Sanskrit version edited by Pandit Shri Ramtej Pandey, published by Chaukhamba Vidyabhavan. Title: Markandeya Purana
Hindi version by Gita Press. Title: Markandeya Purana.
The English version is available as a prose text by Manmatha Nath Dutt, published by Elysium Press in 1896. Title: The Markandeya Purana (Prose Translation), and a version in verse by F.E Pargiter, published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1904.
Telugu version by Venkata Laxmi Narasimhasharma. Title: Markandeya Purananamu (Vachana Kavyam)
Print versions of the purana are available on Flipkart (with free home delivery) in English.
Be sure to check out the public domain books page for more puranas, epics and other interesting books to download.
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The Markandeya Purana is the purana said to have been authored by Markandeya, who was a great sage said to have been blessed with an eternal life. Several editions of the Markandeya Purana are available in the public domain in the PDF format for download in English, Hindi, Telugu and Sanskrit. Keep reading for an explanation of the role the Puranas play, and a brief history of the Puranas.
A Purana is a particular aspect of Hindu scriptural literature, which covers several topics such as history – political and otherwise – philosophy, sociological aspects and several other subjects. Essentially, it can be seen as a great bank of knowledge about esoteric subjects, as well as a historical document (with several distortions sometimes!) of India’s past.
The Puranas are of two kinds: the Mahapuranas and the Upapuranas. Each class consists of eighteen puranas, bringing the total number of puranas to thirty-six. The Mahapuranas or “Great Puranas” are the more important ones, while the Upapuranas or “sub-puranas” are the minor ones are often neglected in study.
The Markandeya Purana
The Markandeya Purana is described as “that Purana that begins by telling the story of the birds who know the science of good and bad karma.” The purana is written down as being narrated by the sage Markandeya. This Purana stands out from the rest in that it barely has any incantations or prayers in its text, as is in fact largely non-religious in nature. It mainly consists of a series of myths and legends from Indian lore. It is quite possible that this purana retained its original spirit, as it was compiled by Markandeya and his lineage. Markandeya is of course famous as the eternal one, who can never die.
His story is one of triumph of devotion over even death. His father when given the choice between a dull but long-lived son, and an intelligent but short-lived one, chooses the latter. When Markandeya is sixteen, Yama the god of death comes to claim him. But such is Markandeya’s devotion to Shiva, that Shiva appears and does away with Yama, thus ensuring immortality to Markandeya. Thus, this purana includes a description of the birth and death of the universe, as described by Markandeya, who has literally seen it all since he is eternal! The descriptions in the purana bear an uncanny resemblance to the cosmological theories described today by modern physics, pertaining to the birth and destruction of the universe.