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12 JOYTHI LINGAMS
THE 12 JYOTIRLINGAS
SAURASHTRA SOMNATHAM CHA SHRISHAILE
UJJAINYAM MAHAKALOMKARE MAMMALESHWARAM ||
PARLYAM VAIJNATHAM CHA DAKINYAM BHEEM SHANKARAM ||
SETU BANDHE TU RAMESHAM NAGESHAM DARUKA VANE ||
VARANASYA TU VISHWESHAM TRIBAKAM GAUTAMITATE ||
HIMALAYE TU KEDARAM GHURMESHAM CHA SHIVALAYE ||
AETANI JYOTIRLINGANI SAYAM PRATAHA PATHENNARAHA ||
SAPTA JANMA KRITAM PAPAM SMARANEN VINASHYATI ||
1 Somnath in Saurashtra (Kathiawad), Gujarat
2 Mallikarjun in Shrishailam or Srisailam AP (also listed as a Shakti Pitha site).
3 Mahakal in Ujjain OR Mahakalaswar at Ujjain, MP State.
4 Omkar in Mammaleshwaram (at Omkareshwar on the river Narmada, MP)
5 Vaijnath in Parli (Vaidyanath at Deogarh, Bihar)
6 Bhima Shankar in Dakini northwest of Poona, in Dhakini, Maharashtra
7 Rameshwaram in Setubandha, Tamil Nadu
8 Nagesh, Naganath/Nageshwar, in Darukavana, Maharaashtra
9 Vishweshwar/ Viswanath in Banaras/Varanasi , UP
10 Trimbakeshwar near Nasik on the banks of river Gautami/Godavari , Maharashtra
11 Kedarnath/Kedareshwar in Utterkhand Himalayas, UP
12 Ghurmeshwar in Shivalaya OR Grineshwar in Visalakam, near Ellora caves, Mah
One who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and evening he washes all the sins committed in the previous 7 births and attains all the powers and Siddhis.
9. VISHWANATH [KASI]
Kasi is amongst the holy spots for visit by the Hindus. It is believed that a visit to Kasi ensures liberation & hence pious Hindus seek a visit during their lifetime. The Lord himself has declared this spot as his Royal residence. Goddess Parvathi's mother felt ashamed that her son-in-law had no decent dwelling. To please Parvati Devi, Siva asked Nikumbha to provide him with a dwelling place at Kasi.
On the request of Nikumbha, Aunikumbha a brahmin made Divodas construct a temple for the Lord here. The pleased Lord granted boons to all his devotees. But Divodas was not blessed with a son. The angered Divodas demolished the structure. Nikubha cursed that the area would be devoid of people. When the place was emptied Lord Siva once again took residence here permanently. The Lord along with Parvathi Devi once again started blessing his devotees with wonderful boons.
Parvathi Devi was so pleased that she offered food (annam) to one and all and hence is worshipped as Annapoorani. The Lord himself is seen with a bowl in his hands asking for annam from the seated Devi at the Devi's shrine adjacent to Viswanathar's shrine. This is considered to be one of the 52 Sakthipeedams (the place where Parvathi's left hand fell, when her corpse was cut by Mahavishnu's sudarsana chakram).
The Siva lingam is placed in a square shaped brass-plated pit. Devotees are permitted to offer worship such as abhishekam with holy ganga water, garlanding the Lord, karpoora aarathi, etc. personally to the swaymbhu lingam.
There are several smaller shrines around the main shrine. The head of each ghat has a Siva linga shrine. The Lord can be seen placed on a pedestal at every location in the city, even if there is not shrine as such. Behind the temple is situated the temple of Dhundhiraja Ganapathi.
The Triyambakeshwarar temple is located in the Triyambak town near Nasik. The temple is in the Indo Aryan style. The temple structure with excellent adornments of idols and sculptures, is surrounded by a massive stonewall. There is a huge bull in front of the temple & another marble Nandi is seen on the inside. The sculptural adornments continue even to the garbagriha with human, animals and yakshas carved. From the Jyotir Lingam at the center of the garbagriha, trickles the Ganges continuously throughout the year. Sometimes, it is said flames issue forth as also a rumbling sound.
Kedarnath, at the head of the Mandakini River, is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the devout Hindu.
The temple, believed to be very ancient, has been continually renovated over the centuries. According to legend, Lord Shiva wished to elude the Pandavas, and took refuge in Kedar- nath in the form of a bull. On being followed, He dived into the ground, leaving behind His hump of the surface. The hump is worshipped in the temple of Kedarnath in the conical Shiva pinda form. The remaining parts of the body are worshipped at four other places:
The arms (Bahu) at Tungnath; face (mukh) at Rudranath; navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar; and hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar.
Together with Kedarnath, these places are known as the Panch Kedar.
The lingam at Kedarnath, unlike its usual form, is pyramidal and is regarded as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas.
Kedarnath is situated in the Himalayan slopes in the Gharwal district of Uttar Pradesh. The uniqueness and greatness of this temple sees mention in the Vedas, ithihaasaas, epics.
The term Kedara for the Lord denotes:
The Lord who holds the holy Ganges in
his matted locks & allows it to flow evenly to the world.
It could also mean the mark that is left on the Lord's head from the time when Arjuna got the Paasupathastram.
This shrine is located at an elevation of 11,735 feet above sea level. The region of the Himalayas, where the shrine is located is known by several names such as Gandhamadana parvatham, Sumera parvatham, Pancha parvatham, etc. (Pancha parvatham, for this is the spot of five sacred peaks namely Rudra Himalayas, Vishnupuri, Brahmapuri, Udayagiri & Swargarohini.
The exterior of the temple is rather simple, but the interior is adorned with marvelous sculptures. In the garba griha is an irregular shaped conical rock, which is about five feet by four feet. Lord Siva in the form of Jyotirlinga is worshipped here as Lord Kedareshwar. It is believed that the Jyotirlinga is actually the rump of the bull, which was the form that Lord Siva assumed, when the Pandavas tried to reach him to atone the sins of the Kurukshetra war. Since it was not time designated for humans to worship the Lord here, Lord Siva tried to go away in the form of a bull. It is believed that temple structure that exists till date was actually the one constructed by the Pandavas.
The sannadhi of the Lord is facing south. There are the idols of Kedaragowri, Krishna, Pandavas, Draupadi, Vinayagar, Veerabadrar, Kaarthikeyan, Nandi.. The shrine is covered by snow for 6 months in a year (closed from Oct-Nov upto Apr-May). It is believed that this is the time when the Devas are worshipping the Lord.
There is mountain path called Sorga Vaasal, through which the Pandavas, Sankaracharyar are supposed to have gone through. The river Mandakini flows down from near this area
12. Grineshwar in Visalakam, near the Ellora caves, Maharashtra State.
There has to be legend associated with every temple. This one too is no exception. There was once a devout woman Kusuma who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and she regularly immersed a Shivalingam in a tank, as a part of her daily ritual worship. Her husband's first wife, envious of her piety and standing in society murdered Kusuma's son in cold blood. An aggrieved Kusuma continued her ritual worship, and when she immersed the Shivalingam again in the tank, her son was miraculously restored to life. Shiva is said to have appeared in front of her and the villagers, and ever since then the shivalingam here has been worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar.
Jyotir Lingam exists at Devagiri near Ellora. The Lord is known by several names - Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Grushmeswara, Grishneswara There once lived a pious brahmin & his wife. He was a great devotee of Siva. He was not blessed with a son. At the persuasion of his family, he got married to Kusuma, in order to give him a son. Kusuma was an even greater devotee of Lord Siva. Everyday she would make one Siva Linga, worship it and then immerse it in the temple tank. Soon she was blessed with boy baby. The first wife was seething with jealousy & ill treated Kusuma. Putting all her faith in the Lord, Kusuma bore all the sufferings humbly. When the boy grew older, they planned his wedding. The jealous first wife killed the boy with an axe.
Kusuma was deeply grieved, yet did not stop her daily worship of Lord Siva. She continued to make the Lingam, worshipped & immersed it in the tank. To the surprise of one and all, her son rose out of the water one day, coming back to life.
Lord Siva appeared before them & blessed them. He declared that he would give Darshan to devotees in his Jyotir Linga swarupam at the same spot where Kusuma immersed the Lingams.
This Jyotir Lingam is considered to exist in two places, one at Devagiri near Ellora & the other at the Kailas temple at Ellora.
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