Do you know what faith is? This story based on Markandeya will help you understand what it truly means.
Sage Mrikandu and his wife Marudhvati were childless for many years. They did intense Tapasya to please Lord Shiva and get his blessings to bear a child.
The couple did penance with utmost sincerity and faith. The Lord was impressed with their dedication and decided to grant them their wish.
But before doing so, the Lord asked them what kind of a child would they want-
- One who would live long but would be dull and dumb
- One who would be short-lived but a boy of great knowledge
The couple chose the second option and decided to be happy about the fact that they would soon be blessed with a child of great learning.
Marudhvati gave birth to a son who was named Markandeya.
Markandeya grew up to be an intelligent boy who had learnt the Vedas and the sacred texts.
As he was nearing the age of sixteen, sorrow gripped his parents as they knew death was gradually approaching their only child – Markandeya.
On seeing his parents depressed and sad, Markandeya was intrigued to know the cause of their worry. Hence, Mrikandu decided to tell Markandeya about the boon.
Markandeya had utmost faith in Shiva. He comforted his parents by telling them not to worry and did intense Tapasya to win Lord Shiva’s heart.
Deeply engrossed in his Tapasya, Markandeya who sat near a Shiva Linga, did not realise the arrival of Yama – the god of death.
Yama threw his noose around Markandeya to pull him. But the little boy clung to the Shiva Linga. As Yama exerted more pressure to pull the young boy, Lord Shiva appeared and refused to let Markandeya succumb to death.
He blessed Markandeya with a boon of remaining immortal. Thus Markandeya attained immortality even after being born with a life-span of 16 years!
Moral of the story:
Faith can move mountains. Unshaken faith can make impossible things happen. One mustn’t lose hope, as hopelessness will lead to darkness. Hope generates faith and faith attracts goodness to life.