Every human being has come to this world with a pre-destined period. However, because of our ignorance and abuse/non-use of free-will, we end up living less than the period that we are allowed. ‘Äyuñya-Süktam’ is a prayer to the Lord to bless us with long life. After all, whatever a person desires to achieve can be achieved only in this human life. The incarnation of animals and devatäs are only bhoga-çaréra and not karma-çaréra. The possibility of complete longevity by puruñärtha – self-effort, the full term of life is achieved by specific prayer such as ‘Äyuñya-Süktam’.
The Süktam has nine mantras praying for long life. The prayer is addressed to various deities such as Brahmä, Çiva, Sun, and all the celestials who are guardians of the universe.
Äyuù = all facets of mental and physical health and nourishment, and thus is the purpose of this Süktam.
Äyuñyam = Promoting long healthy prayerful Dhärmic life in every auspicious way. This is the motive and spirit in which you can listen to or chant this mantra.
All mantras/süktam cannot be used for homam (fire-ritual). Thankfully, ‘Äyuñya-Süktam’ can be/is used in performing ‘Äyuña-homam’. It is/can be performed on one’s nakñatra-birthday. The whole ritual could be – Gaëapati-Püjä/homam, Navagraha-homam, Mahä-måtyuïjaya-homam, Bhägya-süktam, and Äyuñya-homam’. If four Åtviks (Priests) are performing, each may offer 27 oblations to make a total of 108 oblations for ‘Äyuñya-homam’.
In the absence of fire-ritual, simple recitation can be done.
Text in Roman script with Free Translation
yo brahmä brahmaëa ujjahära präëaiç-çiraù kåttiväsäf-pinäké |
éçäno devas sa na äyur-dadhätu tasmai juhomi haviñä ghåtena ||1||Lord Brahmä (the Creator) was born from the breath (präëa) of Brahman. Çiva attired in elephant skin, and wielding His Pinäké (weapon) arose out of His head. I pray to Lord Brahmä, Lord Çiva for long life by offering ghee as oblation. (1)
vibhräjamänas-sarirasya madhyädrocamäno gharmarucirya ägät |
sa måtyupäçän-apanudya ghorän ihäyuñeëo ghåtamattu devaù ||2||
Lord Agni, who is fiery bright, and who provides warmth (to sustain life), arose from the effulgent chest of Brahman. May Lord Agni release us from the dreadful noose of death (cycle of birth and death). I offer my oblation of ghee. (2)
brahmajyotir brahmapatnéñu garbhaà yamädadhät pururüpaà jayantam |
suvarëaraà-bhagraham-arkam-arcyaà tam äyuñe vardhayämo ghåtena ||3||The radiance of Brahman gave birth to the victorious golden-orbed Lord Sun. May Lord Sun grant us long life. I offer my oblation of ghee to Him.(3)
çriyaà-lakñmém-aubaläm-aàbikäà-gäà ñañöéà ca yäm-indrasenetyudähuù |
täà-vidyäà brahmayonigà sarüpäm-ihäyuñe tarpayämo ghåtena ||4||
I offer ghee as oblation to Goddess Lakñmé, as the embodiment of treasure of knowledge, whose source is Brahman, and who is addressed by six names - Çré, Lakñmé, Aubalä, Aàbikä, Gäm, and Indrasenä. May she grant us long life. (4)
däkñäyaëyas-sarvayonyas-sa yonyas-sahasraço viçvarüpä virüpäù |
sasünavas-sapatayas-sayüthyä äyuñeëo ghåtam-idaà juñantäm ||5||I offer ghee as oblation to Däkñäyaëé, the Universal Mother (Daughter of Dakñha), and all the gods and celestials who are her descendants. May they grant us a long life. (5)
divyä gaëä bahurüpäf-puräëä äyuçchido naf-pramathnantu virän |
tebhyo juhomi bahudhä ghåtena mä naf-prajägà rériño mota virän ||6||
I offer ghee as oblation to the divine Gaëas and their various forms (bahurüpä), so that they remove all obstacles, which come in the way of our long life. May those divine Gaëas protect our valiant children. (6)
ekaf-purustät ya idaà babhüva yato babhüva bhuvanasya gopäù |
yam-apyeti bhuvanagà säàparäye sa no havir-ghåtam-ihäyuñettu devaù ||7||
vasün rudrän-ädityän maruto’tha sädhyän
åbhün yakñän gandharvägçca pitågçca viçvän |
bhågün sarpägçcäìgiraso’tha sarvän
ghåtagà hutvä sväyuñyä mahayäma çaçvat ||8||
9. viñëo tvan no antamaççarmayacchasahantya |
pratedhärä madhuçcuta utsam duhrate akñitam ||
9. O Lord Viñëu! I offer my oblations to You by incessent and melodious chanting of the mantras. Kindly be with us, and bestow upon us, abiding happiness and long life.
Om Peace Peace Peace