The parable about Markandeya who overcame death
An amazing story about life, death, karma and blessing, that can change a predetermined destiny.
In the ancient times there lived a family, a husband and a wife, who had no children. They had a Spiritual Master, to whom they came for advice and blessing. The Master always spoke with them, helped them, gave his blessings, but when it came to husband and wife's future children, he remained silent. The spouses themselves tried to live righteously, listened to the Master, but still they had no children. And they grieved about this.
Pure souls, Masters, Yogins, Saints have a lot of love and kindness in their hearts. And one day, when the husband and the wife again turned to their Master with their question, he immersed himself into a meditation, looked at their karma and said: "You will not have children in this life, because there is no such karma for you." "What have we done so wrong?" - they complained. The Masters told them, that there is a reason, and this is the result of their past mistakes, which they no longer remember in this life. He explained to them what to do in order to create good karma and purify the negative one. "In a few years you will talk with me again about this," the Masters said at the end of their meeting.
After a while, the spouses came to the Master and again they asked whether they'd have children. The Master saw that due to their efforts much of the negative karma was purified, but the possibility of having children still did not appear. Then he asked: "Why do you want to have a child?" - "People condemn us, they say, that we have been together for so many years, but have not got any children", they answered and again begged the Master to help them.
Then the Master said: "Good. For no one to think about you badly anymore, I will give you a drop of my own good karma. You will have a child, but he will live only ten years. " The husband and wife agreed. The Master gave them prasad (consecrated food), and after a while they got a son.
The boy was very nice, and the parents loved this child, whom the Master had gave them, with all their hearts. They took care of him with pleasure, but they never forgot the prophecy saying that he would not live long.
And again they went to the Master and begged him to give their son a long life. The Master was an atma-jnani and knew what was to happen next. He told them to bring up the child well, and to take him to satsangs from the very childhood. The parents did so: both in satsangs and in their meetings with the Master, the son always accompanied them. By the great mercy of God, he comprehended the spiritual knowledge even in his first years.
The Master always taught the boy that older people should be respected. He constantly repeated to the child: "To all the wise men, yogins and sadhus, whom you will meet, you should bow." These words rooted very well in the boy's mind: he treated all the olders with respect, and bowed to all spiritual people.
So the time passed. The child grew up, and the age, the Master predetermined for him, was inevitably approaching. Soon he was to be ten years old, and his parents grew more and more worried about his life.
The boy turned ten years old. Once he played with other children in the yard in front of the house. This day was to be the last day of his life - a serpent slowly crept along the yard to bite the boy and to take away his life. But it happened so, that a few minutes earlier in this very place the Saptarishi, who changed their looks for a while to appear as ordinary wanderers, have passed, traveling around the world. The Saptarishi are the seven great yogins, the seven Sages, the sons of god Brahma, born from his mind. They are considered to be the creators of the Universe and the ancestors of all living beings. The Saptarishi are divine souls, they are always connected with God, and every word, every desire is heared by God.
The Master brought up the spiritual habits in the boy, so the child, after seeing the seven wise wanderers, bowed with great respect to them. The Sages, touched by his sincere respect, gave him their blessings from their hearts. Each of them wished him: "Live a hundred years!" As soon as the blessings were heard, the snake turned and crawled back without touching the boy.
The boy grew up and became known to the world as Markandeya Rishi. He is worshipped in all the main traditions of Hinduism. According to the writings of Sanatana-Dharma, Markandeya Rishi is considered to be the incarnation of god Shiva.