In the previous article, we worshiped six out of 12 jyotirlingas. Now it’s time to worship the remaining six jyotirlingas. So, why wait, let’s begin our journey to the rest 6 of this article.
Read Part One: Twelve Jyotirlingas and their stories – part one
Continuation of 12 Jyotirlingas pilgrimage:
In this article let us learn about the legendary stories, histories, and features of the jyotirlingas from Kashi to Rameshwaram. To enjoy the trip without movement read on till the end.
Vishweshwara / Vishwanatha Jyotirlinga:
- This famous temple is situated on the western banks of the holiest river Ganges (Ganga) in the city of Varanasi. The shrine, Lord Shiva here is addressed as Vishwanatha which means “the ruler of the Universe”. This is popularly known as Kashi Vishwanatha Temple, as Kashi is the former name of Benaras city which is now called Varanasi. Legend says Kashi is the first place of creation and is believed, the city won’t destroy under any circumstances. Kaalabhairava, one of the forms of Lord Shiva is the protector of Kashi.
- The mythology says, Lord Shiva once lived in Kashi. To make his consort Parvathi blissful, Lord Shiva seeks the help of the demon Nikhumba to make Kashi suitable for his family to reside. Goddess Parvathi was overjoyed by seeing the beautiful place and offered food to everyone there. This is why Devi Parvathi is worshipped as Annapurna here. Since the Lord lived there and both Shiv and Shakthi are worshiped together this is also known as Amarakailasa. Believers say that whoever lives or dies in Kashi attains Moksha.
- In the time’s history, Kashi was subject to many attacks by various invaders. Also, it was re-built by many rulers. The wisdom well inside the temple was the place used to hide shrines during Mughal attacks. A ruler, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar 1777 built the present temple.
- This temple is situated near Nasik in Maharashtra. The temple built with black stone is its special feature. Also, the shrine or Linga has three faces, indicating the Trimurthis (Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar). This place is also the origin of the river Godavari. The Kushavarta or the sacred pond here is the source of the river.
- According to the legend, Maharshi Gautama lived here along with his wife Ahalya. The other neighboring Rishis and their wives out of jealousy planned to trouble the couple. They sent a cow to ruin their yard, the story says the cow was none other than Lord Ganesh in disguised form. Gautama Maharshi tried to frighten the cow with grass, but unfortunately, the cow died on spot. To get rid of the sin of killing a cow, Gautama prayed to Lord Shiva and requested him to let a river flow there. Pleased by the devotion Lord Shiva called upon Devi Godavari and asked her to stay there. The Godavari asked Lord Shiva also to stay with her, hence the Lord stayed there.
- History says Balaji Bajirao built the current architecture.
Vaidyanatha / Baidhyanatha Jyotirlinga:
- Baidyanath jyotirlinga is the smallest Jyotirlinga of all. Three different states claim this particular Jyotirlinga as theirs. But according to Adi Shankaracharya’s shloka, it is situated at Parli in Maharashtra. The tale of this Jyotirlinga is associated with the demon king Ravan. Once Ravan performed rigorous penance to please Lord Shiva. The penance went on for months, finally, Ravan decided to offer his head to please the Lord. He began to cut his ten heads one after another. When he was about to cut his tenth head Lord Shiva appeared before him and fixed back the cut-down heads. Since Lord Shiva treated the injured Ravan, he called him Vaidyanath, in which Vaidhya means doctor. Shiva then manifested as a Linga there and became popular as Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga.
- The term Naga means snake, particularly cobra. There is a cobra-like symbol on the Lingam, hence the name says the known sources. The Nageshwara or Naganatha Jyotirlinga is situated in Darukavan near Dwaraka of Gujarat state. Legend says, once there was a demon name Daruka in Darukavan who harassed people. He once captured a merchant named Supriya who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Supriya used to pray to the Lord even there. Blissed by his devotion Lord Shiva appeared before him and slaughtered Daruka. Also, the tale says the Lord himself installed the Linga called Naganath in that place.
- This popular Jyotirlinga called Rameshwara or Ramanatha is situated at Rameshwaram of Tamil Nadu. It is the southernmost Jyotirlinga of India. There are two Lingas in the sanctum (Garbhagriha), one called Ramalinga and the other called Vishwalinga. Lord Rama built the Ramalinga with sand. Before going to Lanka (Now Srilanka) to bring back Sita from the clutches of Ravan, Lord Rama wanted to pray to Lord Shiva. But there was no Linga there, so he sent Hanuman to get Linga from Kailash. Hanuman failed to bring it in time, so Rama built a linga with sand and offered prayers. Meanwhile, Hanuman brought the Linga and Lord Rama installed it with the one built by him.
- The temple is popular for its beauty, Parakrama Bahu of Srilanka initiated it in the 12th century. History says until then the shrine was in a thatched hut. The Setupati rulers of Ramanathapuram built the remaining temple. The giant 4,000 granite pillars magnify the beauty of this temple. These pillars built in the 4,000 feet corridor are the longest corridor in the world.
- This is the smallest Jyotirlinga temple in India, located in Ellora near Daulatabad in Maharashtra. The story tells us that, once lived a great devotee of Lord Shiva named Kusuma (some stories also tell the same name as Ghushma). She used to immerse the Shiva Linga every day in a nearby lake and offer prayers. Everyone in the village appreciated Kusuma for her devotion. Her step-sister was jealous about this and hence killed Kusuma’s son one day. Even in grief Kusuma never missed her prayers. Impressed by her devotion, Lord Shiva brought her son back to life. Overwhelmed Kusuma requested the Lord to stay there forever, so the Lord manifested himself as Grishneshwar. People also address this shrine asGhushmeshwar or Kusumeshwar.
- History says Delhi sultans destroyed this temple in the 13th – 14th century AD. The Maratha ruler Maloju Bhisale reconstructed it in the 16th century AD.
Here ends the short trip to all 12 jyotirlingas of India. Hope you found this information useful and interesting. Please drop your valuable feedback and comments below.