Can We Defy Death?

Once upon a time...

There was a sage named Mrikandu and his wife, Marudvati, who longed to have children. Lord Shiva heard their prayers and appeared before them.

Shiva asked the couple to pick between the two:

A righteous son, but with a short life on earth

A child of low intelligence but with a long life

Shiva granted them their wish of a righteous son, named Markandeya. Once he grew up, his parents confided in him about his pre-destined death when he turns 16.

"You've always told me that Lord Shiva is very kind to His devotees. I read in the Puranas that He has saved many from death. I will worship to Shiva day and night and pray to be spared."

Markandeya remained in front of the Shivling and prayed day and light. When the dreaded day came, Lord Yama, the God of Death, arrived with a noose in his hand.

Markandeya clung on to the Shivling so tightly, that when Yama began dragging the boy, the Shivling came along too.

Enraged, Lord Shiva burst out of the Shivling, and saved the boy's life.

"Begone, Yama! This boy will live forever. He is my beloved devotee."


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Modi Toys is a children's brand of toys and books inspired by ancient Hindu culture. We exist to spread joy and to spark curiosity in the next generation through our innovative soft plush toys, illustrated children's books and free learning resources. Our weekly Theology Thursday series covers a wide range of topics rooted in Hinduism to help us better understand the origins of traditions, the symbolic meaning of rituals, and the stories behind Hindu holidays and festivals. The more we can understand "the why" behind this 4,000 year ancient religion, and make sense of it in this modern age, the greater we can appreciate and preserve our rich Hindu culture. While we take great care in thoroughly researching the information presented, we may occasionally get some things wrong. We encourage a healthy and open dialogue so we can learn together. Please leave a comment below or email us directly at to address any concerns. 


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Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

  1. Shiva is the God of both creation and destruction.
  2. This mantra is considered to be the most powerful of the mantras for Shiva.
  3. It bestows longevity, wards off calamities and prevents untimely death.
  4. It protects us from our deepest fear: the fear of death