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Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra – A Prayer To Conquer Any Fear

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The Vedas are filled with many mystic mantras. They all have special powers. One of the most potent mantras in the Vedas is the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.

Conquering Death with Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

Mantras are powerful verses that can have specific effects if chanted as per the prescribed ways. One of the most well-known mantras is the Gayatri Mantra that can grant spiritual bliss. This mantra is present in the Vedas, the four most sacred texts of Hinduism. Likewise, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is also mentioned in the Vedas.

About This Mantra

The Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, and the Atharva Veda, all contain the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. It addresses Lord Shiva in his fierce Rudra form. Hence, it is also called as Rudra Mantra.  The mantra also invokes Shiva as Tryambaka, the three-eyed god. So it has another name- Tryambaka Mantra.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
The wordings of the Mrityunjaya Mantra in Sanskrit.

The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra can heal diseases, remove the fear of death, grant peace of mind, and also help conquer death. Sage Vasishta is the original seer of the mantra. However, it is more closely associated with sage Markandeya.

The Mrityunjaya Mantra and Its History

This ancient Mantra has several stories associated with it. It is seen in the Mandala VII- Hymn 59 of the Rig Veda. Sage Vasishta is the composer of a hymn comprising of eleven stanzas that praises the wind gods or the Maruts. The Maruts are in fact considered to be the children of Lord Shiva.

The last stanza of this hymn is the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. It specifically praises Lord Shiva as Tryambaka and asks him for release from death.

Markandeya Maharishi 

Rishi Markandeya was destined to live for only sixteen years on this earth. When his 16th year was approaching, Markandeya went to an isolated spot and established a Shivalinga. He then began meditating on Lord Mrityunjaya (Lord Shiva) while chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra with devotion. On the day of his death, when Yama tried to take his life, Lord Shiva himself emerged from the Shivling and kicked Yama away. Ever since, Markandeya is an immortal, or Chiranjivi, always remaining a sixteen year old.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra - Markandeya
Young Markandeya saved by Lord Shiva from Yama, the god of death.

Devi Sati and Rishi Dadhichi

Goddess Sati later learned this mantra from Rishi Markandeya to save Chandra, the moon, from the curse of her father, King Daksha.

In due time, Rishi Dadhichi learned this mantra called Mrita Sanjivani (life restoring mantra) from sage Shukracharya to save King Kshuva. This is how this secret mantra from the Vedas was revealed to all.

The Sloka in Sanskrit and English

  • Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra Sloka in Sanskrit:

त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।

उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनात् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्

  • The Verse in English:

Tryambakaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭi-vardhanam ǀ

Urvārukam-iva bandhanātmṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra Meaning

The main meaning of this mantra is:

O Lord Tryambaka (Three-Eyed Lord Shiva)

Please increase our good vasanas (aspirations)

Like the cucumber is drawn to earth, my soul is bound down, to my body

Please liberate me from the chain of death and grant me immortality

Mantra Effects

The effects of the powerful Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra are manifold. First, take a bath, sit down and relax, in a meditative pose. Then chant this mantra. Focus on the middle of your forehead, between your eyes. This is the position of the third eye, which symbolises jnana or highest knowledge.

The Initial Protocols and Practice

This mantra is not difficult to learn. However, you can learn it from a guru so you can chant it without any pronunciation mistakes. So, it is important to chant it in a proper way. Next, begin by chanting it repeatedly for 3, 11, 21, 36, and increasing counts, gradually. You can chant the
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra early in the morning, when you’re leaving the house, or before you begin eating.

Practice till the sounds and rhythms become ingrained in your mind. Then, you can begin chanting the mantra for specific effects.

How to Chant This Mantra

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra - Rudraksha
Chant the mantra while counting the beads of a Rudraksha garland.

Now, depending on what you seek, you can chant this mantra any number of times. Additionally, use a Rudraksha garland for counting. There are 108 beads in a Rudraksha mala (garland). You can take one round of counting of the mala as 100 japas(chant). Also meditate on sage Vasishta, the seer of this mantra, before you begin chanting.  The best time for doing this japa is early in the morning, before dawn. However, you need not complete the japas in one sitting. You can also chant this once or twice a day, and complete the required count over several days if needed.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra Effects

  • To get rid of fear chant this mantra 11000 times.
  • You should complete 11,000 chants in order to get relief from ailments or diseases.
  • In case you want to have a child or seek success in an endeavour, then chant this mantra  150,000 times.
  • To keep off impending untimely death, chant the mantra 150,000 times.

If you complete one mala (one round of counting the rudraksha beads while chanting) in the morning and once in the evening, you can quickly complete 8000 japas in 40 days. However, as time goes on, you will be able to complete more japas each day. With time, you will experience many effects such as respite from depression, relief from health issues, increase in energy level, and improvement in your self-confidence.

Eventually, as you keep chanting the mantra regularly, your mind will rise to a higher plane. You will also discover your spiritual side. Shiva is a merciful God. He immediately answers the prayers of his ardent devotees. So, chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra sloka can grant one everything- from good health, long life, and happiness, to the ultimate release from death – Moksha or liberation.