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12 Jyotirlings

2016-02-28 12:52:33, comments: 0

Dwadash Jyotirlings


Jyotirling 

Jyotirling is believed to be a sacred symbol that represents the permanent abode of Lord Shiv. It is also said that after attaining a certain level of devotion to Shiv, the devotee can see the stone ling as a glow of light radiating from the earth. 

According to the Puranas, Lord Shiv, also known as Aadi Dev and Mahadev, made his first appearance in the form of a Jyotirling. This incident took place on Krishna Chaturdashi of the Phalgun month in the Ardra nakshatra. This day is celebrated today as the festival of Mahashivratri. 

Regarding the birth of the Ling, descriptions in the Ling Puran state once when Brahma and Vishnu debated the superiority of the Gods, Shiv appeared in the form of an infinite Jyotirling and asked them to determine the beginning and the end of the Ling. 

Lord Vishnu took the form of varah, and Brahma that of a swan to determine the upper and the lower ends of the ling, respectively. 


After a journey of 1000 years, Lord Vishnu could not locate the source of the Jyotirling and returned unsuccessful. On the other hand, Brahma produced a Ketaki flower as a witness and made a false claim of locating the upper end. 

Lord Shiv, furious at Brahma’s lie, emerged from the Jyotirling and spelled a curse that Brahma will not be worshipped anywhere in the world and that Ketaki flowers will not be used in any religious celebration. This entire episode also proved that Lord Shiv is the greatest of all Gods. 

A group of modern historians believe that the Jyotirling locations were centres of ancient atomic powers. Noted historian P. N. Oak’s reasoning behind the presence of radioactive elements in the water and sand of Banaras (Kashi) is also the same. 

The word Jyotirling is derived from the words Jyoti (vision) and ling (symbol of Shiv). From a philosophical viewpoint, it means the vision that shows a devotee the path toward unison with Shiv, and by treading the path, one can be in complete harmony with Shiv. This is perhaps the basis of the non-dualist (adwaitwadi) philosophy of Shankar. 

Lord Shiv appeared as a Jyotirling at various places for the welfare of the people. According to the Shiv Puran and Aadiguru Shankaracharya’s composition ‘Dwadash Jyotirling Strotram’, there are 12 Jyotirlings—Shri Somnath, Shri Mallikarjun, Shri Mahakaleshwar, Shri Imkareshwar and Amaleshwar, Shri Kedareshwar, Shri Bhemashankar, Shri Vishwanath, Shri Trimbakeshwar, Shri Vaidyanath, Shri Rameshwaram, and Shri Ghrishneshwar. 


The Shiv Puran illustrates the stories of how each of these Jyotirlings was established. It also states that the mere utterance of the names of the Jyotirlings rids an individual of the sins that he/she has committed in 7 lives. 

The spiritual significance of the Jyotirlings is mentioned in various Puranas as well as epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat. Lord Krishna performed the rudrabhishek in the Nageshwar Jyotirling, and the Rameshwar Jyotirling was established by Lord Ram.
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