Meaning, Benefits and How to Chant • Basics of Yoga

July 14, 2023 0 Comments

The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is one of the most powerful and ancient healing mantras in the yoga tradition. It is a long and complex phrase that requires effort to understand the many layers of meaning and to unlock its transformative power. This Sanskrit verse to Shiva, the ultimate protector and harbinger of victory, is believed to have the power to defeat death and grant inner peace, strength and prosperity to the chanters. Sages hailed the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra as nothing less than the heart of the Vedas – ancient scriptures full of wisdom and spiritual insight. Along with the venerable Gayatri mantra, it ranks prominently among countless mantras used for deep contemplation, self-realization, and meditation.

What is the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra?

Maha Mrityunjaya is a powerful and ancient Sanskrit mantra chanted for protection, healing and overcoming the fear of death. The word Maha means great, Mrityu means death and Jaya means victory or triumph. That is why Maha Mrityunjaya is known as “The Great Mantra that Conquers Death”. Sometimes it is written as one word or without the ending “a”, for example “mahamrityunjay”.

This song invokes the power and qualities of Shiva, who is known as the lord of destruction and transformation. Shiva is associated with the third eye, which represents the power of spiritual knowledge and wisdom beyond the physical realm. It represents the cycle of life and death and evokes the power to transform negativity into new growth and opportunity. He is also known as the great Yogi and is often depicted seated in meditation or in a state of cosmic dance.

The mahamrityunjay mantra is also known as the ‘Tryambakam mantra’ which alludes to the three penetrating eyes of Shiva or the ‘Rudra mantra’ which signifies the fierce and formidable nature of Shiva. This mystical chant is sometimes called the Mrita-Sanjivini mantra, referring to its role in reviving life itself after performing severe penance for Shiva.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

This sacred phrase is usually divided into four lines, each containing eight syllables:

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhan
Mritior Mukshiya Maamritat

Meaning of Maha Mrityunjay

The general translation of this Sanskrit chant is:

We think about the three-eyed one, who is fragrant and feeds everyone.
As a ripe fruit falls easily from the stem of a plant, may it free us from ignorance, untruth and death forever immortality.

Literal translation:

  • Om – The primordial sound, absolute reality
  • Tryambakam – three-eyed (Shiva)
  • Yajamahe – we worship, we enjoy meditation, we adore
  • Sugandhim is a fragrant, sweet smell, the aroma of devotion
  • Pushtivardhanam is the giver of nourishment and support
  • Urvarukamiwa is like a ripe cucumber or melon
  • Bandhanan – slavery or attachment to ignorance and untruth
  • Mrityor is the slavery of death or mortality
  • Mukshiya – deliver us
  • Maamritat – from immortality

The story of Maha Mrityunjay

This mantra of Shiva was first mentioned in sukta 59 of the seventh mandala of the Rigveda, one of the oldest Sanskrit scriptures. The story of the MahaMrityunjaya mantra is closely related to the legend of Markandeya, to whom Shiva revealed this song as a means of overcoming his untimely death.

This legend describes how the forest sage Rishi Bhrigu and his wife Marudmati were ardent worshipers of Shiva and deeply longed for a child. After years of devoted prayers, their wish was granted by none other than Shiva himself. However, this divine blessing came with an intriguing condition: they could choose between an intellectually gifted child with a short lifespan or a long-lived one with limited intelligence. Preferring intelligence over longevity, they joyfully welcomed their son into the world and named him Markandeya.

To protect their beloved son from grief, Rishis Brigu and Marudmati carefully concealed his future fate. Markandeya’s childhood was filled with happiness and love until his 12th birthday, a day that would change his life forever. It was on this fateful day that his parents decided to tell about his future fate.

Markandeya’s steadfast faith led him to seek solace from Shiva through prayer and meditation. When fate called upon Yama, the God of Death himself, to take Markandeya’s soul, our young hero clung to the stone of the Shiva Linga, the embodiment of Shiva’s divine presence. In that moment of extreme devotion and vulnerability, Shiva appeared before them all.

With infinite compassion and infinite mercy, Shiva ordered Yama to release Markandeya’s body from his hands. Divine intervention gave Markandeya not only a second chance at life, but also the sacred gift of immortality — the MahaMrityunjaya mantra itself. It became an eternal source of protection, empowering Markandeya to defy the clutches of death and embrace a life filled with divine blessings.

Benefits of chanting Maha Mrityunjaya

By chanting this sacred phrase with devotion and devotion, you can reap many physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. The vibrations created by this chant have the incredible ability to restore good health within the body, banish negative forces, and rejuvenate your entire being.

By practicing this powerful mantra regularly, you can overcome negative energies and emotions such as jealousy, anger and greed. It fosters a sense of inner peace and calm so you can better deal with stress and anxiety. Not only that, but you will also experience increased focus and clarity, making it easier for you to achieve your goals and dreams.

Maha Mrityunjaya is known for her ability to protect and heal the physical body. It is said that by repeating this sacred phrase, you can strengthen your immune system, increase your energy levels, and speed up the healing process of injuries and illnesses. Invoking the divine presence of Shiva provides protection against untimely death by providing protection against diseases, accidents, calamities and confusing situations.

Maha Mrityunjaya is a powerful tool that can greatly accelerate your spiritual growth and personal transformation. Through a sincere reading, you can experience a deeper connection with the divine and gain a sense of inner peace and clarity. It can help you overcome obstacles and challenges in your life and give you strength and courage to face any difficulties.

How to Chant the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is a simple yet powerful practice that can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their spiritual background or belief system. The phrase is usually repeated 108 times in one session or over several sessions. The most powerful will be repeating the mantra silently.

It is recommended to chant the phrase at least once a day, preferably in the morning or before lunch. The most auspicious time to practice your daily meditation is just before sunrise during brahma muhurta. You can also chant it whenever you feel the need for healing, protection, and guidance.

Keep your mind focused on each word as you repeat the mantra. Notice where you feel the vibration of the sacred sound in your head and chest. You may have to keep your eyes open to read the phrase at first, but later memorize it so you can practice with your eyes closed.

Here are the eight steps to chanting the Mahamrityunjaya mantra:

  1. To begin with, find a quiet and peaceful place where you can sit comfortably without distraction. You can light a candle or incense to create a calming atmosphere.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to focus and focus your mind on the intention of your recitation.
  3. Begin chanting the mantra in a calm and even voice, allowing the sound vibrations to resonate within you. Say the mantra out loud while focusing on your breathing.
  4. You can use malas (prayer beads) to count the repetitions and help focus your mind. It is best to use a mala made of rudraksha beads.
  5. Focus on the healing and rejuvenating energy of chanting and the benefits it can bring to your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Direct your inner awareness to the heart chakra or brow center.
  6. As you continue to repeat this, try to lower your voice to a whisper as you continue to focus on your breathing. Eventually, work on chanting it silently in your head.
  7. Continue repeating the mantra until you reach 108 repetitions or as many times as you like.
  8. When you finish chanting, take a few deep breaths to feel the power of the mantra in your body, mind, and heart.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra Video

You may find it helpful to listen to one or more Maha Mrityunjay videos to learn the correct pronunciation, cadence and melody of this powerful mantra. There are many versions of this song, each with its own unique interpretation and style. Some videos even include visuals to help deepen your understanding of the meaning of the mantra. Here are the ones we recommend, but feel free to explore YouTube to find the ones that work best for you.

Last thoughts

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is an ancient and powerful chant that has been revered for centuries. By incorporating this mantra into your daily routine with wholehearted devotion, you can experience a profound transformation in your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

As you chant the Mahamrityunjaya mantra, allow its divine energy to guide you on a journey to self-discovery and inner peace. Embrace his timeless wisdom as you overcome the trials and tribulations of this human life, finding solace in his profound wisdom. With each recitation, experience a deepening connection with a higher reality and experience a sacred connection with the Divine energies. Remember that regular practice and a focused mind are key to unlocking the full benefits of this chant.

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