Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra (Immortally Mortal)


After Nasadiya Suktam, I was looking at materials for Hiranyagarbha suktam, Ratri suktam etc, but could not devote enough time. From nowhere Mrityunjaya mantra came in and fascinated me, though I have heard it many times before. I also landed up at Aitreya Upanishad and Sankara’s commentaries on it as written by one Sitarama Sastri (1923 edition) and found myself working through Mrityunjaya mantra and Aitreya Upanishad till they wore me out.

Aitreya Upanishad seems an ocean and I am just rowing here and there in it. Lot of exciting finds and interpretations await me there probably. Here I present my interpretation of Mrityunjaya mantra.

Mrityunjaya mantra


Tryambhakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mokshiya Maamritat

(Rg Veda 7th Mandala, 59th Chapter)

Aum –

Wherever Aum is used in Vedas, it is used to indicate the Universe. According to Mandukya Upanishad (my interpretation of it), Aum is equivalent to the model of universe, as it is known today.

Refer my blog on Aum here:

Tryambakam –

Tryambakam indicates the three forces that come out of Amba.


Nasadiya suktam says at the night of universe, when everything has been consumed into vyom, amba forms and shines blissfully. The process by which amba splits, fuses and originates the natural forces is explained in Nasadiya Suktam.  It says the aim of this is to continuously evolve into species of higher intelligence.

Refer my blog on Nasadiya Suktam:

The place from which the natural forces originate (the place of fusion between constituents of Amba) is often referred to as dyuloka in Vedas and Upanishads.  Thus dyuloka is said to be held or supported by Amba.

According to Aitreya Upanishad from Amba which came first, the natural forces that originate are marichi, maram and Apa. Hence Marichi, Maram and Apa are said to be residing in dyuloka, originating from the fusion of constituents of Amba. Nasadiya Suktam also says what constitutes this fusion is not known.


Marichi is a term used in connection with a particle as well as a field. It is used to denote a field of light, in particular that of a mirage. It is also used to denote a shining speck of a particle. Aitreya Upanishad says Marichi forms the Space.

Hence Marichi means field or Quanta of a field that forms the space. Space is visualized here as a field (or combination of fields ..?) that originate from Amba. A Quanta is a manifestation of the field at a particular point, which occurs when the field manifests itself on matter.

Probably this quanta gives rise to mass of the particle. As I dig deep into Aitreya Upanishad, there could be some answers there. Currently this is an assumption.

This Marichi is often referred to as the first world that came in Vedas and Upanishads.


Maram means subjected to change or transformation. In other words, something that is of mortal form. Anything where change or transformation is perceivable explicitly, it is called mara or of mortal form. All objects of mara form die or change perceivably.

All gross substances that are built up of particles of matter are of mara form. Hence mara could be interpreted as matter that has a form and is subjected to change and death.

Aitreya Upanishad says Earth was made of Mara, which means that it is of mortal form and it will die someday.  All such stars, rocks and planets which came second are often referred to as the second world.


After all of them came the third world that is Apa.  Aitreya Upanishad says Apa is the one that rose out of the discharge of the virile Semen of Amba.

Probably it is some kind of primitive biological being that evolved life subsequently. This world of biological living beings is described as the third world.  If my interpretation is true and holds good in the scrutiny of scholars, it is fascinating and perplexing to think that such biological being is possible even in such environments and temperatures.

Also Nasadiya Suktam talks about such a virile semen (the sperm of the semen or we can call egg of the semen) situated in a peaking mountain structure of the Amba.

The three forces of Amba

Simplistically put, the first world of Marichi is the world of physics. The second world of Maram is the world of Chemistry. The third world of Apa is the world of biology.

Thus Triambakam indicates the three forces that originate from Amba’s fission and fusion. The three forces are the field that forms space, gross matter/its particles and the  primitive biological life.

The Fourth one: Guiding force of Purusha

Aitreya Upanishad also describes the fourth one, Purusha, as the guardian or the guiding force of marichi, maram and Apa. According to Aitreya, such a Purusha does not interact with any of these and stands apart from any of these, but guides/protects them in their evolution. It is said to have been released from the agitations of Amba and is present everywhere.

Purusha could be the dark-matter that is formed along with mara (particles of matter), marichi (quanta of fields that form the space) and Apah (life) and guides their evolution further.

Refer to my blogs on Purusha Suktam:

Purusha Suktam defines how the dark-matter purusha, who is three-fourth’s of Universe and insensible, guides the evolution of mara, marichi and apa into galaxies, stars, constellations and black-holes and living beings. Thus one-fourth of universe manifest itself as being (in terms of Mara, Marichi and Apa) and three-fourth manifests itself as non-being ( in terms of dark matter).


Yaj – on its own offers, sacrificially

Amahe – grants, gives

Yajamahe means sacrificially grants, sacrificially offers

Sugandhim  Pushivardhanam

Sugandhim – Ever spreading Pure

Pushti – nourishes

vardhanam – grows

Ever spreading pure Growth and nourishment


urVarukam-iva – Like Cucumber plant

Bandhanan – binding, dependent

Mrtyor – death

Moksya – to liberate

Mamritat – (from) mortality


The Three forces of amba sacrificially offer ever spreading pure growth and nourishment to the Universe like a cucumber plant (that spreads in all directions), dependent on death to liberate from mortality (to provide immortality).


The Universe grows like a cucumber plant nourished by the three forces of Amba. The three forces are the fields/quanta, matter/particles and biological life. Like a Cucumber fruit that carries the seed of Cucumber, life (which is a manifestation of Apa) is carried by Prithvi (Earth), which is a manifestation of the Mara form, aided by field of space which is a manifestation of Marichi.

When a cucumber dies (or when it is eaten/consumed), its  seeds get spread in all directions and gives rise to more lives. Prithvi or Earth (which has life or Apa in it) could be viewed as a fruit of Cucumber and when it dies, the seeds of it are carried over to other planets and probably life spreads and thrives there.

This law of immortality applies all things that are of the Mara form and that carry Apa (life) in them. Thus through death, immortality is achieved for living beings that are a manifestation of Apa.

Does it mean that primitive life form existed and originates from the beginning itself..? Could be!. 

Is Marichi the field and particle that forms the Space, the one dubbed as ‘God Particle..?’ – Could be..

Does it mean that Purusha (if it is really the dark matter) is the guiding force of the Universe..? Could be..? In what way it guides without interacting with these forces..? No Idea! 

Probably Vedas and Upanishads have these answers embedded deep in them to be unravelled someday and verified by human knowledge, if it is all true!


As usual, the interpretations over here are firmly mine made with whatever logical understanding I have got. Hence I seek my apologies to the scholars and experts who provide the traditional interpretation, if they find this interpretation offensive or demeaning.

Easwaro Rakshathu!


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