Brief Explanation of Markandeya Purana & Markandeya Rishi

One thing readers will be shocked to learn is that the earth where we have been living for many yugas is the region of the devil called Jyoti Niranjan also Brahm-Kaal. This devil / Shaitan / Satan is the King of this region and has captivated innocent souls and deceives everyone along with his wife Durga / Maya / Ashtangi / Prakriti Devi. Brahm-Kaal has captured all the living beings in the cage of the three loks by entangling them in the net of Karm-Bhram and sins-virtues. Souls are trapped in the vicious cycle of birth and rebirth. There is not even a trace of happiness in this cursed world of Brahm-Kaal since various vices are prevalent amongst each individual like lust, anger, greed, affection, arrogance, pride-honor, joy-sorrow, love-hatred etc. 

Misguided innocent people perform various religious activities to get rid of these sorrows and vices to lead a peaceful life but do not know the correct spiritual path of worship. Earlier sages and saints used to perform forceful religious practice ie. meditation (hath yoga) with which they used to gain various accomplishments but not eternal peace (salvation) since those were the arbitrary ways of worship. Various such folklores and legends have been mentioned in our ancient books like Puranas. 

The focus of this article will be to explain from one famous Purana called Markandeya Purana about similar wrong religious practices that were being done by earlier sages, deities and our ancestors which did not provide them any spiritual gain; rather they remained in the vicious cycle of birth and death. Vices were not dissolved rather they remain trapped in the web of the devil ie. Brahm-Kaal.

To start let us brief what are Puranas?.

What are Puranas?

Puranas are the Hindu texts depicting topics related to legends, myths, traditional lore. Puranas were although primarily composed in Sanskrit language but are also available in various other Indian languages. Puranas revolve around true stories based on the personal experience of some Sage (Rishi), Saint, and great Saints (Maharishi). Amongst 18 Puranas Markandeya Purana holds an important position amongst Hindu devotees. 

Let us analyze true stories from Markandeya Purana and understand the web of devil Brahm-Kaal. To begin with what is Markandeya Purana?

What is Markandey Puran & Who is Writer of It?

Markandeya Purana is a Sanskrit text of Hinduism named after Sage Markandeya. This is one of the oldest Purana which contains 137 chapters on Dharma-Karma, Samsara, and Śrāddha. Markandeya Purana has 9000 verses presenting a diverse range of topics including mythology, religion, society, etc. It is believed that the earliest version of Markandeya Purana was composed by sage Markandeya near river Narmada which describes a lot about Vindhya Range and western India. Markandeya Purana is particularly popular in the eastern part of India such as Orissa and West Bengal.

A legendary belief is that the author of Markandeya Purana is Brahma itself since it has come from Lord Brahma’s mouth. 

Well! then who is Markandeya Rishi? 

Who is Markandeya Rishi?

Student of Lord Brahma, Markandeya Rishi hails from Hindu tradition who was born in the clan of Rishi Bhrigu. Sage Markandeya gained accomplishments by performing forceful religious practice (hath yoga) and worshipped till Brahm-Kaal. While meditating his concentration used to reach to Brahmlok (also called Mahaswarg). Markandeya Rishi used to consider his worship to be superior but the fact remained he did not get relief from Kaal’s web. 

Moving on, let us try to understand basis true stories what is Kaal’s trap and how innocent souls remain in the devil’s trap.  

Brahm-Kaal's Trap Explained in Markandeya Purana?

Excerpts from Markandeya Purana 

Two true experiences mentioned in Markandeya Purana will throw light on wrong religious practices which were followed by earlier sages and our ancestors due to which the illness of birth and rebirth did not end and deities, sages, Kings etc. all remained in recurrence. Let us review.  

  • True story of the King of heaven ie. Lord Indra who becomes donkey after death 
  • True story of Sage Ruchi Rishi regarding worship of deceased ancestors

The King of Heaven ie. Lord Indra Becomes Donkey after Death

Once upon a time Rishi Markandeya considering God to be formless was performing tenacity of Brahm-Kaal for a very long time in the Bay of Bengal. The soul enthroned as Lord Indra in heaven always has a fear that during his tenure of 72 chaturyuga if any human being (seeker) on the earth performs austerity and gains religious achievements without having any disturbance in his religious activity then that seeker becomes eligible to receive the position of Lord Indra. Since the post of the King of Heaven is attained with fierce austerity. That successful seeker gets enthroned as Lord Indra and the current Lord Indra’s position is stripped. Therefore, as far as possible, Lord Indra during his tenure does not let the tenacity or religious sacrifice of any seeker gets complete. He dissolves his austerity, no matter whatever he may have to do. 

When Lord Indra’s messengers told him that Rishi Markandeya is performing tenacity in the Bay of Bengal then he sent the celestial maiden (Apsara) Urvashi, his perennially youthful and infinitely charming wife to dissolve the tenacity of Sage Markandeya. Urvashi was considered to be the most beautiful Apsara amongst all the Apsaras and nymphs in heaven. 

Attired with various ornaments and wearing entire makeup the divine angel started dancing in front of Sage Markandeya. With her accomplishments, she made the environment of surrounding similar to the autumn season. But Markandeya Rishi did not give a heal. Urvashi; finding no alternative, at last, untied the lace of her waist and became naked.

Then the sage Markandeya said ‘O daughter, O sister, O mother! what are you doing? Why have you come alone in this deep forest?’ Urvashi replied ‘Seeing my beauty all seekers in this dense forest have lost their sobriety but you did not stumble. I have no idea! where was your meditation?. Kindly come along with me to Indralok else; all will mock at me that you came being deceived. 

Markandeya Rishi said ‘My concentration was in Brahamlok where I was watching the dance of those celestial maidens who are so beautiful that they have 7-7 such female attendants like you. Then, how can I get fascinated by you? If someone is more attractive than you, then please send her’. To this, the divine angel said ‘I am the Empress, the Queen consort of Indra. No other female is more beautiful than me’.

Sage Markandeya asked ‘Since nothing is inevitable when Lord Indra will die then what will you do?’. Urvashi replied ‘I will mete fourteen Indra. My age is in the form of the Queen consort’.

Note: The age of the Empress of one Lord Indra =72 chaturyuga *14=1008 chaturyuga ie. till one day (kalp) of Lord Brahma.

One day of Brahma Ji is 1008 chaturyuga.

One chaturyug=Satyug+Tretayug+Dwaparyug+Kalyug ie. total 43.20 lac years

The duration of one Lord Indra is 72 chaturyuga. After completing rule for these years 14 such Indra dies and another eligible soul takes charge of the King of heaven. Such 14 Indra will become husband of one Empress Urvashi. 

This signifies, the soul of the Queen consort of Lord Indra ie. Urvashi would have done so many auspicious deeds in some human birth that she relishes luxuries in heaven for so long duration and enjoys pleasure as consort with 14 Kings of heaven.

Then sage Markandeya said ‘those 14 Indra will also die, then what will you do?’ Apsara Urvashi replied ‘I will become a mare after death and will spend life on the earth, the same will happen to all those 14 Indra. They will acquire the life form of a donkey on earth’.

Markandeya Rishi said ‘then why are you taking me to such a region (lok) whose King becomes a donkey after death and the Queen acquires the life form of a mare?’.

Urvashi replied ‘to protect my honor, else they will taunt me a deceiver’. Sage Markandeya said ‘what honor could be of a mare? You are a donkey in current birth since you mete with 14 husbands and after death, you accept that you will acquire life form of a mare, then what kind of honor is this of a mare?’. Embarrassed Urvashi then returned.

At that time, Lord Indra came from Heaven; according to the legislation; to provide his throne of the King of heaven to Markandeya Rishi. Lord Indra said ‘Sage I am defeated and you have won. Kindly accept the title of Indra’. Markandeya Rishi said ‘Well Indra! The title of Indra is of no use to me. To me, it is similar to a crow’s beat’. 

Sage Markandeya told Lord Indra that ‘You worship as I tell you, I will take you to ‘Brahamlok’ (also called Mahaswarg means the great heaven). There are millions of Indra like you there; who have touched my feet. You abandon worship of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and worship Brahm-Kaal. The seeker in Brahmlok is relieved for ages (Kalp). Leave this throne of the king of heaven’. 

Lord Indra denied saying ‘Rishi Ji let me enjoy pleasures now, I will see later’. 

Sage Markandeya was in the mediation of Brahm and was considering that to be superior. Therefore, he told Indra that ‘I will tell you the worship of Brahm’. In comparison to Brahmlok, the pleasures of heaven are far inferior, the same as a crow’s beat. 

Note: In Gita Chapter 7 Verse 18 the giver of the knowledge of Holy Gita; Brahm-Kaal says that even his worship is inferior. Sage Markandeya Ji was performing devotion of that level only considering that to be superior and was advising Indra also to do that worship.   

Points to Ponder

  1. Lord Indra knows well that after death he will become a donkey still he does not want to leave that temporary pleasure of heaven. Therefore, he said ‘I will see later’. When will you see later? After becoming a donkey, then the potter will see. How much load to be put on the back of the donkey? Where to beat him with the rod?  
  2. In the same way on this earth if someone has become a Minister, Prime Minister or the State Minister of a small area, or an officer or a millionaire. If he is told to do true worship otherwise, you will become a donkey after death. He/She does not give heal rather gets annoyed. They say ‘why would we become a donkey?’ Do not utter the same again’. Few who are descent say ‘who has seen we become a donkey?’ Then they are told that all holy scriptures provide evidence. Then most of them say ‘we will see later?’. Therefore, this is a request to them after death, after becoming a donkey what will you see?. Then the potter will see how to behave with you. If you want to see then get serious today. 
  3. Similarly, those who drink alcohol, do not want to quit since they consider that low activity to be superior.

The reality is, in the same way, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva after completing their tenure will also die and will go in 84 lac life forms. New eligible great souls will be born from Prakriti Devi (Ashtangi) with the union of Brahm-Kaal. Then they will be provided the charge of three loks (the Heaven, the Earth, and the Nether world). Rajas-Brahma creates, Satva-Vishnu preserves and Tamas-Shiva destroys.

Evidence of same has been provided in Sanchipt  Markandeya Puran published & printer by Gita Press Gorakhpur, Govind Bhawan Karyalaya, Kolkata ka Sansthan, page 123

Markande Ji said “Rajogun dominated Brahma, Tamogun dominated Rudra (Shiv) and Satogun dominated sustainer of this world is Vishnu. These are three gods and three Gunas (qualities)”

Since cursed Brahm-Kaal had to eat grime of one lac subtle human bodies daily; his three sons had to arrange food for him. This procedure of birth and rebirth continues.

Great Sant Garibdas Ji says: 

Garib, etee umar buland marega ant re  |              गरीब, इति उमर बुलंद मरेगा अंत रे |
Satguru lage na kaan na bhetein sant re  ||             सतगुरु लगे ना कान ना  भैंटे संत रे ||

Aforesaid proves, that no matter how long might be the age of all creatures in Kshar Purush and Akshar Purush’s region but there is definitely an end one day. Death will surely happen to every creature including their masters.

Respected Garibdas Ji says: 

Asankh Janam tohe martaan ho gaye        असंख जन्म तोहे मरतां होगे,
Jeevit kyon na mare rey                जीवित क्यों न मरै रे। 

Dwadash madhya mahal math bore            द्वादश मध्य महल मठ बोरे,
Bahur na deh dhare re                     बहुर न देह धरै रे।।

‘Soul, Its been millions of ages you all have been bearing torture in Kaal’s region. Why don’t you die being alive. Abandon all evils and do scriptures based worship of that complete God-Satpurush, attain Satlok (Sachkhand) and enjoy eternal peace’. 

Satlok is that immortal abode where there is no death, no old age. Souls had been ignorant since they did not get a Tatvadarshi (enlightened) saint who imparts true spiritual knowledge and provides true worship doing which the illness of birth and rebirth finishes once and for all. 

The Tatvadarshi sant gives initiation Satnaam and Sarnaam through which souls will attain immortal God ie. Parma Akshar Brahm, hence salvation. Throne of Heaven is useless like a crow’s beat in comparison to the pleasures of Satlok. 

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 25 – 29 says ‘ whatever worship the seeker is performing they do it considering that to be superior and as the destroyer of evils. 

Gita Chapter 4 Verse 32 says ‘the knowledge about sacrifices (Yagya) ie. the religious ceremonies are given by Sacchidanandghan Brahm in his nectar speech all by himself in detail. That is the true spiritual knowledge. Knowing which the seeker gets relieved from all sins.

It is said in Sacchidanandghan Brahm speech ie. in Sukshma Veda 

Auro panth batawaheen, aap naa jaane rah                       औरों पंथ बतावहीं, आप न जाने राह
Moti mukta darshat naahee, yeh jag hai sab andh re       मोती मुक्ता दर्शत नाहीं, यह जग है सब अन्ध रे
Dikhat ke to nain chisam hai, phira motiyabind re          दिखत के तो नैन चिसम हैं, फिरा मोतिया बिन्द रे
Ved padhen par bhed naa jaane, banchey puran atharah      वेद पढ़ें पर भेद ना जानें, बांचे पुराण अठारा
Patthar ki puja karein, bhool gaye srijan hara             पत्थर की पूजा करें, भूले सिरजनहारा

Earlier Sages, Rishis, Maharishis, saints, Acharyas, Shankaracharyas used to tell worship but they themselves were ignorant about the true way of worship. They seem to be intelligent since they were well versed with Sanskrit language but their spiritual knowledge was zero. Due to the lack of true spiritual knowledge (tatvagyan) the whole world is blind in the path of worship. Everyone is ignorant. They read holy scriptures, have crammed Ved but remained ignorant about the hidden spiritual facts. All perform unscriptural worship. Ved nowhere mention about idol worship. All have forgotten the worship of the creator, the sustainer of the universe about whose worship Ved provides evidence.   

Gita Chapter 4 Verse 34 says ‘understand that true spiritual knowledge from the enlightened saint, prostrate to them, by politely questioning him the knower of true spiritual knowledge, the great saint will impart to you the complete spiritual knowledge. Deprived of that spiritual knowledge all seekers remain trapped in the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Here it is important to highlight that the Sage Markandey was in meditation of Brahm-Kaal. 

Shrimad Bhagwat Gita chapter 8 verse 16 says ‘seekers who have attained Brahamlok are in recurrence’.

It is mentioned that after attaining the position of Lord Indra (King of heaven) or Lord Kuber (God of money) or gaining the post of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva or Lord Varun (God of water), Dharamrai, etc. and even after becoming some deity in heaven or Brahamlok all creatures are in recurrence. 

Note: In heaven, there are 33 crore posts of deities. Like the Parliament of India has seat for 540 MLAs. Ministers keep changing. Amongst these ministers, some are made the Central Ministers or the State Ministers, the Prime Minister and so on. Similarly, amongst those 33 crore deities, someone is given the post of Kuber (God of wealth) like there is a Finance Minister. In the same way Shree Brahma Ji, Shree Vishnu JI, Shree Shiva Ji gets post.

Varun is God of water. Dharam Rai is the Chief Justice who provides punishment and reward to all creatures basis their deeds. All these attain posts by worshipping Kaal-Brahm (Satan/Devil/Shaitan). After their good deeds are finished they are all put in 84 lacs life forms of animals, birds, etc. Later, next eligible souls are enthroned at the post of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and other deities.

All these deities take birth and they die. They are not eternal. It is only with the true worship of Satpurush the illness of birth and rebirth finishes.

Similar shreds of evidence are also provided in Holy Shrimad Devi Bhagwat, Pious Kabir Sagar- the creation of the universe, Shrimad Bhagwat Gita Chapter 10 Verse 2, Chapter 4 Verse 5, Chapter 2 Verse 12, Chapter 14 Verse 3, 4 & 5  

Moving on, the true story of Sage Ruchi Rishi regarding Shraadh - worship of deceased ancestors will strengthen our belief that our ancestors by performing arbitrary worship have become ghosts and pitra. They too remained in the cycle of birth and rebirth. They remained trapped in the web of Brahm-Kaal.

Let us study.

True story of Sage Ruchi Rishi regarding Worship of Deceased Ancestors

Discussion of Ruchi Rishi with his deceased ancestors about the performance of rites in Markandeya Purana Published by Gita Press Gorakhpur, on page 237, in which Markandeya Purana and Brahm Purana have been bound together.

A worshipper named Ruchi, by practicing celibacy, was doing sadhana according to the Vedas. He was not married. When he turned forty, he saw his four ancestors who had become Pitra by doing sadhana opposite to the scriptures and were suffering. Pitro said, “Son Ruchi, get married and carry out our Śrāddha; we are suffering.” Ruchi Rishi said, “Pitramaho, in the Vedas, the path of Karm-Kand (Śrāddha, to offer Pind etc) is said to be sadhna of the fools. Then why are you directing me to that wrong (devoid of injunctions of scriptures) sadhna. 

Pitro said, “Son, it is true that in Vedas, Pitra-worship, ghost-worship, worship of gods-goddesses (Karm-Kand) is called as Avidhya (ignorance / an error); there is no doubt about this.” 

In this very piece of writing in the above-mentioned Markandeya Purana, Pitro said that but Pitro does give some benefits. Those foolish sages insisted their son also to carry out shraadhs. They made him to marry. Thus, sage Ruchi was born and they made their son the partner in this evil. 

Important: These guesses have been made by Pitro themselves; we do not have to follow this because, in the Puranas, there is the order of a particular Rishi that instructs to worship pitro, ghosts, and other gods. But because of not being evident in Vedas that is not the order of God. Therefore, by violating the order of God on the advice of some Saint or Rishi, we will become subject to punishment.

Let us understand with an example:- 

Once, a man became friends with a police constable (S.H.O.). That man said to his constable friend that my neighbor gives me a lot of trouble. The constable (S.H.O.) said, “Hit him with a stick. I will deal with it myself.” Obeying the order of the constable friend, that man hit his neighbor with a stick. Because of injury in the head, his neighbor died. Being the officer of that region, that police officer arrested his friend and put him in the prison. That man received a death sentence. His constable friend could not help him in any way. Because it is the constitution of the King that if anyone will kill someone, then he will receive a death sentence. That foolish man violated the constitution of the King by obeying the order of his S.H.O. friend, and consequently lost his life.

Similarly, Holy Gita Ji and Holy Vedas – this is the constitution of God in which there is instruction of worship of only one Purna Parmatma (Supreme God); the worship of other Gods – pitro – ghosts are prohibited. In Puranas, there is an order of the Rishis. By obeying their orders and violating the constitution of God, one will have to bear hardships one after another. Therefore worship of other gods is a hindrance in complete liberation/salvation.

Saint Garibdas Ji says

Garib, Bhoot ramey sou bhoot hai  |            गरीब, भूत रमै सो भूत है  | 
Dev ramey sou Dev  ||                    देव रमै सो देव  ||
Ram ramey sou Ram hai  |                राम रमै सो राम है  |
Suno sakal sur bhev  ||                    सुनो सकल सुर भेव  ||

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 9 Shlok 25, Adhyay 7 Shlok 12-15 and 20-23, Ahyay 16 Shlok 23-24 also provide evidence that those who carry out Shraadhs (worship the Pitro/Deceased Ancestors) become Pitra and ghosts. They do not attain Salvation.

Conclusion

Rishis-Maharishis (Sages-Great Sages) considering the ‘OM’ Naam in Vedas to be that for attaining God, did intense religious practices of Yagya and Jaap of ‘OM’ Naam for attaining God, but did not see ‘Brahm’. Similarly, some worshippers by concentrating inside the body through forceful meditation (hath yoga), on seeing some fireworks or hearing some tunes consider it to be the attainment of God. Actually, that was all Brahm-Kaal’s trick. Considering the web of Kaal as bliss, they ruin their precious life.   

There is a lot of difference in different types of Bhakti. With the worship of any god or goddess, one will definitely get its fruit, which will be perishable, but the soul will not get liberated and the sinful deeds will also not end, to bear that soul will have to take birth again and again.

Aforesaid proves:

  • All deities, Lord Indra, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, etc. take birth and die. They are not eternal. After completing their tenure each will go in 84 lacs life form.
  • Earlier sages and our ancestors were ignorant about the true way of worship, hence did hath yoga and remain trapped in the web of Brahm-Kaal.
  • By performing unscriptural worship our ancestors became Ghosts and Pret.
  • Salvation can be attained with true worship only as provided by a Tatvadarshi Saint.

Jagatguru Tatvadarshi Saint Rampal Ji has untangled the complicated hidden spiritual knowledge from all holy scriptures. Souls will attain salvation only by going in the refuge of a Complete Saint ie. by taking naam-updesh (name initiation Satnam and Sarnaam) from him and doing bhakti of Supreme God; otherwise not. 

Great Saint Garibdas Ji says

Yeh sansaar samajhda naahin  |            इस संसार समझता नहीं  | 
kehnda shaam dupahre noo ||            कहंदा शाम दोपहरे नू  ||

Garibdas, ye vakt jaat hai  |                गरीबदास, यह वक्त जात है  |
Rovoge is pahre noo ||                 रोओगे इस पहरे नूं  ||

Therefore, this is the advice to the readers that before it gets late take refuge of great Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj. Get initiation and get your human birth’s well being done.