(Last Updated on : 16/09/2009)
Markandeya was an ancient Rishi. He was son of Rishi Mrikanda who belonged to the family of Brigu Rishi.
There is various tales relating to the life of Markandeya. Shiva protected Markandeya from the clutches of death. In another story which deals with Markandeya long life. It gives an account of how he lived past the death of the previous world and watched it end.
Markandeya in the Puranas is mentioned as a great devotee of both Shiva and Vishnu.
In Bhagavata Purana there is a story that tells when the earth was about to be swallowed by water, Markandeya prayed to Vishnu to rescue him. Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a child floating on a leaf, and declared to the sage that he was Time and Death. Vishnu demanded the sage to enter into his mouth and save himself from the surging water. Markandeya went inside the mouth of Vishnu. He saw inside Lord Vishnu along with the entire cosmos, all the gods and deities. The sage came out after some time, Vishnu was still floating seated on the leaf and this is how his life was saved.
Markandeya is also mentioned in the Markandeya Purana. It comprises the dialogue between Markandeya and a sage called Jaimini. He is also mentioned in the Mahabharata. Markandeya is recognized within Vaishnava, Shaivite and Shakti traditions.
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