SAPTASHRINGI DEVI, SAINT MARKANDEYA & SHRI SHIVA
- SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Chinese translation of the text below will soon be found in “Sahaja Yoga Chinese
Newsletter” website (中譯放於霎哈嘉瑜伽中文通訊”題為
2. See Photo Album of Hong Kong-Malaysia Joint Maharastra Tour 2004 ( After Xmas Puja)
3. This early courtesy photo (middle) by the Russian collective is rare and precious as we can see the Devi's feet, which is now often covered by local devotees' pile of offerings , click to see enlarged image ]
4. Still looking for info about the "hole " on the hill made by an arrow. Can anyone help?
(1) SPEECH OF H.H. SHRI MATAJI NIRMALA DEVI (Ashram of Vienna, 9th June 1988)
THE STORY OF MARKANDEYA
You know the story of Markandeya or not? I tell you the story of Markandya. You see, his father had no children and the father and mother were unhappy. So they prayed to Shiva and they said that we want to have a son. Shiva said: ”I’ll give you the son, but I will have to take him back after eight years. So he’ll only exist till he is about eight years of age.” So they gave that boon to him plus this kind of a curse. The parents were very upset that “our child will die after eight years of age”, very upset. But they found the child very bright, brilliant and also shining and very religious.
One day he asked his father: “Why do you always so worry, I mean, after all I am your son? ” So they said that it is said so, eight years or sixteen years, something like that. “Now I will be losing you very soon. Who can surpass Shiva?” He said it, “so I cannot think we can really ask anyone to neutralize the curse upon us. If you are not born to us we would not have been so attached to you. Now you are born to us, we are so much attached to you.”
He was a very wise person, he said: “No, I know someone, I know Adi Shakti. And he went to this place where you got to see this Saptashringi. There he prayed to Her. Nobody had prayed to Adi Shakti. They would pray to Jagadamba, they would pray to all others. To Adi Shakti, who is the God, he prayed to Her. She appeared there and Her face is just like Me. It is Saptashringi because She has seven charkas on Her head. “Shringa” means on the head, like what you call the Shikara, peak?’ “Seven Peaks”. She was born with seven peaks. She came there, appeared from the Mother Earth, She just came out and he prayed to Her. He prayed to Her and then the whole place became so vibrated that Shiva could not touch him.
Then he wrote all this Markandeya?’ things, I mean he was the first who wrote about Adi Shakti. All these things that you read about Shankaracharya, he took it from Markandeya. He was the first who wrote about Kundalini, the first about realization, he was the first who did all that. Even today they say that there is a gap between two hills and people used to cross that gap on a bullock cart and the bullock cart was carried over to the other side.
Now of course you got a place to go up, but at that time there was nothing like that, so they used to go up on a bullock cart and the bullock cart was carried over without any tension by Adi Shaki. And She is the complete, because we have got, as you know, Mahakali, Mahalaksmi, Mahasaraswati, three of them in Maharastra. Mahakali is in Tulsapur [ Tuljapur ], then Mahalaksmi is in Kholapur and the third one is in Mahor [ Mahur ]. In Mahor there is one mountain where is Mahasaraswati. And Adi Shakti is Artha Mata, on top of everything and this is it. Markandeya was actually the dearest son of Adi Shakti, because he is the one who incarnated Her.
… he was like a little child, absolutely. Everything is described, My hands and everything, even My body in a way. Just like a little child grabbing on the Mother. The dedication and devotion was so great, I mean, that Adi Shakti had to take him up. He is the one who brought Me in. There was no idea of Adi Shakti taking birth or anything, nobody thought of it. Only once She came in Gokul, She was created in Gokul. Gokul is the one, now of course later on it was reflected in India, but Gokul is where Shri Krishna played, in the Goloka, in the Vaikuntha. She was created as one cow with all the deities sitting in Her, She never came on this earth and he is the one who gave the form, in what form She has to come?’ with thousand hands, the face like Mine and seven charkas. In that way India is very much blessed, I should say, with these things, but the difference between the saints and the public is so much, that they never understood. They know it is a very great place and Saptashringi is there. We have Saptashringi also in Puna, but Saptashringi is only there, where all you people go, near Nasik, that’s the place. So that’s the great part of Markandeya. He took his birth later on as Buddha, then he took his birth as Adi Shankaracharya, it’s the same personality. But he was actually the son of Rama, to begin with. He was Luv and he went to Russia and that is why they are called as “Slavs”. He ruled in Russia, that’s why they are called as Slavs. Another son was Kush, who went to China, that is why they are called as Kushan. Then they incarnated again and again, also as Hassan and Hussain [ Husein ], as Mahavira and Buddha, as Adi Shankaracharya and Gyaneshwara, like that.
See, it is so peaceful. Cool breeze. I think the name Markus might be coming from Markandeya. Markandeya is a very unique name, isn’t it? “Markanda” means a powerful personality. Markandeya is son, of course, Markandeya is the name of the son. Markandeya, is the son.
(2) What Shri Mataji said (Quoted from Her talk in America Tour , 16-9-1983 - “Advice given at C.G. Jung Society’s Hall”. Printed in “Nirmala Yoga”, vol.5 May-June 1985):
“...So fourteen thousand years back you’ll be surprised, there was a great seer called Markandeya who has written all about Kundalini, about the ascent of the Kundalini and everything. …”
“…Because when in the sixth centry after the advent of Adi Shankaracharya – who also propounded that “It is the Kundalini who has to be awakened and unless and until you get your Realisation you are nowhere religion”, these people came up just t attack, - the negative attack….”
(3) Sahaja Yoga Russia Web page: (http://eng.library.sahajayoga.ru/f_IndiaSva.htm)
The Goddes touched this mountain and leaved this print. Saint Markandeya discovered that Shri Adi Shakti is the power of Shri Shiva, he went to the Saptashringi hills and started to meditate upon the primordial Mother with constant attention. He was, infact, the first one to meditate upon Shri Adi Shakti. When the 16th birthday came around, Shri Shiva came to fetch him (they had a treaty) but because of the aura of Shri Adi Shakti around Markandeya, could not come near him, and that is how, Markandeya became a Chiranjeev - one who lives eternally.
It was he who wrote the Devi Mahatmyam - The Greatness of the Devi from which the Devi Kavacha has been extracted. On the foto - svayambhoo and a mountain, on which svayambhoo is placed.
The hill, on which Markandeya meditated -
This hill is just opposite to the hill, shown above.
[ Editor's note : This early courtesy photo of the Devi by the Russian collective is rare and precious as we can see the Devi's feet, which is now often covered by local devotees' pile of offerings , click to see enlarged picture ]
(4) India Tour Impression 1996 Video Tape (Copyright Vishwa Nirmala Dharma -Sahaja Yoga International)
In the Video Tape an American Sahaja Yogi explained: “…Okay, well, we’re here today at the Swayambhu of Saptashringi which is in Maharasta. The Swayambhu is a manifestation of the principle of the Adi Shakti, and it’s the manifestation of the last of the three and a half coils of the kundalini. The first part is Mahakali, Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi, and the last half-coil is the Adi Shakti and that’s what the Swayambhu represents.
A Swayambhu is a natural manifestation from the Earth of a divine principle. And that divine principle was realized by the great sage Markandeya, who, from this mountain here behind us, realized that this Swayambhu was here in this mountain and perceived it. And it was from this mountain that he shot his arrow into the mountain behind us here and revealed the Swayambhu. The Swayambhu looks like a sculpture, a carved sculpture of the Goddess with her many arms. It looks like it might have been carved by man, but it was not. It was created by the Mother Earth and emits the vibrations of the Adi Shakti.
There are sellers outside the temple gate as there were in the time of Jesus. There are many people who are selling coconuts and things; it has become a very commercial enterprise, it’s quite noisy and drowns at us some of the majesty and beauty, the silence of this tremendous place. The vibrations of this landscape are truly magnificent and the manifestation of the Adi Shakti through the Mother Earth is a wonder for the Sahaja Yogis to perceive. We’re hoping that [we hope that] there will be a day when this will be cleaned...”
(5) MAHARASHTRA TOURISM BOARD web site www.maharastratourism.gov.in/mtdc/ – click “shrines_Saptashringi”
The temple of
goddess Saptashringi resides 55 kms from Nashik at Wani. As you approach the
temple a large rocky hill greets you. This is Saptashringi Hill. The goddess is
known to have possessed 18 weapons in 18 hands and is positioned ready to fight
The journey to the temple also has some interesting sights to offer. On the way, you can stop at the Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute (MERI) or at Sitakund at Mhasrul village. This is the site where Sita the wife of Rama used to bathe. This destination is filled with stories and legends connected to the Ramayana.
(5) SHIVA & MARKANDEYA
(Quoted from non-Sahaja source: Amar Chitra Katha: the Glorious Heritage of India, Vol. 549 , TALES OF SHIVA [ famous children comic Series, bracketed text below is added to help you visualize the pictures] )
Sage Mrikandu observed severe penances to propitiate Load Shiva.
When Load Shiva appeared before Him—
“Load, favour me with a son.”
“Do you want a son who will live long thought lacking in virtues …or a son who will be wise and virtuous but will live for only sixteen years?”
“I will have the virtuous son, my Load.”
Granting the wish of the Sage, Load Shiva vanished.
In due course, Marudvati, Mrikandu’s wife, gave birth to a son.
( Marudvati said in front of his friends and relations, with satisfaction) “The boy shall be named Markandeya.”
While barely sixteen, Markandeya had mastered the Vedas.
(Three sages visited, sat confortably) “Mrikandu, you are fortunate to have such a brilliant son.”
When the visiting sages left— (the wife weeped)
“I cannot forget that all this brilliance will soon be put out by cruel death.”
Just then Markandeya came home with the flowers for worship.
“Mother! Why are you weeping? What can I do to make you smile?”
“Why don’t you speak, mother? Do you think I can’t get to what you want? I am not a child…I will be sixteen year old tomorrow!”
(Father said) “Son, that is why your mother is weeping.”
“Why? What is wrong with being sixteen?”
“I will explain. Listen!” When Mrikandu told him about the events leading to his birth—
(To mother )“Don’t cry, mother. I will not die.” ( Then he thought )“I will seek immortality through the grace of Shiva who is the conqueror of death.”
(Father hold his shoulder, bid him farewell) “May you succeed by his grace!”
( Then Markaydeya took his simple belongings and left. His mother saw him off till his son faded out in the country path, and she folded her hands and prayed) “Shiva, I leave my son to your mercy. Protect him.”
Early next morning, Markandeya reached the sea-shore where he made a Shiva Linga out of the wet sand…and adorned it with flowers.
Then he sat down to pray.
Towards nightfall, he began to sing and dance before the Load.
Suddenly— (a figure appeared behind him, with a voice )
“Get ready to leave this world.”
It was Yama, the god of death.
“O Load of death, please wait. I have not yet finished my worship.”
“Foolish boy, don’t you know that death waits for none?”
“Please do not obstruct me in my worship of Load Shiva.”
“Fool ! Do you hope to escape from me by clinging to Shiva? The grip of death is fatal as you shall now know.”
Yama caught Markandeya’s neck in the noose…and dragged him.
(Markandeya fell and cried loudly) “Load, protect me.”
The next moment, Shiva sprang from the Linga and kicked Yama on the chest.
(Yama plead) “Load!”
( Yama knelt and fold his hands) “Load, pardon me.”
When Yama departed— (Markandeya bow to pay tribute to Shri Shiva)
“O Load, the source of life I salute you.”
“Markandeya, you will forever be free from death. You will be immortal.”
Shiva vanished…And Markandeya returned home.
“My son!” (The mother hold her son tight)
“Mother! The Load did save me!”
(6) Other Related links (non-Sahaja) :
OTHER MAHARASTRA ATTRACTIONS
Compiled by Edwin Hou, 2005/2/15 [ Sahaja Yoga Hongkong ]