The Markandeya Purana

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

This page relates “marutta’s exploits (continued)” which forms the 129th 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 129 is included the section known as “conversation between Markandeya and Kraustuki”.

Canto CXXIX - Marutta’s exploits (continued)


Marutta reigned as a universal monarch—Samvarta was his priestMarutta teas a great sacrificer, and a liberal benefactor to brāhmans—Some verses in his honour are quoted—But the Nāgas troubled the ṛṣis grievously, and his grandmother Vīrā sent him a message to administer justice and secure peace.

Krauṣṭuki spoke:

Adorable sir, thou hast fully narrated all this to me, namely, Karandhama’s exploits and what were Avīkṣit’s exploits. I wish to hear of the exploits of the high-souled king Marutta,[2] Avīkṣit’s son;[3] he is heard of because of his surpassing feats as a universal monarch, of great parts, a warrior, a beloved king, high-minded, wise in righteousness and a doer of righteousness, a real protector of the earth.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Receiving from his grandfather the kingdom with his father’s consent, he protected it righteously, as a father protects his own begotten sons. He sacrificed very many sacrifices appropriately, whereat most suitable fees were given away, as a king whose mind took pleasure[4] in the commands of his sacrificing priest and family priest. His discus was unresisted in the seven continents; and his course uninterrupted[5] in the sky, in the lower regions, in the waters and elsewhere. He gained riches thereby, being duly intent on his own rites, O brāhman, and sacrificed with great sacrifices to Indra and the other gods;[6] just as these other castes also, unwearied each in its own business and possessing riches amassed thereby, performed pious obligations and other rites. The earth while under high-souled Marutta’s protection entered into rivalry with the dwellers in the dwellings of the thirty gods,[7] O best of twice-born men. Not only were all kings of the earth surpassed by him, but even the king of the gods was surpassed by him as a sacrificer with declarations[8] of a hundred sacrifices.[9]

Now his sacrificing priest was Aṅgīras’ son Samvarta,[10] who was Vṛhaspati’s brother, high-souled, a treasure-house of austerities. The golden mountain Yuñjavat[11] is frequented by the gods; he struck down its summit and carried it off[12] for that king. The whole of that king’s[13] territory, allotment[14] and other property and palaces were made brilliant, all golden, by that priest at a sacrifice by means of austerities, O brāhman. And in this connexion, those who are interested in Marutta’s exploits sing songs, while all ṛṣis are carrying on their study without intermission, thus—

“Equal to Marutta never lived a sacrifieer on the face of the earth—at whose sacrifice his dwelling-house was cast and also golden palaces as largesse, Indra was made intoxicated with soma and twice-born brahmans with gifts, and Indra and other chief's of the thirty gods became waiters to the brāh- mans. At what king’s Sacrifice was everything of gold abandoned, as at Marutta’s sacrifice, by the twice-born brahmans, whose houses were stocked with gems?[15] And at his sacrifice what gold in the shape of palaces and other things was cast as largesse, that indeed the three other castes received; therefrom some of them gave similar gifts.”[16]

While thus he ruled the kingdom and protected his subjects well, a certain ascetic came, O best of munis, and said to him—Thy father’s mother, seeing the community of ascetics overwhelmed with poison by the Nāgas who are raging with frenzy, saith this to thee, O king:—

“Thy grandfather, after protecting the earth well, has departed to heaven, and I am able to practise austerities here, dwelling in Aurva’s[17] hermitage. I, being such, perceive disorganization while thou rulest the kingdom, such as was not[18] while thy grandfather and thy ancestors reigned, O king. Assuredly thou art heedless or addicted to sensual enjoyments, or thy senses are uncontrolled, in that thou dost not know the wicked and the good because they, thine organs, are blind because thou hast no spies. Now the Nāgas, who have come up from Pātāla possessed with frenzy, have bitten seven sons of munis, and have defiled the tanks, and have defiled the clarified butter offered in sacrifice with sweat, urine and ordure. Tribute has long been given to the Nāgas, thus fully indicating an offence. These munis are able to reduce the Nāgas to ashes, but have no authority herein; thou indeed hast the authority herein. Kings’ sons have the happiness that comes of sensual enjoyments so long, O king, as the water of regal inaugurātion is not poured on their head. But when kings they must think—‘What friends are there?’ ‘Who is an enemy?’ ‘How great is my enemy’s strength?’ ‘Who am I?’ ‘Who are in my minister’s party?’ Or, ‘Who are my vassal kings?’ ‘Either such a one is ill-disposed, or he has been alienated by others; what is he like with regard to my adversaries also?’ ‘Who is wholly a liege-man to me herein in the city or in the country? He who puts his trust solely in deeds of righteousness is besotted. A king must take practical notice—‘Who behaves quite properly?’ ‘Who must be punished?’ ‘Who must be protected?’ Or, ‘What men must be regarded[19] by me, who have to consider[20] the person to be subdued, the place and the time with regard to my condition of alliance or disunion?’[21] Further, a king should ward off unknown spies by other spies. A king should set spies upon all his ministers and other servants, In this and in other ways a king, whose mind is intent upon business, should constantly spend day and night, but not be engrossed with sensual enjoy, ments. The possession by kings of bodies is not for the sake of sensual enjoyment, O king; it excites them to undertake trouble[22] in the work of protecting the earth and their own righteousness. For a king who protects the earth and his own righteousness well, there is great trouble in this world and supreme undecayiug happiness in heaven. Recognizing this therefore, O king, discard sensual enjoyments and deign to undertake trouble in this world for the protection of the earth. The calamity, which originating from the Nāgas has thus befallen the ṛṣis, while thou art reigning, O king, thou being blind because thou hast no spies dost not even know it. What need of saying more in this matter? Let punishment be inflicted on him who is wicked; protect thou the well-behaved, O king; thou shalt gain the sixth part allowed thee as tribute by righteous law. By witholding protection thou shalt without doubt fully acquire all the sin that is committed by wicked men through unruliness. Do what thou wishest!

“I have told thee all this that thy grandmother saith to thee. Act, when things are so, as pleases thee, O king.”

Footnotes and references:


Canto cxxx in the Calcutta edition.


He is famed as a universal monarch (Mahā-Bhārata, Āśvam.-p. iv. 86-91 and Viṣṇu Purāṇa IV. i), and it said he gained his supreme sovereignty through his prosperity (ṛddhyā; Sabhā-p. xiv. 650). He was one of the sixteen greatest and most famous kings of antiquity (Droṇa-p. Iv. 2170-83; Śānti-p. xxix. 910-17). He is said to have offered a sacrifice to the brahman ṛṣi Uśīravīja at the Jāmbu-nada lake in the Northern region (Udyoga-p. cx. 3842-3), and was praised for his liberality in that he gave his daughter to Aṅgiras (Śānti-p. ccxxxiv. 8602; Anuśās.-p. cxxxvii. 6260), but more probably to Āṅgirasa, that is, Samvarta, see verse 11 note.

There were other less famous kings of the same name, as Marutta, son of Karandhama and fifth in descent from Yayāti’s son Turvasu (Hari-Vaṃśa, xxxii. 1829-1834; Viṣṇu Purāṇa IV. xvi); Marutta, fifth in descent from Śaśa-vindu (Hari-Vaṃśa, xxxvii. 1972-75; Matsya Purāṇa xliv. 24; also Vāyu and other Purāṇas; and probably MahāBhārata, Śānti-p. xxix. 981); and one or two more of the same or similar name.


For Avīkṣitasya read Āvīkṣitasya. Marutta’s father is generally spoken of here as Avīkṣit and not as Avīkṣita. The Poona edition reads Āvaikṣatasya,


Or, “was subservient to”; ramya=vaśya (comment.).


For cāpy anavicchinnā read cāsya na vicchinnā, as in the Poona edition.


The Viṣṇu Purāṇa says—he offered an unparalleled sacrifice, his utensils were of gold, Indra was intoxicated with his libations of soma, and the brahmans were enriched (IV. i). So also MahāBhārata, Āśvam.-p. x. 275-92.


It is said in the MahāBhārata, the earth brought forth fruit without ploughing and was garlanded with caityas in his reign (Śānti-p. xxix. 910-17).


Śuta-yajñābhisanāhibhiḥ; the Poona edition reads śata-yajño ’pi śaṅkitaḥ,.


The MahāBhārata says he overcame Indra in rivalry and so incurred Vṛhaspati’s opposition (Śānti-p. xxix. 910-14).


The MahāBhārata says Aṅgiras was Avīkṣit’s priest (Āśvam.-p. iv. 80-85). Aṅgiras had two sons, Vṛhaspati and Samvarta, and there was rivalry between them, but Vṛhaspati the elder got the pre-eminence and became Indra’s purohita. Marutta in rivalry overcame Indra, and Vṛhaspati who desired Indra’s good repulsed Marutta, and declined to be his family priest. Marutta then by Nārada’s advice went to Vārāṇasī (Benares) and secured Samvarta as his priest (Droṇa-p. lv. 2170-71; Śānti-p. xxix. 910-15; and Āśvam.-p. iv. 86 to ix. 274). There was a great quarrel between Vṛhaspati and Samvarta in consequence (ibid., and Vāyu Purāṇa). The Aitareya Brāhmaṇa says Samvarta inaugurated Marutta with the Mahābhiṣeka ceremony, the great inauguration ceremony of Indra, (VIII. iv. 21).


For Yuñjavat read Muñjavat, as in the Poona edition. It is a mountain on the ridge of Himavat (Mahā-Bhārata, Āśvam.-p. viii. 180).. It seems to have been also called Muñjāvaṭa, and the summit Muñja-pṛṣṭha. It was visited by Vasu-homa, king of Aṅga, and Rāma and Māndhātri (Śānti-p. cxxii. 4469-75). It was a sacred place of pilgrimage (Kārmu Purāṇa II. xxxvii. 38). This may be meant by Mujavant in Atharva-Veda I. xxv. 2. 8. There was another place of pilgrimage called Muñja-vaṭa which was apparently in or near Kuru-kṣetra (Mahā-Bhārata, Vana-p. lxxxiii. 5092, and lxxxv. 8210).


For hṛtaṃ the Poona edition reads kṛte, “he struck down its summit for that king’s Bake.”


Tasya, i.e., Marutta’s.




For ratna-pūrṇa-gṛhe read ratna-pūrṇa-gṛhair, as in the Poona edition.


The Poona edition adds a verse here—

“The well-behaved folk, who had their thoughts satisfied by what was given away, also offered sacrifices therewith in various places separately.”


Aurva was a famous ṛṣi descended from Bhṛgu. The Matsya Purāṇa says he was son of Bhṛgu’s son Āpnuvāna and was father of Jamadagni, and that he established the gotras of the Bhārgavas (cxciv. 14-29). It is said king Sagara was brought up in his hermitage (Hari-Vaṃśa, xiii. 762-xiv. 795) and learnt from him the Vedas and the use of arms (Viṣṇu Purāṇa III. viii, and IV. iii). The MahāBhārata says he was born when the Bhārgavas were almost exterminated by the princes of Kārtavīrya’s race after Kārtavīrya’s death, because they did not restore at the demand of those princes the riches which they had amassed as Kārtavīrya’s sacrificial priests; and it explains his name by saying he was born from his mother’s thigh (Ādi-p. clxxviii, 6802-15 and clxxix. 6827).


For tenābhūd read te nābhūd.


Upekṣyās; or “must be disregarded.”


For avekṣatā read avekṣatām? “Let a king consider, &c.”


For saṅga-bheda-tayā damya- the Poona edition reads mantra-bheda-bhayād atra, “who have to consider place and time in this matter by reason of fear lest my counsel should be divulged.”


Or “it is,meant for undertaking great trouble.”

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: