Let’s start this week recollecting tales of Bhola Shankar. The story of Markandeya tells us why Mahadev is also known as Kalantaka, the One who ends death. As per Hindu mythology, there lived a great sage known as Mrikandu. However, the sage and his wife, Marudvati, were not blessed with any children. In order to beget children, the sage prayed to Lord Shiva. Appeased with Mrikandu’s prayers, Lord Shiva blessed the sage and asked him to choose between 100 foolish sons who would have a very long life and one very intelligent son who would live only for 16 years. The sage chose the latter and was eventually blessed with an intelligent son who was named Markandeya.
Markandeya learnt all the Vedas and Shastras in a very short period of time and became an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. As years passed by Sage Mrikandu grew increasingly worried over Markandeya’s short life span. Noticing the worried look, Markandeya asked his father the reason behind his sadness. After listening to the story of his birth, Markandeya consoled his father promising him that he would worship Lord Shiva with utmost devotion and escape death.
Markandeya made a Shivling and started praying to Lord Shiva with utmost devotion. On his 16th birthday, Lord Yama descended on earth to take away Markandeya’s life. On seeing Lord Yama, the young boy clung on to the Shivling and prayed to Lord Shiva. Yama Dharmaraj threw His noose around Markandeya to take his life away. As the boy was clinging on to the Shivling, the noose also fell on the Shivling. As Yama started pulling the boy and the Shivling, Lord Shiva emerged from the Shivling and pressed down Yama Dharmaraj with His left foot, thereby saving the life of Markandeya.
Markandeya became a great sage and composed the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra in honor of Lord Shiva. The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is also known as the Tryambakam mantra, the Mrita-Sanjivini mantra and the Rudra mantra.
Chant Om Namah Shivaya today to invoke blessings of Mahadev. Order Prasad of your beloved deity at http://www.onlinetemple.com and receive blessings.