fulfilling this desire, he immediately decided to start severe penance. He lived on only
roots of trees, took holy bath thrice a day in the near-by Teertharn and performed tapas
sitting beneath the Tulasi plant. The penance continued for ages till Vishnu was pleased
to direct Lakshmi to go there as a child, with the promise that he would come there in due
One day Lakshmi as a child appeared beneath the Tulasi plant. Markandeya found the child
and enquired how she had come there, and who were her parents, etc. The child replied that
she knew only that he (Markandeya) himself was her parent, relative, friend, etc. all in
one. Saying this, she leaped on to his lap. Markandeya was intensely happy.
Markandeya brought up the child with great parental care and the child grew of age, when
the desire of giving her in marriage
suitably engaged the mind of the Sage. Among sages, there was none who could be considered
as a suitable match for her.