Mrtyu suktam for escaping from death.

Mantra Drshta : Sankusuka

api’Mrityu Suktam’ is a Vedic hymn to win over death and for courage. Mrityu (death) is the deity of the first four stanzas, Dhatri of the fifth, Twashtri of the sixth, the Pitrimedha (offering to the Pitris) of the next seven, and the Pitrimedha or Prajapati, of the last ; the Rishi is Sankusuka, the son of Yama ; the metre varies, it is Jagati in the first two verses, Gayatri in the two next ; that of the eleventh is Prastarapankti, of the thirteenth Jagati, and of the fourteenth Anushtubh ; the rest are Trishtubh.

परं मर्त्यो अनु परेहि पन्थां यस्ते सव इतरो देवयानात |
चक्षुष्मते शर्ण्वते ते बरवीमि मा नः परजां रीरिषोमोत वीरान ||

1. Depart, Mrityu, by a different path: by that which is your own, and distinct from the path of the Devas : I speak to you who has eyes, who has ears: do no harm to our offspring, nor to our male progeny.

[Note : Sayana explains ‘prajam’ as female offspring. Mahidhara renders it by santatim, descendants, family successors (Yajur Ved, XXXV. 7).]

मर्त्योः पदं योपयन्तो यदैत दराघीय आयुः परतरन्दधानाः |
आप्यायमानाः परजया धनेन शुद्धाःपूता भवत यज्ञियासः ||

2 If, avoiding the path of death, you go (on the path of the Devas), assuming a longer and better life, (my friends), then may you, (O sacrificers), diligent in sacrifice, enriched with, progeny and affluence, be cleansed and pure.

[Note : Suddhah, according to the commentator Sayana, means pure from the decay caused by the sins accumulated in a former life ; putah, pure from that caused by the sins of the present life.]

इमे जीवा वि मर्तैरावव्र्त्रन्नभूद भद्रा देवहूतिर्नोद्य |
पराञ्चो अगाम नर्तये हसाय दराघीय आयुःप्रतरं दधानाः ||

3 May those who are living remain separate from the dead: may our invocation of the Devas today be successful : let us go forward to dancing and laughter, assuming a longer and better life.

इमं जीवेभ्यः परिधिं दधामि मैषां नु गादपरोर्थमेतम |
शतं जीवन्तु शरदः पुरूचीरन्तर्म्र्त्युं दधतां पर्वतेन ||

4 I erect this circle (of stones) for (the protection of) the living, that none other of them may approach this limit ; may they live a hundred years, occupied by many holy works, and keep death hidden by this mound.

[Note : Mahidhara (Yajur Veda, XXXV. 15) states that after the burning of the body , the Adhwaryu is to raise a bank or lump of earth between the village where the deceased dwelt and the cemetery, as a rampart against death ; Sayana makes the paridhi as a stone rampart {pashanam).]

यथाहान्यनुपूर्वं भवन्ति यथ रतव रतुभिर्यन्तिसाधु |
यथा न पूर्वमपरो जहात्येवा धातरायूंषि कल्पयैषाम ||

5 As days pass along in succession ; as seasons are duly followed by seasons ; as the successor does not abandon his predecessor*, so, Dhatri, support the lives of these (my kinsmen).

[* That is, according to the verse, as a son does not leave his father by dying first.]

आ रोहतायुर्जरसं वर्णाना अनुपूर्वं यतमाना यतिष्ठ |
इह तवष्टा सुजनिमा सजोषा दीर्घमायुःकरति जीवसे वः ||

6 (Ye kinsmen of the dead man), choosing old age, attain length of life, striving one after the other, how many soever you may be : may Twashtri, the creator of good races of men, being at one (with you), grant you, (busy) at this (sacrifice), a long life.

[Note : Sayana explains ” the eldest first.” There seems to be implied in yatamanah the notion of men toiling up the hill of old age .]

इमा नारीरविधवाः सुपत्नीराञ्जनेन सर्पिषा संविशन्तु |
अनश्रवो.अनमीवाः सुरत्ना आ रोहन्तु जनयोयोनिमग्रे ||

7 Let these women who are not widows, who have good husbands, adorn themselves with fragrant balm and unguent. Let women without tears, without sorrow, and decorated with jewels, first proceed to the house.

उदीर्ष्व नार्यभि जीवलोकं गतासुमेतमुप शेष एहि |
हस्तग्राभस्य दिधिषोस्तवेदं पत्युर्जनित्वमभि सम्बभूथ ||

8 Rise, O woman, (and go) to the world of living beings : come, this man near whom you lie is lifeless: you have enjoyed this state of being the wife of your husband, the suitor who took you by the hand.

[Note : Sayana : ” go to the home of the living, i.e. your sons, grandsons, etc.” This verse is interesting as showing that in the Vaidik age there was no trace of Sati. This verse is to be spoken by the husband’s brother, etc., to the wife of the dead man, and he is to make her leave her husband’s body. Refer to the Aswalayana Grihya Sutras, IV. 2.]

धनुर्हस्तादाददानो मर्तस्यास्मे कषत्राय वर्चसेबलाय |
अत्रैव तवमिह वयं सुवीरा विश्वा सप्र्धोभिमातीर्जयेम ||

9 From his dead hand I take the bow* be carried forward, that it may be our power and might and glory. There you are , there; and here with noble heroes may we overcome all hosts that fight against us.

[* This applies to a Kshatriya.]

उप सर्प मातरं भूमिमेतामुरुव्यचसं पर्थिवींसुशेवाम |
ऊर्णम्रदा युवतिर्दक्षिणावत एषा तवा पातुनिरतेरुपस्थात ||

10 Go to this thy mother-earth, the widespread, delightful earth ; this virgin (earth is) as soft as wool, to the liberal (worshipper) may she protect thee from the proximity of Nirriti.

[Note : Sayana says the four verses 1 to 13 are to be repeated at the death of a dikshita (initiated person), and cites Aswalayana-S. VI. 10. On the repetition of verse 10, the bones which have been collected are to be placed in the grave ; Refer to Aswalayana grihya-S. IV. 5.]

उच्छ्वञ्चस्व पर्थिवि मा नि बाधथाः सूपायनास्मै भवसूपवञ्चना |
माता पुत्रं यथा सिचाभ्येनं भूमूर्णुहि ||

11 Earth, rise up above him; oppress him not; be attentive to him (and) comfortable; cover him up, earth, as a mother covers her child with the cloth of her garment.

[Note : i.e. so as to give him breathing room. While this verse is being recited, dust is to be scattered over the grave. Asw. grihya-IV. 5. Supavanchana= deceiving well. Sayana says, “Treat him kindly for the sake of the sacrifice : ” fondle him, lull him to rest. The alternative explanation supratishtha bhava seems to mean be a good resting-place.]

उच्छ्वञ्चमाना पर्थिवी सु तिष्ठतु सहस्रं मित उप हिश्रयन्ताम |
ते गर्हासो घर्तश्चुतो भवन्तु विश्वाहास्मैशरणाः सन्त्वत्र ||

12 May the earth heaped over him lie light may thousands of particles (of dust) envelope him ; may these mansions churn out ghee (for him) ; may the every day be an asylum to him in this world.

उत ते सतभ्नामि पर्थिवीं तवत परीमं लोगं निदधन मोहं रिषम |
एतां सथूणां पितरो धारयन्तु ते.अत्रायमः सादना ते मिनोतु ||

13 I heap up the earth around you/ placing (upon you) this clod of earth ; may I not be injured: may the Pitris sustain this, your monument : may Yama make you a dwelling here.

[Note : Sayana, ” urn, I keep off the earth above you with your lid, ‘sthikumhha tadopari twadiyena kapalena prithivim pratibadhnami.’ This is addressed to the urn, containing the bones and ashes, which is buried after the corpse has been burnt. The verse is to be recited when the bones are covered with the lid; see Aswal.-grihya-S., IV. 5.]

परतीचीने मामहनीष्वाः पर्णमिवा दधुः |
परतीचीं जग्रभा वाचमश्वं रशनया यथा ||

14 At the decline of the day they have placed me (in the grave) like the feathers of an arrow ; I have restrained my declining voice as (they check) a horse with a bridle.

“Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”

collected from facebook group- Holy vedas.


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