U-zZ4m1JqvFJIQt2G-tyy-Cj5VI TELUGU PADMASALI Blog: Markandeya Rishi History


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Markandeya Rishi History


Markandeya is an ancient rishi (sage) from the Hindu tradition, born in the clan of Brigu Rishi. He is celebrated as a devotee of both Shiva and Vishnu and is mentioned in a number of stories from the Puranas. The Markandeya Purana especially, comprises a dialogue between Markandeya and a sage called Jaimini and a number of chapters in the Bhagavata Purana are dedicated to his conversations and prayers.[1] He is also mentioned in the Mahabharata.[2] Markandeya is venerated within Vaishnava, Shaivite and Shakta traditions.

Rescued by Lord Shiva

One legend relates the story of how Shiva protected Markandeya from the clutches of death. (Yama)

Mrikandu rishi and his wife Marudmati worshipped Shiva and sought from him the boon of begetting a son. As a result he was given the choice of either a gifted son, but with a short life on earth or a child of low intelligence but with a long life. Mrikandu rishi chose the former, and was blessed with Markandeya, an exemplary son, destined to die at the age of 16.

Markandeya grew up to be a great devotee of Shiva and on the day of his destined death he continued his worship of Shiva in his form of Shivalingam. The messengers of Yama, the god of death were unable to take away his life because of his great devotion and continual worship of Shiva. Yama then came himself in person to take Markandeya's life away and sprung his noose around the young sage's neck. By accident of fate the noose mistakenly landed around the Shivalingam, and out of it, Shiva emerged in all his fury attacking Yama for his act of aggression. After defeating Yama in battle to the point of death, Shiva then revived him, under the condition that the devout youth would live forever. For this act, Shiva was thereafter known also as Kaalakalaya, meaning 'one who brought death, to death himself'.

Thus Maha Mrityunjaya Stotra is also attributed to Markandeya, [3] and this legend of Shiva conquering death is inscribed in metal and worshiped at Tirukkadavur in Tamilnadu, India.[4] A similar account is also given in Narasimha Purana, although in that version Markandeya is rescued by Vishnu after he recites the Mrityunjaya Stotra.[5]

Eternal life

Another story which deals with Markandeya's long life gives an account of how he lived past the death of the previous world and watched it end.

Bhagavata Purana

Markandeya prays to Vishnu

A tale from the Bhagavata Purana states that when the earth was about to be engulfed by water, Markandeya prayed to Vishnu to rescue him. Vishnu appeared in the form of a child floating on a leaf, and declared to the sage that he was Time and Death. He requested the sage to enter into his mouth and save himself from the surging water. Inside the boy's stomach Markandeya discovered all the worlds, the seven regions and the seven oceans. The mountains and the kingdoms were all there. So were all living beings. Markandeya did not know what to make of all this. He started to pray to Vishnu. No sooner than he had started, he came out of the boy's mouth. Vishnu now appeared before him and blessed him. The sage spent a thousand years with Vishnu.

Markandeya Purana

The Devi Mahatyam section of the Markandeya Purana is one of the most important texts of Shakti tradition.


What is the difference between Padmashalis and Brahmins apart from their work?

Padmashalis are non-vegetarians

Most of the Padmashalis except Pattusalis of Srikakulam are non-vegetarians. Padmashalis either do business or get employed or do their traditional occupation-weaving and they dont do chapliance whereas brahmins do chapliance and other Veda-related jobs. Padmashali is a backward community while brahmins are socially advanced.

Brahmins themselves are not a homogenous group culturally throughout India. A good number of brahmins throughout the east coast from Orissa to Bengal and Assam are avid fish eaters. All brahmins are not engaged in chapliance. As for chapliance, with many reformers having meddled with the vedic Hinduism, in some areas that duty is given even to Dasaris (a scheduled caste dalit) in andhra Pradesh, especially in Vaishnavaite worship; and among shivite worshippers, there are Jangams who do the chapliance work for Lingayats (Veerashaivas) who do not believe in the suprimacy of the Brahmins, and the class of Veerashaivas was born by intermarriage between Brahmins and Dalits, infact between all castes, in order to bring out a casteless society and to annihilate Brahminical hegemony.

As per Vedic Hinduism, Brahmin has to achieve Brahminism by his deeds and therefore a Brahmin is to be "Twice born", that is to be born first by a biological birth and then a "second birth by spiritual attainment". Attainment of this "Brahminical" status was open to any one from any caste and class. Similarly, having achieved Brahminical status, one may face downgradation by a subsequent ill deed.

The cases of Vishwamithra and Valmiki are the proper examples. Vasishta the most revered sage in Hinduism was born to celestial prostitute and he married a Dalit woman "Arundhathi". All brahmins who claim Vasishta gothra carry half of the genes from a Dalit woman ancestor.

Any one who resorted to manual work and a profession related to manufacture and trade was treated as Vaishya or shoodra. Similarly Padmasalis fall in one of the two. Upper caste or Forward caste have nothing to do with the classification of the four Varnas of Hindu hiearchy. Kammas and Reddys are from the Forward or upper castes but they are "Shoodras" with in the definition of the Hindu varnas.

One aspect that differentiates Padmasalis from the "shoodra" classification is they alone wear the "Janiv or Yajnopaveetha" among all other non-brahminical castes with one exception of "Vishwakarmas". Except for the Brahmins, the other varnas are not very distinctly categorised in the Southern India. Thus Padmasalis fall between the brahmins and other Aryan castes, they follow a mix of Dravidian and Aryan rituals / food habits, suggesting Aryan origine and intermixture with the Dravidians. All Padmasalis claim Rishi gothras of 101 rishi "santhathi" who were taken on adoption by the sage Bhavana Rishi, who himself was taken on adoption by Rishi Markandeya. All Padmasalis originated from Satavahana empire and their mother tongue remains Telugu, except for a few migrants who had taken longer and numerous stages of migration such as the Shettigars of Dakshina Kannada. Most Padmashalis in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chatttisgadh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa speak Telugu as mother tongue. Devangas are reported to have branched off from Padmasalis due to a dispute between two groups on issues of worship of goddess Chaudeshwari, and ever since that dispute the two have become rivals, thus one of them do not reside where the other reside, and while most Padmasalis practice Vaishnavism, almost all Devangas are saivites.


  1. Thanks for information made available on the net.
    We would happy to know if any more history known about Padmashali

    I have more than 4000 telugu padmasali gothras. I will put on my blog as early as possible.
    -- Ravindranath Vangaru.. Sectretary, Khammam Town Padmasali Youth Committee.

  2. Dear Ravindranath Vangaru garu,

    Thank you for your information. I am gathering information on history of Padmashali and will be presenting it on my Blog after sometime.

    I think, you are going to give 4,000 surnames not gothras.

    You may indicate your blog's url address so that I can see its contents and useful information.

    All the best for your efforts.


  3. Vithal R. Bomen:said
    There is only one gothra for p.shali i.e
    Rishi Markandeya.

  4. There is a lot of controversy about Padmashali Gothras. There are about 100, some say 101 and some other say 102 Gothras.

    If you refer to my latest post to my Blog, you will notice in the "Chart" that there are 100 Markandeyulu. All these 100 Purushas (PERSONS) names are Markandeya only. It means, all their names are: "Markandeya" only. Hence, I think, you may be right also. So, we have 100 Gothras but all the Gothra names are Markandeya, according to one version. Please offer your comments on this.

  5. this is a site which provides information about padmashalis and their origin and gothras and matrimony links so friends vist our padmashali sites when ever possible and try for unity in our community.
    thank you

  6. Thank you Madhu garu for visiting my Blog and your comments and suggestions to our Padmasali Community. You may join my Followers list, if you are interested.


  7. dear patanjali

    thanks for providing the information about our padmashali. iam searching for padmashali vamshavrukam photo if u had please send me. this is my email id nareshchknr@gmail.com

    naresh chippa

  8. Dear Naresh,

    Thanks for visiting my Blog.

    I have got one image of Padmashali Vamsha Vruksham which I got it from somewhere. I am doubtful whether it will be useful to you or not.

    I have sent the same to your e-mail address, for your ready reference.



  9. Like NAIDU or REDDY or GOUD, can we also add some Word, at the end of our names ? If so, please select ONE from the following Words:

  10. Thanks for visiting my Blog and your suggestions.


  11. Please send me padmashali vamshavrukam image, only if the surnames are legible/readable and the image is clear. My email id guduru.adi@gmail.com

  12. The image of Padmashali Vamsa Vruksham, which I have, is not properly readable and identifiable. Hence, you may please try somewhere else.

    Thanks for visiting my Blog.


  13. Please send me Padmashali vamsa Vruksham ...

  14. My mail id is srinivasgunda@rocketmail.com

  15. Thanks for visiting my Blog.
    I have sent a copy of Padmashali Vamsa Vruksham to your above mail id. All the best.

  16. Nice blog.


  17. Thanks for visiting my Blog and your comments. I have visited your above Blog and it is simply great. All the best.


  18. please send me padmasali vamsavruksham my email id is : divisandeepkumar@gmail.com

  19. Thanks for visiting my Blog.
    I have sent a digital copy of Padmashali Vamsa Vruksham to your above mail id. All the best.

  20. I have one doubt, Is padmasalis belongs to only India or from any other countries. And please send padmasali vamsa vruksham to my mail id ramesh.manthena72@gmail.com

  21. Dear Patanjali...
    expecting i get answer from you....
    Rishi markandeya is a shudra or a brahmin?
    do shudras also have rishis and sages?
    many say that markandeya gothram is a gothra of shudras but markandeya belongs to bhrigu clan and a descendant of jamadagni(one among the 7/8 saptharishis)which means he is a brahmin since bhrigu and jamadagni are brahmins..