Mrityu, Mṛtyu: 21 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Mrityu means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Mṛtyu can be transliterated into English as Mrtyu or Mrityu, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) is the Sanskrit name for a deity to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (e.g., to Mṛtyu).

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (e.g., Mṛtyu) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु).—The goddess of Death. Agni Purāṇa gives details about the birth of Death. Hiṃsā was the wife of Adharma. They got a son named Anṛta and a daughter named Nikṛti. From them were born Bhaya, Naraka, Māyā and Vedanā. Of these Māyā gave birth to Mṛtyu, the destroyer of matter.

Mṛtyu has been described both as a god and goddess in Mahābhārata. The statements regarding Mṛtyu as a deva are as follows:—

(i) Three sons were born to Nikṛti, wife of Adharma. One of them was Mṛtyu. Mṛtyudeva has neither wife nor children because he is the destroyer of all. (Śloka 54, Chapter 66, Ādi Parva).

(ii) Once the son of an old Gautamī was bitten by a snake. A hunter seeing it rushed to kill the serpent but Gautamī objected to it. She advised him that it was a sin to injure any living being. The serpent then said, "It is not my fault that I bit the boy. I was persuaded by the god of death to do so." The god of death Mṛtyudeva also appeared there then. He confirmed the snake’s statement and added that God had programmed all events beforehand and the boy’s death was not due to any mistake on anybody’s part. (Śloka 50, Chapter 1, Anuśāsana Parva)

(iii) Once Mṛtyu followed the King Sudarśana, but Mṛtyudeva had to withdraw after accepting defeat because the King had been living a virtuous life of high standard. (See under Sudarśana).

The statements regarding Mṛtyu as a goddess are the following:

This devatā was born from the body of Brahmā in the shape of a woman. (Śloka 17, Chapter 53, Droṇa Parva).

Brahmā gave the work of destruction to Mṛtyu. When she got that work she wept aloud. (Śloka 21. Chapter 257, Śānti Parva).

The goddess of Mṛtyu once did severe penance. (Śloka 17, Chapter 54, Droṇa Parva).

Brahmā assured the goddess of death that any destruction by her would not be deemed as a sin. (Śloka 44, Chapter 54, Droṇa Parva).

The terrible strength of Mṛtyudevatā is described in Chapter 819, Śānti Parva, Mahābhārata.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Mṛtyu (मृत्यु).—Her origin: a daughter of Kali: aṃśa of adharma her attributes.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 16. 8; II. 10. 28; IV. 8. 4; 13. 39; VII. 12. 27.

1b) The sixth Vyāsa in the sixth dvāpara: avatār of the Lord Lokākṣi; father of Sunīthā, given to Anga;1 Heard the Purāṇa from the Sun god and narrated it to Indra.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 118; 36. 127; Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 133; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 3. 12.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 4. 60; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 13. 11; Vāyu-purāṇa 103. 60.

1c) A Kalā of Rudra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 35. 96.

1d) One of the eleven Rudras born of Surabhī and Kaśyapa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 70; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 71.

1e) The originator of Bhairava clan of Apsarasas.*

  • * Va. 69. 57; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 24.

1f) The son of Māyā and Bhaya: father of Vyādhi, Jarā, Śoka, Krodha, and Asūya; all giving pain and having the characteristics of adharma and having no wives or sons; belong to the Tāmasa sarga.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 65-66; Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 40-2.

1g) The Lord of Death; born out of the eyes of Brahmā;1 had an ugly daughter Sunīthā married to AngaPrajāpati;2 an assistant to Yama.3

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 3. 11; 213. 4.
  • 2) Ib. 10. 3.
  • 3) Ib. 213. 18.

1h) A mind-born mother.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 15.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.15) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Mṛtyu) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Mṛtyu is also mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.53) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places.

Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: The Yoginis of Narasimha Vyuha

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) is the name of a Mātṛkā-Śakti created by Mahārudra in order to control the plague of demons created by Andhakāsura.—Accordingly, Andhaka-Asura tried to kidnap Umā (Devī Pārvatī), and was fiercely attacked by Mahārudra who shot arrows at him from his mahāpināka. when the arrows pierced the body of Andhakāsura, drops of blood fell to earth and from those drops, thousands of Andhakas arose. To control this plague of demons, Mahārudra created Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Mṛtyu] and ordered them to drink the blood of the demons and drain them dry.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: Nrisimha matrika-mandala

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) refers to one of the various Mātṛkā-Śaktis created by Rudra in order to destroy the clones that spawned from Andhaka’s body.—Accordingly, [...] Andhakāsura attempted to abduct Girājanandinī (Pārvatī) and thus ensued a fierce battle between Andhakāsura and the great Rudra, the Lord of Umā. Like raktabīja, every drop of blood that fell from the body of Andhaka created another Asura like him and in no time, the entire world was filled with Andhakas. To destroy the growing number of Andhakas, Rudra created innumerable Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Mṛtyu]. These Śaktis of immense power at once began to drink every drop of blood that flowed from the body of Andhaka, but they could still not effectively contain the emergence of more and more demons.

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: archive.org: Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (first 5 chapters)

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) refers to “death”, as mentioned in a verse sometimes added after 5.18 of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna) by Vāgbhaṭa.—Accordingly, “[...] water (is) the (spring of) life of (all) living beings, and everything (is) possessed of it; therefore water is in no case prohibited by (any) ever so incisive restriction (on food). Dryness of the mouth, languidness of the limbs etc., or (even) death [viz., mṛtyu] (result) from its not being taken; for without water (there is) no function (of life either) in a healthy or in a diseased (person)”.

Note: After verse 18d, some manuscripts insert 4½ couplets from Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha I.6 (26cd—27, 31, 28—29 of our subsequent numeration), the first 2½ of which are also known to, and commented upon by, Aruṇadatta.

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

1) Mṛtyu (मृत्यु, “death”):—One of the epiteths of Yama, the vedic God of death, who is the embodiment of Dharma. Yama rules over the kingdom of the dead and binds humankind according to the fruits of their karma.

2) Mṛtyu (मृत्यु, “death”):—In Vedic hinduism, he is one of the three sons of Adharma (‘sin’) and his wife Nirṛti (‘misery’).

Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु, ‘death’) is repeatedly mentioned in the Rigveda1 and later2 as a thing of terror. There are a hundred and one forms of death, the natural one by old age (jarā), and a hundred others, all to be avoided. To die before old age (purā jarasciḥ) is to die before the allotted span (purā āyuṣaḥ), the normal length of life being throughout Vedic literature spoken of as a hundred years.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) or Mṛtyumāra refers to “death as destroyer” and represents one of the “four destroyers” (māra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 80). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., mṛtyu). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Mṛtyu] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mṛtyu (मृत्यु).—m (S) Death. 2 Yama or Pluto, the Judge of the dead. mṛtyu pāvaṇēṃ To die.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

mṛtyu (मृत्यु).—m Death. Yama or Pluto. mṛtyu pāvaṇēṃ Die.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु).—[mṛ tyuk]

1) Death, decease; जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च (jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyurdhruvaṃ janma mṛtasya ca) Bg.2.27; मृत्योः स मृत्युमाप्नोति य इह नानेव पश्यति (mṛtyoḥ sa mṛtyumāpnoti ya iha nāneva paśyati).

2) Yama, the god of death.

3) An epithet of Brahman.

4) Of Viṣṇu.

5) Of Māyā.

6) Of Kali.

7) The god of love.

8) The worldly life (saṃsāra); (namo) अनात्मने स्वात्मविभक्तमृत्यवे (anātmane svātmavibhaktamṛtyave) Bhāg.1.86.48.

9) Name of the 8th astrological house.

1) The deity taking away life in the body; यान्येतानि देवत्रा क्षत्राणीन्द्रो वरुणः सोमो रुद्रः पर्जन्यो यमो मृत्युरीशान इति (yānyetāni devatrā kṣatrāṇīndro varuṇaḥ somo rudraḥ parjanyo yamo mṛtyurīśāna iti) Bri. Up.1.4.11; यमं कालं च मृत्युं च-स्वर्गं संपूज्य चार्हतः (yamaṃ kālaṃ ca mṛtyuṃ ca-svargaṃ saṃpūjya cārhataḥ) Mb.12.2.3.

11) = अशनाया (aśanāyā) q. v.; Bri. Up.1.2.1.

Derivable forms: mṛtyuḥ (मृत्युः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु).—mfn. Subst. (-tyuḥ-tyuḥ-tyu) Death, dying. m.

(-tyuḥ) Yama, the judge of the dead. E. mṛ to die, Unadi aff. tyuk .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु).— (vb. mṛ), 1. m. f. Death, [Pañcatantra] iii. [distich] 14. 2. m. Yama.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mṛtyu (मृत्यु).—[masculine] death or the god of death; [plural] the various kinds of death.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Mṛtyu (मृत्यु):—[from mṛ] a m. (very rarely f.) death, dying, [Ṛg-veda] etc., etc.

2) [v.s. ...] (deaths of different kinds are enumerated, 100 from disease or accident and one natural from old age; ifc. = ‘d° caused by or through’)

3) [v.s. ...] Death personified, the god of d° (sometimes identified with Yama or with Viṣṇu; or said to be a son of Adharma by Nirṛti or of Brahmā or of Kali or of Māyā; he has also the patronymics Prādhvaṃsana and Sāmparāyaṇa, and is sometimes reckoned among the 11 Rudras, and sometimes regarded as Vyāsa in the 6th Dvāpara or as a teacher etc.), [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Mahābhārata; Purāṇa] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] Name of the god of love, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] of a [particular] Ekāha, [Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

6) [v.s. ...] of the 8th [astrology] house, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

7) [v.s. ...] of the 17th [astrology] Yoga, [Colebrooke] (mṛtyor haraḥ and mrityor vikarṇa-bhāse Name of Sāmans).

8) b etc. See p. 827, col. 3.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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