Over the next several weeks, we’ll be immersing ourselves in Maha Mrtunjaya, the go-to mantra for healing and longevity. For Monday Night Blog visitors unfamiliar with this mantra, Maha Mrtunjaya is a vedic chant addressed to Lord Shiva as Tryambaka, the “Three-Eyed One.” So for starters, understand that this mantra works with the third eye, opening a portal so the blaze of inner luminosity can cut through all the layers of stuff that keep us bound…
The literal translation of Maha Mrtunjaya is the great victory over death mantra. While traditionalists believe chanting this mantra bestows immortality, I come from a less literal perspective. More on this in my dharma talk. Here’s the text and a lovely translation from Thomas Ashley-Farrand:
Om Tryambhakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam |
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat ||
Shelter me, O three-eyed Lord Shiva.
Bless me with health and immortality
and sever me from the clutches of death,
even as a cucumber is cut from its creeper.
Here’s my dharma talk and a dharana for working with this mantra. My apologies for the sound quality on tonight’s recordings. That awful drone you’ll hear is the air conditioner. Awful background noise not withstanding, if you can bear it, this talk is worth a listen. Some thought-provoking points and a fresh approach to practice…
Here’s the mantra itself which resolves into several rounds of Om Namah Shivaya…
I’m also including a bit of the opening kirtan. The sound quality tonight is so poor I won’t post the entire 15 minutes. But here’s a small taste…
Finally, a poem by Dorothy Walters that for me epitomizes the essence and being of the Maha Mrtunjaya Mantra.
Don’t Make Lists
Every day a new flower rises
from your body’s fresh soil.
Don’t go around looking
for fallen petals
in a fairy tale, when you’ve
got the golden plant
right here, now,
shooting forth in light from your eyes,
your awakening crown.
Don’t make lists,
or explore ancient accounts.
Forget everything you know