From Acute Ailments
Those who are suffering from chronic diseases should chant the Mrutunjaya mantra 1,25,000 times within 48 days. It ensures long life, peace of mind and removes the fear of death.
Supremacy of Lord Shiva: Lord Shiva is considered as the Supreme Lord and the creator of the entire Universe. By His Divine will, arose the Triads, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra, to perform the duties of creation, protection and destruction. Shiva Purana condemns those who regard the three as different entities. They are one and the same. The sage Adi Sankara confirms the invincible supremacy and compassion of Lord Shiva in his work 'Sivananda Lahari'.
'Linga' form of worship: The origin of worship of Lord Shiva is beyond the conception of time. For the formless Lord, ancient seers prescribed the form of 'Linga'. Twelve Jyotirlinga shrines, known for celebrated worship, are spread over different parts of India. In South India, five Panchbhoota (Five elements- earth, air, water, fire and space) shrines form the places of special worship. It is believed that worship at these shrines erases the sins committed by us in the previous seven births. The darshan of Shivalinga makes on pure.
Avatar of Lord Mrutyunjaya: Once there lived a saintly person called Mrukandu. He married a good-natured maiden called 'Maruthuvathi', who, even after long years of married life did not get any issues. They went to Benares and Mrukandu did penance fervently for one year to beget the grace of Lord Shiva. Lord appeared before him, much pleased with his penance and wanted to give the boon of 'progeny'. But he gave choice to Mrukandu- an unworthy son with long life (100 years) or a worthy son with short life (16 years).
Mrukandu preferred the latter. Accordingly, a son was born who was named "Markandeya". True to the blessing of the Lord, he grew well as a boy with all the good qualities. At the age of 15, Markandeya came to know of his fate. But, he was undisturbed. He advised his parents not to panic and started doing Shiva pooja vehemently, as prescribed by Sastras.
When Markandeya started running the age of 16, he went on a holy pilgrimage and finally came to Thirukkadaiyur and started worshipping Lord Amirthakateswra and Goddess Abirami. While markandeya was performing pooja to Sri Amirthakateswara, Lord Yama appeared before him. Being a young boy, he got frightened by the appearance, haughty manner and the tone of the lord of death. He embraced the shivalinga out of fear, but the thoughtless Lord Yama threw his 'Kaalapasa' (deadly thread) on Markandeya, which fell covering both Shivalinga and the boy.
Lord Shiva, enraged at this uncivilized behavious, appeared from the Linga and kicked Lord Yama by his left foot slowly. Markandeya was awarded 'immortality' at his age of 16 to live forever. Then onwards, Lord Shiva was celebratedly known as "Kalasamhara Murthy" (Annihilator of Yama, the Lord of Death) and 'Lord Shiva with the Mrutyunjaya Stothra."Rudram Pasuapthim, Sthanum, Neelakantam, Umapathim,
Namami Sirasa Devam, Kim Nomruthyu: Karishyathi |
Kaalakantam, Kaalamurthim, Kaalagnim, Kaalanasanam,
Namami Sirasa Devam kim nomruthyu: Karishyathi ||
Markendeya Krutham Stotram Yahpateth Sivasannidou,
Tasyamruthyu Bhayam Naasthi Sathyam Sathyam Vadamyaham |||
Salutations to Lord Rudra, personified as the Lord of all living beings.
The Supreme destroyer, like a pillar, takes the burden of the entire universe. One, who recites this Stothra of Markandeya in the shrines of Lord Shiva, need not be afraid of untimely death and is assured of good longevity.
Mantras for worship of Shiva:
(i) Shiva Panchaksharam:
Om! Namah Shivaya
(ii) Shiva Gayatri:
Om! Tatpurushaya Vidmahey, Mahadevaya Dheemahi, Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat."
(iii) Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantra:
Om! Trayambakam Yajamahey Sugandhim ushtivardhanam, Urvarukamiva Bandhanath Mrutyormuksheeya maamrutat"
'Salutations to Lord Shiva, the father of the three worlds, whose immortal fragrance spreads all over the body to relieve me from the bondage of life and death, just as the ripe cucumber gets severed from the bondage of the creeper.
Origin of Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantra: In Rig Veda (7-59) and Yajur Veda (1-8), there are references to the Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantra. This mantra was taught by Lord Shiva to Sukracharya (Lord Venus), the Guru of the demons, after he stood the test of standing upside down for 20 years (Vimsottari dasa period of Venus) with smoke blowing on him, from a fire lit beneath. Even Brihaspati (Lord Jupiter) was shocked at such a terrible penance. Under compelling circumstances, Sukracharya was forced to teach this mantra to the son of Brihaspati and that is how devas also came to know about the mantra. Then it was told to sage vasishta, for the welfare of humanity. Those who are suffering from chronic diseases should chant the mantra 1,25,000 times within 48 days. It ensures long life, peace of mind and removes the fear of death.
Sri Rudram:Sri Rudram, the divine jewel in Yajur Veda, contains the Mrutyunjaya mantra wherein, Lord Shiva is adored thus: "Namasthey Asthu, Bhagavana Visweswaraya, Mahadevaya, Tryambakaya, Thripurantakaya, Trikalagni Kalaya, Kalagni Rudraya, Neelakantaya, Mrutyunjayaya, Sarabeswaraya, Sadasivaya, Sriman Mahadevaya Namaha".
Those who worship Lord Shiva with "Sri Rudram" with devotion will be rewarded with long life, prosperity, good health, victory in all endeavours, mastery over arts and crafts, self-confidence, happiness, acquisition of properties, Royal favours and awards, good Progeny, fortitude of mind, a righteous path, and Moksha at the end, by the grace of the Lord. Although Lord Shiva is the destructor of the universe at the deluge, He is the most compassionate Lord to grant boons and to forgive.
Time of worship of Lord Shiva :
(1) Pradosha: - This falls on Triyodasi days (13th day of every lunar fortnight) between 04:30 and 06:00 pm. Devotees used to worship the Lord by looking through the gap of the two horns of Nandi (Bull) from behind, without going between the Lord and the Nandi. Scriptures mention that malefic effects caused by planets, afflictions due to diseases and evil spitits will vanish by Pradosha worship. Those who are unable to visit the temple can do Panchakshara Japa, (Chanting 'Om Namah Shivay') from wherever they are. Pradosha worship is more auspicious if it falls on a Saturday.
(2) Mondays: - All Mondays are considered auspicious for the worship of Lord Shiva.
(3) Maha Shivratri: - This is the most auspicious occasion every year. It is the holy night, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Lord is pleased, if anyone observes fast on this day and performs abishek during night with water, milk and honey, offering Bilwa leaves, followed by the chanting of Sri Rudram.
Maha Mrutunjaya homa: "Maha Mrutyunjaya Homa" is very reverentially performed in our Ashram on every Full Moon Day using various life-saving herbs as offerings. Special Sankalpa is also made for the individuals, citing their names, birth stars, gothras etc. In the present scenario, amidst so many turmoils due to natural and physical causes, performing Mrutyunjaya homa will go a long way to save the manking.