From Sanskrit, “mahamrityunjaya” translates as follows:
- the word “maha” means “great”
- mrityu means “death”
- and “jaya” translates as “victory”2
This mantra is therefore known as “Great Death-Conquering mantra”, and appears in a passage where the nectar of immortality is offered.
This mantra can be incorporated into spring equinox celebrations and can be sung in a variety of ways. One beautiful rendition of it sung by Hein Braat is below:
Another variation of it from Ravi Shankar’s Chants of India album is as follows:
The words of the mantra are:
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat
We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality
Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance.
May we be liberated from death for the sake of
Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the
It is explained that,
“The reference to the cucumber is significant, as a cucumber does not fall or separate from the vine like other fruits; it will grow, ripen, and then wither and die on the vine, producing seeds for the next generation of plant without ever leaving the vine. This is symbolic of the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. To leave the vine it must be picked, which is to be freed from the cycle of birth and death, and attain immortality.”
The above Mahamrityunjaya mantra renditions can be found in the mantras and music resources page here:
Another beautiful version recorded by Jon and Jenny Alswinn has been shared in the forum section recently:
Featured image is a screenshot from the video above.
“Rigveda.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed July 04, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Rigveda.
Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Door into Eternal Life. Accessed July 04, 2017. http://www.yogamag.net/archives/2007/ajan07/mrit.shtml.