Markandeya

Copyright Notice : Authorship and Photography:  All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

Photo credit : Satya Sarada Kandula : All Rights Reserved

Markandeya is a Chiranjivi:

 Yama  could not take away Markandeya, who clung to the Siva Lingam with his heart full of pure devotion singing :

“Chandrasekhara Chandrasekhara Chandrasekhara Pahi Mam

Chandrasekhara Chandrasekhara Chandrasekhara Raksha Mam…”.

Having conquered Mrtyu (Death), Markandeya was called Mrtyunjaya. Markandeya was therefore called a Chiranjiva and he was always 16 years old.

Lineage : Markandeya’s father was Mrkandu Maharshi, the son of Dhata, who in turn was the son of Bhrgu and his wife Khyati.  Markandeya attended the wedding of Sita Devi and Sri Rama.

Work : Markandeya explained Yugas and predicts Kaliyuga effects. (Mahabharata).

Markandeya Purana: The Markanadeya Purana was told by Markandeya to Jaimini. after the Bharata war.

(Reference 1 Reference 2 . Reference 3. Reference 4.)

The story of Markandeya as per Narada Purana :  (Source

Narada related the stories of Mrikandu and Markandeya.

There was a sage named Mrikandu. A tirtha is a sacred place of pilgrimage and the place named shalagrama was the most wonderful of all tirthas. Mrikandu prayed for many years there. He regarded all other living beings as no different from his own self.

Indra and the other Devas got scared at Mrikandu’s tapasya. They themselves went and began to pray to Vishnu on the shores of the great ocean. “Lord,” they prayed, “please deliver us from Mrikandu’s tapasya. He will please you with his meditation and heaven alone knows what boon he will then demand. He may dislodge us from heaven and start to oppress us.”

Vishnu was moved by the prayers of the gods and appeared before them. He held a conch-shell (shankha), a bladed-discus (chakra) and a mace (gada) in his hands. His eyes were like the petals of lotus flowers and his body shone with the radiance of a millions suns. His clothes wear yellow of hue and he was bedecked with jewellery.

When the devas expressed their fears, Vishnu calmed them down. “Be at peace,” he said. “I know Mrikandu. He is a righteous and good individual, I am sure that he has no intention of oppressing you. Only sinners peform meditation so as to obtain boons that can be used to oppress other people. I shall go to Mrikandu and find out what he wants.”

Having blessed the gods, Vishnu went to pay Mrikandu a visit. The rishi was delighted to see Vishnu. He fell at Vishnu’s feet and did obeisance.  “I am pleased at your tapasya,” Vishnu told Mrikandu. “Crave the boon that you desire.” “I want no boon,” replied Mrikandu. “You have appeared before me, you whom the gods themselves find it difficult to see. What more can I want? I have no more desires.” “That cannot be,” retorted Vishnu. “Let it not be said that Vishnu appeared before a devotee and did not grant him a boon. I will myself be born as your son. Any line in which I am born is forever blessed. And that is what is going to happen to your line as well.”

Vishnu then blessed Mrikandu and departed. Mrikandu had a son named Markandeya.

Since Markandeya was born of Vishnu, he shone with radiance and was also a very holy man. He became well-versed in the knowledge of all the shastras (sacred texts).   Markandeya started to pray to Vishnu.

Vishnu was so pleased withhim that Markandeya was granted the boon that he would compose a Purana. This was the Markandeya Purana.

The entire world is periodically destroyed and flooded with water. At the time of one such destruction, all living beings on eath were killed. But Markandeya was spared by Vishnu. He floated on the water like a dried leaf.

This went on for a long, long time. To understand how long this was, one has to have some conception of the measurement of time.  See : Measurements – Narada Purana. This gives you some idea of how long Markandeya floated on the water, throughout one of Brahma’s nights. The sight of the water everywhere frightened Markandeya out of his wits. But he continued to pray to Vishnu. And thanks to Vishnu’s blessing, no harm came Markandeya’s way.

Vishnu even appeared before the sage and said, “I shall save you. I always protect those who pray to me devoutly. Let me also tell you the signs of my true devotees. They love all other living beings and are free of jealousy and hatred. They never cause pain to others through their thoughts, words or deeds. They are peace-loving. My devotees serve sages, guests, and parents well. They build temples and dig wells and ponds. *They read and interpret the Puranas. In fact, you display all the traits of a true devotee of Vishnu’s.”

Blessed by Vishnu, Markandeya performed a lot of tapasya in the tirtha known as shalagrama.”

Photograph Credit: Satya Sarada Kandula : All Rights Reserved

Photograph Credit: Satya Sarada Kandula : All Rights Reserved. Photograph taken at Lakshman Jhula Mandir in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

In the mAgha mAhatmya, you find the Chandrasekhara stotram by Markandeya, when Yama came to get him and Siva intervened on his behalf. The following couplet is from that.

kAlakanTham : The time-throated one

kAlamUrtim : One who has the form of time

kAlAgnim : The fire of time

kAlanas’anam : the destroyer of time

namAmi s’irasA dEvam, kinno mRtyuh kariSyati : I bow by my head to deva, what can death do?

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

 

 

Copyright Notice : Authorship and Photography:  All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

All Rights For Sourced Material Vest With the Source.

*Yay! Me too!

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