Part - 4


Markandeya says- 'People present at the oblation site were shocked to see the dead bodies of Vishwavedi and the four priests. When Khanitra got this news, he too was shocked. Khanitra went to Vashishta and asked him the reason about the deaths of his brother's minister and the four priests. Vashishta revealed the conspiracy hatched by Vishwavedi to kill him (Khanitra).
Khanitra in a sad tone, said- 'Shame on me as I have been the cause of the death of the Brahmins. Had I not taken birth as a human being, my brother's priests won't have died. I am the real culprit. What should I do now? Where should I go? The remorseful Khanitra decided to relinquish his kingdom and go to the forest to do penance so that, he could get liberated from the grave sins of causing death to the Brahmins. He went to the forest accompanied by his three queens after appointing his son Kshup as the king. He did a severe penance for 350 years. After that, he died because of his bad health. All the three queens died too and went to heaven along with him.


Markandeya says- 'King Kshup ruled justly in the same way as his father Khanitra did. Kshup's wife was Pramatha. They had a son who was handsome and mighty. He had defeated all the kings and annexed their kingdom. He was married to Nandini, the princess of Vidarbha. Nandini gave birth to a son who was named Vivinsha. Vivinsha was a very mighty king. During his reign, the earth had become very populated. The enemies of King Vivinsha were very afraid of him but his subjects were satisfied by his just rule. King Vivinsha had performed numerous Yagyas and after ruling for a long time, he attained martyrdom while fighting a battle.


Markandeya says- 'Khaninetra was the son of King Vivinsha. He was very brave and valiant. The Gandharvas had proclaimed that no one could match Khaninetra's benevolence, who had donated the whole earth after accomplishing 10,000 Yagyas. Khaninetra had given so much wealth as donations to the Brahmins that there was no need for them to take donations for the rest of their lives.
Khaninetra was sonless. One day, he went to the forest to hunt an animal for sacrificial purpose needed during Pitra Yagya. The performance of this Yagya was supposed to bless him with a son. In the forest, he saw a deer that was cognisant of his desire. The deer requested him by saying- 'O king! You can get my flesh by killing me.' The king was very amazed. He asked the deer as to why it was willing to get sacrificed. The deer replied- 'O king! I don't have any offspring. For this reason, I consider my life as useless.' While the conversation was going on between the king and the deer, another deer came near them and expressed his desire to get sacrificed by saying- 'O king! Please kill me and get the flesh because the flesh of this sonless deer would be of no help to you.' The king was astonished. He asked the second deer as to why he was willing to die. The second deer replied- 'O king! I have numerous sons and daughters and this worries me a lot. Whenever my children go out in search of food, I become very anxious till they have returned to me safely. This way, I pass the whole day and night in anxiety.
The king was very confused. He said- 'I don't know who is superior between a sonless person and a person who doesn't have any son. Although I needed the flesh for the accomplishment of Pitra Yagya but now after meeting both of you, I have become confused. It is true that a man has to face all kinds of sorrows because of their children but yet, a sonless man is not complete and remains indebted. So, I have decided to get a son by doing a penance just like my predecessors did in the past.


Markandeya says- 'King Khaninetra went at the bank of the river Gomti and started doing a severe penance to please Indra. After being pleased by his devotion and eulogy, Indra appeared before him. He said to Khaninetra- 'O king! I am very much pleased by your devotion. Demand anything you wish.' The king replied- 'O lord! If you are really pleased with me, then bless me with a religious and virtuous son because I am a sonless person.' Indra blessed him by saying- 'So be it' and then disappeared.
Khaninetra returned to his palace. In course of time, a son was born to him. He named the child Balaashva. When Balaashva grew up, he became the king after the death of his father. He annexed many kingdoms after defeating his enemies and imposed taxes on them. After sometime, his enemies not only stopped paying him the taxes but also regrouped themselves and recaptured their lost territories. Balaashva had become weak due to the constant battles. He had only the capital city in his possession and had lost the other territories. One day, his enemies surrounded his capital. Balaashva became restless as he would be no match for his enemies. In a sorrowful mood, he heaved deeply covering his face by both his hands. The exhaled air resulted into the manifestation of numerous valiant fighters, chariots, elephants and horses. Very soon, this huge army covered the whole area.
This army battled under the leadership of Balaashva. Ultimately, the enemies were defeated. Later on, King Balaashva became famous as Karandham because of the huge army, which had manifested from between both the trembling hands of Balaashva.



Markandeya says- 'Shubhvrata- the daughter of Veeryachandra had decided to marry Karandham. A son was born to them who was named as Aveekshit. The astrologers had predicted a very bright future for him. Aveekshit learnt lessons in handling all kinds of weapons from the son of Kanva. In a very short time, he attained mastery in the art of weaponry. Vara, Gauri, Subhadra, Nibha, Lilavati, Manyavati and Kumridwati had chosen Aveekshit as their husband in a Swayamvara. Aveekshit had also forcibly married numerous other women.
Once, a Swayamvara was conducted in the palace of the king of Vishaal for his daughter- Sudati Vaishaalini. Aveekshit was present in the Swayamvara. But Sudati due to her arrogant nature did not choose Aveekshit as her husband. Hence, he forcibly abducted her by defeating the other kings. The fact that a single man had defeated all of them had made the other kings ashamed of themselves. All of them decided to fight Aveekshit unitedly. They picked up their arms and marched towards Aveekshit with a huge army.


Markandeya says- 'A ferocious battle ensued between Aveekshit's army and the other kings. Both sides fought bravely and Aveekshit managed to kill many of the kings but was outnumbered and got severely wounded. Aveekshit was finally made captive. Aveekshit and Sudati Vaishaalini were brought to the king of Vishaal. The king instructed Sudati Vaishaalini to choose any king as her husband but she refused this offer. The king then requested his astrologer to choose an auspicious day for her marriage. The astrologer said to the king- 'O king! The present time is not auspicious for marriage but don't worry, very soon, the princess would get married at the advent of the most auspicious moment.'


When king Karandham came to know about his son's defeat and captivity, he consulted his friends. All of them decided to attack the kingdom of Vishaal and release Aveekshit from captivity.
Karandham marched towards the kingdom of Vishaal followed by a huge army. A tremendous battle was fought which continued for three days. Karandham became victorious in this battle. At last, Aveekshit was rescued from his captivity.
King Vishaal decided to marry his daughter with Aveekshit but Aveekshit was disillusioned with life. He said to Vishaal- 'I can never accept such a woman as my wife who has witnessed my defeat. I have decided to renounce life. So, it would be better if you marry your daughter with somebody else.'
King Vishaal asked his daughter to choose any other king as her husband as Aveekshit was not willing to marry her.
But the princess wanted to marry Aveekshit and believed that he still remained an undefeated king because he had fought single-handedly with all the kings. He was defeated only because of unfair means adopted by his jealous rivals in the battle.
'I shall accept only Aveekshit as my husband otherwise I shall remain unmarried', said the princess. King Karandham requested his son to marry the princess but Aveekshit turned down even his father's request. Seeing the futility of his advice, Karandham returned to his kingdom. Aveekshit too went along with him.
Sudati Vaishaalini went in the forest to do penance. She observed a fast for three months. She became very weak but still continued with her penance.
The deities felt sorry at her condition. They sent an envoy to persuade her to discontinue with her penance. The envoy requested her to stop torturing herself. 'You would be a mother of a Chakravarti king who would be mighty and powerful', said the envoy.
Sudati Vaishaalini said- 'How can I become a mother without a husband? I have decided that nobody except Aveekshit will be my husband. But he has turned down my proposal. So, I have vowed to remain unmarried in this life.'
The envoy said- 'O great soul! I have been asked not to reveal much. You must take care of your health. Due to the virtues of your penance, you will certainly become a mother.' Sudati following her instructions and broke her fast.


Markandeya says- 'Once, Veera- the wife of King Karandham and mother of Aveekshit had taken a vow to accomplish a very arduous penance. But this could only be accomplished with Karandham's and Aveekshit's assistance. Karandham had assured her that he would provide all the wealth required for the accomplishment of that austerity while Aveekshit had assured her of physical help.
Veera commenced her arduous austerity named 'Kimichhak Vrata'. This particular Vrata had a peculiar characteristic and that was- any demand made during the course of the Vrata, ought to be fulfilled at any cost failing which meant forfeiting all the virtues of this arduous austerity.
King Karandham was consulting his minister about the means that would change Aveekshit's decision regarding his marriage. The ministers said that as Karandham had become old, there was an urgent need for his successor. The question was that who would become king after Aveekshit as he had decided to remain unmarried. This thought was tormenting all of them.
Suddenly, King Karandham heard the priest who was assisting queen Veera in the accomplishment of the Kimichhak Vrata, telling somebody- 'The queen is busy performing the Kimichhak Vrata. What is your demand? I promise, it will be fulfilled by the queen no matter how extraordinary it may be.'
Aveekshit too arrived at the scene. He promised that their demands would be met without delay as it was obligatory for the success of Kimichhak Vrata, which his mother was performing. Seeing the time as opportune, King Karandham said before the people could say anything- 'O son! I have a demand. Promise me that you will fulfil it.'
Aveekshit gave his word. The king said that he aspired for a grandson but this was impossible unless he (Aveekshit) got married. Initially, Aveekshit tried to convince Karandham that it was an impossible task as he had vowed to remain a celibate but ultimately he had to change his mind to honour his words.


Markandeya says- 'Once, Aveekshit had gone for a hunt in the forest when suddenly, he heard a female voice shouting for help. He proceeded in the direction of the voice.
After reaching there, he saw Danu's (a demon) son Dhridhakesha, holding a lady by her hair. The woman was crying- 'I am the wife of Aveekshit. This wicked demon is trying to abduct me.'
Aveekshit was surprised as to how could the lady claim that she was his wife. He apprehended that it must be the illusionary tactics of the demon to trap him. But despite his apprehensions, he went near the wailing woman to release her from the clutches of that demon. He warned the demon of dire consequences if he did not release her. The demon left the woman and attacked Aveekshit. A tremendous duel was fought. In the end, Aveekshit severed the head of that demon.
The deities were very pleased at Dhridhakesha's death. They praised Aveekshit for his bravery. They asked him to demand any boon.
Aveekshit demanded a valiant son for himself as per the aspirations of his father- Karandham. The deities said- 'You would get your son from this very woman, you have rescued. The child would become a very mighty king after growing up.'
Being unaware of the real identity of Vaishaalini, he told the deities- 'I had vowed to remain a bachelor but changed my decision only due to the word I had given to my father. But I cannot marry this woman because by doing so, I would be breaching the trust of that woman who wanted to marry me and who had rejected everybody for my sake.'
The deities then revealed to him that this lady was none other than Vaishaalini whom he was talking about. 'She had done a severe penance to be your wife.' After saying this, the deities disappeared.
Vaishaalini requested him to accept her as his wife. 'You have rescued me from this demon. I offer myself to you', said Vaishaalini.


Markandeya says- 'After Vaishaalini had finished her lines, Aveekshit told her that he was forced to abandon her in the past after getting defeated but once again, he had regained her after defeating the demon. Both of them decided to get married in the forest itself.'
'Right then, a Gandharva- Tanaya arrived there accompanied by many Apsaras and revealed to Aveekshit that Vaishaalini was his daughter in her previous birth. 'Because of the curse given to her by sage Agastya, she was born to the king of Vishaal. Now you must accept her as your wife.'
Aveekshit married Vaishaalini under the supervision of Tumbaru- the priest of the Gandharvas. Both of them then accompanied the Gandharvas to the Gandharva loka. There, Vaishaalini gave birth to a son. Knowing about the feats, the child would accomplish in future, the Gandharvas celebrated his birth ceremony with great fanfare. After the birth ceremony, while Tumbaru was eulogising the child, everybody heard a heavenly voice, which said- 'This child will become famous as Marut; he will become the ruler of all the Mahipals.'
Everybody was extremely satisfied by this forecast.


Markandeya says- 'After Vaishaalini had finished her lines, Aveekshit told her that he was forced to abandon her in the past after getting defeated but once again, he had regained her after defeating the demon. Both of them decided to get married in the forest itself.'
'Right then, a Gandharva- Tanaya arrived there accompanied by many Apsaras and revealed to Aveekshit that Vaishaalini was his daughter in her previous birth. 'Because of the curse given to her by sage Agastya, she was born to the king of Vishaal. Now you must accept her as your wife.'
Aveekshit married Vaishaalini under the supervision of Tumbaru- the priest of the Gandharvas. Both of them then accompanied the Gandharvas to the Gandharva loka. There, Vaishaalini gave birth to a son. Knowing about the feats, the child would accomplish in future, the Gandharvas celebrated his birth ceremony with great fanfare. After the birth ceremony, while Tumbaru was eulogising the child, everybody heard a heavenly voice, which said- 'This child will become famous as Marut; he will become the ruler of all the Mahipals.'
Everybody was extremely satisfied by this forecast.


Markandeya says- 'After the birth of Marut, Aveekshit accompanied by Vaishaalini returned to his father's palace. After making salutations to his father, he kept the new born baby in his lap and told him that he had kept his word. Karandham became very pleased after seeing his grandson.'
'In course of time, Marut grew up. He had mastered all the scriptures. He was also proficient in handling all kinds of weapons. There was nobody like him.'
'Karandham had become old. He decided to go to the forest after making Aveekshit the king but Aveekshit was not interested in becoming a king. He too wanted to go to the forest. He said- 'The shame of the defeat still remains there. How can a person, who was not able to protect himself, protect his subjects.'
Karandham tried his best to convince him to become his successor but Aveekshit was firm in his resolve Finding no other option, Marut was made the king.
Marut went to the forest and did penance for 1,000 years. His wife did the same and went to live in sage Bhargava's hermitage.


Kraustuki asks Markandeya- 'O lord! We want to know more about Marut.'
Markandeya says- 'After becoming the king, Marut started ruling in a just manner. He performed many Yagyas under the supervision of numerous 'Yagyikas' and esteemed priests. Angira's son-Samvart and Brihaspati's brother were his chief priests under whose supervision, the Yagyas used to be performed. Samvart had brought the peak of Munjavaan Mountain after uprooting it, for Marut. King Marut's palace and the sacred oblation site were constructed on this very mountain peak.'
One day, a hermit said to Marut- 'Your grandmother Veera is very tormented by the nuisance, the serpents are creating around the sacred oblation site. She is very displeased by your negligence. The serpents have bitten seven sons of a sage and have also polluted the water of the sacred pond. The sages have started making offerings to the serpents to please them, instead of paying attention on the performance of the Yagyas. Although the sages are capable of destroying the serpents, yet they have decided against doing so as this is not their job. This is the job of a king. A king should be aware of each and every event taking place in his kingdom. You are not aware of the misdeeds of the serpents because you don't have any detective to keep you informed of such events. Being a king, it is your duty to protect your subjects by punishing the wrong doers. If you don't do this then you will become a sinner. O king! Your grandmother is very much concerned about your negligent attitude and wants you to act in a way befitting a king.


Markandeya says- 'Marut was ashamed after hearing the sage's words. He cursed himself for his negligence. He picked up his bow and arrows in anger and went to the oblation site. When he reached there, he saw the dead bodies of seven hermits lying on the ground. Being enraged, he picked up his most devastating weapon named Samvartak. The serpents became terrified as the tremendous amount of heat generated by this weapon had started to burn them. Unable to bear the tremendous heat caused by the weapon, the serpents took the refuge of Bhamini (Vaishaalini)- the mother of Marut.'
'Sometime in the past, Vaishaalini had promised to protect the serpents when in danger. Vaishaalini requested her husband- Aveekshit to persuade Marut against killing the serpents. Aveekshit told her that the intensity of Marut's anger was a result of the grave sins committed by the serpents. 'But for your sake, I will request him to pardon the serpents- If he still does not agree to stop killing the serpents then I will have no option but to destroy his weapon- Samvartak.'
After saying this, Aveekshit picked up his bow and arrows and went to the oblation site accompanied by his wife.


Markandeya says- 'When Aveekshit reached the oblation site, he found that the whole atmosphere was ablaze by the tremendous heat generated by Marut's weapon, Samvartak. He requested Marut to drop his weapon but Marut refused by saying- 'O father! These serpents are the culprits. They have killed the hermit's sons. They have also polluted the reservoir and caused obstacles in the accomplishment of oblation-rituals. I am never going to forgive them.
Aveekshit told Marut that the serpents had taken his refuge and hence he should forgive them to protect the honour of his father's promise. When Marut did not listen, Aveekshit picked up his weapon 'Kaal' to kill him. Marut enquired from him as to why he was trying to kill his own son, who was just performing his duty of protecting the oblation site from the serpents. Aveekshit replied that he too was duty bound to protect the serpents that had taken his refuge.
When the sages saw both father and son were bent on killing each other, they intervened and advised them against killing each other. Right then, a sage came with the news that the serpents had agreed to make all the dead sons of the hermit, alive.
Thus, all the dead sons of the hermits became alive and once again, the father and son were prevented from killing each other.
From then onwards, Marut took proper care while ruling his kingdom. Later on, he married Sukesha- the daughter of Kekaya, Saindhavi- the daughter of Sindhuraaj, Vayushmati- the daughter of Chediraaj etc. He had eighteen sons from his wives among whom, Narishyant was the eldest.


Markandeya says- 'Among the eighteen sons of Marut, Narishyant was the eldest. Marut ruled over his kingdom for 70,015 years after which Narishyant succeeded him as the king. Marut went to the forest to do penance. After becoming the king, Narishyant decided to perform a grand Yagya, the like of which had never been accomplished by his ancestors. Narishyant made such huge donations to the Brahmins that it was more than enough for their future generations to come.
Once, Narishyant decided to organise another Yagya grander than the earlier one. But no priest was found to supervise it. At his repeated requests, some Brahmins agreed to supervise the Yagya. But this particular Yagya was unique of its kind because the Brahmins played the part of host as well as that of priests. The Brahmins made donations to the Brahmins who were acting as priests. In this grand Yagya, crores of Yagyas were performed in all the directions of the earth at one time. This grand Yagya was possible only because of the wealth donated to the Brahmins by King Narishyant. Narishyant was such a religious and virtuous king.
Narishyant felt joyous that due to his donations, the Brahmins had become wealthy and at the same time, he was also sad that his desire of performing a grand Yagya was not going to be accomplished as the Brahmins no longer needed donations.


Markandeya says- Dama was the son of Narishyant. His mother was Indrasena- the daughter of Babhru. He became the master in archery under the tutelage of Vrishparva. He also learnt the nuances of handling other kinds of weapons under the guidance of Dundubhi. He learnt the scriptures from sage Shakti and the art of yoga from Aashartishen.
Sumana, the daughter of King Charusharma had chosen Dama as her husband in a Swayamvara. But Mahanand, Vayushmaan and Mahadhanu did not like her decision, as they too wanted to marry her. All three of them decided to abduct her by force and marry who ever among them she decided to marry with. Their evil intentions were corroborated by the friends of Dama. Thus, all three of them abducted Sumana. Dama became angry. He asked all the kings who were present in the Swayamvara- 'Tell me whether Swayamvara is religious or irreligious?'
One of the kings said that certainly a Swayamvara is religious and only Dama has the right to marry Sumana as she had herself chosen him. But some other kings supported Dama's opponents. They said- 'Raakshas Vivaaha is the norm prevalent among people possessing arms. Only such a person has a right to marry Sumana who has defeated his rivals.'
Dama became furious with them. He knew that they were saying such things out of jealousy. But still he decided to accept their proposal. He threw an open challenge by saying- 'Anybody who wants to die may abduct my wife in front of my eyes.'
A tremendous battle was fought between Dama and his opponents.
At first, Mahanand came forward to fight him with a sword in his hand. Dama showered a volley of arrows at him. All the arrows were neutralised by Mahanand. After that, Mahanand jumped and climbed on the chariot of Dama. Dama severed his head. After the killing of Mahanand, Vayushmaan came forward to fight Dama but his sword was broken into two pieces by the assault of Dama. Dama then killed his charioteer. After that, Vayushmaan picked up his spiked mace but Dama destroyed even this mace. In the battle, Vayushmaan got injured and fell on the ground. Vayushmaan quit the idea of fighting. Seeing him reluctant to fight, Dama spared his life.
At last, Charusharma married his daughter Sumana with Dama. After staying for some days at his father-in-law's place, Dama returned home accompanied by his wife- Sumana.


Markandeya says- 'When the newly married couple- Dama and Sumana returned to the capital, King Narishyant was extremely pleased. King Narishyant after knowing about the brave deeds of his son was very proud of him. As he had become old, he appointed Dama as his successor and he went in the forest to do penance accompanied by his wife- Indrasena.
Once, Vayushmaan came in the same forest where King Narishyant was doing his penance. After seeing Narishyant and his wife, he enquired as to, who they were. But King Narishyant did not give any reply as he was observing a Mauna Vrata. Somehow, Vayushmaan came to know about his identity that he was none other than the father of his bitter enemy- Dama. He felt that this was the most opportune moment for him to take his revenge and killed Narishyant. Indrasena on seeing her dead husband, started to wail. All the sages and hermits who were doing penance in that forest arrived there and started cursing Vayushmaan for the grave sin he had committed. Indrasena requested one of the sages to go and inform Dama about his father's death. She said- 'Go and tell him that his father Narishyant has been killed by Vayushmaan while he was doing penance. Now, it was his duty to avenge his father's death.' After saying this, Indrasena committed Sati by jumping into the burning pyre of her husband.


Markandeya says- 'When Dama came to know about his father's death, he became extremely furious. Although he was very patient by nature but still the news of his father's death made him restless. He thought- 'Shame on me. Inspite of myself being alive, the wicked Vayushmaan had killed my father. I have failed in my duty. Being a king, it is my duty to punish the wicked people and protect the virtuous ones. But my enemy is still alive after committing a heinous crime. Now, I will perform my father's Tarpan only with the blood of Vayushmaan. If I fail in doing this, then I would give up my life by jumping into the fire. I will not only kill Vayushmaan but also his whole family. Whoever tries to help him will be put to death. Even if the deities, Yama or Kuber try to help him, they will get destroyed.'


Markandeya says- 'After taking a vow to kill Vayushmaan, Dama consulted his priests and ministers on his future course of action. All of them unanimously decided that Vayushmaan must be punished for his crime. At last, Dama marched along with a huge army towards Vayushmaan's kingdom.
When Vayushmaan came to know of Dama's arrival, he became very angry. The battle commenced. The chief commander of Vayushmaan's army attacked Dama but was killed by Dama. Seeing his chief commander dead, Vayushmaan tried to flee from the battlefield with his army. Seeing him flee, Dama challenged Vayushmaan. Vayushmaan accepted Dama's challenge and turned back to fight again. A ferocious battle was fought. In a very short time, Dama killed all the seven sons of Vayushmaan, his brothers, relatives and his friends. Vayushmaan was extremely angry at the death of his near and dear ones and he attacked Dama with his sword. But Dama pulling Vayushmaan by his hair, felled him on the ground and put his feet on his neck saying- 'I am now going to pierce the heart of this wicked and mean man. All the deities, human beings, sages etc. should witness this scene.' Saying this, Dama killed Vayushmaan. Blood started to ooze out from the wound inflicted on Vayushmaan's heart. Dama tried to drink that blood but was desisted from doing so by the deities. Then Dama performed the last rites of his father with that blood. In this way, he took his revenge.


The birds said- 'O Jaimini! This was the way, sage Markandeya had narrated the divine tales to Kraustuki. A person who either studies this Puraan or listens to it achieves great accomplishment. All his desires are fulfilled and he enjoys a long life. He becomes free from all his sins. Markandeya Puraan is the seventh among all the eighteen Puraans. Listening to it helps a man to atone for all the sins committed during the period of one hundred crore Kalpas. The virtues attained by listening to Markandeya Puraan are equivalent to the virtues attained by making donations at Pushkar or by studying all the Vedas.'
Jaimini replied- 'O birds! You have enlightened my mind by narrating the tales of Markandeya Puraan and have made it free from all sorts of confusion. May the almighty God bless you, may you enjoy a long life free from all the diseases.'
Saying like this, Jaimini went back to his hermitage.