisdom of Brihaspati and is referred to as Dattaatreya having three heads of Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv.

URVAARUKAMEV: 'URVAA' means "VISHAAL" or big and powerful or deadly. 'AAROOKAM' means 'Disease'. Thus URVARUKA means deadly and overpowering diseases. (The CUCUMBER interpretation given in various places is also correct for the word URVARUKAM). The diseases are also of three kinds caused by the influence (in the negative) of the three Gun's and are ignorance (A-Vidyaa etc), falsehood (A-Sat etc as even though Vishnu is everywhere, we fail to perceive Him and are guided by our sight and other senses) and weaknesses (Shadripu etc a constraint of this physical body and Shiv is all powerful).

BANDHANAAN means bound down. Thus read with URVAROOKAMEVA, it means 'I am bound down by deadly and overpowering diseases'.

MRITYORMOOKSHEYA means to deliver us from death (both premature death in this physical world and from the never-ending cycle of deaths due to re-birth) for the sake of Moksh (Nirvaan or final emancipation from re-birth).

MAAMRITAAT means 'please give me some Amritam (life rejuvenating nectar). Read with the previous word, it means that we are praying for some 'Amrit' to get out of the death inflicting diseases as well as the cycle of re-birth.

Mrityor Bandhanat Urvaa rukamiv Muksheeya: We thirst to be liberated from countless kinds of diseases; from Agnyana, from numerous diverse forms and durations of births and deaths; and to conquer Death. The attainment of Mukti or freedom from the wheel of births and deaths is the aim and goal of the aspirant who chants this Mantra; so he prays to Shiv to liberate him from Death for the sake of immortality, even as the cucumber is freed without effort, from its bondage to the creeper.
Maamritaat Muksheeya: Relationship is established by the aspirant with Brahm, who is Amar, Prakaash, Nitya, Ekaakaar; Thereby, the Aspirant also becomes Amar Prakaash and enjoys Avichchhanna (unbroken) relationship with Brahm (Shiv) who is Amar; Prakaash, Susthir Swaroop. Thus, through fervent constant Jap of this Mantra, the Aspirant attains the status of the Sanaatan relationship between the Jeev and Paramaatmaa and Aatm Kshem.

The regular recitation of this Mantra cures the present disease, prevents the new diseases and purifies the entire atmosphere at home. It is said that in a house where this 'Mantra is regularly recited daily for 216 times early in the morning after bath no one dies accidently or prematurely in the family. This Mantra is to be recited early in the morning after bath 216 times. Some sweet/fruit and water must be kept before you. Jyoti with pure ghee should also be lighted. After the prayers the sweet/fruit should be taken by all the members of the family. The regular recitation of this Mantra for sometime will ultimately take only twelve minutes a day and keep all the disease away from you. There is no doubt about it. In that Shiv is the standard of honor, delight and brilliance, so shall the Panchabrahmans be.

1. In Honor our ward shall be Protected.
2. In Delight our realm shall be Uplifted.
3. In Brilliance our legacy shall be Preserved. In that Shiv is the standard of invincibility, might and terror, so shall the Panch Brahm be.
4. Invincible we stand against the Enemy.
5. In Might we battle the evils of Ignorance.
6. In Terror we bring the end to what must be Destroyed.

Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra and Maarkandeya Rishi
See the story of Maarkandeya Rishi


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 03/20/13