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I have come across three variations of Mahā-Mṛtyunjaya Mantra. One is the Popular Version, then there is a Long Version and the other is called as the Short Version.

Here goes,

"Popular Version" of Mahā-Mṛtyunjaya Mantra:

ॐ त्र्य॑म्बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् ।
उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर्मु॑क्षीय॒ माऽमृता॑॑त् ।।

oṃ tryámbakaṃ yajāmahe sughandhíṃ puṣṭivardhánam ।
urvārukam iva bandhánān mṛtyor mukṣīya māmṛtāt ॥

The longer version (संपूर्ण मंत्र), annotates one line each both in the beginning and the end of the Popular Version:

ॐ हौं जूं सः ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः।
ॐ त्र्य॑म्बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् ।
उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर्मु॑क्षीय॒ माऽमृता॑॑त् ।
ॐ स्वः भुवः भूः ॐ सः जूं हौं ॐ ।

oṃ hauṃ jūṃ saḥ oṃ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ ।
oṃ tryámbakaṃ yajāmahe sughandhíṃ puṣṭivardhánam ।
urvārukam iva bandhánān mṛtyor mukṣīya māmṛtāt ।
oṃ svaḥ bhuvaḥ bhūḥ oṃ saḥ jūṃ hauṃ ।

There's another version called the Short Mṛtyunjaya Mantra (लघु मृत्युंजय मंत्र):

ॐ जूं स माम् पालय पालय स: जूं ॐ ।

oṃ jūṃ sa mām pālaya pālaya sa: jūṃ oṃ ।

Question - Please provide the scriptural references for all the three versions of the Mantra, which scriptures have these? Furthermore, please explain the difference in usages of these three versions in terms of theology, benefits, and associated rituals.

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  • हौं is not a sanskrit, it sounds hindi. Neither is जूं, which also sounds hindi. The only correct vedic mantra is the first one. The next two mantras have added hindi words.
    – Ikshvaku
    May 21 at 13:00
  • I don't if it's Sanskrit or not @Ikshvaku, but these mantras are a popular internet savoury and also recommended by several astrologers that I know. For ex: see here
    – peace
    May 21 at 13:12
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    Haum is Shiva Bija. Jum is also a Tantric Bija. Not Sanskrit?? @Ikshvaku
    – Rickross
    May 21 at 13:22
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    You can see how Shiva Bija (Haum) is revealed in a hidden code (in Sanskrit) in this answer: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/30298/4732 @Ikshvaku
    – Rickross
    May 21 at 13:24
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    For general look: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/18185/20129
    – Archit
    May 21 at 15:10
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Although I ignored the question initially, the extended mantra contained something that caught my attention. so here is a partial answer.

If you look at the structure of mantra properly:

ॐ हौं जूं सः ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः। ॐ त्र्य॑म्बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् । उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर्मु॑क्षीय॒ माऽमृता॑॑त् । ॐ स्वः भुवः भूः ॐ सः जूं हौं ॐ 

We can separate it in three components: The first,

ॐ हौं जूं सः ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ।

The second,

त्र्य॑म्बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् । उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर्मु॑क्षीय॒ माऽमृता॑॑त् ।

The third,

स्वः भुवः भूः ॐ सः जूं हौं ॐ

Looking properly, the second component is just your regular mantra. However, the first and the second are entirely made of Beeja. If you notice, then you might realize that the third line is an exact reverse of the first line. This is not done arbitrarily, it is called Samput-Mantra. (An Anulom-Vilom Samput)

Understand the first one to be in order- the Anulom (अनुलोम). The third component is in reverse order- the Vilom (विलोम). They close the middle mantra which is Nama. In the AnnaAdiKalpa Tantra, 18-th Ulhassa:

स्तम्भे मृत्युज्नये इच्छेद्रक्षा दिषु च सम्पुटम्‌ ॥ नाम्न आदो अनुलोमेन अन्ते विलोमक्रमेण इति भाव: ॥८॥

The mantras are called Samput (सम्पुट), if its beginning has a Anulom and the end a vilom. These are used for Stambhan (placing a Stop), Mrityu-Nivaran (escaping a event of death) and Rakshan (protections).

The tantra also explains how to recite them:

मन्त्रमादो वदेत्‌ सर्व साध्यसंज्ञामनन्तरम्‌ । विपरीत पुनश्चान्ते सम्पुर्ट तत्‌ स्मृतं बुघेः ॥ ९ ॥

First read the mantra in Anulom after which take the corresponding name, after which pronounce the mantra in reverse order. This is Samput-Mantra

The extended version is an Samput mantra. The shorter version (Laghu-Mṛtyunjaya Mantra) is also of Samput class. Its use and benifits are out of scope of my reading.

Take a look again, at those 'om' that are bolded. The first one is the Pranav, placed to activate or make mantra alive. But there is one more, actually placed at the very end of Mrituyjay-Mantra. This has another significance:

तारान्त्याग्निविषप्राये मंत्र आग्नेय उच्येत।

A 'om' placed at the end of mantra, makes it of Agneya class.

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  • What's Agneya class mantras?
    – peace
    May 23 at 8:14
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    Placing om at the end of any mantra makes it Agneya. For e.g. Placing om at the end of Gayatri makes it Agneya. Now what's are its effects are it becomes eligible for some other karmas. Similar to the way we place Swaha at the end of mantra during homam. @vivikta
    – Proxy
    May 23 at 9:04

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