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The Rudra Mantra or Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (Sanskrit: महामृत्युंजय मंत्र or महामृत्युञ्जय मन्त्र, mahāmṛtyuṃjaya mantra or mahāmṛtyuñjaya mantra, lit. "Great Death-conquering Mantra"), also known as the Tryambakam Mantra, is a verse of the Rigveda (RV 7.59.12). The sukta is addressed to Tryambaka, "the three-eyed one", an epithet of Rudra. It is identified with Shiva.[1][2] The verse also recurs in the Yajurveda (TS 1.8.6.i; VS 3.60).[1]

Raja Ravi Varma, Markandeya.jpg
Raja Ravi Varma's Kalantaka depiction
AffiliationShiva victory over death


Mantra textEdit

The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra reads:

In Devanagari script:
ॐ त्र्यं॑बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् ।
उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर् मु॑क्षीय॒ माऽमृता॑त् । [3]
In IAST transliteration:
Oṃ tryaṃbakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā'mṛtāt[4]

Literal Meaning of the Maha Mrityunjaya MantraEdit

Word-by-word meaning of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra [4][5][not in citation given]

  • aum = is a sacred/mystical syllable in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism & Sikhism.
  • त्र्यम्बकं tryambakam = the three-eyed one (accusative case),
त्रि + अम्बकम् = tri + ambakam = three + eye
  • यजामहे yajāmahe = we worship, we sacrifice (1st pl present indicative ātmanepada of yaj)
  • सुगन्धिम् sugandhim = the fragrant, the virtuous, the supreme being (accusative case),
  • पुष्टिवर्धनम् = puṣṭi+vardhanam = the bestower of nourishment, wealth, perfection (compound word, accusative case)
पुष्टि puṣṭi = nourishment, increase, wealth, perfection
वर्धन vardhana = enlarging, bestower of prosperity
  • उर्वारुकम् urvārukam = fruit (neuter, nominative case);
  • इव iva as
by sandhi written together as उर्वारुकमिव urvārukamiva
  • बन्धनान् bandhanān = from bondage, from the stalk/stem; (ablative case, the ending is actually -āt, which changes to -ān because of sandhi)
Note: bandhanāt here means from the stem. Thus, read with urvārukam iva, 'as a fruit from the stem'; the etymologically prior meaning of from bondage resonates here as the fruit is a simile for the worshipper being released from the bondage of death, see below.
  • मृत्योः = mṛtyoḥ = from death (ablative case)
  • मुक्षीय = mukṣīya = may I be freed/released (1st sing present optative ātmanepada of muc)
by sandhi, the last two words become मृत्योर्मुक्षीय mṛtyormukṣīya
  • मामृतात् = maamṛtāt = for the sake of immortality (ablative case)
by sandhi, the last two words become माऽमृतात् mā>mṛtāt


Being a Secret Mantra, Rishi Markandeya was the only one on the earth who knew this mantra. The Moon was once in trouble, when cursed by King Daksha. Rishi Markandeya gave the Mahamritryunjaya Mantra to Sati, Daksha's daughter, for the Moon. According to another version this is the Bija mantra as revealed to Rishi Kahola that was given by Lord Shiva to sage Sukracharya, who taught it to Rishi Dadhichi, who gave it to King Kshuva, through whom it reached the Shiva Purana.[6]

This mantra is also called the Rudra mantra, referring to the furious aspect of Lord Shiva; the Tryambakam mantra, alluding to Shiva's three eyes; and it is sometimes known as the Mrita-Sanjivini mantra because it is a component of the "life-restoring" practice given to the primordial sage Sukracharya after he had completed an exhausting period of austerity. Its Devata is Rudra or Lord Shiva in his fiercest and most destructive roopa or aspect. In the Vedas it finds its place in three texts - a) the Rig veda VII.59.12, b) the Yajur Veda III.60, and c) the Atharva Veda XIV.1.17.[7]


It is said to be beneficial for mental, emotional and physical health[8] and to be a moksha mantra which bestows longevity and immortality.[9]

According to some puranas, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra has been used by many Rishis as well as Sati during the time when Chandra suffered from the curse of Prajapati Daksha. By reciting this mantra, the effect of the curse of Daksha, which could make him die, slowed, and Shiva then took Chandra and placed it upon his head.

This mantra is addressed to Lord Shiva for warding off untimely death.[10] It is also chanted while smearing Vibhuti over various parts of the Body and utilised in Japa or Homa (havan) to get desired results. While its energy protects and guides the initiates a mantra re-links consciousness to its deeper and more abiding nature and repetition of the mantra constitutes Japa, the practice of which develops concentration that leads to a transformation of awareness. Whereas the Gayatri Mantra is meant for purification and spiritual guidance, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is meant for healing rejuvenation and nurturance.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra meaning, significance, audio
  2. ^ Mrityunjaya Mantra- Victory over Death Archived 17 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Mahamrityunjaya Mantra". Archived from the original on 17 March 2011.
  7. ^ Swami Vibhooti Saraswati. "Mahamrityunjaya Mantra-Door into Eternal Life".
  8. ^ "Mahamrityunjaya Mantra".
  9. ^ Vishnu Devanand. Meditations and Mantras:An Authoritative Text. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. p. 63.
  10. ^ David Frawley. Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound. Lotus Press. p. 158.
  11. ^ Rolf Sovik. Moving Inward:The Journey to Meditation. Himalayan Institute Press. p. 162.