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11-Shiv Ashtottar

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11-Shiv Ashtottar Names

The Mantra Devtaa (Deity) is Mrityunjaya (form of Shiv). This Mantra is to be used for meditation and at all times for protection from all evils. There are many Mantra for warding off evils like death and other suffering given in the sacred literature of the Hindu's. The Mantra are also of various types but the Mrityunjaya Mantra has been extolled in sacred literature as being the best. The Beej Mantra is given by Kahol Rishi; The Mantra is in Gayatri Chhand.

This Mantra is addressed to Shiv and is taught in the Rig Ved (Mandal 7, Chapter 59) as well as the Yajur Ved (3.60) showing that it is a Shruti having been received by Maharshi Vashishth. This is the Great Death-Conquering Mantra. It is a Mantra that has many names and forms.  It is called, Rudra Mantra referring to the furious aspect of Shiv; the Tryambakam Mantra, alluding to Shiv's three eyes; and its is sometimes known as the Mrit Sanjeevaanee Mantra This Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra is from the Rig Ved and needs initiation for attaining Siddhi in human life. Anybody can recite this Mantra and attain good health, release from bondage and other problems facing life. This is the greatest panacea for all evils and can be recited at any time like any other Mahaa Mantra.

I will advise its recitation for forty days both in the morning and evening, after lighting a lamp and sitting in any Yaugik posture suitable to us. Keep a picture ofShiv before your eyes .Recite the Mantra 108 times. This is the greatest work of Vashishth. Before starting this Mantra please get initiation from the Guru and performs Sankalp for reciting this Mantra. It is called Mahaa Mritunjaya Mantra because it is a great death-conquering Mantra. Sometimes it is also known as Mrita-Sanjivani Mantra. The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is hailed by the sages as the heart of the Ved. This Mantra holds the highest place along with the Gayatri Mantra among the many Mantra used for contemplation, meditation and liberation of our souls.

It is believed that to overcome the fear of death, Shiv himself gave humanity the Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra. Maarkandeya recited this Mantra many times and when his age was to be finished he wrapped Shiv Lingwhile reciting this Mantra and as a result Maarkandeya got extended his life to forty years. Yam Raaj could not take Rishi with him to Heaven Such is the effect of this Mantra. The Mahaa Mritunjaya Mantra is as follows:
Aum Tryambakam Yajaamahe Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam
Urvaarukamiv Bandhanaat Mrityor Muksheeya Maamritaat

Shiv is the three eyed god. Shiv is always perfumed. He fosters all the creatures of the Universe. He releases from death for the sake of immortality, as cucumber detaches its bondage from the vine. We worship the same Shiv to liberate ourselves from death.

It is important to understand the meaning of the words as this makes the repetition meaningful and brings forth the desired results.

Om - 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 Ganesh the son of Shiv.
Tryambakam - refers to the three eyes of Shiv. 'Trya' means three' and 'Ambakam' means eyes. These three eyes or sources of enlightenment are the Tri-Murti or three primary deities, namely Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv  and the three 'Ambaa' (meaning Mother or Shakti' - Saraswatee, Lakshmee and Gauree (Paarvatee). Thus in this word, we are referring to God as Omniscient (Brahmaa), Omnipresent (Vishnu) and Omnipotent (Shiv).
Yajaamahe - means, "We sing Thy praise".
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.
Pushti Vardhanam -  means Poshan, it 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 God" and also symbolizes Brahmaa the Omniscient Creator of the Universe. In this manner He is also the Father (Genitor) of all.

Urvaa Rukamiv - 'Urvaa' means "Vishaal" or big and powerful or deadly. 'Aarookam' means 'Disease'. Thus Urvaa Rukamiv means deadly and overpowering diseases. (The cucumber interpretation given in various places is also correct for thi word. The diseases are also of three kinds caused by the influence (in the negative) of the three Gun's and are because of ignorance (A-Vidyaa etc), falsehood (A-Sat ) as even though Vishnu is everywhere, we fail to perceive Him and are guided by our insight and other senses and weaknesses (Shadripu ). or because of the constraint of this physical body and Shiv is all powerful).
Bandhanaat - means to be bound down.
Thus read with Urvaa Rukamiv, it means 'I am bound down by deadly and overpowering diseases'.
Mrityor Muksheeya - 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 Amrit (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.

Shiv Ashtottar (Shiv's 100 names) is written by Shukraachaaray and is found in Shat Rudreeya.



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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on April 17, 2013