The ancient and divine land of Bharatha was the abode of Maharishis, Munis and tapasvis and they lived long and acheived great things which we moderns with all our sciencetific and technological power can never dream of achieving. Their life and the values they stood for have made this land holy and great. The way they lived, theliterature they produced have been serving as a beacon not only to their progency in this land but to all humanbeings the world over. This has become the ever burning beacon. One who has the inclination to study their lifeand work, They seem to say, look it was like this. These facts have created the history of our holy land.
In ancient Bharatha Sixty four arts were taught in our Gurukulas and history was one among them. In these pagesof history we have the enthralling account of the life and work of these great Maharishis and Sage Markandeyafigures as one among the greatest.
Puranas are also considered one among the sixty four arts and they uphold the great truths which these Maharishishad fond and Sage Markandeya figures among puranapurushas. History and Puranas have grown side by side as beingthe corollary to the other. The life values he practised and held high by Sage Markandeya are meant for the welfareof our lives as seekers of material fortune, and for the growth our spiritual wealth and it is our duty to realizethis as the greatest truth.
Birth and Victory over death
Swayambhu Manvanthara is one among the forteen Manvantaras. In this Manvanthara was born Sage Bhrigu. He is calledBrahma's Manasputra because he was born out of Brahma's mind. His clan grew into big family just like a huge treeborn from a small seed spreads out its branches all round.
Brigu had a wife by name Khyathi and from her he had three children, two sons and a daughter. Shukra(Kavi) andSyavana were sons and a daughter by name Bhargavi. She was in fact, the incarnation of goddess lakshmi. All thesebelong to the great rishi tradition. They found out truths not perceivable by our senses. That is why they are referred to as 'Atheerndriyartha drashta Rishis.' Sage Markandeya was one such great rishi who was born in such agreat rishi family. He had a wife by name Sumithra. The couple had no children for a long time. They were deeplyworried. Finally they decided to take refuge under Lord Shiva. They began to perform severe tapas to please Shiva.Lord Shiva was pleased with Sage Mrikandu and appeared before him. The sage became very happy and pleasantlysurprised to see the bright figure of the Lord standing in front of him. The sage stood with folded hands and his greatjoy made him dump for a few minutes. Then he workshipped the Lord. Bhagawan Shankara smiled at his devotee and said,"Mrikandu why have you performed this severe tapas, I always love my devotees and always grant their wishesAsk whatever you want me to grant you. It is given"
Mrikandu spoke in a very humble way "Bhagawan Shankara said "Mrikandu, I will give you an option. Would you liketo have a number of children who live long but dull headed or a righteous son who is going to have all good humanqualities, but he will live for just few years.
Mrikandu replied, "Bhagawan dull headed children, even if they live for a long time bring misery to their parents.Therefore, it does not matter if you bless me with a son who lives for a few years but has all good human qualities.No one has seen what future has in store for us."
He stood before the Lord with folded hands. He made up his mind and said, "Bhangawan bless me with a son who hasall the great human qualities. It does not matter if he does not live long."
Lord Sankara was happy to bless his devotee and said,"So be it" Then he disappeared. In course of time Sumithra conceived and at the end of nine months she delivered a very cute male child who had all the features of a greatperson. The parents named the child Markendya.