Once upon a time, there
lived a sage called Mrikandu with his wife Marudvati. Both were devotees
of Shiva. The couple was childless, and so decided to perform austerities
so they would be blessed with a child. Then one day, Shiva appeared before
them. Shiva asked the couple if they desired an ordinary son who would
live a long life, or an exceptional son who would live a short life. The
couple asked for the latter.
In due course, Marudvati
gave birth to a boy and the child was named Markandeya (literally: son
of Mrikandu). Markandeya was an exceptionally gifted child, and became
an accomplished sage early in his childhood. He was especially devoted
to Shiva, and had mastered the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra. At the age of sixteen,
his time on this earth had come to an end, and so Yama, death personified,
came to take him away. At the time, Markandeya was in a temple worshipping
the icon of Shiva (Shiva Lingam).
When he saw Yama, out of
fright, Markandeya grabbed a hold of the Shiva Lingam and asked Lord Shiva
to protect him. Yama threw his noose around the boy-sage, which encircled
the Shiva Lingam too.
Suddenly, the Shiva Lingam
burst open with a thundering roar and a majestic, fiery form of Shiva appeared
out of the blazing light. Enraged that Yama should have the audacity to
encircle the Shiva Lingam with his noose, Shiva struck down Kala (Yama
is also called Kala, time, since time brings death to all things) with
His trident, and Kala was no more. Markandeya was spared from death. Shiva
blessed Markandeya with eternal life and proclaimed that he shall forever
remain a sixteen-year-old sage. The assembly of Devas who had witnessed
the spectacle begged Shiva to revive Yama, as a world without death would
put unnecessary burden on the earth. Shiva then revived Yama, and declared
that His devotees were forever to be spared from the noose of Yama.
Since that day, the fiery
form of Shiva that appeared to save the boy-sage Markandeya is called Kalasamhara
What does Shivlinga
means? The word Ling in shiv
ling has come from two words that is Leen and Gati. Leen means dissolve and
Gati means grow. It means man should dissolve(Leen) in shiva then he
should grow(Gati). (leen+ga)= ling. Most people around the
globe think that meaning of ling in concerned
with gent's sex point but this is totally wrong theory.
These are my views. Rajesh Chopra