A Maharsi (sage) born from Brahma’s mind.
1) Birth and Genealogy. The six great sages born from Brahma’s mind were :-Marici, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu, according to Mahabharata, Adi Parva.
2) Domestic life. Marici had several wives and children. He married Kala, the daughter of Kardama Prajapati by his wife Devahuti.
Marici had two sons Kasyapa and Purnima by Kala, This Kasyapa was the original ancestor of all living beings. But Purnima’s family did not become well-known. Purniman had two sons, Virajas and Visvaga and a daughter Devakulya. Devakulya washed the feet of Mahavisnu and merged with Akasa Ganga.
Urna was another wife of Marici. Six sons were born to Urna. Under a curse of Brahma they were born first as the sons of Hiranyakasipu and in their next birth as the sons of Vasudeva and Devaki. It was these six children who were born as Sri Krsna’s elder brothers whom Kamsa killed immediately after their birth. (See under Krsna).
Marici had another wife named Sambhirti. She gave birth to Paurnamasa. In Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 10, we see that Paurnamasa who was a Mahatma had two sons Virajas and Parvata. Dharmavrata was yet another wife of Marici. She was a daughter born to Dharmavati by Dharmadeva.
3) Dharmavrata cursed. Marici lived happily for long with his wife Dharmavrata. Once he returned from the forest, carrying darbha grass, flowers etc. He was tired after a long walk. After taking food, he wanted his wife to massage his legs. While she was massaging him Marici fell asleep. Just then Brahma happened to come there. Dharmavrata was in a fix. She had to attend to her husband and at the same time receive Brahma with due respect. She could not leave her husband’s guru (Sire). It was her duty to honour him properly.
At last she got up and welcomed Brahma, offering him the customary honours. Meanwhile Marici woke up and not finding his wife near him cursed her to be turned into a stone. Dharmavrata who was distressed at the curse pleaded innocence and explained to him that she had been honouring his guru. She warned him that he would incur the curse of Siva.
Under Marici’s curse Dharmavrata was separated from him. She performed penance in the midst of fires. Mahavisnu appeared before her and asked her what boon she wanted. She prayed that her curse might be lifted, Visnu replied :-“It was Marici who cursed you. That curse cannot be withdrawn. You will be turned into a sacred stone. Your name “Dharmavrata” will be changed into “Devavrata”. In future, that stone will become famous under the name “Devavrata” or “Devasila”. Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara and goddesses like Laksmi will dwell in that stone.”
After saying this Visnu disappeared.
Once Dharmadeva held this Devasila above the demon Gaya and the place became famous under the name of “Gaya tirtha”. (See under Gay5tirtha).
4) Other details.
(i) Marici had participated in the celebration connected with Arjuna’s birth. (Maha-bharata Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 52 ).
(ii) Marici was a member of Indra’s assembly. (Maha-bharata Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 17) .
(iii) Marici attended the celebration connected with Subrahmanya’s birth. (Maha-bharata Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 10) .
(iv) After the Bharata Yuddha, Marici visited Bhisma who was lying on “Sara Sayya” (bed of arrows). (Maha-bharata Santi Parva, Chapter 47, Verse 10) .
(v) Mahabharata. Santi Parva, Chapter 334, Verse 35, mentions that Marici is a Prajapati.
(vi) Marici is one of the group of sages known as Citrasikhandins. (Maha-bharata Santi Parva, Chapter 335, Verse 29) .
(vii) Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 340, Verse 44, describes Marici as one of the Astaprakrtis.
(viii) Marici once visited Dhruva who was performing penance and gave him advice. (Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 11).
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