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12 JyotirLingas Temples of of Lord Shankar - Significance

What is jyotirlinga ? Jyotirlinga temples 12 along with shiva linga Worship of shivalinga is considered the prime worship for the dev...

12 JyotirLingas
What is jyotirlinga ?
Jyotirlinga temples 12 along with shiva linga
Worship of shivalinga is considered the prime worship for the devotees of Lord shiva. Worship of all other forms is considered secondary. The significance of the shivalinga is that It is the resplendent light (flame) form of the Supreme - solidified to make the worship of It easier. It represents the real nature of God - formless essentially and taking various forms as It wills.

This jyoti swarUpa of God exist in all the shivalinga forms, there are prominent abodes across Indian subcontinent, where It is in a splendid form. These are renowned as dvAdasa jyotir lingas or 12 jyotirlingas. These are held at much great esteem since the ancient pre-historic times. purANas talk in many sections as well as in detail about the glory of these abodes. Devotees have been getting pulled towards these kshetras due to the highly benevolent divine presence in these abodes, since ancient times.

Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotra 
Sourashtre Somanadham, cha Sri Shaile Mallikarjunam || Ujjayinyam Maha Kalam, Omkaram, Amaleshwaram || Paralyam Vaidyanatham, cha Dakinyam Bhimasankaram || Sethubandhe thu Ramesam, Nagesam thu Darukavane || Varanasyam thu Viswesam, Trayambakam Gouthami thate || Himalaye thu Kedaram, Ghushmesam cha Shivalaye || Ethani Jyothirlingani Sayam Pratha Paden Nara || Saptha Janma Krutham Papam Smaranena Vinasyathi


Legend of Jyotirlinga
According to a legend of Lingodbhavamurthy narrated in Linga Purana, once Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were fighting to prove who was the Supreme Being. At this point, Lord Shiva appeared as a flaming Linga and challenged the duo to measure the gigantic Linga (phallic symbol of Lord Shiva). Brahma and Vishnu decided to find one end each and declared that whoever returned first would be acknowledged as supreme. Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and went down. Brahma, in the form of a swan, flew upwards. They searched for days but in vain and returned to the starting point exhausted and bewildered. At that moment, the central part of the pillar split open and Shiva revealed himself in his full glory.

Brahma and Vishnu realized their mistake and acknowledged Shiva as the Supreme Being.Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is especially auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri. Worshipping Shiva on this day is believed to bestow one with happiness and prosperity. Hindus believe that a sincere devotee who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and evening washes all the sins committed in the previous seven births and attains all the powers and Siddhis.

There is an sanskrit shloka that lists the twelve jyotirlinga temples.

“Saurashtre Somanathamcha Srisaile Mallikarjunam|

Ujjayinya Mahakalam Omkaramamaleswaram ||
Paralyam Vaidyanathancha Dakinyam Bheema Shankaram |
Setu Bandhethu Ramesam, Nagesam Darukavane||
Varanasyantu Vishwesam Tryambakam Gautameethate|
Himalayetu Kedaaram, Ghrishnesamcha shivaalaye||
Etani jyotirlingani, Saayam Praatah Patennarah|
Sapta Janma Kritam pApam, Smaranena Vinashyati||”

Mahadev, the Lord incorporates in Himself, the aura and the holiness of all the twelve JyotirLingas. The grandeur of these places is unique. Devotees line up in great numbers to take a look and get a Darshan of all the JyotirLingas.

Those of us who go to these temples of Shubhankar Shankar- Jyoti-Sivasthan, receive the holy blessings of the Lord, and come back happy, peaceful and blessed. This in indeed depends on one’s devotion and experience too.

There are Twelve Jyotirlinga Temples in India These 12 jyotirlinga shrines are-

1.Somnath Jyotirlinga in Saurashtra (Guj) 
2. Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga in Srisailam (A.P.) 
3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain (M.P.)
4.Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga in Shivpuri / mamaleswara (M.P.)
5.Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga in Parali (Mah)
6.Nageswar Jyotirlinga in Darukavanam
7.Kedareswar Jyotirlinga in Kedarnath / Himalayas (Utt)
8.Tryambakeswar Jyotirlinga in Nasik (Mah)
9.Rameshwar Jyotirlinga in Setubandanam / Rameshwaram (T.N.)
10. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Dakini (Mah)
11.Visweswar Jyotirlinga in Varanasi (U.P.)
12. Ghrishneswar Jyotirlinga in Devasrovar (Mah).
Two jyotirlinga are on the sea shore, three jyotirlinga on river banks, four jyotirlinga in the heights of the mountains and three jyotirlinga in villages located in meadows.

Those who chant the Dwadasa JyotirLinga Stotram or prayer will attain salvation and enlightenment and be released from this cycle of human existence with all its travails. By worshipping the Lingas, people of all castes, creeds and colour would be freed from all difficulties. By eating the holy offering made to these Lingas (Naivedyam) one would be rid of all the sins instantly.

As a matter of fact, we do the Darshan of the JyotirLingas as a part of our daily life. Sun, Fire and Light etc., are indeed a part of that great Light. “Om tatsavituvarenye” these magical words of the Gayatri mantra or chant invoke this Supreme light only. By chanting this powerful Mantra, humans can obtain divine power to their life-light or Atmajyothi.

The aura of the Sun rays and the various benefits that can be derived there from is indeed a difficult task to describe. This gorgeous life-light is the only thing that is responsible for the activity in the universe. We salute this life force.

“Agni” or fire is a great light. For all the activities on the earth, “Fire” is the pivot.

Deepajyoti or light and its greatness, is known to all of us, and we offer our prayers. Let us celebrate the glory of light. Light is offered a place of pride at welcome celebrations and on all auspicious occasions.

“Shubham karoti kalyanam Arogyam Dhanasampada|
Shatru buddhi vinashaya Deepa Jyoti namostute||”

This light removes the darkness from the lives of one and all. Darkness means ignorance and it is destroyed by this light. The natured light of God makes all our wishes come true, when we take a Darshan of it.

Thus, by taking a Darshan of these twelve JyotirLingas, the auspicious air surrounding them and the holy pilgrimage, will bring happiness, peace and satisfaction to all.

By: +Prof: Koti Madhav Balu Chowdary

                                           Om Namah Shivayah !