Shiva and Markandeya – Story of Shiva Saving Markandeya From Yama



Markandeya Story is one of an ardent devotee of Shiva overcoming Yama (death) with the help of Mahadev Shiva. Sage Mrikandu and Marudvati had no children. Mrikandu Rishi then prayed to Shiva who gave him an option – 100 sons who are foolish or one son who will be intelligent but with a short life. Sage Mrikandu opted for an intelligent son – who will only live for 16 years.

In due course of time, Marudvati gave birth to a son and the Sage named him Markandeya. The boy was very intelligent and became well versed in Vedas and other Shastras.

But as the boy grew older, Sage Markandeya became sadder and sadder. Young Markandeya soon found out the reason for his father’s sadness.

Markandeya consoled his father by saying that he too will pray to Shiva and find a solution to escape from death.



Markandeya soon created a Shivling and started offering worship. He performed pujas and chanted bhajans daily.

On his 16th day birthday, Yama the god of death appeared to take away the life of Markandeya.

Young Markandeya clung to Shivling. Yama threw his noose and caught hold of the boy and Shivling.

Markandeya clung to Shivling like a child clinging to its mother. Unable to separate the boy from Shivling, Yama pulled the boy and Shivling together.

Suddenly from the Shivling appeared Shiva. Shiva pressed down Yama with his left foot and said that Markandeya is his devotee and he will live forever.

Yama had no option but to spare the life of Markandeya.

The young Markandeya then composed the famous Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra in praise of Shiva.

The young boy grew up to become the famous Sage Markandeya.