(1) S'rî Sûta said: "He this way experiencing the might of the yoga-mâyâ as arranged by Nârâyana, went only for the shelter of Him. (2) S'rî Mârkandeya said [to this]: 'I am surrendered to the soles of the feet of You who bring fearlessness to the surrendered, o Lord who with Your illusory potency in the form of knowledge even bewilders the wise'."
(3) Sûta said: "The great lord [S'iva] accompanied by Rudrânî [Umâ] and surrounded by his entourage, saw, traveling through the sky on his bull, him thus absorbed in trance. (4-5) Umâ observing that seer then said to Giris'a: 'Look at this man of learning, who motionless with his body, senses and mind is as calm as the water and the fish of the ocean with the wind laid down. Please, o you who art the bestower of the perfection of penance, make it true for him.'
(6) The great lord said: 'I'm sure the brahmin seer doesn't desire any benedictions in any field, not even liberation; he has achieved the transcendental devotional service for the Supreme Lord, the Inexhaustible Original Person. (7) Nevertheless, Bhavânî, let's talk with this pure devotee, it is indeed man's highest achievement to associate with the saintly'."
(8) Sûta said: "Thus having spoken he, the master of all knowledge, the controller of all the embodied and the great lord and shelter of the righteous, approached him. (9) He, having arrested the functions of his mind, had no knowledge of himself or the outer world, nor of the arrival of the two powers of control over the universe in person. (10) Understanding that, Giris'a the Controller, the great lord, entered by means of his mystic potency the ethereal privacy of Mârkandeya's heart, just like the wind passing through an opening. (11-13) Within himself then S'iva arrived with blonde locks like lightening, having three eyes and ten arms, rising as tall as the sun. Together with a tigerskin for his garment, he exhibited his bow and trident, arrows and sword, shield, prayer beads, damaru (a small drum), ax and skull. Seeing him manifesting suddenly in his heart the sage thereupon desisted from his trance and wondered in surprise: 'Who is this and from where did he come?'
(14) Opening his eyes and seeing that Lord Rudra had arrived with Umâ and his associates, the sage offered with his head the one guru of the three worlds his obeisances. (15) Him together with his company and Umâ he offered worship with words of welcome, sitting places, water for their feet, water to drink, perfumed oil, garlands, incense and lamps. (16) He said: 'O mighty one, what can I do for you, o Lord, by whose full satisfaction in your experience of ecstasy the entire world is pacified? (17) My respects for you devoted to the mode of ignorance, to you terrible in choosing the mode of passion and to you giving pleasure in favor of the mode of goodness'."
(18) Sûta Gosvâmî said: "Praised by these words he, the mighty lord, the foremost of the demigods and shelter of the truthful, perfectly satisfied and happy of mind addressed him with a smile. (19) The great lord said: 'Please, choose a boon to your liking from us the three [guna-avatâra] lords in control by whose audience a mortal being achieves immortality. (20-21) The local rulers and inhabitants of all worlds, I, the great lord Brahmâ and Hari, the Controller in person, glorify, worship and sit near to those brahmins who are saintly, peaceful, free from material attachment, of care for all living beings and who, free from enmity with an equal vision, are single-minded devotees of us. (22) They [these devotees] do not even acknowledge the slightest difference between me, the Infallible One and the one unborn, nor between themselves and other people and for that reason we praise you. (23) Mere bodies of water are no holy places and deities on themselves are devoid of life; they cleanse the soul only after a long time, but you do so by simply being seen [see also 10.48: 31]. (24) The brahmins who embrace our forms that are represented by the three Vedas, and who by penances, study and yogic concentration [samyama] are absorbed in the True Self, we offer our respects. (25) Even the greatest sinners and outcasts find purification by seeing you and hearing about you, and what wouldn't that mean when one directly addresses you [see also 7.14: 17, 10.64: 41-42]?"
(26) Sûta Gosvâmî said: "Thus filled with the words of the one decorated with the moon who reflects the essence of the religion, the sage who through his ears drank from this reservoir of nectar wasn't satisfied. (27) He who by the mâyâ of Vishnu had to wander for such a long time and was terribly exhausted, saw a great load of trouble undone by the grace of Lord S'iva's nectarine words and addressed him. (28) S'rî Mârkandeya said: 'Ah, how inconceivable for embodied souls in praise of the rulers of the universe is this pastime of the great controllers who show respect for those who are controlled by them! (29) In general the authoritative speakers act for the acceptance of the religion and prove for that purpose their sympathy and appreciation for [the proper conduct of] the conditioned souls. (30) Just like a magician's powers are not spoiled by his tricks, is His authority not in any way compromised by these activities in the creation of His illusory energy. (31-32) He who as the Supersoul from His mind [by Himself in the form of Time] creates this universe and subsequently enters it [in the form of the avatâras], by the power of His modes of nature seems to be the doer like someone in a dream. Let me offer my obeisances to Him, the Supreme Personality who acting through the three gunas is the true Self on top of them. He is the pure unequaled spiritual master who is the original form of the Absolute Truth [see B.G. 4: 13, 13: 30, 14: 19]. (33) What other benediction indeed should I choose from you, o all-pervading one, whose presence itself is the highest [one may attain]? From seeing you a person may achieve all he desires, irrespective of what he desires. (34) From Him who stands for the Complete that brings the fulfillment of all desires, I request one benediction though: the unfailing devotional service for the Supreme Personality of Godhead as well as for those dedicated to Him like you'."
(35) Sûta Gosvâmî said: "Thus worshiped and glorified by the well-spoken words of the sage, the great lord S'arva, thereto encouraged by his consort, said: (36) 'O great sage so full of devotion for Adhokshaja, may all you desired be fulfilled. May you also enjoy fame till the end of the kalpa, as well as piety and freedom from old age and death. (37) May you have knowledge of the threefold of time [tri-kâlika] o brahmin, and wisdom plus renunciation. May there for you being given the brahminical potency be the status of teacher of the Purâna'."
(38) Sûta Gosvâmî said: "With granting the sage these blessings he, the controller with the three eyes, went away recounting to the goddess all that he [Mârkandeya] in the past had done and experienced. (39) He, the best one of Bhrigu, who had achieved the greatest of the great of yoga, even today travels about at will, on his way of serving in his exclusive devotion for the Lord. (40) This is what I could describe to you of the amazing potency of the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality as experienced by the intelligent Mârkandeya. (41) Unprecedented as it is [this seven kalpas long life of the sage], do some who are not that learned speak of it as [being nothing but] the from time immemorial cycling of the conditioned living beings through the mind-boggling creation of the Supreme Soul. (42) For the two kinds of people, o best of Bhrigu, who either hear or describe this [narration] infused with the potency of the Lord who has the Wheel [of Time] in His hand, there will never be the mundane course of existence based on karma."