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December 4, 2009

This is a story of a boy called Markandeya, a boy who still lives…

Once there lived a great rishi (Sage) Mrikandu. He along with his wife, Marudvati, lived in Himalayas near the Ganges River in a small kuti (hut). They were very happy but for a long time they had no children. The rishi prayed to lord Siva day and night. Lord Siva appeared to him, and said, “I am pleased with you, Mrikandu. Tell me, do you want a son, who will live for a hundred years, but will be foolish? Or, do you want one who will be full of wisdom, but who will live for only sixteen years?”

The rishi at once said, “Lord, give me that one intelligent son.”

Soon the rishi got a son. He named him Markandeya (one who conquers death). The boy grew to be very intelligent and handsome. He had all qualities of a good human being. As a kid Markandeya learnt and mastered all the Vedas and Shastras. Everyone loved him and his parents were so proud of him.

As the boy was getting on to be sixteen, Rishi Mrikandu and his wife became sadder and sadder. Markandeya was noticing this. One day he asked his father: “Father, why do you and mother look so sad? What is it that is troubling you?” The rishi said, “Son! What shall I say? When Lord Siva gave you to me, he said you would live only sixteen years. You are now about to reach that age. How can I and your mother bear to lose you as we will at the end of these years?”

Markandeya said, “Father! Is that the reason?” and started smiling. “I promise to you father”, he said, “that I will not die. I will live forever with Lord Shiva’s grace”. Markandeya by that time had already gained the wisdom of all Vedas and Upanishads.

He went deep into a jungle and became an ascetic at the age of fourteen. He meditated hard for two years and cut himself from all worldly pleasures concentrating on finding the meaning to all that was happening, the paramgyan as they say. After asceticism and concentrating on meditation and Anapana-sati (awareness of breathing in and out), he finally discovered the meaning of life.

Markandeya at the age of 15 and a couple of months gained enlightenment. He became one with everything and his soul became reflection of God himself. He had come to the jungle to save his life, but in the process realized that there is nothing to save or lose. He realized that we are reflections of the God himself and that nothing can create or destroy us. The legend says that he became a star and continues to live forever…


Now, I do not know whether its material to find out if the boy actually died. And if he had to die even after gaining enlightenment, what was the whole deal about. Did it help him die in peace, because he could see beyond life? I don’t know.

What I know is that the simplicity of Markandeya’s life is striking, the ever smiling face of his. The boy full of wisdom, as I call him, went to jungle all by himself to fight death, or to embrace it quietly. The boy is able to persuade us to see beyond the horizon. Every time I read this simple story, this little boy full of wisdom comes and whispers in my ears, “Believe in the simplicity of life…”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Cheeto permalink
    December 4, 2009 17:19

    Nice One! A number of sages have spent their whole life to achieve what Markandeya has. He’s mentioned in so many puranas and mythological stories. Gaining that level is wisdom at such a young age is really great.


  2. Consty permalink*
    December 6, 2009 06:05

    yeah and what strikes me is how ur attitude towards the nitty gritties of life changes after you have attained a certain level of wisdom.. 🙂


  3. May 30, 2010 14:24

    Good one Konsty!


  4. Consty permalink*
    May 31, 2010 18:06

    thnx 🙂 hve to send u somethin on Gandhi.. quite interesting.


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