Om Trayambakam Yajamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam,
Urvarukamiva bandhanan, mrityurmukshiya mamritat;
The above is the Maha Mrityunjaye Mantra. It is made up of 3 words Maha – ‘Great’, Mrityu – ‘Death’, Jaye – ‘Victory’, thus meaning The Great Victory over Death. This is one of the most powerful mantras chanted in India to worship Lord Shiva who resides in Kailasa Parbat always meditating. Today is the auspicious occasion of MahaShivratri which is celebrated worldwide by the people of India to honor the marriage of Shiva with Parvati by worshipping the Shivalinga.
But have we ever asked what does this worship mean beyond the act of rendering water on the Shivalinga? What does the Shivalinga denote? And how will we achieve the great victory over death?
The Shivalinga(as in the picture above) is a penis(male reproductive organ) in the middle of the vagina(female reproductive organ) which is draped by a Sheshnaga i.e. a six-headed cobra. But why do we worship reproductive organs? Isn’t that bizarre? I thought so too until I discovered the real meaning behind it and here I shall bring it out to my readers as well.
The male penis in the vagina represents the act of sexual intercourse. It is an act that is done with the deep involvement of oneself. Now the question why is there a snake and why only a cobra, not a python or anaconda? This is because only a cobra knows the art of transforming its venom into a ‘mani’ – a beautiful diamond or a snake stone.
You must be thinking that it all doesn’t add up? Well, that’s not all.
The Great Victory
Draping of the cobra’s body around the shivalinga denotes its venom i.e. Sensual pleasures. The 5 heads of snakes are 5 senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hear. The sixth snake represents the ‘sixth sense’ or consciousness of humans. When the conscious mind is awakened, it holds the unlimited power of transforming all their energy and controlling the senses instead of letting the senses control the human mind.
Sexual intercourse involves all the five senses of human beings. It leads to instant sensual pleasure. That is why one doesn’t require any motivation for it. One feels satisfied after eating food because it satisfies our taste buds. But many times we overeat our favorite food because it is so delicious even though not required by the body which leads to adverse effects like feeling heavy and sleepy. This is a classic case of senses controlling the human mind – Your body does not need it but your senses will never be satisfied, one desire satisfied is another desire created. We do things which even though we know should not be done(like overeating in this case) but do because we are not in control of our senses and this leads to us being caught in a vicious cycle of birth and death.
How? Since our senses can never be fully satisfied, we keep coming to this world and are never released from the cycle of Karma, hence the cycle of birth and death.
Therefore, it is only when you open the “Triya Ambak” i.e. Third Eye(from the word tryambakam) you begin to control your senses and transform that power. It is when we learn the art of transforming the venom and moving beyond the level of living for sense gratification to our consciousness that one transforms their energy and converts it into a Mani(diamond). This is what is meant by worshipping the Shivalinga and once you open your third eye, you will be free from the cycle of birth and death, thus, delivering you The Great Victory over Death.