Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12 Jyotir Linga

1 - The Somnath temple is dedicated to Someshwara, another name of Lord Shiva with moon on his head. The temple is situated in Saurashtra in a place called Prabhas Pattan near the port of Veravel. It is believed that the Moon God himself had originally built the temple out of gold. Somnath is the first of all the 12 jyotirlingas. The Somnath temple has been destroyed six times and has been rebuilt. Last time it was after independence. The temple faces the east direction. The Shiva Purana goes:
Somanadham Someswaram Samastha Gunaparagam
Gora-Padhaka thavagnim Jyothir-Swaroopam Namamyaham

2 - The Sri Shailam Temple located in Kurnool district. Sri Shailam is a small city situated in the densely forested Nallamalai hills. This temple is considered very holy and is dedicated to Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bhramaramba. One unique feature of the temple is that all the devotees who visit the temple are allowed to touch the idol which is not prevalent in any other temple in South India. According to popular legends, Adhi Shankara had composed his famous Sivananda Lahiri here It is also believed that Goddess Durga had taken the form of a bee and worshiped Lord Shiva here and selected this holy place as her abode.

3 - Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is situated in Ujjain, the historical capital of Central India. This Temple is situated near a lake. The idol in the temple is known as Dakshinamurti, facing the south and is white in colour. Among the 12 Jyotirlingas, the Mahakal Jyotirlinga is believed to be swayambhu, meaning born of itself. The Mahakaleshwar temple is made in five levels, one of which is underground. The underground sanctum is lightened by brass lamps. The prasada in the temple can be re-offered unlike other temples. According to the legends, a demon called Dushana tormented the people of Avanti and then Lord Shiva appeared from the ground and rescued the people and then on the request of the people, Lord Shiva permanently settled there as Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga.

4 - Lord Omkareshwara or Amaleshwara temple is located in an island on the banks of the Narmada, is located on the Mandhata hill in Madhya Pradesh. The Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The river Narmada branches into two which forms an island Mandhata or Shivapuri in the center. Ironically, the island's shape resembles the visual representation of the Omkara sound, Om. The temple can be reached by ferry. As per the legend, Vindhya mountain once prayed to Lord Shiva or Omkareshwara and got blessed in return. Other story says that the Shivalinga was split into two upon the request of the Devas. Thus, the formation of Omkareshwara and Amareshwar.

5 - Vaidhyanath is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas area of Bihar. Deogarh is also known as Vaidyanath. The temple faces the east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken which as per the legend happened when Ravana tried to uproot it. Sivaganga lake is positioned just near the temple. While the Chandrakoopa well found near the main entrance is said to have been filled with water by Ravana from several thirthams. The Shiva's temple is almost 72 feet tall in the form of a lotus. There are three ascending shaped gold vessels on the top. Then there is a Punchsula as well as an eight petalled lotus jewel called Chandrakanta Mani. According to mythology, Ravana meditated hard to invoke Lord Shiva. In his desire to become invincible, he attempted to lift Lord Shiva's abode, Mount Kailash. The act offended the Lord. He punished him but with Ravana pleading for mercy, he left him on one condition. He gave him one of the twelve lingas which were not supposed to be kept on ground in any case. But Ravana's promise gave way in front of nature's call & kept the linga on the ground. In order to rectify the mistake, Ravana started cutting off nine of his heads as a part of his repentance. Shiva was pleased by this & he joined the heads again to the body. Worshipping Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga is considered to eliminate one's all worries and miseries. It even imparts salvation.

Trithalam trigunadhaaram trinetram chatriyayudham Trijanma-papasamharam Yega-vilvam Sivarpanam

6 - Jyotirlinga Nageswar. The temple is located between Dwarka and Dwarka Island in Gujarat on the coast of Surat. The Jyotirlinga in the temple is known as Nageshwar Mahadev. The temple is being visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. The Jyotirlinga situated in the temple is considered to protect everybody from all sorts of poisons. It is believed that one who offers prayers in the temple becomes poison free.
Nageswaram Naganatham Nagabrana booshidham Nataka-pradham Navarasa Pradham Jyodhir-Swaroopam Vandhe Namami

7 - Kedarnath is a Hindu holy town located in the Indian state of Uttaranchal. And is the northern most Jyothirlinga. The place is located at an altitude of 3,584 m and at the origin of the river Mandakini, The place is accessible after a steep 13 km trek over a paved path from Gaurikund. Rishikesh, Haridwar, The credit for the construction of this heavenly temple is given to the Pandavas. According to the saying it is believed that the Pandavas came to Lord Shiva to seek blessings to atone their sins after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva evaded them continuously and took refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a Bull. On being chased, Lord Shiva left his hump behind. This conical protrusion is worshiped in the temple. The temple is located on the Rudra Himalaya range, also known as the Pancha Parvata. It is believed that four of the Pandavas died on one of the peaks, Swargarohini.

8 - Tryambakeshwar is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines situated 30 km from Nasik in Maharashtra. Considered to be the birth place of the river Godavari, the shrine's beauty is still well intact. A small Shivalingam or Tryambaka, is placed amidst a spacious courtyard & the sanctum which is crowned with a graceful tower, a giant amalaka (goose berry) and a golden kalasha. The Shivalingam is situated in a depression on the floor of the sanctum. Continuous flow of water from the top of the Shivalingam adds to the mystic beauty. Shivalingam is generally covered with a silver mask which is then substituted with a golden mask with five faces on festive occasions. These faces have their respective golden crowns. While, the silver mask is similar to the processional images seen in South Indian temples.

9 - The Rameshwar Jyotirlinga is considered as the southern most Jyotirlingams of India. According to belief, it was installed there by Lord Rama after his return from Sri Lanka. Since Ravana was a Brahmin, Rama got Brahma hathi dosha and to get rid of it, he installed and worshipped Shiva. The Lord is known as Ramanatha. The temple is situated on an island located on the south eastern coast of Tamil nadu. It is believed that the ancient shrine was a thatched hut till it was rebuilt in the 12th century by Parakrama Bahu of Sri Lanka. The rest of the temple was completed by the Sethupathy rulers of Ramanathapuram. There are 36 Theerthams meaning water springs in Rameshwaram out of which 22 are situated in the temple. 10 - Jyotir Linga Bhimashankar, Sahyadri Hills. This temple is located near Pune of Maharashtra on the shores of river Bhima. And is located on a high peak, surrounded by thick dense forests. The shrine Bhimashankaram, dates back to the 13th century. Lord Shiva's killing of the demon Tripurasura is the main legend associated with the temple. It even states that Shiva took abode on the Sahyadri hills in the form of a Bhima upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills. The sweat of Shiva poured after the battle ultimately led to the origin of Bhimarathi river.

11 - Kasi Vishwanath. This temple holiest of the holies to any Hindu is situated in the banks of the holy river Ganga in Varanasi. The temple has been destroyed several times by invaders but has been rebuilt every time. It is believed the priests of the temple have sacrificed their all several times to preserve the holy Lingam. The present temple has been built by Ahalyabhai, a Maharashtrian queen.

Kasi-kshetrancha Kalabairava darsanamPrayaga madhavam Trushtva Yega Bilvam SivarpanamMaha-Smsana Nilayam Prasanna Spadiga-prabavamVedhacvam Jyothir Roopamcha ...

12 - The Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the ancient and holiest shrines of India.. The temple is located at a distance of 11km from Daulatabad near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Daulatabad was once known as Devagiri. Ahilyabhai Holkar constructed the Grishneshwar Temple. Grishneshwar is also known as Ghushmeswara. According to legend, a devotee called Kusuma worshiped Lord Shiva by immersing a Shivalingam everyday in a nearby tank. Kusuma's husband's first wife out of jealousy because of Kusuma's piety in the society killed her son. An aggrieved Kusuma continued her daily ritual and when she dipped the Shivlingam in the tank her son miraculously revived. From then on the people started worshiping Lord Shiva in the form of a Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar.

12 Jyotir Linga

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