Markandeya Purana, by Bibek Debroy
This is the tenth Purana that I am reviewing. Its name is the Markandeya Purana as you know. It is actually the shortest Purana. It has only nine thousand shlokas. I noticed that the last three Purana reviews that I had written were all satvik puranas, puranas that glorified Vishnu. I decided that it was time to move on to another type of Purana. I felt I had not written about rajasik puranas, puranas that glorify Brahma apart from the Brahma Purana. Between the rajsik puranas I decided to review the Markandeya Purana. This Purana was actually narrated by four birds to the sage Jaimini. Well, how did this happen and who were these birds who could talk.
There was once a rishi named Drona who married a woman named Tarkshi. One day, Tarkshi went to Kurukshetra when the great war between the Pandavas and Kauravas was happening. Arjuna and Bhagadatta were fighting when one of Arjuna’s arrows hit Tarkshi in the stomach. She died but four eggs fell out of her stomach. Bhagadatta’s elephant had a bell around his neck. A stray arrow sliced it off and it fell over the eggs protecting them till the end of the war. After the war ended a sage called Shamika found the birds and took care of them. They learnt to fly and speak. They bowed to Shamika and asked him to teach them the true knowledge. They then went to live at Mount Vindhya.