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Me and my friend had a debate on whether Vedas talks about Moksha or not. My friend told me that there is a verse in Rigveda which tells Shiva grants Moksha.

Is it true? Does Rigveda really mention that Shiva grants Moksha ?

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Rig Veda in 7.59.12 tells Shiva [Rudra] is the God who grants eternal Mokshya. Rishi Vasistha is the Seer and Rudra is the devta and it invokes the Three Eyed One.

The verse is:

त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ।।

tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ pushtivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanānmṛmrityor mokshiye maamritat ।।

The simple meaning of verse is:

We worship the Three-eyed Lord who is fragrant and who nourishes and nurtures all beings. As is the ripened cucumber freed from its bondage (to the creeper), may He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality.

Here the emphasis is in:

मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात्

= मृत्यु + मोक्ष + मम अमृतात्

ie. Death + Mokshya + (to me) Immortality

ie. Lord Shiva Gives Immortal Mokshya ie. Eternal Mokshya/ Eternal Liberation. The above verse became popularly known as Mokshyadayani mantra and Mahamrityunjaya mantra.

Auspicious form of Rudra is known as Shiva  and Fierce form of Shiva is known as Rudra.

This is evident from this verse of YajurVeda..

या ते रुद्र शिवा तनू-रघाेराऽपापकाशिनी ।
तया नस्तनुवा शन्तमया गिरिशंताभिचाकशीहि ॥

Ya te Rudra Shiva tanura ghora papakashini taya nastanuva shantamaya girisamta bhichakashihi ||
[ YajurvedaTaittariya Samhita 4.5.1.1]

Lord Rudra, you who dwell on Mountain and who confer happiness, by that form of yours which is not terrible [ie. Shiva form], which will not injure us, and which is highly auspicious, behold and illuminate us.

Here the emphasis is in:

 या ते रुद्र शिवा तनू-रघाेरा
ie. When Rudra becomes अघोर (Aghora) ie. not fierce then he is Shiva (ie. Auspicious)

Thus Lord Shiva who is highly Auspicious grants eternal Mokshya to the devotees.

  • Sri Rudram (Yajur Veda) also has Mahamrutyunjaya Mantra. Why repetition? – The Destroyer May 10 '16 at 9:47
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    Didn't know Rig Veda has this mantra. Are there any Veda mantras which are repeated like Mahamrutyunjaya Mantra? – The Destroyer May 10 '16 at 9:58
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    @The Destroyer Yes, YajurVeda T.S. 1.8.6 and Vajasena Samhita 3.60 also contain this verse... I don't know the exact mechanism.. I don't have Anukramani of YajurVeda... so I'm unable to find who is the seer in YajurVeda of this verse... – Tejaswee May 10 '16 at 9:58
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    Is this mantra saying (i.e., affirmation) that the Shiva will grant Moksha or is it meant to plead or pray Shiva to grant Moksha? I think there is a difference in how you interpret it. – sv. May 10 '16 at 15:31
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    मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् = मृत्यु + मोक्ष + मम अमृतात् this sandhi division is wrong. माऽमृतात is the word. मा should be there in place of मम Mokshya is used in the verb form. Moksha should be used(in the first sentence and emphasis). Moksha and mokshya are used in different contexts. Don't make mistakes in Veda mantras – Sarvabhouma Jun 21 '17 at 4:19

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