Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra originates from the Rig Veda, an ancient Indian text composed of Vedic Sanskrit hymns. This powerful mantra is said to connect you with your inner healing energy, promoting both health and happiness. It is particularly useful for providing a sense of peace when confronted with the fear of death. Additionally, healers who recite this mantra can find it beneficial for preventing burnout, as it opens up a channel of healing that nourishes life.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra - Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra in sanskrit

OM Tryambakam yajamahe

Sugandhim pushtivardhanam

Urvarukamiva bandhanan

Mrityor mukshiya mamritat

Pronunciation guide

Om: Aum (like “a-u-m”, pronounced as one syllable)

Tryambakam: Trey-um-ba-kum

Yajāmahe: Yuh-jaa-muh-hay

Sugandhim: Soo-guhn-dhim

Pushtivardhanam: Poosh-tee-vahr-dhuh-num

Urvārukamiva: Oor-vaa-roo-kum-ee-vaa

Bandhanān: Buhn-dhuh-naan

Mrityor: Mrit-yor

Mukshiya: Muk-shee-yaa

Māmritāt: Maa-mri-taat

Keep in mind that this is an approximate guide for English speakers and may not capture the nuances of the original Sanskrit. The pronunciation can vary depending on the regional accent or the tradition one follows. We recommend listening to a recording by an experienced practitioner to get the correct intonation and pronunciation.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra - Shiva as Mrityunjaya statue
Image of Shiva as Mrityunjaya.

Shiva as Mrityunjaya

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is one of the most ancient and powerful mantras found in the Indian traditions. It is specifically sourced from the Rig Veda, which is one of the four canonical sacred texts of ancient India known collectively as the Vedas. The Rig Veda itself is believed to have been composed around 1500 to 1200 BCE, making it one of the world’s oldest known religious texts.

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Mrityunjaya. Shiva is often seen as the god of transformation, destruction, and renewal. The mantra is used to invoke his powers of healing and rejuvenation.

This mantra can be used for focused meditation or during yoga to cultivate an awareness of the impermanent nature of life and the importance of living in the present moment. It can also be a powerful tool for healing, both emotionally and physically, given its implications for overcoming life’s obstacles.

Mrityunjaya, as a form of Shiva, symbolizes the eternal nature of the soul and the transformative power of destruction. In the cosmic dance of life, where creation, sustenance, and destruction take place in a cyclical manner, Mrityunjaya represents the crucial aspect of transformation that follows destruction. This form of Shiva tells us that death is not the end but merely a transformational process, a transition from one form of existence to another.

In the Western context, you can think of him as the archetypal energy that helps transform stagnation into flow, decay into renewal. Whether you’re engaged in a yoga posture or deep in meditation, chanting this mantra can help enhance your sense of presence and awareness. It helps to tune into a healing energy, allowing you to restore your physical and emotional well-being.

Incorporating the mantra into your practice

This is a longer mantra but can be used in japa mala meditation. If reciting it 108 times takes longer than you wish to devote, you could opt to use a 27 bead mala and receipt the full mantra for each bead. Another option is to recite this mantra while holding your mala in your hand, either in the lap or cupped in prayer pose.

You can also incorporate the mantra into your yoga asana practice which adds an additional layer of intention and focus. By breaking the mantra into four parts, each aligned with a pose, you can create a holistic practice that synchronizes breath, mantra, and movement. If your current practice involves holding poses, chant each line while in a differnet pose. If your practice involves movement and breath, as you transition from one pose to the next, change each line, or break the mantra down further by word, chanting one word as you transition from pose to pose.