Is Shiva Destroyer or Savior?

What is this duality? Is Lord Shiva Dual in Nature?
In many Hindu Scriptures Shiva is the one of the trinity, Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh, Mahesh is Shiva. This trinity work together as creator(Lord Brahma), Maintainer (Lord Vishnu) and Destroyer (Lord Shiva). They work with three shaktis (Powers), Iccha shakti as goddess Lakshmi, Kriya shakti as goddess Durga, Gyana(jnana) shakti as Goddess Saraswati. So here Shiva is a destroyer, God of Death. But on the same time Vedas have gifted a powerful mantra, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra which liberates us from fear of death associated with Lord Shiva. This Maha Mrityunjaya which is mentioned in two Vedas Rigveda and Yajurveda is about worshiping Lord Rudra/Shiva and seeking his blessing. Here Shiva is liberating one from all fears, infact from the biggest fear of death.

God of death, a destroyer himself telling the tool of conquering death.
Is it an irony? Is He Dual?


Who is Shiva and what he does?

Shiva is destroyer, We need to understand what he destroys… the fears, the cycle of birth and death, the bondage, the attachments and detachments, diseases (physical or mental), darkness, suffering and all the obstacles which is hampering the journey. Why is he God of death? Because he is beyond death and he knows what is after death. Shiva relieves one from the old age sufferings. Shiva is the calm form of Rudra, one is saving us from fears and other is roaring & fearful to maintain the harmony in universe.

What is the tool of Conquering Death – What is Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

The word Maha Mrityunjaya consists of three different words i.e. ‘maha’ ‘mrityu’ and ‘jaya’. Word maha means ‘great’, word mrityu means ‘death’, and the word jaya means ‘victory’. Hence the word Maha Mrityunjaya means great way to conquer death and the word mantra in sanskrit means “Mananat Trayate Iti Mantra” which means ‘something that liberates our mind from bondage’. Hence Maha Mrityunjaya mantra means a great combination of varnas (letters) helping to liberate our mind from the fear of death towards victory of life.

Mrityunjaya Mantra
ॐ त्र्य॑म्बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् ।
उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर्मुक्षीय॒ मा ऽमृता॑त् ।
Om trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pustivardhanam | urvaarukmivabandhanan mrityormukshiya mamritat ||

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
ॐ हौं जूं स: ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व:
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् । ।
ॐ स्व: भुव: भू: ॐ स: जूं हौं ॐ
Om Haum Jum Sah Om Bhur Bhuvah Sawah
Om trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pustivardhanam | urvaarukmivabandhanan mrityormukshiya mamritat ||
Om Sawah Bhuvah Bhuh Om Sah Jum Haum Om

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra has other names: trayambak mantra and rudra mantra.

Meaning Of Mrityunjaya Mantra

For understanding the meaning of whole mantra first we have to know the meaning of each word in mantra which are as follow.

OM : it is the symbol or representative of god
TRAYAMBAKAM : who has three eyes (Lord Shiva)
YAJAMAHE : we make sacrificial offerings
SUGANDHIM : whose fragrance is around & making our lives fragrant
PUSHTIVARDHANAM : to one who possess the nourishment of all
URVARUKMIVA : like a cucumber when it is fully grown
BANDHANAN : bondage, attachment
MRITYU : death
MOKSHA : liberates
MA AMRITAT : never imparted from Amrit (the true self, the atman, the parmatman) immortal

“We worship the three eyed lord Shiva, his fragrance is all around and he is the one who nourishes, we pray to lord Shiva that when cucumber is fully grown it detach by itself from the planet, in the same way with your grace liberates us from the bondage of death towards the immortality.”

In Depth Understanding of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

Om Trayambakam Yajamahe

We worship three-eyed Lord Shiva, Three eyes symbolize that he can see three kaals, he is trikaal darshi. One who can see past present and future is Trikaal darshi. Lord Shiva is beyond time and simultaneously he himself is Kaal. Three eyes also signify the three powers to see. Two eyes are to see the world, to get knowledge from the world. Third eye is the eye of wisdom. Our ajna chakra, the 6th chakra is the chakra which depicts knowledge and spiritual wisdom. It is called the eye of consciousness (gyan chakshu) and in physical body we can say its pineal gland. Ajna Chakra, the third eye is the place where ida, pingala and sushumna meet. It is place where Shakti meets Shiva, and the communion happens.

We worship and adores the lord having three eyes, by far now, we know what these three eyes indicates. There is lot more to it though.


Sugandhim who is fragrant and whose fragrance is all around. One who he self realized and pure spreads fragrance. Lord Shiva applies ashes on his body and he lives in shamshaan(cremation), we cannot expect one living there and spreading fragrance. It has deeper spiritual meaning. One who spread happiness, stays in the state of joy and bliss, is fragrant.

Pushti Vardhnam

One who increases pushti (nourishment). This nourishment has both the aspects physical and spiritual. In physical terms Lord Shiva is Nourisher of body and the world. He is health giver and removes all the diseases. In spiritual essence he is the nourisher of mind and body. Shiva and the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is the booster of mental health and remover all the physic problems. Nourishes soul, How soul can be nourished? When we reside in true nature, no afflictions, nothing can shake the state of ultimate joy and bliss the soul stays nourished.

Urvarikamiva Bandhanaan

The cucumber automatically gets detached once ripen, like wise we also get detached easily when karmas ripe. But for that our karmas should be in the direction of spiritual enhancement. Our deeds should be good enough and mind has to be watched. Where mind is going?, towards the world and getting attached more & more or towards knowing real nature of ourselves, who am I. So that when death comes we can easily go away without being attached to this illusionary changeable world.

Mriturmokshiya Ma Amritaat

O Lord Shiva, liberate the fear of death and establish us in true self. After that no separation from true self should ever happen, that means no birth no death. We will be free from the cycle of birth and death.

Basic meaning of both Mrityunjaya and Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is same.

History- Lord Shiva and Marakandeya

There was a great rishi(sage), marakand. He desired for a son. After the long penance of so many years with his wife Lord Shiva blessed them with a son named as ‘MARKANDEYA’. But when he was born, an astrologer predicted that he would live till the age of 16 years.

Both parents of Markandeya were Shiva Bhakta (Devotee) and the same samskaras (values) were imparted into him from the childhood. He always worshiped and meditated on Lord Shiva and had a great faith in him. When he reached at the age of 16, the day came for the final departure (death). So on that day the young as usual went to Shiva temple for worshiping and meditation.

The envoy of Yam (god of death) went to him for taking his life but when they saw that this young boy was chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, they went back and informed Yama. Lord Yama then himself came to take the prana(life) of Markandeya. But as Shiva is savior of his devotees, appeared. Lord Shiva said to Yama that Markandeya is my great devotee and I have given him blessing that “he is immortal forever”. Lord Yama joined his hands in front of Lord Shiva and went back to Yam lok. From that day till date Rishi Markandeya is immortal for ever. “MARKANDEYA” is known as the seer of this Maha Mrityunjaya mantra.

Things to Understand Before Chanting Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

How and when to chant mantra?

One should chant OM in beginning as well as in the end of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.
Mantra should be chanted 3 times a day. In brahma muhurat it means one should chant Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra before rising of sun upto sun is fully raised. In noon time before taking the lunch and at the end of the day that is before going to sleep.


One should recite Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra for at least 108 times in one seating. Or at least he/she should do mantra jaap(chant) for minimum 15 minutes in one seating(that will be 108 times if we count). For counting the number we can use string of prayer beads, rosary (mala).


While chanting Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra one should use Rudraksha mala. Rudraksha is small round in shape brown colour hard surface fruit of a tree. One can get it from tree of rudraksha. There is a connection between Rudraksha and Lord Shiva, thus using the rosary of 108 beads of Rudraksha is best for chanting Mahamtriyunjaya Mantra.


Devotee (seeker) should sit in cross leg position or any meditative pose i.e. sukhasana, padmasana, swastikasana, ardhapadmasana, vajrasana and siddhasana. In almost every sitting pictures of Lord Shiva he sat and meditated in Padmasana (Lotus Pose). In Padmasana, spine becomes erected automatically and sitting with the erect spine is mandatory for spiritual practices.


One should sit in an empty room or a pooja room where Idol of Lord Shiva is in front of the devotee. One should face towards the east or north direction while chanting Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.


Before chanting the mantra one should surrender all his worries, desires, problems, miseries, happiness, and even relations in the feet of guru, almighty lord, great saints, deity or in anyone he/she has faith and reverence.


When one starts chanting one should become nobody i.e. one should forget all his relations and past which he is having in his worldly life. That means while chanting you are neither a husband/wife, parents/children, nor you are a boss/labour, teacher/student. You are just nobody, leave the identity that one carries in this world behind and surrender to Lord Shiva.


Because if I become husband I will get thoughts relating to wife and vice versa, if I become student I will get thoughts relating to teacher and vice versa. And if I will sit as nobody I will get emerge in nothingness and void, that is Shiva. Hence one should sit as nobody while chanting Maha Mrityunjaya mantra or any other mantra. It is important to connect with mantra with no other chords connected.

How to Chant MANTRA

There are three ways to chant mantra:

  • In the mind with no sound
  • Whispering
  • Loud with clear words

When chanted in the mind, mantra gives best results. But Initially a practitioner may not be able to do this and should not start like this as there are chance to get lost in thoughts or one can sleep. So it is better to do whispering so that one can pay attention to the low volume sound, less thoughts and no chances to fall asleep. Even if one wants to do it loud then it is okay as your consciousness will guide you and own your own you will get to know when to change from loud to whispering and then finally you will be able to do in the mind, fully awake with full concentration. Don’t Be in Hurry! Happy chanting with devotion and faith!


Three types of food are described by lord Krishna in Bhagwat Geeta. They are rajasic food, tamasic food and sattvic food. Rajasic food is full of spices and salty, it creates a feeling of conquering the world and a number of thoughts come in mind at a time. Consuming Tamasic food, which is stale and heavy creates a feeling of laziness and harming others. By taking this type of food negative thoughts appears in mind and after taking tamasic food for long time an individual goes in depression, conflict and frustration.

The last one is the Sattvic food, which contains everything in balanced proportion and this type of food balances the metabolism of body and harmonizes the mind. By taking this food mind becomes calm and it helps in improving the concentration of the mind. Hence one should take sattvic food when he starts his practice of chanting Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.

Benefits Of Chanting Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

Mantra Should be chanted with love, for love and by love. It is not a business where we are looking for profits. Devotion and surrendering are themselves are the fruits. As lord loves us in any condition whether we chant his name with the intention of love, or getting some gain or not chanting His name at all. His love for us is unconditional. He himself takes cares of everything when we connect with him through mantra meditation. Mind becomes calm, silent, fearless, in the state of tranquility, the shunya.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is ancient vedic time mantra. What the vibrations from the mantra can do lets understand that:

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra Protects

As shiva is trikaal darshi and knows what events can happen in the future, so when his devotee chants his name regularly, Shiva protects them from the untimely death (akaal mrityu) and creates a protection around devotee.
We may have some afflictions in our horoscope according to our past karmas. Like it is known that Markendeya will die at 16 but by chanting Maha mrityunjaya mantra he conquered death and cancelled all the affictions of Horoscope which predicted his death at 16.
So maha mrityunjaya mantra is a protection mantra providing kavach(protective guard) from untimely death and bad afflictions in horocope resolving our karmas.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra Nourishes

Bestows Long Life

Life of an individual is counted by the number of breaths which he takes in his whole life. While chanting this mantra the breathing of an individual slows down.
One should inhale deeply and while exhaling, mantra should be chanted. As mahamrityunjaya is a long mantra so for this, exahalation will be long. That means one would take less no of breaths comparing to his normal condition. And hence he /she will live longer, same no of breaths and life span increased. Magic!

Good Health

In this process working of lungs get improved. Meanwhile at the same time due to long and deep breathing an individual will get good amount of oxygen and release all the carbon dioxide which promotes the physical health of an individual. We will feel more power and calmness. Working of the physical body slows down and organs are relaxing and rejuvenating.

Good Mental Health

In recent days people are suffering more from psychological problems than physical or somatic problems. 80% of people suffer from diseases that are psychosomatic in nature. Maha Mrityunjaya mantra bestows peace in the mind and hence it is very useful mantra for curing psychological diseases and improving mental fitness of the individual.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is Moksha/Salvation Mantra

We feel free when fears and phobias are gone. In maha mrityunjaya mantra we pray to Lord Shiva to liberate us from the fear of death(Abhinivesha) and to take us towards the path of salvation. It breaks the cycles of birth and death and connects jeeva with parmatma till infinity.
For salvation coming out of worldly attachments is the first step.

Develops Detachment

The word ‘URVARUKMIVA’ means cucumber which fully grown detach by itself in the same way Lord Shiva blesses us to grow in the way where we get out of all attachments easily.

Concentration Improves

By chanting Mahamrityunjaya mantra, number of thoughts in the mind decrease gradually and the prana Shakti (vital energy) of an individual increases. As the number of thoughts in the mind decrease, an individual is able to concentrate his mind on one thing for long time and hence the concentration is improved.

So ones the mind is calm, body is powerful and emotions are balanced, no fears are capturing and focus is there, one can achieve anything in life and can overcome any problem as the protection is there.

Financial Problems: Mahamrityunjaya mantra is one of best mantra which helps an individual to do hard work by keeping his mind in state of peace. Hence this mantra helps in making a person financially strong.

Career Issues: In case of any loss in business, loss of job, or getting a job we may become more stressful. Maha Mrityunjaya mantra helps in this too by protecting our mind from the negative thoughts and by freeing the fears, calming the mind. Maha mrityunjaya mantra removes the fears and negative thoughts and fill devotee with the positive energy so that he can able to work on his goals.

Let there be faith, devotion, surrender to the higher consciousness. Lets begin the inner journey without fear and attachments.

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