Beat fears, phobias, and depression
Fight psychological disorders, ailments, and diseases
Avoid untimely death
Maha Mrityunjay JAP
The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is one of the most powerful, nourishing, and healing mantras. It is a mantra of Lord Shiva, a part of the ultimate trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (name of Lord Shiva) as per Sanatana dharma.
Lord Shiva has many names. Mrityunjaya, one of his names, literally means “Death Conqueror”. Behind this name lies the story of the conquest of Yama, the god of death. It is said that this is the aspect of Lord Shiva’s being that the sage and his devotee, Markandeya, was worshipping on his sixteenth birthday, a day on which he was to die, but his prayers to Mrityunjaya led to Yama’s defeat.
The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is thus the most powerful mantra known to mankind for fighting even the gravest of illnesses and averting death.
Maha Mrityunjay JAP – The Genesis
Dedicated to Mrityunjaya (another name of Lord Shiva), the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is found in the Rig Veda (mandala VII, hymn 59). Attributed to the sage Vasishtha, the hymn starts with eleven stanzas honoring the maruts or the forces of nature considered as Rudra/Shiva’s children. The maruts control storm, wind, cyclone, and cloud energies and thus the nurturing light of the sky. They can be both destructive and constructive, protecting the household. Once in harmony, they act together to create an environment of peace and prosperity.
After paying homage to these forces, the sage Vasishtha continues with the final stanza, creating a mantra that is revered throughout the scriptures. It is the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra or the Great Death-Conquering mantra.
The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra has many names and forms. It is called:
- The Rudramantra, alluding to Lord Shiva’s furious aspect;
- The Tryambakammantra, referring to Lord Shiva’s three eyes; and
- The Mrita-Sanjivini mantra, since it is a part of the life-restoring practice given to the primordial sage Shukra, after he completed an exhausting period of austerity.
The sages hail the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra as the heart of the Vedas. Together with the Gayatri mantra, it has the highest place of honor among the many mantras that are chanted for contemplation and meditation.
STORY OF THE CONQUEST OF YAMA
Behind the story of Lord Shiva’s conquest of Lord Yama lies the story of a great Indian sage, Markandeya, whose teachings are found in the Markandeya Purana. Markandeya is acclaimed for his vision of the cosmic deluge, and in the Mahabharata, he is an honored guest at the forest encampment of the heroic Pandava brothers. But his story begins before his birth.
The childless, forest-dwelling couple, the sage Mrikandu and his wife Marudvati, undertook a long penance, in hopes of earning merit and the boon of a child. The couple was rewarded with a vision of Lord Shiva, their ishtadevata or the deity of their hearts. Upon hearing their request, Lord Shiva gave them two options. He told them that they could either parent a brilliant spiritual child, whose life span would be a mere sixteen years, or a witless, self-absorbed child who would live a long life.
The sage and his wife chose the child with spiritual brilliance. In time, Marudvati gave birth to a boy they named Markandeya. The couple decided not to tell him that he would have a short life, but as he approached his sixteenth birthday his parents’ growing sadness betrayed them. And when he asked them to explain their downcast mood, they told him what Lord Shiva had said. Already an accomplished yogi, Markandeya rededicated himself to his practice.
On his sixteenth birthday, Markandeya sought refuge in a temple. He sat next to a Shiva lingam (a symbol of divine consciousness) to worship and meditate. When the messengers of Lord Yama, the lord of death, arrived to take him away, they found him so absorbed in his prayers, they could not complete their mission.
Returning to Lord Yama, they described their dilemma. So, Lord Yama himself undertook the task and traveled to the temple where Markandeya was deeply immersed in his worship. He urged the sixteen-year-old to follow the natural laws of life and death. He asked Markandeya to come along willingly, but the sage wrapped his arms around the Shiva lingam, surrendering himself to its protection. Lord Yama threw his noose to trap Markandeya, but the noose encircled the lingam as well. Immediately, Lord Shiva, dwelling in the image, split the lingam open and emerged in a rage. Lord Yama had thrown his noose too far, for he had no authority to encircle Lord Shiva himself.
Lord Yama was killed with a blow from Lord Shiva’s foot as the other gods looked on in dismay. Fearful that the demise of the lord of death would destroy the order of the universe, they beseeched Lord Shiva to bring him back to life – and in the end, Lord Shiva complied. But he noted Markandeya’s devotion that had protected him, and blessed him to live as a sixteen-year-old sage eternally. It is believed that Markandeya’s realized soul is still moving in the universe.
SOME CLINICAL STUDIES/REPORTS ON MAHA MRITYUNJAY JAP
While the Maha Mrityunjay jap is deemed to be the heart of the Vedas and undisputedly one of the most powerful mantras known to mankind, there have been some clinical studies and research regarding its effectiveness:
- The effect of the Maha Mrityunjay jap on self-inferiority and depression can be studied here.
- A report on the study of the Maha Mrityunjay mantra and its effect on patients with brain injury can be accessed here.
- The effect of the Maha Mrityunjay jap on adjustment neuroticism can be understood here.
- The effect of the Mind Sound Resonance Technique (MSRT) – a yogic relaxation technique that includes Om and Maha Mrityunjay mantra chanting – on cognitive functions in Type 2 diabetes can be read here.
- The effect of MSRT on neck and lower back pain can be studied here.
BENEFITS OF PERFORMING MAHA MRITYUNJAY JAP
- Overcome fear, phobias, insecurity, and depression
- Fight ailments and diseases
- Avoid untimely death
- Calm the transition to a fearless death