Mahadev 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 Jyoti means light or radiance and linga or lingam means sign or image. So, 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 of Swayambhu, meaning self-manifested.
2. Mallikaarjuna 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 second of the twelfth Jyotirlinga. The Mallikaarjuna jyotirlinga is one of the greatest Shiva shrines in India and is also known as the “Kailash of the south”.
3. Jyotirlinga with both Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati
This shrine is situated on the Sri Shaila Mountain on the banks of the River Krishna in Andhra Pradesh. Of all the Lingas this particular one has Devi Parvati by the side of Lord Shiva. The presiding deities of this temple are Mallikaarjuna, meaning Shiva, and Brahmarambha, meaning Devi Parvati Mallikaarjuna is also one among the 52 Shaktipitas. Shaktipitas is believed to be the places where the burnt parts of Sati's body fell on earth.
4. Wedding of Lord Ganesha
There are many stories associated with Mallikaarjuna jyotirlinga and devotees may differ in the story they prefer. Here. We are going to cite two of the most popular stories. The first story can be found in the 15th chapter of Koti Rudra Samhita in the Shiva Purana, once Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati decided to get their sons. Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeyan married suitable brides. An argument arose regarding who, amongst the two is to be married first, Lord Shiva suggested that whoever goes around the world in Pradakshina and returns first will be wedded first.
Lord Karthikeyan jumped on his peacock and started his Pradakshina. Lord Ganesha went around his parents seven times and claimed that his parents were the world to him. Thus, having won the competition of intellect Lord Ganesha was wedded to goddess Riddhi and Siddhi. When Karthikeyan returned, he was enraged at the unfairness that mattered to him.
5. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati visit Lord Karthikeya
He left Kailash to live on Mount Krouncha. At Mount Krouncha, he took up the name, Kumara Brahmachari. The turn of events saddened Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. They decided to visit Lord Karthikeyan on mount Krouncha. When Karthikeya realized that his parents were to arrive, he moved away to another place. The place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati waited is now known as Srisailam. Deeply disturbed by their son, they assumed the form of a Jyotirlinga and resided in the mountains as Malika, meaning, Parvati, and Arjuna, meaning Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva visits, Lord Karthikeyan on Amavasya, and goddess Parvati visits him on Purnima.
6. Another Story of Mallikaarjuna Jyotirlinga
The next story is that of a princess called Chandravati. The story can be found sculpted into the walls of the Mallikaarjuna temple. Chandravati was born as a princess but decided to give up royalty and spend her life doing penance. She was in a cuddly forest immersed in meditation when she saw a Kapila cow approaching a Bilwa tree. The cow was bathing the ground near the tree with milk from its four udders.
7. Chandravati attained Moksha
This kept happening every day, perplexed by this everyday ritual. The princess dug up the ground under the tree. It was here that she found a Swayamhu Shivalinga, a Shivalinga that was formed in nature. The Shivalinga was bright and looked like it was on fire, Chandravati worshiped the Jyotirlinga and eventually made a huge temple to house the Jyotirlinga. It is said that Chandravati was a very dear devotee of Lord Shiva. When her time came. She was carried to Kailash by the winds she attained moksha and Mukti there. It is believed that praying to Lord Shiva in the Mallikaajuna temple brings immense wealth and fame. Showing true devotion to Lord Shiva will help fulfill all kinds of wishes and desires. It is said that just by visiting this temple once it clears all of the human sins and the person becomes free from the vicious cycle of life and death.