The Markandeya Purana (Study)

by Chandamita Bhattacharya | 2021 | 67,501 words

This page relates ‘Family Relations’ of the study on the Markandeya Purana, one of the oldest of the eigtheen Mahapuranas preserving the history, civilisation, culture and traditions of ancient India. The Markandeyapurana commences with the questions raised by Rishi Jaimini (a pupil of Vyasa), who approaches the sage Markandeya with doubts related to the Mahabharata. This study examines various social topics such as the status of women, modes of worship, yoga, etc.

Family Relations

The progress of a family depends not only upon the head of the family, but also on each of the family members. The eldest son of a family is of equal importance as the head of family i.e. the father. If he ignores the responsibilities of the family then it is considered a sin.[1] In the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa, there is an example of elder brother’s love and respect. Here, a bird named Kandhara want to take revenge for the death of his elder brother, Kaṇka, who was killed by the demon-murderer called Vidyudrūpa.[2]

There are two example found in the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa, expressing daughter-in-law’s respect for their parents-in-laws. Here it is stated that, Madālasā, wife of Ṛtadhvaja, used to enjoy with her husband after bowing down respectfully before her parents-in-law every day in the morning.[3] Again Hrīmati, king Avīkṣita’s wife bowed down to her father-in-law after her arrival to her new residence.[4] Madālasā also respects the other relatives according to their age and propriety.[5]

There exists a very good family relation amongst the children, the aged one, the husband and the wife, other kinsmen etc. An aged person gets high respect from the other family members in a cultured family. In the matter of food and bedding, a cultured family gives importance on the age and relation. When a man earns his livelihood without breaking the rules of the Smṛtis and Śrutis, he was considered to be good for home and family. Again, where the wives worship her husband and follow him, the son worships the teacher, the gods and the father there is no fear from Alakṣmi.[6]

From the above discussion the common bonding of the family members and their love and respect for each of the family members and other relatives are vividly expressed which can be shown as the strong bond of a family. The family is deeply embedded in human nature. Without the institution of family, there was no human society in the primitive times.[7]

Footnotes and references:


Ibid., 15.14-15


Ibid., 2.9-11


Ibid., 23.2




Ibid., 23.2-3


Ibid., 47.65,67,79


J. Sanyal and Mallick, K.N., Social Philosophy, p.76

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