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The Markandeya Purana (Sanskrit: मार्कण्डेय पुराण) is one of the eighteen major Mahapuranas, a genre of Hindu religious texts. It is written in the style of a dialogue between the ancient sage Markandeya and Jaimini, a disciple of Vyasa.
Date of composition
The Dadhimati Mata inscription (608 CE) quotes a portion from Devi Mahatmya, which is considered a later interpoltion to the text. Based on this, it can be concluded that the Markandeya Purana was composed before 7th century CE.
The three early printed editions of this text vary from one another. The Calcutta edition ends abruptly in chapter 136, leaving the narrative of Dama halfway. The Bombay and Poona editions have complete narrative of Dama, which ends in chapter 137. The text begins with the four questions put forth by Jaimini to Markandeya, after he approached the latter for the solution of some doubts raised in his mind after studying the Mahabharata. Markandeya refers him to the four wise birds living in the Vindhyas. Consequently, the four wise birds speak to Jaimini in chapters 4–44. The chapters 53–100 contain the accounts of the 14 Manvantaras (the periods of the Manus) of which 13 chapters (ch.81–93) are together known as the Devi Mahatmya (Glorification of the Great Goddess), which is embedded in this Purana. The chapters 111–137 have dealt with the genealogies of the Puranic dynasties.
The significant translations of this text into English include the translations by C.C. Mukherjee (1893) and F. E. Pargiter. The Durga Saptashati is a part of Markandeya Purana. It shows the various character of Ma Ambika to help gods in their problems using various narratives. In the first narrative two daemons named Madhu and Kaitabha born out of Bhagwan Vishnu's ear wax are trying to kill Lord Brahma. When after pray by Brahmaji to Ma Bhagwati she came out from the eyes of Bhagwan Vishnu. After waking up Bhagwan Vishnu fights with Madhu and Kaitabha for 5000 years finally killing them. The second chapter shows Mahisasur vadha. In this case Ma is presenting after the various god body part and the gods given various weapons to goddess to kill the Mahishasur.
- Brown, Cheever Mackenzie (1998). The Devi Gita: The Song of the Goddess: A Translation, Annotation, and Commentary. SUNY Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN 978-0-7914-3939-5.
- Thomas Coburn (2002), Devī-Māhātmya: The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120805576, pages 1-23
- Pandit Ram Karna Asopa (1911). "Dadhimati-Mata Inscription of Dhruhlana". In E. Hultzsch. Epigraphia Indica XI. Government of India. p. 302.
- Charles Dillard Collins (1988). The Iconography and Ritual of Siva at Elephanta: On Life, Illumination, and Being. SUNY Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-88706-773-0.
- Shastri, P. (1995). Introduction to the Puranas, New Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, pp.77–8
- Hazra, R.C. (1962, reprint 2003). The Puranas in S. Radhakrishnan (ed.) The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol.II, Kolkata:The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, ISBN 81-85843-03-1, pp.255–6
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
- Mani, Vettam. Puranic Encyclopedia. 1st English ed. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975.
- The Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa (english) by F. E. Pargiter; Online HTML
- The Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa in English, Hindi and Sanskrit
- Chapters 1-93 of Markandeya Purana in Sanskrit at Göttingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages