Mrikandu was a great rishi. Marudvati was his wife. For a long time they
had no children.
The rishi prayed to God Siva. God Siva appeared to him, and said,
"I am pleased with you, Mrikandu. Tell me, do you want a hundred sons, who will live
for a long time, but will all be foolish?
Or, do you want one very intelligent son, who will live for only
The rishi at once said, "God, give me that one intelligent
God Siva said, "Good! You shall have him."
Soon the rishi got a son. He named him Markandeya. The boy grew to be
very intel - ligent and handsome. The rishi invested him with the sacred thread.
Markandeya learnt the Vedas and Sastras,easily. Every one liked him.