Sage Markandeya Story
Markandeya, the famous sage and conquered death. His story inspired the students also how to overcome difficulties in daily life. His life story was discussed in the Puranas. Marikandu, a Sage and his wife Marudvati lived together happily. They were the greatest devotees of Lord Shiva. They wake up very early and worship Lord Shiva with utmost devotion. They wander from one place to another by singing the praising verses and spreading the stories of Lord Shiva. However, they regret due to the lack of children.
Marudvati and Marikandu’s Penance For a Child
One day the couple decided to appease Lord Shiva by performing severe penances for a child. The appeased Lord Shiva appeared before them. Then the two opened their eyes and were stunned, looking at the magnificent face of Lord Shiva. They chanted the mantras and praised Lord Shiva and fell on their feet. They cannot control their happiness about the appearance of their beloved God. Then Lord Shiva asked the couple, I was appeased at your intense penance. I wish you to grant a boon; tell me, what is your desire in life? Marudvati, with utmost joy, asked the Lord all I want is a child you should bless.
Lord Shiva Confused the Couple
Then Lord Shiva closed their eyes and kept silent again, asking which child they wanted. The couple was confused by the question and looked at each other and turned to the Lord for an explanation. Lord Shiva explained that the couple wished for a gifted or foolish child. The confusion increased in the minds of the couple; Mrikandu slowly opened their mouth, ‘I do not understand the question, my Lord’, then Lord slowly revealed his thought that the gifted child would have only a short span, the foolish child would live a complete span of life.
Birth of Markandeya
This made it completely trouble for the couple to take a decision. Both recall how they served Lord Shiva and intended this question to be a test. Immediately Marudvati looked straight into the eyes of Lord Shiva and asked the gifted child with a short lifespan. The husband nodded to Marudvati and said we would be happy with the child as long as he is alive. Later, we continue our remaining life, recalling the child’s memories. Both fell on the feet of Lord Shiva, and then God blessed them and went away without a single word.
After a few months, Marudvati gave birth to a boy named, Markandeya. As a gifted child, he learned Vedas and other Puranas very early. He also became a great devotee of Lord Shiva and sang his praising songs of Him. When age Markandeya increases, the parents seem unhappy. Markandeya asked for the reason but turned a futile attempt. Even as a brilliant child, he could not find the reason behind it.
Markandeya Deep Meditation For Lord Shiva
When Markandeya turned 16, he asked his parents am I the cause for your sorrow and did any wrong to you? Then Marudvati broke down at his words and said, my son, we love you very much; you made us very proud, and a parent would want a child like you. Finally, they narrated the entire story about the birth story of Markandeya. He listened silently without interruption from his parents. He intended his parents were going to lose him. He didn’t fear his death. However, he wanted to change his destiny for the sake of his parents. He smiled at his parents lovingly and said my devoted parents, you won’t be worried, I will pray to Lord Shiva, and he didn’t allow anything to happen to me. Later, he took the blessings from his parents, went to the seashore, and made a Shiva Lingam with mud. He sat before Shivalingam and went into deep meditation.
Yama tried to take the soul of Markandeya.
Yama realized that death time occurred to Markandeya, so he sent his two servants to collect the soul of Markandeya. The Yama servants came close to Markandeya, but the deep meditation caused to appear a strange, fierce light on his forehead. The light protected him from the servants. The servants went back to Yama and explained about the damaging light. Then Yama himself went to the spot to bring the soul. But the bright face of Markandeya informs Yama that he leads a pure and good life that protects him from death. Yama called Markandeya and said your time on earth is over; come with me to hell. Markandeya didn’t fear and said, ‘I will not go with you; my Lord always protects one from death’. Then threw his noose around Markandeya to pull out the soul. As soon as Markandeya hugged the Shivalingam and closed his eyes, and prayed for Lord Shiva.
Markandeya become Chiranjeevi
Unfortunately, the noose tightened Shivalingam, and Lord Shiva appeared angrily and threatened to open his third eye on Yama. Immediately God Indra and other Gods appeared before Him and cooled down Lord Shiva. Then Markandeya was astonished at the situation. Lord Shiva looked at Markandeya and said, “My boy, go back to your parents and look after them carefully their entire life. You will live long and remain as Chiranjeevi.