MARKANDEYA PURANA

Once Jaimini, a disciple of sage Veda Vyasa expressed his curiosity before Markandeya- ‘O Lord! In the great epic Mahabharata, which was created by Veda Vyasa, description of Dharma, Arth, Kama and Moksha appears to be intertwined at times and at other times, it appears to be separate from one…

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BIRDS MIGRATE TO VINDHYACHAL

Sage Shami thereafter began to foster the chicks in his hermitage. With time, the chicks grew feathers and began to fly here and there. But every time the birds went out, they returned to the hermitage by evening. The birds also gained Vedic knowledge by hearing the discourses, which sage…

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DIVINE PLAYS OF GOD

Sage Jaimini reached Vindhyachal and arrived before the birds as per Markandeya’s instructions. He said- ‘O birds! I am Jaimini, the disciple of Veda Vyasa. I have come here with a desire to have your glimpse.’ The birds welcomed him saying- ‘It is our great fortune that you have arrived…

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DRAUPADI’S FIVE HUSBANDS

The birds say- ‘Frightened by the severe penance of Trishira, Indra killed him to protect his authority and power. But the sin of killing a Brahmin took away Indra’s radiance. Trishira was the son of Twashta. Twashta became furious at his son’s death. He plucked one strand of hair from…

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EXPIATION OF BALARAMA

Sri Krishna’s brother Balarama had remained impartial in the battle of Mahabharata. Instead of championing the cause either for the Pandavas or for the Kauravas, he had preferred to go on a pilgrimage. His wife Revati also accompanied him on this pilgrimage. Once while travelling, Balarama drank toddy and entered…

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KILLING OF DRAUPADI’S SONS

In Treta Yuga, there was a king named Harishchandra. Once he was hunting in the Mahabahu forest when suddenly, he heard loud cries of a woman- ‘Save me! Save me!’ It was followed by the cries of many women. Hearing those cries, King Harishchandra shouted loudly- ‘Don’t be afraid’ and…

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KING HARISHCHANDRA

After being thrown out from his kingdom by Vishwamitra, Harishchandra reached the holy town of Varanasi, which was an abode of Lord Mahadeva. There Harishchandra saw Vishwamitra standing before him. Vishwamitra said- ‘A month has been completed now. Now, give me my Dakshaina.’ Harishchandra said- ‘There is still half an…

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THE STORK AND THE PARTRIDGE

The birds say- O great sage Jaimini! When, King Harishchandra attained his heavenly abode, their family priest, sage Vashishta re-emerged from water. He came to know about the entire development. He was angry at Vishwamitra’s stubbornness. He at once cursed Vishwamitra to become a stork. On the other hand Vishwamitra…

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BIRTH OF LIVING CREATURES

Jaimini says- O great birds, how does a living being take birth? How does it grow in the womb bearing all the pain? How does it grow after taking birth? What happens to the soul after death? How does it experience the fruits of his Karmas? The greatest surprise is…

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DESCRIPTION OF DIFFERENT HELLS INTRODUCTION

The Brahmin says- O son! Describe in detail about hell.   Sumati says- O father! Yamadoots carry and lynch those people who eat inedible things, who deceive and dishonor their friends, who indulge in illicit relationships, who desert their wife, and who destroy public properties like garden, water sources etc….

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YAMADOOT AND THE KING OF VIDEHA

Sumati says- I was born in a Vaishya family, seven births before this present one. In that birth, I once prevented cows from drinking water. As a result of this sin, I was thrown in the hell named Darun where I spent one hundred years without a drop of water….

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Description Of Tortures In Hell

  Thus  asked by the  gentleman,  Yamadoots  replied politely-  ‘O king!  You  once deliberately prevented your wife Pivari from conceiving because you were more attracted to your second wife- Sushobhana. It is because of that action that you have been brought here to undergo severe torture.’ The religious minded king…

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Attenuation Of Sins

Yamadoot says- As a result of accepting money from a degraded person, a Brahmin takes birth as an ass. A Brahmin who carries out Yagya for a degraded person takes birth as worm after undergoing severe sufferings in different types of hell. A person takes birth as an ass or…

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DATTATREYA’S PREACHES KARTAVEERYA ARJUNA

Sumati says- O father! After the demise of Kartaveerya, his ministers and priests decided to crown his son Arjuna as their new king. But Arjuna refused saying that he would not become the king unless and until he had attained the status of a Yogi. Sage Garg then advised Arjuna…

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KUVALAYASHVA AND THE HORSE KUVALAYA

Sumati says- O father! Now listen to the tale of a Brahmin named Alarka. Long ago, there lived a king named Shatrujit who had a meritorious son, Ritudhwaj. Prince Ritudhwaj had many friends with whom he used to play with. In course of time, two sons of Ashwatar, the king…

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SEPARATION OF MADALASA

The newly-wed couple had hardly spent few months together when King Shatrujit once again instructed Ritudhwaj to travel across the entire earth and see whether the Brahmins were performing their religious duties without any obstacles. Ritudhwaj obeyed the dictates of his father. He used to scale vast distances for the…

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MADALASA IS REBORN

When prince Ritudhwaj  reached the capital, everyone expressed his pleasure with surprise. Ritudhwaj met everyone happily and went to the palace of his parents. Though the king and the queen blessed him but sad expression on their face surprised the prince. Upon enquiry, the king related the entire incident and…

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RITUDHWAJ RE-UNITES WITH MADALASA

Ritudhwaj stayed in the palace of Ashwatar. Nagraj did his best to keep Ritudhwaj happy and forget the sorrow of his wife’s separation. During his stay, Ashwatar tried many times to coax Ritudhwaj into revealing his heartiest desire. But every time Ritudhwaj intelligently avoided the topic. Once, King Ashwatar, in…

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BIRTH OF MADALASA’S SONS

After returning to his father’s kingdom, Ritudhwaj narrated the whole incident to his parents of how he regained Madalasa. Then they began to live happily. After many years, King Shatrujit crowned Ritudhwaj as the king. After King Ritudhwaj’s accession to the throne, Madalasa gave birth to her first son. Ritudhwaj…

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PREACHINGS OF MADALASA

Madalasa used to preach the little prince while played. When Alarka attained boyhood, he asked- ‘O mother! What should I do in order to mastery over physical and metaphysical matters? How can I serve my subjects in the best possible way?’ Madalasa said- ‘Looking after the welfare of the subjects…

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DUTIES OF PEOPLE BELONGING TO VARIOUS ASHRAMAS VARNA ASHRAMA DHARMA

Alarka says- ‘Tell me about the duties of the different classes and stages of life.’ Madalasa  says-  ‘Donation,  study  and  Yagya,  these  three  are  the  religion  of  a  Brahmin. Performing  Yagya  for  others,  teaching  and  accepting  donation  are  the  three  vocations  of Brahmin. Donation, study and Yagya are also the…

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SHRADHA AND ITS RITUALS REGULAR AND CAUSAL DUTIES

Madalasa says- O son! A Grihastha has three kinds of duties- regular, causal and a combination of both. Rituals, which are connected with oblations and carried out daily, are called regular duties. Rituals and consecrations performed at the birth of a child are called causal duties. Yearly performance of Shradha…

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DO’S AND DON’TS DURING A SHRADHA

Madalasa says- O son! I am now narrating about the do’s and don’ts to be followed during Shradha. Many kinds of edible items can be offered in the Shradha. These include cereals like barley, wheat, rice, millet, corn, etc., fish, flesh of deer, rabbit, bird, wild boar, goat and Neelgai…

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AUSPICIOUS DAYS AND MONTHS

Madalasa says- Shradha can be performed on any day during the dark lunar phase in the Hindu month of Ashwin i.e. from the first day to the Amavasya. Performing of Shradha on any of these days brings the following benefits- Performing Shradha on the first day or Pratipada brings monetary…

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FORBIDDEN AND PERMITTED ITEMS

Madalasa says- O son! Now, I will tell you the do’s and don’ts for healthy living. Stale cereals, oil and fats stored over a prolonged period of time, items prepared from wheat and barley and food items which is not prepared from pure ghee or milk should not be consumed….

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KING ALARKA AND HIS QUERIES ABOUT YOGA

KING ALARKA’S RING AND WISDOM After reaching youth-hood, Prince Alarka got married. By that time, his father King Ritudhwaj had also grown old. Hence before Grihastha, he crowned his son as the new king. At the time of crowning, queen Madalasa presented him a ring and said – ‘O son! This…

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DATTATREYA PREACHES ALARKA

Alarka says- ‘O lord! With the arising of disenchantment in my heart, I have no miseries now. Only those people feel drowned in the ocean of miseries who are attached to worldly things. A man feels all kinds of sorrows due to his attachments towards the luxuries in which his…

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YOGADHYAY

Dattatreya says- O king! With the attainment of knowledge, people come to conjugate with the Supreme Almighty and which results into dispersion of their ignorance. To attain Moksha, it is necessary for a man to shun attachment first of all. Only after that, he will become free from sorrows. When…

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PERFECTION IN YOGA AND DAILY ROUTINE

Dattatreya says-During the process of conquering the soul, different kinds of allurements begins to divert the mind of the Yogis. It is imperative for the Yogi to keep his mind busy by observing fast, worshipping and contemplating in God. It is the duty of the Yogi to always contemplate on…

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DESCRIPTION OF DISASTROUS TRAPS

Dattatreya says- A person who is unable to see the path of the deities, or the heavenly bodies like- Dhruva, Shukra (Venus), Soma (Moon), or his own shadow or Goddess Arundhati, must understand that his death is near. For those people to whom, the Sun appears without radiance but fire…

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LORD BRAHMA’S LIFESPAN

Kraustuki said- ‘Tell me! O lord! How were the living beings created as the period of final annihilation was approaching its end.’ Markandeya replied- ‘When the nature establishes herself in the soul of the Purusha (supreme Almighty), all the created matter gets annihilated. Prakriti and Purusha are established in the…

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NATURAL AND FLAWED CREATIONS

Kraustuki asked curiously- ‘Tell me how Brahma did his creations?’ Markandeya replied- ‘When Brahma got up from his sleep after the end of dissolution (Pralaya) named Padram, he found a void all around himself. He remembered Narayana who is also known by the name of Nastanu i.e. one who dwells…

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CREATION OF THE DEITIES

Kraustuki then asked Markandeya about the origin of the deities. Markandeya replied- ‘With the objective of creating the deities, demons, ancestors and human beings, Brahma abandoned the part of his physical body in the ocean. The demons originated from the thighs of his abandoned body. Lord Brahma blessed the demons…

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COPULATIVE CREATIONS

Markandeya says- Brahma created one thousand couples from his mouth in the beginning of creation. These couples were radiant and possessed virtuous qualities (Satvik). Once again, Brahma created one thousand couples from his chest but this time they possessed the quality of Rajas. This phenomenon was repeated for the second…

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DAKSHA’S LINEAGE

Markandeya says- ‘Brahma on seeing that inspite of all his creations the population was not increasing, he decided to create his Manasputras. These Manasputras were created merely by his wish. Their names were Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angira, Marichi, Daksha, Atri and Vashishta. After this, he first created the ferocious…

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DESCENDANTS OF DUHSAH

Markandeya says- ‘Nirmashti, the wife of Duhsah was the daughter of Yama. Altogether sixteen children were born to Duhsah and Nirmashti. Out of them eight were sons and the remaining eight were daughters. The name of the sons were- Dantakrishti, Tathokti, Parivarta, Angadhruka, Shakuni,  Ganda,  Pranrati,  Garbhaha  and  Sasyaha  while…

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THE CREATION OF RUDRAS

Markandeya says- ‘Now I am going to tell you about Rudrasarga. One of the eight sons of Brahma started wailing after being created from his (Brahma) body. Brahma asked him as to why he was crying. The crying child requested Brahma to give him a name. Brahma named him as…

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THE VARIOUS MANVANTARS SWAYAMBHUVA MANVANTAR

Markandeya says- ‘Swayambhuva Manu had ten sons. He had divided the whole earth into seven continents. In the beginning of Treta Yuga, the sons of Priyavrata had done the same. Prajavati- the daughter of Kardam Prajapati had ten sons and two daughters from Priyavrata. Names of these ten sons were-…

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JAMBUDWEEP

Markandeya says that the total area of Jambudweep comprises of one lakh Yojan while the area of Plakshdweep is twice the area of Jambudweep i.e. two lakh Yojans. Similarly, Shalmali is twice the area of Plaksh while Kusha is twice the area of Shalmali. The area of Kraunchdweep is twice…

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THE ORIGIN OF GANGA

Markandeya says- ‘River Ganga originates from a place named Dhruvadhar. This particular place is related with Narayana. River Ganga, then falls on the Sumeru Mountain and gets distributed into four main streams. One of these streams flows towards Chaitrartha forest. The name of this particular stream is Sita. The same…

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BHARATAVARSHA

Kraustuki  asked  Markandeya-  ‘O  lord!  Please  describe  about  Bharatavarsha.’  Markandeya replied- ‘Bharatavarsha is surrounded by oceans on all its three sides. People living towards the east of Bharatavarsha are known as Kirat while people living towards the west are called Yavan. The  central  part  of  Bharatavarsha  is  inhabited  by  all…

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TORTOISE INCARNATION

Kraustuki asked Markandeya- ‘O lord! How does Sri Hari live in the form of a tortoise?’ Markandeya replied- ‘Sri Hari in the form of a tortoise sits facing east. States situated in the central portion of his body are Vedi, Madra, Mandavya, Shalva, Khasa, Saraswat, Matsya etc. States which are…

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BHADRASHVA VARSHA

Markandeya says- ‘Bhadrashva Varsh is situated towards the east of the great mountain Devakut. Five more mountains are situated within its area- Kauranj, Shwetaparna, Neela, Shaiwal and Parnashalagra. Bhadrashva consists of thousands of Janpadas. Numerous rivers like Sita, Shankhavali, Bhadra and Chakravarta flows there. People living in Bhadrashva Varsh are…

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KIMPURUSHA VARSHA

Markandeya says- ‘The people residing in KimPurusha Varsh enjoy a long life. They live for 10,000 years. They are never bothered by any kind of disease or sorrow. Just behind Kimpurusha Varsh is situated Hari Varsh. The residents of Hari Varsh enjoy an eternally youthful life because of the sugarcane…

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SWAROCHISH MANVANTAR

Kraustuki  asked  Markandeya-  ‘O  great  sage!  Now  tell  me  something  about  Swarochish Manavantar?’ Markandeya replied- ‘Once upon a time, there lived a Brahmin at the bank of river Varuna. One day, a guest arrived at his place. The Brahmin treated his guest with due respect. After formal introduction, the Brahmin…

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VARUDHINI’S MODESTY BREACHED

Markandeya says- ‘Agni became pleased by the Brahmin’s devotion. Agni entered into his body. The Brahmin’s body illuminated due to Agni’s radiance. When Varudhini saw this, she was fascinated by the Brahmin’s appearance. The Brahmin proceeded towards his home. Feeling helpless, Varudhini cursed her fate.’ Varudhini had once insulted a…

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