Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Legend of Markandeya

Some of these days I think about the various mythological stories that my mother used to tell me when I was a kid. These stories were bed-time stories, meal-time stories, or any other time stories when I was disturbing my mother. One story and off I would go about doing something else and stop bothering her.

But, as I grew older, these stories kind of grew on me, and thinking about them from various different angles gives a great pleasure to me. One such story is associated with Triprangode Temple, which is connected to the Markandeya legend.

Markandeya legend is about a young boy Markandeya, son of sage Mrikandu and Marudvati, who was saved from the noose of Yamadeva by the Great Lord- Mahadeva. The legend goes that when Markandeya's hour of death approached, he was advised by his grief-stricken parents to pray to Lord Shiva. As he sat down praying, he saw the God of Death approaching him on his black buffalo, with a noose in his hands meant for him. The Kerala version of the legend goes that the young Markandeya ran to the Thirunavaya Vishnu Temple and asked the deity for help. He was asked to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva at Triprangode.

Markandeya ran to Triprangode temple, and embraced the shivaling. At that instant, Yamadeva threw his noose around the young boy. But the noose also went around the shivaling, and when Yamadeva pulled it Lord Shiva was infuriated. " How dare you pull me with your noose" he thundered, and taking three strides backwards, hurled his trident at the petrified God of Death, who lay dead in a moment.

Death of the God of Death, and immortality to a child who was ordained to die. Only Mahadeva can work such miracles.