Mrityunjaya 10 Syllable Mantra
Mrityunjaya is a name of Shiva which means “Conqueror of death” (or “Victory over death”).
There is a famous mantra called the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra:
tryámbakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhíṃ puṣṭivardhánam
urvārukam iva bandhánān mṛtyor mukṣīya māmṛtāt
This mantra (also known as the “Tryambakam Mantra”) is the last verse of Rig Veda sūkta 7.59.
On this page we present a “lighter” (Sanskrit “laghu”) version of the Mrityunjaya mantra which is easier to chant and doesn’t require knowledge of Vedic accent nor a dedicated, long, and arduous sādhana (spiritual practice). The mantra contains just 10 syllables: हौं जूम्-सः माम् जीवय पालय (Hauṃ Jūm saḥ mām jīvaya pālaya).
Ideally, one should receive initiation for this mantra from a qualified guru who possesses “mantra siddhi”. But if one cannot easily do that, one has to initiate oneself. (That might sound impossible, but Indian saints such as Anandamayi Ma and Ammachi have initiated themselves into sādhana.)
Here is an initiation one can do for the Mrityunjaya 10 syllable mantra. We request Rishi Markandeya to be the celestial guru. The procedure is presented first, and the explanation of the steps follow. Before performing this, you must read the website’s terms and disclaimer, and know how to correctly pronounce Sanskrit.
Self-initiation (in four steps):
Do the Shiva Boons procedure (only takes two minutes), which purifies oneself and gains the grace of Shiva.
Say the following Sanskrit invocation:
श्री गणेशाय नमः (Śrī Gaṇeśāya namaḥ)
श्री सरस्वत्यै नमः (Śrī Sarasvatyai namaḥ)
श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः (Śrī Gurubhyo namaḥ)
Request Markandeya to grant the mantra by saying these Sanskrit lines:
श्री मार्कण्डेयाय नमः (Śrī Mārkaṇḍeyāya namaḥ)
मृत्युंजय मन्त्रं दीक्षम् प्रदेहि मे (Mṛtyuṃjaya mantraṃ dīkṣam pradehi me)
पुरश्चरणम् प्रदेहि मे (puraścaraṇam pradehi me)
Now say the mantra:
हौं जूम्-सः माम् जीवय पालय (Hauṃ Jūm saḥ mām jīvaya pālaya).
After initiation, you can say the mantra as much as you desire. It’s preferable to say the mantra silently, but out-loud is fine. Because this mantra is to be used in activity (without counting or concentration), it is not prefixed with “OM”.
Notes and Explanation
Here are some notes and explanations regarding the mantra and its initiation.
The Sanskrit invocation: Ganesh is the remover of obstacles; Sarasvati is the devatā of Sanskrit sounds and words; Gurus are the tradition of teachers who have maintained the knowledge of mantras for thousands of years.
Markandeya is the “chiranjīva Rishi” (long-lived sage) who possesses the Mrityunjaya knowledge, and who acts as the celestial guru for this initiation. We request Markandeya to grant the mantra and its usage.
“Hauṃ” (or Hrauṃ) is the bīja syllable of Shiva. One can use either Hauṃ or Hrauṃ (or even omit this syllable) depending on what feels comfortable. Sanskrit syllables have effects on one’s physiology, and different people will feel different effects.
“Jūm saḥ” is the bīja of Mritunyjaya (who is an aspect of Shiva).
The phrase “mām jīvaya” requests enlivening and reviving, and “pālaya” requests protection.
One can repeat this initiation as desired, even every day.
The webpage on Salvation says “Chanting of any Sanskrit mantra (or a name of God) leads one towards salvation.” Thus this Mrityunjaya 10 syllable mantra (which contains the “bīja” form of Shiva’s name) can be used as a means to salvation.