Mahadeva or Lord Shiva is of foremost importance in Hinduism. He is the main pillar of the holy trinity. Jyotirlinga is the divine place of Lord Shiva, where he resides in different forms.
1. Jyotirlinga: Meaning
The word “Jyotir” means light or radiance and “lingam” or linga means sign or image. So the word Jyotirlinga, the word Jyotirlinga means radiant signs of Lord Shiva. The Jyotirlinga is said to have appeared in places where Lord Shiva himself manifested on earth, thus giving them the name Swayambhu, meaning self-manifested.
2. Story of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga
Each Jyotirlinga is considered to be a different manifestation of Lord Shiva. In this article, we will narrate to you the story behind the sixth of the twelfth Jyotirlinga. Bhimashankar is the sixth Jyotirlinga of Shiva, situated on the hills of the Sahyadri range in Maharashtra 110 kilometers away from Pune.
3. Situated on the Banks of Bhima River
This is also the place where the Bhima river, the largest tributary of the Krishna river, originates. The Maratha-style temple is made of black stones. Everyone is allowed to enter the sanctum and touch the jutted ling.
4. Bhima: Son of Kumbhakaran
It is said that in the dark forest on the range of the Sahyadri mountains lived an asura named Bhima with his mother Kartaki. He was the son of Kumbhakaran, the younger brother of King Ravana when he learned that Lord Vishnu had killed his father in the avatar as Rama he was furious.
5. Revenge of Bhima
He vowed revenge and performed severe penance to please Lord Brahma in return, Brahma blessed him with immense strength which he used to terrorize the world. He imprisoned an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva Kamurupeshwar and demanded that he pray to him instead of Lord Shiva when Kamrupeshwar refused to do so. Bhima raised his wall to destroy the Shivaling.
6. Lord Shiva defeated Bhima
That is when Lord Shiva appeared before him and reduced him to ashes. The place where Lord Shiva manifested himself is a spot where the Shivaling is believed to be now.
7. Another Legend of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.
According to another legend, a demon called Tripurasura performed penance in the Bhimashankar jungle. To please Lord Shiva and asked him for the gift of immortality. Lord Shiva was pleased with his devotion and granted him immortality on the condition that he would use his power to help the local people Tripurasura agreed with him. However, over time he forgot his promise and began to harass both humans and the gods, when the gods begged Lord Shiva, to do something to stop the ensuing chaos. The Lord prayed to his consort Goddess Parvati. Both of them appeared as Ardhanari Nateshwar and killed Tripurasura, after which peace prevailed