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There was a Rishi named Mrikandu. He was the son of Mrigshring and Marudwatee (the daughter of Rishi Mudgal).

Bhaagavat Puraan, 4/1 says that Khyaati (Kardam Muni's daughter) and Bhrigu had two sons - Dhaataa and Vidhaataa and a daughter - Shree. Meru Rishi married his two daughters - Aayati and Niyati to Dhaataa and Vidhaataa. They had two sons - Mrikand (from Dhaataa and Aayati) and Praan (from Vidhaataa and Niyati). Mrikand had a son named Maarkandeya Rishi and Praan had the son Muni Vedshiraa. Bhrigu Jee had one more son named Kavi, who had a son named Ushanaa or Shukraachaarya Jee.

Mrikandu didn't have any child from Marudwatee. His own mothers were very old, so he thought that he would go to Shankar's city where he gives Taarak Mantra. So he went to Kaashee Nagaree along with his mothers and wife. There, he first took bath methodically on Manikarnikaa Ghaat, worshipped Devtaa and went to Vishwanaath temple (Shiv Jee). There he spent one night waking. Next morning, he again took bath on Manikarnikaa Ghaat and installed a Shiv Ling. His all mothers and wife also installed Shiv Ling with their own names. They stayed there for one full year.

Once Mrikandu's mothers took bath on Manikarnikaa Ghaat and were circumambulating Shiv temple that they fell down and died. Shiv came there quickly and pronounced Pranav Mantra in their ears. Mrikandu lived there for long time with his wife. Both did Tap for Shiv Jee. Pleased with their Tap Shiv appeared before them and asked to ask for any Boon. Mrikandu said - "Please give me a son. I have no child yet."

Mrikandu Gets a Son
Shiv said - "You have two options - long-lived son with no qualities, or a 16-year aged son with all qualities." Mrikandu said - "Hey Bhagavan, I do not want a son without qualities, please give me only the qualitative son." Then by the grace of Shiv Jee his wife got pregnant. He did all Sanskaar before his birth. Then he had a son and he named him Maarkandeya. Ved Vyaas also came to bless that child. Mrikandu was doing his all Sansakaar systematically and regularly. But when his 16th year came he became worried. He started crying.

Maarkandeya asked his father - "Why do you cry, Father?" Mrikandu said - "My son, Shiv has given you only the 16 years of age, it is now coming to end that is why I am sad." Maarkandeya said - "Father, Please do not be sad for me. I will do such that I will become immortal. Bhagavaan Shiv is very kind. He can win even Death. I will get immortality by worshiping him only."

Hearing this Mrikandu got very happy. He said - "He is the same Shiv who saved Shwetketu from Death; he is the same Shiv who drank Halaahal Vish to save Tri-Lok; he is the same Shiv who killed Jalandhar with his Chakra (Divine disc) appeared from the line of his big toe; he is the same Dhoorjati who burned all the three cities of Daitya by only one arrow made of Vishnu; he is the same Shiv who dried Andhakaasur in sunshine by keeping him on the tip of his Trishool (trident) for 10,000 years, he is the same Shiv who burned Kaam Dev only by a glance and made him without body. So you go in his protection only."

So Maarkandeya went to the south sea shore and installed a Shiv Ling with his own name. He used to take bath three times a day, worship him and dance after reading the Stotra. Shiv got pleased with that Stotra in one day only. On the last day of his life as he was going to read the Stotra, Kaal came to take him and threw his noose in Maarkandeya's neck. At this Maarkandeya said - "O Kaal, I do not go anywhere without worshipping Mahaadev, so wait for me. I do not love even my life or comforts of life as much I love this Stotra. If I am speaking truth then Mahaadev be always pleased with me."

Kaal said - "Wise people have said that one should do everything before his old age. Kaal doesn't wait for anything. Whose Kaal has not come yet, he doesn't die even with hundreds of arrows; and whose Kaal has come he cannot live even without any reason to die." Maarkandeya said - "O Kaal, Who disturb the people who are engaged in Shiv worship, they are destroyed soon that is why I am stopping you. Just wait." Kaal said - "Whatever number of sand grains \are in Gangaa River, I have killed that many Brahmaa already. You see my power, if your Mahaadev can protect you, let him come and protect you."

So as the Kaal was about to take Maarkandeya away from there, suddenly Shiv appeared from that Ling and hit Death with his foot. Seeing this, Maarkandeya starting reading that Stotra (Mrityunjaya Stotra) again. Later Shiv bestowed him immortality. Then he saw the scenes of many deluges because of his immortality.

It is said that Maarkandeya Jee is 7 Kalp old, but since Shiv Jee stopped his aging process at the age of 16 years, he looks like a 16-year old boy.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/03
Updated on 04/10/13