Maha Mrityunjaya Homam
Lord Shiva is one of the supreme beings who creates, protects and transforms the universe.
Lord Shiva has many names:
Śiva means ''the auspicious one''
Shambhu (“Benign”), Shankara (“Beneficent”), Mahesha (“Great Lord”), and Mahadeva (“Great God”)
Rudra: Ferocious one who guards the universe and removes attachments and ignorance.
Mrutyunjaya: The one who conquers death.
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥
Om Try-Ambakam Yajaamahe Sugandhim Pusstti-Vardhanam
Urvaarukam-Iva Bandhanaan Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Maa-[A]mrtaat ||
Om, We Worship the Tryambaka (the Three-Eyed One),
Who is Fragrant (as the Spiritual Essence), Increasing the Nourishment (of our Spiritual Core);
From these many Bondages (of Samsara) similar to Cucumbers (tied to their Creepers),
May I be Liberted from Death (Attachment to Perishable Things), So that I am not separated from the perception of Immortality (Immortal Essence pervading everywhere).
The Mahamrityunjaya mantra is also known as Sanjeevani Mantra, Rudra mantra and Trayambakam mantra.
निरंजनो निराकरो एको देवो महेश्वर:। मृत्यू मुखम् गतात् प्राणं बलात रक्षति:॥
Niranjano nirakara, eko devo Maheswara,
mrityu mukhan ghatam pranam, bala dakrshya rakshate.
निरंजन एंव निराकार महेश्वर ही एक मात्र देव हैं
जो मृत्यू के मुख मे गए हुए प्राणों की बलपुर्वक रक्षा करने में समर्थ हैं।”
॥ ॐ नम: शिवाय ॥
Maha Mrityunjaya mantra was given to Sage Markendeya by Lord Shiva. Markendeya’s parents Sage Mrikandu and his wife Marudmati conceived Markendeya as a boon from Lord Shiva. However, Markendeya had short lifespan and higher intelligence as a part of the boon. Markendeya’s parents started worrying as he started getting older. They were getting sad every day and Markendeya asked them about their sadness. The story behind his short life was told to Markendeya by his parents as he was coming to 12 years old. Markendeya started worshipping Lord Shiva with devotion and prayed for his parent’s happiness.
Lord Shiva was very pleased with young Markendeya’s extreme devotion. When God of death Yama sent his men to take Markendeya’s life, Markendeya was worshipping lord Shiva which protected him from Yama’s men. Then finally, Yamraj went himself; however, Lord Shiva appeared and defeated Yamaraj and saved Markendeya from untimely death. Lord Shiva blessed Markendeya with immortality and gave him the knowledge of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.
For Markendeya, Lord Shiva was Mrityunjaya as he saved him from Lord Yama. That is why Lord Shiva is also known as Kalantaka (End of death).
There another story in puranas where Moon God Chandrama was saved from Prajapati Daksha’s curse. Chandrama started slowly dying due to the curse. Prajapati’s daughter Sati went to Sage Markendeya and asked for Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to save Moon God Chandrama. Sati along with other rishis chanted Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra with devotion to Lord Shiva. This gradually reduced the curse on Chandrama; however, the curse could not be completely taken away. Pleased with Sati’s devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and chose to protect Chandrama by taking him on his jata (Long hair on head). It is believed that Chandrama continues to shrink due to the curse but regains full health with Lord Shiva’s blessings and the cycle continues.
The Mahamrityunjaya mantra is said to have several benefits. The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra restores health, happiness, and brings calmness in the face of obstacles and death. Regular chanting Maha Mrityunjaya japa rises you up to overcome obstacles. It awakens a healing force that reaches deep into the body, mind and creates a protective shield (Kavacha) around you. It is believed that chanting the mantra prevents major obstacles in life and untimely death the way it saved Sage Markendeya and Moon God Chandrama.