Markandeshwar Ashram [Canto 21, 22 & 23]

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Markandeshwar Ashram [Canto 21, 22 & 23]

By the boon of Lord Shankar Sage Mrikandu and his wife Mrudumati gave birth to a celestial child. He was named Markandeya who was destined to die at the age of sixteen. The destiny was known to his parents. At the age of four Markandeya went to Gurukul. He returned to his parents, almost after eight years, after acquiring complete training of Vedas. Looking at the young Markandeya, his Mother started weeping. Mother’s sorrow, instead of happiness, unfolded destiny in front of Markandeya. He promised his mother that he will find a way out and he went to his Grandfather’s hermitage i.e. of Sage Bhrugu. Sage Bhrugu told him to pray Lord Shankar. In this hermitage, Markandeya performed penance for three years. At the start of sixteen, he went to Varanasi for further penance.

The messengers of Yama (the God of Death) could not take him away as long as he was praying near Shivalinga. So they waited and took an opportunity, while he was bathing. Furious Lord Shankar suddenly emerged from nowhere. He attacked God Yama’s messenger and saved life of Markandeya.

Since then Markandeya’s belief on Lord Shankar increased multifold. Lord Shankar realised that this was wrong. So one day he took a form of an old Bramhin. This old man was throwing handful of sand in river Ganga. Getting curious, young Markandeya asked the Bramhin the purpose. Old man replied, by throwing the sand in river Ganga, he is building a bridge. Markandeya laughed at him and said that his efforts were futile.

“So are yours “ said the old Bramhin and the old Bramhin started pleasing Lord Vishnu over Lord Shankar. Outraged Markandeya could not tolerate insult of Lord Shankar. He said I am excusing you for your old age and he started explaining him the greatness of Lord Shankar over Lord Vishnu. Pleased by the self praise, Lord Shankar emerged in his celestial form in front of Markandeya.

Lord Shankar explained Markandeya, that if he really wants a permanent solution, he must worship Lord Vishnu. He said “If I am the body, Lord Vishnu is the strength. He further explained that if, “Lord Vishnu is a seed then myself and Lord Bramhadev are roots of the seed. Lord Shankar said the trio is inseparable. Each soul contains three qualities namely Satvik, Rajas and Tamas. Predominance of one quality does not mean non existence of other two qualities. He convinced Markandeya that prayer of one and neglect of other two converts the whole penance futile. One, who discriminates the trio, knocks the doors of Narak Puri “. He advised Markandeya to go to Gokarna immediately from Varanasi. He directed him “ to go to a place near to the hermitage of Lord Yama ( God of Death). This is the Dharmeshwar Shivlinga of Gokarna realm.

 

 

Accordingly, Markandeya reached Gokarna, built his Hermitage comprising of Shree Ganesh, Goddess Maheshwari. He consecrated a Shivlinga, created a Tirtha Kunda and started worshiping Lord Vishnu for ages. At the penultimate culmination of multi-thousand years sincere penance, Lord Vishnu appeared before him along with Shankar and Bramhadev . The trio bestowed immortality upon him and benediction of the ShivaLinga worshipped was made as Markandeshwar and the pond as Markandeshwar Tirtha.

 


 

This is the hermitage of great ascetic immortal Sage Markandeya which is on Car Street near Car Parking Lot.