Section CLXXXVII [summary]

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CLXXXVII including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Short summary of the chapter:
In this epic tale, King Yudhishthira seeks wisdom from the wise sage Markandeya, who has witnessed countless ages pass. Markandeya is praised for his knowledge and closeness to the Supreme Creator, Brahma. The sage is known to have witnessed the creation and dissolution of the universe, as well as the Primeval acts of creation, making him a revered figure.

Markandeya then shares his knowledge about the cycle of Yugas, each lasting thousands of years, with characteristics and events specific to each age. He describes how virtues and morals decline in the Kali Yuga, leading to widespread immorality, dishonesty, and societal decay. This period is marked by the prevalence of falsehood, greed, and a lack of adherence to societal norms and values, leading to the eventual destruction of the world.

As the Kali Yuga comes to an end, a catastrophic event unfolds, with a severe drought causing widespread famine and hardship. Seven blazing suns appear in the sky, drying up all the Earth's waters, followed by an all-consuming fire called Samvartaka. This fire engulfs the entire universe, bringing an end to all living creatures and reducing everything to ashes.

Amidst this destruction, Markandeya finds himself inside the body of a boy, witnessing the entire universe teeming with life, rivers, mountains, and diverse creatures. He sees gods, demons, and other celestial beings residing within the belly of this mysterious boy, who holds the universe within him. Markandeya is in awe of the boy's immense power and seeks to understand the true nature of this being who has swallowed the universe.

The boy, possessing immeasurable energy and divinity, reveals his true nature to Markandeya, enlightening the sage and granting him a new sense of knowledge and understanding. Markandeya worships the boy's feet and humbly seeks answers about the boy's identity and the extraordinary illusion of the universe within him. The boy, with eyes like lotus petals, prepares to explain the mysteries of his existence and the cosmic phenomenon unfolding within him, revealing profound truths about creation, existence, and the divine plan.

Through this captivating narrative, the tale of Markandeya's encounter with the divine boy highlights the cyclical nature of creation, destruction, and rebirth in the universe. It emphasizes the eternal power of the Supreme Being, who governs the cosmos and all living beings within it. The story serves as a profound allegory for the eternal truths of existence, the transient nature of life, and the ultimate divinity that unites all beings in the cosmic order.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section CLXXXVII, have a look at the following articles:

Section CLXXXVII, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

Read this and other chapters online.

Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

Buy the latest edition:

FAQ of Section CLXXXVII:

Who is the Divine Being described in the story?

The Divine Being is an entity of immeasurable energy who swallows up the entire universe and is worshiped by the narrator, Markandeya, with great reverence.

What is the significance of the boy with the mark of Shrivatsa?

The boy, with his radiant form and special mark, is a manifestation of the Divine Being who reveals deep spiritual truths and grants special sight to the narrator.

What does Markandeya witness while inside the Divine Being's body?

Markandeya sees the entire universe, including gods, demons, celestial beings, rivers, mountains, animals, and all other creations, while dwelling within the Divine Being's stomach.

Why does Markandeya seek protection from the Divine Being?

Markandeya seeks protection and acknowledges the superiority of the Divine Being after experiencing the vastness and power of his body, realizing his own limitations and insignificance.

What transformation occurs in Markandeya after coming out of the Divine Being's body?

Markandeya gains true knowledge, is emancipated from worldly illusions, and expresses a deep desire to understand the nature of the Divine Being and his divine illusion.

What does Markandeya request from the Divine Being at the end of the story?

Markandeya requests the Divine Being to explain the reasons behind the universe being within his body and the purpose of his manifestation as a boy, seeking detailed information about these profound mysteries.

Mahabharata Section CLXXXVII in daily life:

Drawing inspiration from the profound tale of Markandeya's conversation with the divine boy, several lessons emerge that can enrich our daily lives. At the story's core lies the significance of humility, resilience, and the quest for understanding beyond the material world. These timeless values can guide us in navigating the complexities of modern existence with grace and purpose.

In essence, the narrative encourages us to cultivate humility by recognizing the vastness of the universe and our small place within it. This perspective fosters a sense of gratitude and a willingness to learn from every experience, fostering personal growth. Moreover, the ordeal faced by Markandeya, wandering through the cosmic abyss, symbolizes the inner resilience required to endure life's trials. It serves as a reminder that perseverance, even in the face of overwhelming odds, can lead to profound self-discovery and enlightenment.

The dialogue further underscores the importance of seeking deeper understanding and connecting with the spiritual essence of our existence. By striving to comprehend the mysteries that lie beyond the tangible world, we open ourselves to a richer, more fulfilling experience of life. This journey of exploration not only nurtures our intellectual curiosity but also strengthens our spiritual connection, providing a sense of peace and contentment amidst the chaos of daily life.

Implementing these lessons requires conscious effort and reflection. By embracing humility, cultivating resilience in the face of adversity, and pursuing a deeper understanding of the world around us, we can navigate life's challenges with wisdom and grace. These principles not only enhance our personal well-being but also contribute to a more compassionate, enlightened society. Through this holistic approach, we can find harmony within ourselves and with the broader universe, embarking on a path of continual growth and spiritual awakening.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: