Bhaagvat Puraan | Skandh-12
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Skandh 12: Page 4 of 6
Shaunak Jee asked Soot Jee - "Hey Soot Jee, Some people say that the son of Rishi Mrikand, Maarkandeya, is immortal and he was alive at the time of Pralaya, but he is born in this Kalp only, and he is in our family as a Bhrigu Vanshee, then how come that he was there at the time of Pralaya when Prithvi sank in Pralaya waters. And how come that he was also in waters and he did Darshan of Baal Mukund in a bowl of Vat leaf (banyan leaf). Kindly tell us this."
Soot Jee said - "This story involves praise of Naaraayan. Mrikand Rishi did all the Sanskaar of his son Maarkandeya at the appropriate time. Maarkandeya Muni vowed to be a life-long Brahmchaaree. He was living like a Saadhu. He used to bring alms and gave it to his Guru. If Guru permitted him then only he would eat, otherwise go on fasting that day. He did Tap for millions of years and won Mrityu (death) which is very difficult even for higher Yogee. Brahmaa, Bhrigu, Shankar, Daksh Prajaapati, Brahmaa Jee's other sons etc got very surprised at this. He meditated with Tap, self-study and self-control.
Thus six Manvantar had passed. In the 7th Manvantar Indra came to know about this, then he got scared of his Tap and started creating obstacles in his Tap. He sent Gandharv, Apsaraa, Kaam Dev, Vasant, greed etc to disturb his Tap. They all went to his Aashram - his Aashram was in the North of Himaalaya. There flows Pushpbhadraa River and nearby it was a large rock named Chitraa. His Aashram had a very beautiful surroundings. First came wind, then came Vasant (spring), then came Kaam Dev surrounded by Gandharv and Apsaraa. At that time Muni was meditating with closed eyes. Apsaraa started dancing, Gandharv started playing instruments and singing and Kaam Dev was about to aim his Panchmukh (five-headed) arrow at Muni that Punjikaasthalee Apsaraa started playing with a ball before Muni. Her waistband was broken and wind removed her clothes from her body. At the same time Kaam Dev aimed his arrow, but in vain, he could not do anything. After some time the army sent by Indra felt burning like sensation because of Tej of Muni and they all ran away from there.
Muni did not get angry with them, nor he felt pride in this event. Indra became very surprised at this. Muni continued his Tap. Then Nar-Narayan appeared before him. One of them was of fair complexioned and another was of Shyaam complexioned. Seeing them Muni got up, greeted them, worshipped them, and prayed them (Shlok 40-49).
9-Maarkandeya's Maayaa Darshan
After the prayer Nar-Narayan said - "We are very pleased with you, ask anything you want." Muni said - "Hey Bhagavaan, This is enough for me that you appeared before me, but still I will ask you something to obey your order. I want to see your Maayaa through which all Lok and Lok-Paal see various differences in Brahm." Soot Jee said - "Hey Shaunak Jee, Bhagavaan said "So be it" and went away. Muni stayed there only at his Aashram thinking when he will see His Maayaa and continued with his Tap and meditation.
One day, in the evening, when he was meditating a storm came with terrific sounds and large thick black clouds. In a few moments heavy rain started pouring. And not only this, he found that seas were also coming towards him sinking the Earth. There were high waves in it. All have drowned in those waters. He started to save himself by running here and there. But in this process, he was so much helpless that he got unconscious and everything was covered with waters. He himself was also in the waters. For millions of years Maarkandeya Jee continued to wander in that sea waters.
One day he saw a Vat (banyan tree) Vriksh on a hillock, in which there were green leaves and red fruits. There was a branch there on which some leaves were arranged in such a way that that they formed a bowl. Inside that bowl, there was a tiny baby whose body was reflecting so much light that it had lighted the whole dark place. That baby was sucking His one foot's big toe holding it in His both hands. Seeing that baby Muni got very surprised and with curiosity he moved towards Him. He was about to reach Him that suddenly he entered His body through His breath.
Inside His body he saw everything same as it was before Pralaya. He saw there all Lok, people, cities, Varsh, directions, Devtaa, Daitya, forests, rivers, mountains, and even his own Aashram on the bank of Pushpbhadraa River. After seeing this he came out of His body with His breath and fell into the water. He again saw the same tree and the baby at the same place. This time Muni wanted to lift Him up in his arms, but as he went forward the baby disappeared along with everything else - tree, water etc and Muni found himself sitting in his Aashram."
10-Shankar Jee's Var to Maarkandeya Muni
Soot Jee said - "Thus Muni experienced the Maayaa of Naaraayan. To save himself from His Maayaa, Muni started meditating again. Then Shankar Bhagavaan appeared with Paarvatee Jee. When Paarvatee saw Muni sitting in a very calming position, She requested Shankar Jee to give him something for his Tap. Shankar Jee said - "Devee, this Brahmarshi wants nothing of this Lok or of any other Lok. And the reason of this is that he has solely devoted his life in the lotus feet of Shree Hari. So although he does not need me, but still I will talk to him, because even talking to him is a very good opportunity for anybody."
Since at that time Muni was meditating he could not know that Shankar Jee was standing there. Shankar Jee knew this, so he entered his heart. Now Muni saw him in his heart. He was very surprised to see his Roop, so he immediately opened his eyes and found him standing there with Paarvatee Jee and his Gan. Muni asked them to sit and worshipped all of them, and asked - "What can I do for you? I bow to your all forms."
Shankar Jee said - "Hey Muni, Brahmaa, Vishnu and I we all give Var whenever we appear. Our appearance doesn't go without any Var, so you ask anything whatever you want. Braahman are calm and desireless by nature, and they are a great devotee of us. All Lok and Lokpaal worship such Braahman. Teerth (holy places) are not only those where Bhagavaan's idol is kept and Bhagavaan's idol are not the only Devtaa. The greatest Teerth and Devta are you people who are living Teerth and Devta. We all greet them."
Muni was tired after seeing the Maayaa, so Shankar Jee's words gave him strength and freshness. He said - "It is beyond the wisdom of human being to understand Bhagavaan's Leelaa, that even the Swaamee of the whole Universe pray to Jeev like myself. Although there is nothing better than your Darshan which I could ever ask for, but still I will ask one Var, that I should always be devotee of you, Bhagavaan, and other devotees." Shankar Jee said - "So be it. You will be remembered till the end of this Kalp. You will be able to know past, present and future and you will be the Aachaarya of Puraan." And Shankar Jee went from there.
Soot Jee said - "Thus the experience of Pralaya was just only Maayaa of Shree Hari, not the usual Pralaya which occurs regularly. You should not doubt about that how he became so aged that he was present at the time of Pralaya as well as now."
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 06/09/11