Kalantak Shiva Katha
The one who is born attains death, the one who is alive will remain destroyed one day. Death is a destination where we all will go, now whether it is small or big, king or fakir, fool or sage, death will take everyone.
This story is of a descendant of a Bhrgu sage named Rishi Mrikandu.
The sage Mrkandu and his wife Marudhwati had no children for many years. The sage Mukund and his wife performed austerities to Lord Shiva to achieve child happiness. The sage Mrkandu and his wife Marudhwati performed hard austerities with faith and believe to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased with his hard penance and gave him the boon of son . Lord Shiva asked him what kind of children he wanted. A child who has longevity but is dumb and deaf or needs children whose life is short years but is knowledgeable.
The sage Mrikandu and his wife Marudhwati chose the second option. Lord Shiva said that your son will be 16 years old. After some time a son was born in his house named Markandeya. After twelve years, the sage Mrikandu and his wife became depressed. When Markandeya asked him the reason for his sadness, the father told Markandeya the whole thing.
After seeing the parents like this, Markandeya decided to worship Shiva. Now they started to indulge in Shiva devotion all day. Similarly, the days passed, the years passed and he became 16 years old. As predicted, the time for his death had arrived. Both parents drowned in the ocean of sorrow.
Markandeya was still engaged in Shiva worship when Yama's messengers came to take him. Yama's messengers tried hard but could not take his life.
When nothing could happen to the Yamdoots, he went to Yamraj and told him all the sentences. In a fit of anger, Yamraj himself went to Markandeya to take his life. Even at that time Markandeya was absorbed in Shiva devotion. When Yamraj saw this, he became more angry because Markandeya had no fear of death. Yamaraja hit Markandeya with his gada , but that attack did not hit Markandeya and the attack hit the Shivling whom Markandeya was worshiping. The Shiva lingam was broken by the attack of the gada and at the same time Lord Shiva appeared there. Lord Shiva granted pardon to Yamaraja, pleased with his devotion to Markandeya and donated life to him. Thus his death was averted and he conquered death. Markandeya Rishi lived for many years. Markandeya Purana was also composed by Rishi Markandeya.(It is believed that the sage Markandeya is immortal and one of the Chiranjeevis.)