I was reading a book today and I came across a story that made me think and I thought I would share it with you today.
Markandeya was not born in our world. He was actually born in a previous world cycle, the last incarnation of our planet.
One day Markandeya noticed his parents were extremely upset. When he asked what was wrong, his father tearfully admitted that when Markandeya was born, the village astrologer predicted the boy would die on his sixteenth birthday.
Well, that very day was his sixteenth birthday. So now it was Markandeya who was upset! He ran to the nearby temple and threw up his arms around the image of the god Shiva.
At that very moment the god of death entered the temple, ready to slip his noose around Markandeya's neck and drag him out of his body. But just as Death reached for the young boy, Shiva materialized in front of them both, and he didn't look happy. In fact, Shiva was furious that Death would disturb a devotee who was worshiping him. Death was so terrified at Shiva's angry gaze that he ran away and never dared approach Markandeya again.
That was fine for the time being, but after a few billion years, a problem developed. the Sun eventually flickered out of existence; the Earth passed away; and Markandeya floated around in empty space for eons. Finally the Earth reshaped itself back into existence, and Markandeya was able to walk on terra firma once more. He reported what he'd experienced between worlds to anyone who asked.
What happens when the solar system dies, he explained, is that the Sun slowly turns red and expands to many times it present size. The surface of the Earth eventually becomes so hot no living thing can survive, and the planet becomes as bare as a turtle's back. Then the Sun explodes, emitting a burning wind that blasts the planet to ashes.
The strange thing about this Hindu story is that it describes the end of the world the way astrophysicists do but this story is older. Coincidence?