mRRityu~njayam mRRityu bhiyAshritAnAm
atha svabhAvAdamRRiteShu teShu
katham punarmRRityu dhiyaH avakAshaH—2
mRRityu~njayam = vanquisher of mortality; mRRityu bhiyA = by the fear of death;
AshritAnAm= of those who have sought protection; ahammatiH = the ‘I’ notion (I am
devotee);mRRityumupaiti = attains death; pUrvam = first; atha = thereafter; svabhAvAt =
by nature;amRRiteShu teShu = in the immortals; katham = how; punaH =again; mRRityu
dhiyaH = of the notion of death; avakAshaH = possibility.
The vanquisher of mortality (Lord shiva) destroys the “I am a devotee’ notion of those who have sought protection in him. Thereafter in them, who are immortal by nature, how can there be a notion of death?
Lord shiva is called mRRityu~njaya. He destroys the mortality of those who seek his protection. What does this mean?
I, as the individual see myself as limited. I consider myself as a part in the whole. A natural consequence is the rest of the world is the other part and the Lord is the protector of all parts. There is this feeling and need of being salvaged by the protector and one becomes a devotee. This devotee-hood though seems religious and serene makes once life stagnant and redundant, in that, the division is set and maintained forever. One has to grow beyond this. At the beginning, it is helpful to consider oneself a devotee, but carrying it too long will stunt a person’s spiritual growth.
The benevolent Lord removes this notion of finitude that one carries. This notion once destroyed, the finitude and mortality are no longer there. I am the whole is known crystal clear. Lord shiva, in other words, destroys the ego of the aspirant; the ego that limits him, binds him, scares him.
This ego once gone, can it ever come back? No. Any wrong notion once gone can never come back. Once the wholeness, which is my own true self is cognized the finitude which scares me, makes me insecure is gone like the mirage on the desert sand.
One will continue in the world. He will still have the body, name, rank, gender, relations, job etc. He functions in the same way as before, only, the reality he attaches to them all is reduced to zero.
We can take the example of wheat cookies. They come in different forms. A child might insist on getting an elephant shaped cookie as opposed to a lion shaped one. He might cry for it, want more of it, fight for it, dream of it, feel insecure about the sibling snatching it away etc. As an adult, one would never go through the same set of emotions for a cookie. From our standpoint, it is a snack made of wheat, the form is immaterial. It is wheat all the way. If this is understood, then a wise man’s perspective is also understood. He knows that the names and forms in the world including the body mind are namesake only. The truth is Brahman, which is all. The world and the body-mind equipment, though present relatively, can bind him no more, scare him no more.
The triad dissolves, cognitively, into the reality. The truth alone is, which is apprehended as oneself. The triad holds good at the relative level; ego also is true only at a relative level. From the absolute level, the triad, including the ego is unreal.