Dwadasa Jyotirlinga (12 supreme shrines of lord Shiva)
A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam means the The Radiant Sign of the Almighty Siva. There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India considered supreme shrines one must visit once in lifetime.
- The jyotirlinga is the Supreme Siva, partless reality, out of which Shiva appeared in another Form, Lingodbhava. The jyothirlinga shrines are Temples where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.
- Originally there were believed to be 64 jyothirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy.
- Each of the twelve jyothirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity, each considered a different manifestation of Shiva.
- At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.
Worship of shivalinga is considered the prime worship for the devotees of Lord shiva. Worship of all other forms is considered secondary. The significance of the shivalinga is that It is the resplendent light (flame) form of the Supreme – solidified to make the worship of It easier. It represents the real nature of God – formless essentially and taking various forms as It wills.
This Jyoti Swarupa of God exist in all the shivalinga forms, there are prominent abodes across Indian subcontinent, where It is in a splendid form. These are held at much great esteem since the ancient pre-historic times.
Darshan of these 12 JyotirLingas, the auspicious air surrounding them and the holy pilgrimage, will get rid of sins and bad influences, and receive holy blessings with happiness, peace and satisfaction in life.
The 12 jyotirlinga strotram/slokam by Adi Shankaracharya.
“Saurashtre Somanathamcha Srisaile Mallikarjunam|
Ujjayinya Mahakalam Omkaramamaleswaram ||
Paralyam Vaidyanathancha Dakinyam Bheema Shankaram |
Setu Bandhethu Ramesam, Nagesam Darukavane||
Varanasyantu Vishwesam Tryambakam Gautameethate|
Himalayetu Kedaaram, Ghrishnesamcha shivaalaye||
Etani jyotirlingani, Saayam Praatah Patennarah|
Sapta Janma Kritam pApam, Smaranena Vinashyati||”
Mahadev, the Lord incorporates in Himself, the aura and the holiness of all the twelve Jyotirlingas. The grandeur of these places is unique. Devotees line up in great numbers to take a look and get a Darshan of all the Jyotirlingas.
Location of the Jyothirlinga temples
2 on the sea shore, 3 on river banks, 4 in the heights of the mountains and 3 in villages located in meadows; the 12 Jyotirlingas are spread out like this. Every place has been described in glorious words by many detailing the surroundings etc.
- Somnath jyotirling – Prabhas Pthan, Saurashtra (Gujarat)
- Mallikarjun jyotirling in Srisailam (A.P.) on the banks of river Krishna
- Mahakaleshwar jyotirling in Ujjain (M.P.)
- Omkareshwar jyotirling in Shivpuri / Amaleswara (M.P.) on the banks of river Narmada.
- Vaidyanath jyotirling in Parli (Maharashtra),
Vaidyanath jyotirling in Deoghar (Jharkhand)
- Bhimashankar jyotirling in Dakini, near Pune (Maharashtra)
- Rameshwar jyotirling in Setubandanam / Rameshwaram (T.N.)
- Nageswar jyotirling in Darukavanam, Dwaraka (Gujarat)
Aundha – Naganath/Nageshwar, Hingoli (Maharashtra)
Jageshwar – Nageshwar, Almora (Uttarakhand)
- Visweswar jyotirling in Varanasi (U.P.)
- Trimbakeswar jyotirling, Nasik (Maharashtra)
- Kedareswar jyotirling in Kedarnath / Himalayas (U.P.)
- Ghrishneswar jyotirling in Devasarovar, near Ellora (Maharashtra).
Those who chant the Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram or prayer will attain salvation and enlightenment and be released from this cycle of human existence with all its travails. By worshiping the Lingas, people of all castes, creeds and colour would be freed from all difficulties. By eating the holy offering made to these Lingas (Naivedyam) one would be rid of all the sins instantly.
As a matter of fact, we do the Darshan of the Jyotirlingas as a part of our daily life. Sun, Fire and Light etc., are indeed a part of that great Light. “Om tatsavituvarenye” these magical words of the Gayatri mantra or chant invoke this Supreme light only. By chanting this powerful Mantra, humans can obtain divine power to their life-light or Atmajyothi.
“Agni” or fire, power, shakti is a great light. For all the activities on the earth, “Fire” is the pivot.
Deepajyoti or light and its greatness, is known to all of us, and we offer our prayers. Let us celebrate the glory of light. Light is offered a place of pride at welcome celebrations and on all auspicious occasions.
“Shubham karoti kalyanam Arogyam Dhanasampada|
Shatru buddhi vinashaya Deepa Jyoti namostute||”
This light removes the darkness from the lives of one and all. Darkness means ignorance and it is destroyed by this light. The natural light of God makes all our wishes come true, when we take a Darshan of it.
Visit 12 Jyotirlingas and be blessed.
“Om Nama Shivaya”