Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bhimashankar Jyothirlingam

Bhimashankar Temple
Bhimashankar Temple
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is situated in the north of Pune, on the Sahayadri, by the banks of the river Bhima and 50-km north west of Khed, near Pune in Maharashtra. Bhima Shankar Temple lies on the banks of the river Bhima. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna River near Raichur. The other Jyotirling shrines in Maharashtra are Tryambakeshwar and Grishneshwar.
It is from here that the Bhima River flows. It is believed that Lord Shiva was pleased by the devotion of a king named Bhimak of the sun Dynasty and is called the Jyotirlinga in the place. But according to the Shiv Purana the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is situated on the Mountain Brahmapur, district Kamrup of Assam. Lord Shiva had incarnated so that he could destroy the demons and protect his devotees and for the welfare of one and all.

The Temple
The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures and is built in the Nagara style of architecture. It is a modest temple yet graceful temple and it dates back to mid 18th century. The shikhara of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is also said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate the carrying out, of worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level.

Although the structure here is fairly new, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century CE. Saint Jnaneshwar is said to have visited Tryambakeshwar and Bhimashankar.

Other temples and shrines: There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalajaa was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Bhrama. Shaakini and Daakini the Shivaganas who helped Shiva in the battle against the demon are also honored and worshipped here.

The Mokshakund thirtha is located behind the Bhimashankara temple, and it is associated with the rishi Kaushika. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund.

There was a demon Tripurasura who did penance in the jungle of Bhimashankar very long ago i.e. in Tretayug, to please Lord Shiva in order to achieve the gift of immortality. Lord shiva, who is specially known for his kindness towards his devotees, was pleased with Tripurasura's commitment towards him. So as usual, he blessed him with the power of immortality with a condition that, "He should strive in the best interest of people, or he may be sued permanently for violating the condition."

With the flow of time, Tripurasura forgot the condition to which he was abided, and eventually started harassing people as well as other deities. There was a chaos for which all the deities approached Lord Shiva for remedy.

Thus in order to sue Tripurasura, Lord Shiv prayed to Goddess Parvati (Kamalaja Mata) in order to help him to accomplish this task. Accordingly Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati underwent a new form which is popularly known as "Ardha-Narya-Nateshwar" and killed Tripurasura on Kartik Pournima which is known as "Tripurari Pornima".

After the death of Tripurasura his wives (Dakini and Shakini) went to Lord Shiva with a question of their existence without Tripurasura. Thus Lord Shiva blessed both of them, with the power of immortality which he did to Tripurasura. Henceforth the realm Bhimashankar is known as "Dakinyam Bhimashankaram". 

How to reach Bhimashankar Temple
  • By Road :Bhimashankar is situated around 260 kms from Mumbai via Pune.From Pune You have to take the road that goes to Wada to reach Bhimashankar.
  • By Rail :The nearest Railhead is the Pune which is at a distance of 95 kilometres from Bhimashankar.
  • By Air :The nearest airport is the Pune Airport which is at a distance of 95 kilometres from Bhimashankar.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nageswar jyotirling

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is located on the route - from Dwarka to the Bet Dwarka (island), on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat. This holy place is also known as Nagnath.
Gulshan Kumar Charitable Trust has constructed a huge and attractive statue of Lord Shiva outside the temple. This 125 feet high and 25 feet broad statue is visible from a distance of 2 km.
Nageshwar Temple has simple but beautiful structure. It more or less looks like a new replica of Somanth Temple. After the main entrance gate there is a spacious hall or sabha mandap. On the right side of hall, you will find some stalls from where puja material, Prasad and silver model of Nag available for Offering. Main Jyotirlinga is placed in a beautiful and clean sanctum a little below the sabhamandap floor.

Legend Behind Nageshwar Temple
According to Shiv Purana, a Shiva devotee by name Supriya was attacked by a demon Daaruka while in a boat. The demon imprisoned him along with several others at his capital Daarukaavana where he resided with his wife Daaruki. Supriya advised all prisoners to recite the mantra ‘Aum Namaha Shivaya’. When Daruk came to know about this he ran to kill Supriya. Instantly Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a Jyotirlingam and vanquished the demon with the Paasupata Astram.

This Jyotirlinga manifestation of Shiva is worshipped as Nageswara. Two other sites in India, one near Audhgram near Purna in Andhra Pradesh and another near Almora in Uttar Pradesh also enshrine temples to Nageswara Jyotirlingam. According to the Shiv Purana, any one who ever with devotion reads the birth and greatness of this Jyotirlinga shall beget all material happiness and divine status in the end.

Significance of Jyotirlinga:
All jyotirlingas are symbol of immense faith and devotion and hold great mythological importance.According to The Puranas, by reciting the name of these; one can eliminate all the sins. The devotee becomes enlightened, calm, faithful and pure.
Saurashtra Somnatham Cha Shrishaile Mallikarjunam ||
Ujjainyam Mahakalomkare Mammaleshwaram ||
Parlyam Vaijnatham Cha Dakinyam Bheem Shankaram ||
Setu Bandhe Tu Ramesham Nagesham Daruka Vane ||
Varanasya Tu Vishwesham Tribakam Gautamitate ||
Himalaye Tu Kedaram Ghurmesham Cha Shivalaye ||
Aetani Jyotirlingani Sayam Prataha Pathennaraha ||
Sapta Janma Kritam Papam Smaranen Vinashyati ||
It is said that one who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and evening he washes all the sins committed in the previous 7 births as well as attains power.

How to reach : Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is located near Dwarka, Gujarat. The distance between Dwarka and Nageshwar is merely 16 km. It is very easily accessible by airways, railways and roadways.

 By train : The nearest railways station is Dwarka/ Okha. Being considered as one of the Char Dham Dwarka is easily accessible from Jamnagar, Mumbai (945 km), Rajkot (270 km) and Ahmedabad (453 km).

By air : Jamnagar (146 Kms) and Rajkot (225 Kms) are the nearby Airports.  Regular flights from Mumbai International Airport are offered for Jamnagar from where Taxi cabs and buses are easily available to Dwarka and Nageshwar.

By Road:Gujarat’s superb State Highway connects Nageshwar and Dwarka with other towns of the state. Private Travel agencies offer conducted tour to Nageshwar and Dwarka whereas The State Transport Corporation provides frequent buses and luxury coaches from all over the state.