LIFE HISTORY OF MARKANDEYA
Markandeya is popular Rishi who is well known for his everlasting youth status. He was born in the clan of Bhrigu Maharishi, and he is well known for his staunch devotion on Lord Shiva. The significance of Markendeya was mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, and he is considered as one of the best ancient Rishis.
Markandeya was born to the great sage Mrikandu rishi and his wife Marudmati, and due to the wishes of the saintly couple, Lord Shiva blessed them to give birth to a pious child. But as per the astrological predictions of Markandeya, he is supposed to die at his young age itself. Mrikandu though he was very much upset about the short life period of his son Markandeya, but he firmly believed that Lord Shiva would protect his son from the death god Yama, and would give longevity to his son.
Markandeya grew up to be an ardent devotee of Shiva and after knowing about his ill fate, he began to sincerely worship Lord Shiva in the form of Shivalingam. One day, as usual while he was worshipping the Shiva Linga, his death time arrives, and due to that, the messengers of Yama, came to the place where he lives, and tried to take away the soul from his body. But due to his radiance, they could not do it, and hence, they have informed the matter to their master Lord Yama.
Yama was very much shocked, and he immediately arrived at the place of Markandeya in his Buffalo vehicle, and when he tried to put the nose on the neck of Markandeya, the young boy tightly hugged the Shivalinga, and hence the nose fell down on the Shivalinga, and began to tie it. Due to that, Lord Shiva angrily emerges from the Shiva lingam, and burnt Lord Yama into ashes, and blessed Markandeya to remain immortal in this world for ever. Then after the repeated requests of the Devas, Lord Shiva restored the life of Yama and asked him to continue his work as usual. Yama also worshipped Lord Shiva and returned to his Yama Loka.
Then Markandeya happily went to the Ashram of his parents, and narrated the entire incidents to them. His parents were very happy and affectionately embraced him with joyful tears on their eyes. Later Markandeya becomes Markandeya Maharishi, and he still appears like a young boy, and for him there is no death.
SIGNIFICANCE OF MARKANDEYA
Markandeya is mentioned in Puranas and also in Holy texts of Hinduism, and he is highly praised for his divinity. Once he visited Kailasha and there Lord Nandikeswarar had narrated about the significance of Lord Arunachala, a form of Lord Shiva to him, and blessed him.
Sage Markendeya visited many ancient temples in Tamil Nadu, and he is also considered to be a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. Similar to worshipping the Bhagavatas like Prahalada and Dhruva, we must sincerely worship the great sage Markendeya also, in order to get permanent happiness and peace of mind in our lives.
“OM SRI MARKANDEYARE NAMAHA”