6 Mar 2016

The Twelve Jyotirlingams (Part 3 of 3)


The Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlingam is located in the district of Nashik, India. The lingam itself resides underground and has three faces that represent Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Hence, the name “Trimbakeshwar” translates to, “Three Lords.” Among the legends of Trimbakeshwar, there is the story of Sage Gautama, the sage who had inevitably been involved with the killing of a cow. In order to be cleansed of this sin, the Rishis advised Sage Gautama to do penance to Lord Shiva. By praying to Lord Shiva, he asked  Mahadev to send Mother Ganga to his hermitage so that his soul and ashram may be purified. Lord Shiva was touched by Gautama's sincerity and devotion, and thus, Lord Shiva sent him the Godavari river, which is often referred to as the "Ganges of the South." After Lord Shiva's appearance to Sage Gautama, the Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlingam was manifested. 


The Mallikarjuna Jyotir Lingam is located in the Andhra Pradesh region of South India. As narrated in the Shiva Puran, Lord Ganesha had won the race around the world over His brother Kartikeya, by encircling Shiva and Parvati. Hence, Ganesha was granted marriage first. As Kartikeya was upset at His defeat, He traveled to the Kraunch Mountain where Shiva and Parvati both followed Him. Upon Shiva and Parvati’s arrival, Kartikeya left the mountain, but Shiva and Parvati stayed. It was at this spot that Lord Shiva eventually took the form of the Jyotirlingam known as, “Mallikarjuna.”


On the mountain Devagiri, there lived a brahmin named Brahmavetta Sudharm, and his wife, Sudeha. Because the married couple could not bear any children, Sudeha convinced her sister, Ghushma, to also marry Sudharm. By worshipping 101 Shiva Lingams formed from the Earth, and offering them into a nearby lake every day, Gushma soon begot a baby boy. Overtime though, Sudeha had become jealous of her sister and out of her jealousy, she killed Ghushma’s son and threw his body into the lake. The next day when Ghushma offered the 101 Shiva Lingams into the lake, Lord Shiva manifested Himself and revealed to her what happened to her son. Ghushma asked Mahadev to pardon her sister and to always remain near Devagiri. Lord Shiva granted her request and manifested Himself as the Grishneshwar Jyotirlingam. The lake also came to be known as, “Shivalaya.”


The legend goes that a demon by the name of Bhima had enslaved a devotee of Shiva named, “Kamrupeshwar.” When Kamrupeshwar wouldn’t worship Bhima as his Lord, the demon took a sword to strike a Shiva Lingam. Lord Shiva manifested Himself and went to war with Bhima. When the fight had gone on long enough, Lord Shiva incinerated Bhima to ashes. At the request of the sages and Gods, Lord Shiva manifested Himself as the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.

“Shiva stands for the mind. Shiva is Gyaneshwara. Another form of Shiva is Dakshinamurti. Dakshinamurti is the one which gives knowledge. The Guru is a form of Dakshinamurti which gives knowledge. But what is knowledge? Not the knowledge to fill up the mind. In the path of bhakti you have to have certain knowledge of certain things, but yet, you have to discharge, to put aside even that knowledge. Because the knowledge of the Self, Brahma Jyaan, is beyond the knowledge of the mind.” - Sri Swami Vishwananda

The beginning ceremonies for Maha Shivaratri is less than 24 hours away! If you plan on visiting Shree Peetha Nilaya for Maha Shivaratri and still need to register, click on the link here: http://www.bhaktimarga.org/events/event/maha-shivaratri