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Maarkandeya Muni
See also     Mrikandu;    Padm Puraan, 1/18;   A Story About Jaimini

Maarkandeya Muni story appears in many Puraan. There is even a Puraan on his name - Maarkandeya Puraan - read its Introduction. In this Puraan many stories regarding Indra, Agni (Fire) and Soorya Dev (Sun) are given. This has a section on Devee Mahaatmya (importance of Devee Durgaa), it has 9,000 verses. It is considered to be the best to be donated to a Braahman on Kaarttik Poornimaa (full Moon day). He has given us Devee Mahaatmya, also known as Chandee Paath; Mahaa Mrityunjaya Stotra in this Puraan.

There was a Muni named Mrikandu who was the son of Mrigshring and Suvrattaa. Mrikaandu Mini's wife's name was Marudwatee. She was the daughter of Mudgal Muni. (see also Ahalyaa - she was also the daughter of Mudgal Muni) Many years passed and they had no children. Once he did very severe Tapasyaa to please Shiv to get a boon of a son. Shiv Jee got very pleased with his Tapasyaa, so he appeared and asked him ask for any Var. Mrikaandu asked for a son. He was given the choice between a gifted but short-lived (16 years) son, or 100 ordinary sons with a long life. Mrikaandu chose the former one and had a son having only 16 years of age on Prithvi.

He named him Maarkandeya. He started growing and grew up in a great devotee of Shiv. On the destined day of his death, Maarkandeya Muni continued to worship Shiv Lingam. The messengers of Yam Raaj were unable to take him away from Prithvi, because he was a great devotee of Shiv and was doing worship of Shiv lingam. Then Yam Raaj had to come himself to take his life away. Seeing him Maarkandeya clung to Shiv Ling as one clings to his mother.

As Yam Raaj sprung his noose around the neck of Maarkandeya, it landed around the Lingam, and out of it Shiv emerged out of his fury. He kicked Yam and killed Death itself, although he then revived Death and blessed him with immortality. Thus Maarkandeya Muni was saved from Death. Shiv said - "You will be immortal and will always look as a 16 year-old boy."

Skand Puraan says that Maarkandeya is 7 Kalp old. He saw the Divine Tree (Akshaya Vat) - read this event below

Another Version
According to another version, Mrikandu Muni taught Maarkandeya to greet every Saadhu or Rishi whenever he saw any from the very beginning. So Maarkandeya used to do so. One day he met Sapt Rishi, so he greeted them also. Seeing such a little boy greeting them, Sapt Rishi pitied him and took him to Brahmaa Jee. There they praised the and asked him to bestow long life to him. Brahmaa Jee was unaware of his birth so he bestowed him a very long life. The then he came to know about his short age, what he could now? But the Sapt Rishi were so impressed with the boy that they pleaded Brahmaa Jee to make him immortal. Brahmaa Jee, seeing no alternative, bestowed him immortality. After this blessing, Sapt Rishi left the boy at his home. Little Maarkandeya told everything to his father. His father was so happy that his eyes were filled with the tears of joy. Now he had no fear o his separation, besides he was happy for the boy also who had Darshan of Brahmaa Jee.

Muni Saw the Mahaa Pralaya (Great Deluge)
Once Maarkandeya Rishi did a great Tapasyaa and asked Bhagavaan to show him the Mahaa Pralaya (Great Pralaya). Bhagavaan said - "Be it so" and went away. Maarkandeya Muni got busy in his daily routine work.

One day he saw black clouds appearing in sky, then rains pouring heavily. It was so heavy that water filled all the area around him. Oceans crossed their limits, flood came in rivers and at the end of a few days the water increased so much that Muni couldn't see any piece of dry land. Winds were blowing at a high speed. Thunderstorms were seen all around. In a little more time everything submerged and Muni started drowning in that water. His all belongings also started floating on waters. Muni couldn't know the directions. He was just sometimes drowning in the waters and sometimes coming up the waters. He saw only water all around him.

In the meantime he saw a banyan tree in the midst of water. Its couple of leaves formed a type of cup and in that cup a newborn baby was lying sucking his foot's big toe. That baby was very beautiful. He was very surprised to see him as where from he came there in those waters. He proceeded to look at him fully, but as he proceeded, the tree also moved forward and the distance between them did not decrease much so that he could look at him at his full sight. Muni continued to see him for how long, he couldn't know. When he got tired floating on the water he fainted. And when he gained his consciousness, everything was gone, and he was standing in his hut.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/24/13