12 Jyotirling name: Shiva appeared in a form of light pillar
Lord Shiva is a destroyer among the ‘Trimurti’ of the Hindu religion and ‘Jyotirlingam’ is a devotional representation of him. India is home to the auspicious Jyotirling which are known all around the world.
Originally there are 64 Jyotirlings among which 12 are counted as the holiest places. Each year, billions of devotees from far distance visit these pilgrimages to seek grace. 12 Jyotirling names are listed as one of the pious pilgrimages in India and are usually crowded with visitors who come to witness the magnitude of Shiva’s aura.
These 12 Jyotirlings’ names are not only a place to worship but also a symbol of power and tradition that people have followed for centuries. The one who is aware of the Hindu culture, these 12 Jyotirlings are special places to connect his soul with Shiva and feel the presence of the great god within him.
However, there is a beautiful narration behind the 12 Jyotirling which exposes great details of the connection between 12 Jyotirlings and Shiva. Let’s know the story behind it all!
What’s the sequence of Jyotirling’s existence?
According to the details in Shiva Mahapuran (The Hindu ancient scripture), once there was a fight between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma about who among them is the supreme god. To find who the supreme god is, Shiva put them to test and pierced all the 3 worlds (Heaven, Earth & underworld) with an enormous pillar of light. Whoever among them would find an extreme edge of the pillar will be considered victorious and accepted as the supreme god.
Upon hearing this Vishnu immediately transformed himself into a boar and left for ‘Patal’ (Underworld) to find the base of the pillar. Brahma transformed himself into a swan and flew towards the sky to find the edge. Vishnu was unsuccessful to find the source of the pillar and returned. Brahma lied in front of Vishnu and Shiva that he had found the edge of the pillar. Hence, Vishnu accepted his defeat and Brahma’s superiority to him.
However, Shiva was furious at Brahma for lying because he knew the reality and cursed Brahma saying, ‘You spoke lies with a desire to become worshipable! It’s my curse that nobody will worship you.” Shiva was happy with Vishnu for being truthful and blessed him that Vishnu will be worshipped alongside him. After this incident, it was clear that Shiva’s power had no limits and became ‘The supreme God’.
The pillar of light was the symbol of utmost reality and infinite power of Shiva. The 12 Jyotirlings are the places where he appeared in the form of light. ‘Mahashivaratri’ is the most important festival on these pilgrimages. During the celebration of this festival, the vibe of 12 Jyotirlings is surreal and pure.
Below are the 12 Jyotirlings names with the location:
Every Jyotirling’s main deity has different names that depend on the form (Manifestation) of the Shiva.
- Somnath temple, Gujarat as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This Jyotirling is situated near Veraval in Gujarat state in India. Devotees believe this is the first place where Shiva appeared on earth among the 12 Jyotirlings’ names. The Moon-God worshiped Shiva at this location. Millions of visitors come to witness the beauty of the Jyotirling.
- Mallikarjuna temple, Andhra Pradesh as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This Jyotirling is located in Srisailam town that’s part of Andhra Pradesh state in India. The Lingam of this temple is made of gold and devotees worship this Jyotirling also as a Shaktipeeth. Among the 12 Jyotirling names this one is the only one where Shiva and Parvati live with Kartikeya. Rich with history and religious narration this Jyotirling is one of the famous pilgrimages.
- Mahakaleshwar temple, Madhya Pradesh as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This Jyotirling is standing in pious Ujjain city in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. This is the only temple among the 12 Jyotirlings names where the Lingam faces the South that makes it one of its kind. According to the findings of ancient times, worshippers perform Tantric tradition here.
- Omkareshwar temple, Madhya Pradesh as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This Jyotirling is built on an island named Shivapuri in Madhya Pradesh state in India. Hindus consider this place one of the pious pilgrimages among the 12 Jyotirling names. According to the scriptures, when the demons defeated the deities, Shiva emerged here in the form of Lord Omkareshwar and defeated the demons.
- Kedarnath temple, Uttarakhand as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This temple is standing on a mountain called Kedar in Uttarakhand, India. Due to such a location, this Jyotirling is open only 6 months of the year as snow covers it. Pleased with Nar and Narayana dedication, Shiva decided to live here permanently and became one among the 12 Jyotirling names. Pandavas built and worshipped Shiva at the Kedarnath temple.
- Bhimashankar temple, Maharashtra as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This Jyotirling is situated in Pune city of Maharashtra, India. According to the scriptures, Shiva fought with Tripurasura at this location and defeated him. After which the devotees requested the Lord to reside here on the banks of the Bhima River. Hence, Shiva lives here in the form of Bhimashankar among the 12 Jyotirling names.
- Kashi Vishwanath temple, Uttar Pradesh as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This temple enhances the beauty of the pious city Varanasi that’s part of Uttar Pradesh, India. According to a legend, this is the location on earth where Shiva appeared for the 1st time in the form of a pillar of light. Devotees believe Shiva lives here and gives liberation to the dead.
- Trimbakeshwar temple, Maharashtra as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This is one of the famous temples near Nasik in Maharashtra, India. According to the scriptures, Shiva decided to live here because of requests of the Godavari River, Gautam Rishi and others. Among the 12 Jyotirlings names, this is the place where devotees come to fulfill their desires and also where the Pandavas worshipped Shiva.
- Vaidyanatha/ Baidyanath temple, Jharkhand as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This beautiful pilgrimage is built in Santal Parganas region in Jharkhand, India. This jyotirling holds detailed religious narration of Ravana’s interaction with Shiva after he attempts to please the Lord with his meditation and is counted among the 12 Jyotirling names.
- Nageshwara temple, Gujarat as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This magnificent temple is located between Dwarka and Bet Dwarka in Gujarat state in India. According to the scriptures, Shiva appeared here to rescue his devotee Supriya and others from a demon named Daaruka. Since then, this became one among the 12 Jyotirlings names.
- Ramanathaswamy Temple, Tamil Nadu as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This Jyotirling is constructed on the island of Rameshwaram city in Tamil Nadu, India. According to Hindu legends, Rama himself built this Jyotirling as a penance for killing Ravana. He also installed 2 main lingams of the temple. Sita made one of the main lingams. Due to rich religious narration among the 12 Jyotirling names, this one makes it to the list of the 4 dhams of Hindus.
- Grishneshwar temple, Maharashtra as one of the 12 Jyotirling names: This temple is situated near Aurangabad in Maharashtra, India. This pilgrimage has prolonged history and multiple names. On request of his devotee Ghushma, Shiva resides here. Hence, became one of the 12 Jyotirling names.
The 12 Jyotirlings are in the list of the most revered pilgrims for the devotees of Shiva. It’s believed one can start their journey to these pilgrims when Shiva himself invites his devotees.
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