12 Jyotirlingas In India-A Guide To Lord shiva Temples
Today, when the world is rapidly moving ahead because of globalization, people still believe in the existence of God. It is thought that if we accept and drink all the harshness given to us by society, we will become Shiva or Shankara. A Jyotirlinga is the illuminated sign of Lord Shiva, his power, and his existence. The 12 Jyotirlingas in India symbolize radiance and a mark of the almighty. The power and existence of Lord Shiva are depicted through these Jyotirlingas. The story behind the presence of Jyotirlingas leaves an perfect impact on the minds of the people listening to it. It draws their attention to visit these holy places and worship the different forms of Lord Shiva.
Story Behind 12 Jyotirlingas In India
The subsistence of Jyotirlingas has a compelling story behind it. The religious books and texts narrate this story so that the people are convinced of their existence. According to Shiv Mahapuran, a famous sacred text, the level of these 12 Jyotirlingas in India follows.
An argument heated up between Brahma and Vishnu, both claiming to be the supreme power. Lord Shiva pricked the entire three worlds into a colossal pillar known as a Jyotirlinga to test both the deities. Brahma and Vishnu were asked to locate the extremities of the post. Whoever would first reach the extreme would win.
Vishnu went downward while Brahma moved upwards. Not knowing that it was infinite, Brahma proclaimed on finding the extreme while Vishnu gracefully accepted his defeat. Infuriated by the lies of Brahma, Lord Shiva cursed him for not being worshipped. On the contrary, Vishnu would be revered for perpetuity. Eventually, these 12 Jyotirlingas in India came into existence.
Spiritual Significance Of 12 Jyotirlinga In India
Lord Shiva is the most worshipped deity in Hindu mythology. Many temples are dedicated to him. Amongst all the temples, the 12 Jyotirlingas in India hold great significance. They are considered to be the most aesthetic pilgrim destination for Shiva admirers. Shiva, when appearing in the form of light, represents a Jyotirlinga.
Every Jyotirlinga among these 12 Jyotirlingas in India has its symbolism. The Jyotirlinga is south-headed as the master of the southern direction, subordinate to Lord Shiva. To perform Abhishek, one must choose a suitable Jyotirlinga. Naganatha is a Jyotirlinga that is worshipped in the Harihar form of Shiva. The predominant energy is Sattva-Tama.
12 Jyotirlingas In India With Their Location
The 12 Jyotirlingas are the main places to worship Lord Shiva. They are the radiant form of light that appears like Shiva. The main Jyotirlingas are as follows:
The Somnath Jyotirlinga is located in Saurashtra, Gujarat. It is regarded as one of the most significant Jyotirlingas amongst all. The popularity of this temple reached its height because of the Triveni Sangam.
The convergence of three rivers- Saraswati, Hiran and Kapila form Triveni Sangam. The mythological significance of Somnath Jyotirlinga is deeply related to Lord Krishna. The devotees of Shiva are not allowed to touch the Somnath Jyotirlinga.
The Mallikarjuna temple depicts a beautiful story of Lord Shiva and Parvati amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Lord Shiva in this temple is worshipped in Linga form with Jasmine flowers. Jasmine flowers in Telugu are known as Mallika.
In this way, this temple got its name. Located at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort. The Mahashivratri celebrations here are worth attending.
The temple of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is situated near the river Shipra. The importance of this Jyotirlinga overpowers the other 12 Jyotirlingas in India. This temple was built by Lord Brahma with Marathi-style architecture.
It is the only Jyotirlinga that faces south, the direction of death. All other Jyotirlingas are east-headed. The significance of worshipping at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is to avoid sudden demise and happily enjoy a long life.
Located on Omkar mountains, Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is the place of belief and faith. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, which has a wartime story behind it. Situated in Madhya Pradesh at Shivpuri island, Lord Shiva resides here in the form of Omkareshwar.
The holy place of Omkareshwar depicts the sound of Lord Shiva, ‘OM,’ which is enchanted during mantras and meditation. The significance of this temple is believed to be the victory of Lord Shiva over demons who existed thousands of years back.
Popularly known as Baba Baidyanath Dham, this is one of India’s most sacred Jyotirlingas amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Situated in Deoghar, Jharkhand, this Jyotirlinga holds great Mythological importance. It is believed that Ravana self sacrificed its ten heads to Lord Shiva in this place.
On seeing this; offering Lord Shiva came down to Earth to heal the injuries of Ravana. This led to Shiva being regarded as ‘Vaidya.’ Hence people here started to worship Lord Shiva in the form of a healer.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is legendary amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. It is located in Dwarka, Gujarat. Lord Shiva resides in this temple by the name of Nageshwar. Goddess Parvati here is named Nageshwari.
It is believed that any person worshipping Lord Shiva here is guided by the almighty. The temple of Nageshwar gives an aesthetic view of the Arabian sea, which draws the attention of thousands of Shiva devotees.
The extraordinary attribute of Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. As one of the religious centers in Nashik, Maharashtra, this temple holds one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Here, the Jyotirlinga has three phases illustrating Lord Rudra, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma.
The Linga in this temple has undoubtedly started to rust because of the excessive use of water. The temple was constructed by Peshwa Balaji Bajirao in the area of an ancient temple. During the reign of Aurangzeb, the Trimbakeshwar temple was destroyed, and a mosque was built on the site.
The Kedarnath temple is famous as it is counted amongst the Char Dham pilgrimage. The Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga is amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Dedicated to Lord Shankara, this temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as SadaShiva.
Mount Kailash, where Lord Shiva meditates, is visible from the Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga temple. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself resorted to the Kedarnath Jyotirlinga. Kedarnath was severely affected during the flash flood in 2013.
As a part of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the Rameshwaram temple is counted amongst the top religious places. It is the Southernmost Jyotirlinga which makes it distinct from other Jyotirlingas. Located in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, this Jyotirlinga was first worshipped by Lord Rama while he was setting off to free Mata Sita.
The Rameshwaram temple was first built by the Pandya dynasty. The Jyotirlinga in Rameshwaram temple is named after Lord Sri Ram. This holy place is counted amongst the Char Dham pilgrimage.
The Bhimashankar temple was built in the 13th century to test the skills of Vishwakarma sculptures. Lord Shiva presides here as Bhimashankar. This temple is Situated at the peak of the Sahyadri hills in Pune. It showcases the pure bond of Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati.
As homage to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the Bhimashankar temple has its divine significance. The celebration of Mahashivratri is worth watching as it is done with a lot of enthusiasm and great energy.
It is located on the shore of the divine River Ganga, Uttar Pradesh. This holy temple is also known as the golden temple of Varanasi city. It is the home of Lord Visheshwar, the Lord of the Universe.
Popularly known as the Kashi Vishwanath temple, it holds one of the holiest Jyotirlinga amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as the Ruler of the Universe. According to Shiv Mahapuran, the Kashi Vishwanath temple is where Lord Shiva blesses their devotees for a happy and liberal life.
Located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, the Grishneshwar temple is a holy place with attractive architecture. Lord Shiva as Grishneshwar is worshipped here as the Lord of Compassion.
The Grishneshwar temple is built of red stones and has a significant mention in the Padma Purana. The temple was constructed around the 18th century by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar and is counted among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
The Bottom Line
The Jyotirlingas are the holy places to worship Lord Shiva in his different forms. Each Jyotirlinga has its significance and importance. The supreme power of Lord Shiva is evident in the stories of 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Apart from these Jyotirlingas, Lord Shiva is also named Mahakal, Bholenath, Natraj, Kaal Bhairav, and Bhuteshwar Mahadev.
He is considered to be the destroyer among the Tridev. The Jyotirlingas symbolizes the limitless form of Lord Shiva. The worshippers of Lord Shiva from all over the place visit these Jyotirlingas for attaining spiritual tranquility. Among all the Jyotirlinga, the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is the most powerful.