Lord Shiva is hailed as Chandrasekhar – The one who adorns his crown with the moon.
Sage Markandeya sang the Chandrasekhar Ashtakam in praise of Lord Shiva. Every single word in the song is absolutely profound and beautiful.
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 righteous son, but with a short life on earth or 100 long-lived, foolish sons. 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 aniconic form of Shivalingam.
Shiva then granted him a boon that the devout youth would live forever.
For this act, Lord Shiva is thereafter also known as –
Kalantaka (“Ender of Death”)
Kalakala (कालकाल) – he who is the death of Death.
Kalasamhara (कालसंहार) – slayer of Death.
Kalari (कालारि) – foe of Death.
Kalahara (कालहार) – one who destroys Death.
Kalahari (कालहारी) – one who takes away Death.
Markandeyanugraha (मार्कण्डेयानुग्रह) – bestowing grace upon Markandeya.
Mrityunjaya (मृत्युञ्जय) – he who won over Death.
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