Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sage Markandey

Sage Mrikandu and his wife were childless. They both prayed Lord Shiva to beget a son. Pleased with their penance , Lord Shiva appeared and blessed them to ask for boon. Sage expressed his desire to have a son. Lord Shiva gave them choice between a son with high intelligence with a short life span or a son of low intelligence with a long life span. The couple chose the first option. The couple blessed with a divine son. They named as Markandey. He possessed unusual intelligence and mastered all the vedas in a very short span. As the time progressed, parents were more worried because the time of death of their son was fast approaching. Finally they told Markandey about the truth that he would going to die at the age of sixteen. Markandey did not get afraid to hear this. Instead he started praying Lord Shiva with great devotion. At the age of sixteen, when the time of death came, Lord Yama came to take his soul to his abode, Yamlok. Markandey embraced the Shivalingam . Yama was in dilemma because he could not take the Shivlinga along with the soul of Markandey.When he tried to drag him forcefully, Lord Shiva appeared and stopped Yama to take his soul. He blessed Markandey to be immortal and also gave him "Mahamrityunjay Mantra" to conquer the untimely death. Since the Lord Shiva got it name "Kaalantak" means 'who kill the death". It is belive that this event happened at Thirukkadaiyur (TamilNadu). It was Sage Markandey who created the holy book named as "Markandey Puraan". From here the "Durga Saptashati" was derived.