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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Great Story Of Rishi (Sage) Markandeya

Great Story Of Rishi (Sage) Markandeya
History Of  Rishi ( Sage )Markandeya:
Markandeya is an ancient rishi (sage) from the Hindu tradition, born in the clan of Brigu Rishi. He is celebrated as a devotee of both Shiva and Vishnu and is mentioned in a number of stories from the Puranas. The Markandeya Purana especially, comprises a dialogue between Markandeya and a sage called Jaimini and a number of chapters in the Bhagavata Purana are dedicated to his conversations and prayers. He is also mentioned in the Mahabharata. Markandeya is venerated within all mainstream Hindu traditions.

Today, Markendeya Tirtha, where the sage Markandeya wrote the Markandeya Purana is situated on a trekking route to the Yamunotri Shrine in the Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand.

Shiva protects Markandeya from Yama
One legend relates the story of how Shiva protected Markandeya from the clutches of death. (Yama)
Mrikandu rishi and his wife Marudmati worshipped Shiva and sought from him the boon of begetting
a son. As a result he was given the choice of either a gifted son, but with a short life on earth or a child of low intelligence but with a long life. Mrikandu rishi chose the former, and was blessed with Markandeya, an exemplary son, destined to die at the age of 16.

Markandeya grew up to be a great devotee of Shiva and on the day of his destined death he continued his worship of Shiva in his form of Shivalingam. The messengers of Yama, the god of death were unable to take away his life because of his great devotion and continual worship of Shiva. Yama then came himself in person to take Markandeya's life away and sprung his noose around the young sage's neck. By accident of fate the noose mistakenly landed around the Shivalingam, and out of it, Shiva emerged in all his fury attacking Yama for his act of aggression. After defeating Yama in battle to the point of death, Shiva then revived him, under the condition that the devout youth would live forever. For this act, Shiva was thereafter known also as Kaalakalaya, meaning 'one who brought death, to death himself'.

Thus Maha Mrityunjaya Stotra is also attributed to Markandeya, and this legend of Shiva conquering death is inscribed in metal and worshiped at Tirukkadavur in Tamilnadu, India. A similar account is also given in Narasimha Purana, although in that version Markandeya is rescued by Vishnu after he recites the Mrityunjaya Stotra.

Markandeya Life

Sage Mrikandu was leading an ascetic life in a forest. His wife was Marudhvathi. They were childless for a his time. Mrikandu performed intense tapas for several years in order to please Lord Shiva. to have childrens.
long

Lord Shiva in all his splendour appeared before him.

He said, “I am pleased by your devotion. Ask from me any boon you desire.” Mrikandu was overjoyed. He prayed to Lord Shiva thus: "O Lord! I am childless. Grant me a son."

The Lord said in reply, "Do you desire to have a virtuous, wise and pious son who will live up to sixteen years or a dull- witted, evil-natured son who will live long?" The sage Mrikandu did not hesitate over the choice. He did not want a worthless son. He begged only for the short-lived son of whom he could be proud. Lord Shiva granted the request of his devotee and departed.

After some time Marudhvathi conceived and gave birth to a son. The parents were extremely happy about the new arrival whom they named " Markandeya".

When Markandeya was - five, Mrikandu arranged for his studies. Even in boyhood Markandeya mastered all the Vedas and Shastras. His pleasing ways endeared him to his teachers. The boy was liked by one and all. When he reached the age of twelve, his parents arranged his Upanayana. He was initiated into the chanting of the mystic Gayatri Mantra. The boy was very regular in performing the Sandhya Vandana which pleased his parents and other elders. He was thus spending his days very happily, delighting everyone by his charming looks and pleasant behaviour. But the parents were sad at heart and whenever they looked at their son a gloom spread over their face. They did not tell Markandeya that he was not destined to live long.

The sixteenth year was fast approaching. One day, unable to control their grief, they wept before him. Markandeya was surprised. He asked them gently the reason for their grief. Mrikandu, with tears running down his cheeks, said, "O my son! According to Lord Shiva's boon you are destined to live only for sixteen years. How can we withstand this? We are helpless and do not know what to do."

Markandeya consoled his parents saying that death was not a thing which wise people should dread. It is as natural as birth.

The next day the boy came to them and said, "Dear father and mother, do not worry for me. I am confident of winning over death. Pray bless me that I may succeed in my endeavor. Permit me to perform severe penance to please the Lord.” The parents blessed him heartily and sent him for penance.

Markandeya was to complete the sixteenth year on a certain day. Yama knew that Markandeya's life was to come to an end. As usual Yama's servants came to take his life. But  MARKANDEYA they could not approach him I for the radiation from him was too intense for them. So, Yama, the god of Death, himself came on his wonted black buffalo. He had in his hand the well- known rope with a noose for taking out the young lad's soul from his body and carrying it away. Yama saw the young devotee engaged in the worship of Lord Shiva. Yama could not let the worship be completed if his duty as the God of Death was to be properly performed. Markandeya could not be allowed to live a minute longer after the completion of the sixteenth year. Normally invisible to human eyes, this time Yama had been forced to show himself to the young boy by virtue of the latter's intense piety and devotion to God. Yama threw his rope with the loop and it went and encircled Markandeya's neck and also the Shiva Linga.

The Shiva Linga at once split into two and out came Shiva, trident in hand. He pushed Yama aside and killed him to save the child. From that day onwards, Markandeya got the names Mrityunjaya and Kalakala. After that at the request of other gods, Shiva restored life to Yama. Then, turning to the young devotee, with whose piety he was highly pleased, Lord Shiva blessed him with deathlessness. He said to Markandeya, “Every desire of yours will be fulfilled. You will never be old or grey - haired. You will live virtuous and famous till the end of the world. Omniscience will be an asset in you.”

MARKANDEYA To this day, the Hindus reckon Markandeya as one of their immortals. It is said that Markandeya is a great Chiranjivi, one who lives with the body forever and whose body always appears young, beautiful and saintly on account of his yogic powers. Markandeya has become proverbial for long life. The blessing of the elders even today is, “May you live like Markandeya, forever youthful and beautiful.” People believe that even now he is living somewhere in the Himalayas ill deep meditation for the good of the world.

Markandeya Birth Place :
Markandeya Ji : Markanday is a beautiful place about 20 Kms. from Bilaspur on Ghagus-Brahmpukhar road. This place is named after Rishi Markanday. Rishi Mrikandu had no children and he worshiped here to have child. Lord Shiva blessed him with one son but warned that the boy will live up to the age of 12 years. So Mrikandu had son named Markanday. As the child was growing the anxiety was also growing in fathers mind. One day Markanday asked his father for the reason of anxiety. Father told him everything. Then the child Markanday worshiped for Lord Shiva at this place and finally when his age was about to complete he got what he wanted. This happened on evening of the famous festival of Baishakhi. A spring of water flowed from the place. It is believed that pilgrimage of Char Dham is incomplete without taking bath in this spring. This is also believed that if one applies Kajal in one eye of the idol of Markanday ji and promise to apply the kajal in the other eye if blessed by a child, will definitely be blessed with the child. Markanday ji is also worshiped as the savor god of child. Every year on the day of Baishakhi a big fair is organised here.

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