The Markandeya Purana

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

This page relates “the announcement of the genealogies” which forms the 101st 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 101 is included the section known as “conversation between Markandeya and Kraustuki”.

Canto CI - The Announcement of the Genealogies

Mārkaṇḍeya alludes to the famous races of kings and begins an account of the creation.—Brahma created Dakṣa, and Dakṣās daughter Aditi bore to Kaśyapa a son Mārtaṇḍa, who was the Sun incarnate.—Mārkaṇḍeya tells of the Mundane Egg and Brahmās birth from it,—and expounds the word “Om.”

Krauṣṭuki[1] spoke:

Adorable Sir, thou hast duly expounded the ordinance of the manvantaras, and I have ascertained it from thee gradually and at length. As I wish to hear of the complete genealogy of the kings of the earth, beginning from Brahmā and the other progenitors, O best of dvijas, do thou declare it to me duly, adorable Sir.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Listen, my son, to the origin of all the kings and their exploits, taking for the commencement the Prajāpati who is the source of this present world, for this his progeny is adorned with kings, who celebrated many sacrifices, who were victorious in battle, who were wise in righteousness, who were numbered by hundreds. And by hearing of the exploits of these high-souled kings and their manifestations[2] a man is delivered from all sins. The race, in which arose Manu and Ikṣvāku, Anaraṇya,[3] Bhagīratha and other kings in hundreds, who all protected their territories well, were wise in righteousness, performed sacrifices, were heroic and understood thoroughly the sublimest matters—when one hears about that race, a man is delivered from a multitude of sins. Hear then about this race wherefrom thousands of subordinate lines of kings were separated off like subsidiary stems from a banyan tree.

The Prajāpati Brahmā, being desirous of yore of creating various peoples, created Dakṣa from his right thumb,[4] O best of dvijas; and the adorable lord Brahmā who causes the birth of the worlds, and who is the supreme maker of the worlds, created a wife for him from his left thumb. Resplendent Aditi was born as a daughter to that Dakṣa, and of her Kaśyapa begot divine Mārtaṇḍa,[5] who has the nature of Brahmā,[6] who bestows boons on all the worlds, and who constitutes the beginning, the middle and the end in the operations of the creation, continuance and termination of the world; from whom proceeded this universe and in whom everything subsists, O dvija; and whose nature this world with its gods, Asuras and men possesses; who constitutes everything, who is the soul of all, the Supreme Soul, eternal. The Sun took birth in Aditi, after she had first propitiated him.

Krauṣṭuki spoke:

Adorable Sir, I desire to hear what is the Sun’s nature and what is the cause why he, the earliest god, became Kaśyapa’s son; and how he was propitiated by divine Aditi and Kaśyapa; and what he, the divine Sun, said when propitiated by her; and what truly was his majestic power when he became incarnate, O best of munis. I wish to hear it in its fulness duly related, Sir, by thee.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Clear sublime Knowledge, Light, Luminosity eternal and free, Perfect Isolation,[7] Understanding, Visible Manifestation,[8] Freedom of will, and Comprehension,[9] and Intelligence, and Perception, Memory and Discernment—these are the forms of that luminous Form here. Hearken also, illustrious sir, while I tell thee at length what thou bast asked, how the Sun became manifest.

In this world, destitute of light, obscure, which was enveloped with darkness all around, a single huge egg came into existence, an imperishable most potent cause.[10] It split open; within it stood the adorable fore-father, lotus-born Brahmā himself, who is the creator of the worlds, the lord. Out of his mouth issued the great word “Om,” O great muni; and then the Bhūr, after that the Bhuvas,[11] and immediately thereafter the Svar.[12] These three mystic words therefore express the essential property of the Sun. Now from this essential property indicated by “Om” comes the subtle sublime form of the Sun. Next there issued the gross Mahar-loka, then the grosser Jana-loka, then the Tapoloka, then the Satya-loka—these are the seven-fold substantial forms. His permanent forms exist and do not exist, inasmuch as they assuredly come into existence in innate disposition and in feeling.[13]

The word “Om” which I have uttered, O brāhman, which has a beginning and an end, which is sublime, subtle, formless, most sublime, permanent—that is the Supreme Spirit, yea his body.

Footnotes and references:


The discourse goes back to Canto lxxx, and Krauṣṭuki, who has disappeared during the Devī-māhātmya and the concluding account of the Manvantaras, re-appears here with the genealogical portion of the Purāṇa.


Utpattayaś ca; the Bombay edition reads the same. This is the nomin., and is inadmissible; read instead utpattīś caiva?


This is the reading of the Bombay edition and is right. The Calcutta edition reads Baṇavanya; this name is given in the dictionary, but I have not met with it elsewhere.


Aṅguṣṭhād dakṣiṇād dakṣam; a play on the word.


I.e., the Sun.


The Bombay edition also reads Brahmā sva-rūpam; bat read Brahma-svarūpam instead?




Āvir-bhūḥ; a word not in the dictionary.




See Manu I. 5, &c.


These and the following words appear to mean both the utterances themselves and also the worlds that go by the same names, the Bhūr-loka and the Bhuvar-loka; and the meaning Beems to be that, as he uttered each mystic word, the corresponding world came into existence.


The Svar-loka.


Svabhāva-bhāvayor bhāvaṃ yato gacchanti saṃśayam. The Bombay edition reads the same, but it seems obscure. I have ventured to read gucchyanty a-saṃśayam instead.

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