The Markandeya Purana

by Frederick Eden Pargiter | 1904 | 247,181 words | ISBN-10: 8171102237

This page relates “the creation and appellations of the rudras” which forms the 52nd chapter of the English translation of the Markandeya-purana: an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Indian history, philosophy and traditions. It consists of 137 parts narrated by sage (rishi) Markandeya: a well-known character in the ancient Puranas. Chapter 52 is included the section known as “exposition of the manvantaras”.

Canto LII - The Creation and Appellations of the Rudras

Mārkaṇḍya narrates the creation of Rudra in his eight personalities —and mentions their names, stations, wives and sons—He mentions briefly the wives and offspring of the ṛṣis, Bhṛgu (from whom he himself was descended), Marīci, Aṅgiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Vasiṣṭha, and Agni, and also of the Pitṛs.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Such was the creation, which Brahmā of inscrutable origin made, characterized by darkness. I will tell thee of the creation of the Rudras. Hearken to me while I narrate it. Now they were eight sons indeed of Brahmā, and they had wives and children.

At the beginning of the kalpa, while the Lord was meditating about a son who should be his equal, there appeared in his lap a yout blue and red in colour; and running about he cried with a sweet voice, O brāhman. “Why criest thou?” answered Brahmā to him as he cried. “Give me a name,” then replied he to the lord of the world. “Thou art named ‘Rudra,’[1] O divine one; cry not, assume some fortitude,” thus was he addressed. Then he cried seven times more, and the Lord gave him seven other names, and stations for these eight personalities, and wives and sons, O brāhman. The Lord, the forefather, called him Bhava, Sarva, and Īśāna, and Pasupati, Bhīma, Ugra, and Mahādeva. He gave these names, and assigned stations for these—the sun, water, the earth, fire, the wind, and the ether, an initiated brāhman, and the moon. These were the wives[2] in order,—Suvarcanā, and Umā, and Vikeśī, and the next Svadhā, Svāhā, the Diśas[3] and Dīkṣā, and Rohiṇī in due order—of the sun and the other stations, O brāhman, together with Rudra and the other names. And there were born to him gradually Cara, and Śukra, Lohitāṅga, Manojava, Skanda, and Sarga, Santāna and Budha successively.

Such was Rudra himself. He found Satī for his wife[4]; and through Dakṣa’s curse Satī quitted her body. She was the daughter of Himavat by Menā, O brāhman; her brother was Maināka, the chiefest friend of Ambhodhi (the Ocean.) And the lord Bhava married her again as his only wife.

Khyāti the wife of Bhṛgu[5] gave birth to the two gods Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛ, and to Śrī who was the wife of the supreme god Nārāyaṇa. Āyati and Niyati were the two daughters of high-souled Meru; they became the wives of Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛ. A son was born from each of them, both Prāṇa and Mṛkaṇḍa.

The latter was my illustrious father. I am his son by Manasvinī; Vedaśiras is my son, he was born of Dhūmravatī.

Hear also from me of the offspring of Prāṇa. Dyutimān was the son begotten by Prāṇa, and Ajaras was his son also; from them both issued many sons and grandsons.

Sambhūti was the wife of Marīci[6]; she brought forth Paurna-māsa; he high-souled man had two sons Virajas and Parvata; but I will defer mentioning their sons till I detail the genealogies, O brāhman.

And Smṛti was the wife of Aṅgiras,[7] and daughters were born of her, Śinībalī, and Kuhu, Rākā and Bhānumatī.

Moreover, Anasūyā gave birth by Atri[8] to sons without blemish, Soma, and Durvāsas and the yogi Dattātreya.

Dattoli was born the son of Pulastya[9] by his wife Prīti: he was known as Agastya in a previous life during the Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

Now Kṣamā, the wife of the Prajāpati Pulaha[10] brought forth three sons, who were Kardama, and Arvavīra and Sahiṣṇu.

Now Sannati was the wife of Kratu[11]; she gave birth to the Bālikhilvas, the sixty thousands, which they are, of ṛṣis who live in perpetual chastity.[12]

Now seven sons were born of Urjā by Vasiṣṭha,[13] Rajas, Gātra and Urdhvabāhu, and Sabala, and Anagha, Sutapas, Śukta; all these are well-known as seven Ṛṣis.

Agni, who is arrogant, was the eldest son of Brahmā; by him Svāhā[14] begat three sons of exalted vigour, O brāhman, Pāvaka, and Pavamāna, and Śuci who pervades[15] water; but in descent from them were forty and five others. These and the father and his three sons are often spoken of as the invincible and illustrious forty and nine.

Brahmā created the Pitṛs[16] whom I have mentioned to thee, who are the Agniṣvāttas,[17] the Barhiṣads,[18] those who did not maintain the sacred fire on earth, and those who did maintain the fire.[19] By them Svadhā[20] gave birth to two daughters, Menā and Dhāriṇī; they both were teachers of the Veda, and they both were female yogis.

Footnotes and references:


By a pun on the root rud, to cry, to weep; rudra would thus mean “crier,” “weeper.”




The eight regions of the sky.


See Canto L, verses 22-25.


See Canto L, verses 22-25.


See Canto L, verses 22-25.


See Canto L, verses 22-25.


For anusūyā read anasūyā ; see canto L, verses 23-25.


See Canto L, verses 22-25.


See canto L, verses 22-25.


See canto L, verses 22-25.


For ūrddha-ratasām read ūrddhva-retasām.


See canto L, verses 23-25.


For khāhā read svāhā ; see canto L, verses 23-25.




This account differs from what Mann says (III, 193-199).


The Manes, especially of those who on earth neglected the sacrificial fire.


A particular class of the Pitris.


An-agnayas and sāgnayas; these appear to be the same as Mann’s Agni-dagdhas and Anagni-dagdhas, (III. 109).


See canto L, 23-25.

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