One of our basic religious beliefs is that the world’s running by Trimurties. Most of the people believe that all the creatures on this earth are created, protected and destroyed by the Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, respectively.
Shivamahapurana says that during the argument (on the hegemony of creation) between creator and protector, in order to sort out the problem, Lord Shiva (master of everyone) pierced the three worlds appearing as the Jyotirlinga(a huge infinite pillar of light). To find the end of the Jyotirlinga, Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively.
Brahma falsified that he found the end, while the other acknowledged his defeat. The fable became the reason behind the anger of Lord Shiva. As a result, he was cursed to be not worshipped by anyone.
The Jyotirlinga is the divine representation, the partless reality of supreme Shiva which shrines are temples where Shiva (master of light) appeared as a fiery column of light. From that instance, there were believed to be totally 64 Jyotirlingas. Among 64, 12 Jyotirlingas are considered to be very much divine. This article is all about those 12 auspicious Jyotirlingas, which are present all over India and are very divine.
1. Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat
The Deo Patan, which is otherwise called as Somnath temple, is located in Sagar Kant of Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India. It is believed to be the first Jyotirlinga shrine of the Lord Shiva and the Shrine Eternal was destroyed and reconstructed many times.
As the site of Somnath being a triveni sangam, it has been a sacred pilgrimage site. It's believed that Soma (the good of moon), due to a curse, lost his lustre(luminosity) and in order to regain it, he bathed in the Saraswati River which became the reason behind the waxing and waning of the moon.
2. Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Andhra Pradesh
Next Jyotirlinga, Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple or Srisailam Temple, is one of the Jyotirlingas with deities Shiva and Parvati at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, India. Shiva is depicted as Mallikarjuna and his consort is worshipped as Bhramaramba. It's one of the three temples in which both Jyotirlinga and Shaktipeeth is worshipped in India.
According to Shivapurna, Shiva and Shakti decided to get their sons (Lord Ganesh, Lord Murugan) married with suitable brides. There was an argument to decide whom to get married first. So the supreme Lord Shiva decided that whoever goes around the world and returns first will be married first. Lord Murugan started his pradakshina with his peacock. But Lord Ganesh went around his parents for seven times and claimed the victory.
Finally, Lord Ganesha tied his hands with Goddesses Riddhi and Siddhi. Lord Murugan felt unfair and left Kailasa and went to Krouncha. This saddened good parents. When he reached to meet him, he shifted the place. And the place where they were waiting is known as Srisailam. It's believed that Lord Shiva visits Lord Murugan and Goddess Shakti visits him on Amavasya and Poornima.
3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh
Mahakaleshwar temple is located in the ancient city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India. The unique feature among 12 Jyotirlingas is the temple facing the South which is carried only by Mahakaleshwar temple.
Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish built the temple where the upper lip of Goddess Parvathi (Mahakali) fell when Lord Shiva carried her dead body. And there is no King who stayed in Ujjain at night. It is believed that no King remains as King after staying there a night.
4. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh
Omkareshwar is located in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, India on the island called Mandhata or Shivapuri which is in the shape of Devanagari.
Let's look into one of the stories behind the temple. According to the Hindu legend, Vindhya (the deity of the Vindhya mountain range) was worshipping Lord Shiva to reconcile himself from the committed sins. So, with sand and clay, he created a sacred geometrical pattern and a lingam. Shiva was delighted with his worship and appeared in two forms (Omkareshwar and Amaleswara). As the mud mound was in the form of ‘Om’, the temple was called Omkareshwar.
5. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is located in the Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This can be visited only for six months in a year (from the month of Vaisakha to Ashwini) as the rest of the year the Himalayas are covered with snow.
As the Pandavas killed their blood relatives, they felt guilty. To get out of it, they searched for Lord Shiva who didn't wish to remove their sin. And so Lord Shiva disguised himself as a bull and roamed there. Bhima only can hold the hump. The body of Lord Shiva (bull) showed up in various places. The hump, navel, two forelegs, face and hair were found in Kedarnath, Madhya-Maheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar respectively.
6. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra
Shree Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple is located in Maharashtra, India which is built-in Hemadpanthi style and decorated with Dashavatar statues. The temple gives the wonderful vista of rivers, forts, hills, forest with rare species of flora and fauna. It's one of the 12 Jyotirlingas which will be the reasons behind your peace after worship.
7. Vishwanath Temple, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Here, the main deity is known as Shri Vishwanath and Vishweshwara which means the Lord of the universe. It's beloved that a visit to the temple and a bath in the Ganges river in one of the ways leads one on the path of liberation.
There is a tradition that one should leave anyone out of his desire after a pilgrimage. And thereby people from the world mostly try to visit here once. It's believed that as Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore dreamt Lord Shiva, the current temple was built by her in 1777.
8. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra
Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is located in Trimbak, Trimbakeshwar tehsil, Nashik District, Maharashtra, India. The temple has three lingams, which represent Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, respectively. As the people used excessive water, the Linga started to erode. It's believed that this erosion symbolises the erosion of human society.
Here, the Lingas are covered by a jewelled crown which consists of diamonds, emeralds and many other precious gems. It's said to be from the age of Pandavas and it's displayed every Monday from 4 pm to 5 pm.
According to Padmapurana, after the Ocean's churning, by fooling Demons, the God occupied immortal nectar from them. As the demons came to know this, they fought with God for Amrita Kumbha. During the fight, the drops of Amrit fell at four places which include Trimbakeshwar and thereby Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years.
9. Baidyanath Jyotirlinga, Jharkhand
Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga temple or Baba Baidyanath Dham or Baidyanath Dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas which is the most sacred abodes of Shiva and it's located in Deoghar, Santhal Parganas division, Jharkhand, India.
It's believed that Ravana (King of demons) worshipped Lord Shiva at the site of the temple in order to get the boons which was later used by him To wreak havoc on the earth. And so he sacrificed his ten heads to Lord Shiva. In order to cure him, Lord Shiva acted as Vaidya. This is the reason behind the name of the temple.
10. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Gujarat
'Darukavana' remains the only clue. The exact location of Darukavana is debated. There are no other important clues indicating the location of the Jyotirlinga.
There are many stories behind the scene. One of the stories states that the strongest among the Pandavas, Bhima in Dwapar Yuga saw a river filled with cream and milk. With his brothers, he found a self-manifested lingam. This became the exact spot of the Nageshwar Temple.
11. Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga, Tamil Nadu
It's located in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India. There is a brief that Lord Rama placed the lingam here. He did it before leaving Ravana's Kingdom to rescue goddess, Sita. In the seashore, Lord Rama was drinking water. As he heard a say "you are drinking water before worshipping me", he stopped drinking and tried to make Linga.
By this act Lord Shiva became happy and he offered the power to defeat Ravana. Lord Shiva made that place his abode as it was inducted by Lord Rama. And thereby the Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of Jyotirlinga.
12. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple also known as the Ghrneshwar and Dhushmeshwar Temple is located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. It's one of the 12 Jyotirlingas which is constructed in the traditional South Indian style. It exhibits five-shikhara which is elaborately designed. Though it's smallest among all 12 Jyotirlingas, it's spoken for its adorning sculptures.
As the term 'Jyoti' means radiance and the term 'lingam' means a sign of Lord Shiva, the term Jyotirlinga means the Radiant Sign of Lord Shiva. Each and every one of us would find harmony after visiting Jyotirlingas. If you are having lack of focus in your lives, do seek refuge in the divine home of Mahadev!
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