Dwadash Jyotirlingam Sloka – in sanskrut with brief description of each Jyotirlingam

Shiv (61)


सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथं च श्रीशैले मल्लिकार्जुनम् ।
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालमोंकारममलेश्वरम् ॥१॥
Saurashtre Somanatham Cha Shrishaile Mallikarjunam |
Ujjayainyaam Mahakalam-Omkaara-Mamaleshvaram ||1||

Somnath Jyotirlingam in Saurashtra:
The Somnath Jyotirlingam is located in Saurashtra, Gujarat. It is said that Chandra Deva (Moon God) worshipped Sri Shiva here to regain his beauty and radiance which waned due to a curse by his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati. Daksha cursed Chandra Deva for showing favour to only one of his 27 wives (named Rohini) and neglecting the others. Sri Shiva removed the curse partially so that Chandra Deva can regain his beauty during the bright half of the moon (while losing it during the dark half). On the request of Chandra Deva and other gods, God Shiva stayed there as the Somnath Jyotirlingam.

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlingam in Srisailam:
The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlingam is located in Srishailam, Andhra Pradesh. It is said that Devi Parvati (as Mallika) and Sri Shiva (as Arjuna) came to visit their son Kartikeya in this place. So this place is blessed by both Devi and Shiva. It is also said that a princess named Chandravati found the Shiva Lingam (by digging the ground) after she saw in astonishment that a cow was shedding its milk on the ground below a Bilva tree. She built a Shiva temple there. God Shiva was pleased with her devotion and conferred Moksha (liberation) to her. On the request of the devotees, God Shiva stayed there as the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlingam.

Mahakaleswar Jyotirlingam in Ujjain:
The Mahakaleswar Jyotirlingam is located in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is said that Sri Shiva burnt to ashes the demon Dushan here with a “humkara” (grunt) assuming the huge and terrible form of a Mahakala, to save his devotees. The demon king Dushan proclaimed himself to be the supreme and tortured the Brahmanas of Avantika who worshipped Sri Shiva. Sri Shiva assumed the form of Mahakala when the Brahmanas earnestly prayed to Him to protect them from the demon king. On the request of the devotees, God Shiva stayed there as the Mahakaleswar Jyotirlingam.

Omkareshwar-Mamaleshwar Jyotirlingam in Omkareshwar Island:
The Omkareshwar-Mamaleshwar Jyotirlingam is located on an island on the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh. It is said that the Devas worshipped Sri Shiva here to gain victory over the Danavas (demons). By the grace of Sri Shiva, the Devas gained the power to defeat the Danavas. It is also said that king Mandhata (an ancestor of Sri Rama) of Ikshvaku dynasty and his sons Ambarish and Muckund did great penance here. So the mountain is named as Mandhata. It is also said that the Vindhya mountain did severe penance here and worshipped Sri Shiva to get the boon to become the biggest mountain. Sri Shiva was pleased with his penance and granted him the ability to grow without causing harm to others. Later sage Agastya checked the growth of Vindhya mountain when he misused his power of growth. The Omkareshwar and Mamaleshwar are two separate Lingams but part of the same Jyotirlingam. It is said that God Shiva split the original Lingam into two parts on the request of the deities and sages. On the request of the devotees, God Shiva stayed there as the Omkareshwar-Mamaleshwar Jyotirlingam.

परल्यां वैद्यनाथं च डाकिन्यां भीमाशंकरम् ।
सेतुबंधे तु रामेशं नागेशं दारुकावने ॥२॥
Paralyam Vaidyanatham Cha Dakinyam Bhimaashankaram |
Setubandhe Tu Ramesham Nagesham Darukavane ||2||

Vaidyanath Jyotirlingam in Parle:
The Vaidyanath Jyotirlingam is located in Parle. The exact location of the Jyotirlingam is debated. Parle is interpreted in Jharkhand (Vaidyanath Dham), Himachal Pradesh (Baijnath Dham) and Maharashtra (Parle Vaidyanath). It is said that the demon king Ravana did severe penance in Kailasa and pleased Sri Shiva. Ravana then asked Him to come to Lanka and stay there. Sri Shiva instead gave His Lingam to Ravana and told him to carry it to Lanka without putting it down anywhere. On the way back to Lanka, the deities tricked Ravana. Ravana felt a great urge to relieve himself and gave the Lingam to a cowherd boy to hold it. The cowherd boy unable to hold the Lingam for long kept it on the earth and left. The Lingam got permanently fixed there as the Vaidyanath Jyotirlingam.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam in Dakini:
The Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam is located in Dakini. The exact location of Dakini is debated. Dakini is interpreted to be in Maharastra (near Pune and also in Sahayadri hill), Uttarkhand (Kashipur), Assam (near Guwahati) and Orissa (Bhimpur). It is said that God Shiva destroyed the demon Bhima here when he was about to strike the Lingam with a sword. The Lingam was worshipped by His devotee Kamarupeshwar who was imprisoned by Bhima. Bhima, the son of Kumbhakarna and Karkati did severe penance and became very powerful by a boon of Sri Brahma. It is also said that Sri Shiva after destroying the demon Tripurasura (who harassed the three worlds) rested in this place. The sweat from his body collected in a kund (pond) from which the river Bhima started. On the request of his devotees Sri Shiva stayed there as the Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam.

Rameswar Jyotirlingam in Setubandha:
The Rameswar Jyotirlingam is located in Setubandha (in Rameswaram), Tamil Nadu. It is said that Sri Rama worshipped a Shiva Lingam made of sand here before the war with demon king Ravana. Sri Shiva was pleased with the worship of Sri Rama and blessed Him that He would be victorious against Ravana. Also on the request of Sri Rama, Sri Shiva stayed there as the Rameswar Jyotirlingam.

Nageswar Jyotirlingam in Daruka Vana:
The Nageswar Jyotirlingam is located in Daruka Vana. The exact location of Daruka Vana is debated. Daruka Vana is interpreted to be located in Uttarkhand (Jageshwar), Gujarat (Dwarka) and Maharashtra (Aundha Nagnath). It is said that Sri Shiva destroyed the demon Daruka here when he was about to kill His devotee Supriya. Daruka used to capture the worshippers of deities, imprison them and harass them. Supriya was among the devotees imprisoned by Daruka. He continued to worship Sri Shiva in the prison which angered Daruka and brought his own downfall. On the request of his devotees, Sri Shiva stayed there as the Nageswar Jyotirlingam.

वाराणस्यां तु विश्वेशं त्र्यंबकं गौतमीतटे ।
हिमालये तु केदारम् घृष्णेशं शिवालये ॥३॥
Varanasyam Tu Vishvesham Tryambakam Gautamittate |
Himalaye Tu Kedaram Ghrusnesham Shivalaye ||3||
Viswanath Jyotirlingam in Varanasi:
The Viswanath Jyotirlingam is located in Varanasi (Kasi) in Uttar Pradesh. It is said that Sri Shiva himself has created the city of Kashi and established the Viswanath Jyotirlingam there. The city of Kashi does not get destroyed during Pralaya (the final destruction) since Sri Shiva holds it on his trident. It is also said that those who die in Kashi attain liberation since Sri Shiva Himself gives the Taraka Mantra to the dying person.

Tryambakeswar Jyotirlingam on the banks of Gautami Ganga:
The Tryambakeswar Jyotirlingam is located on the banks of Gautami Ganga (near Nasik) in Maharastra. It is said that sage Gautama did severe penance in the Brahmagiri hills to bring river Ganga there. Pleased with his penance, Sri Shiva granted his prayer and requested Devi Ganga to bring down the river there. The river is known as Godavari or Gautami Ganga. On the request of Devi Ganga and other gods, Sri Shiva stayed there as the Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam.

Kedareswar Jyotirlingam in Himalayas:
The Kedareswar Jyotirlingam is located in the Himalayas (Kedarnath) in Uttarkhand. It is said that Sri Shiva gave darshan to the Pandavas here and absolved them of the sins of killing their kith and kin in the battle of Kurukshetra. It is also said that Nara and Narayana, two incarnations of Sri Vishnu did severe penance here and got the boon from Sri Shiva to reside there as a Jyotirlingam. On the request of the devotees, God Shiva stayed there as the Kedareswar Jyotirlingam.

Grishneswar Jyotirlingam in Shivalaya:
The Grishneswar Jyotirlingam is located in Shivalaya near Ellora in Maharastra. It is said that God Shiva restored the son of Ghusma here who was killed by his step-mother Sudeha and thrown in a lake. Sudeha did not have any child and asked his husband Sudharma to marry her sister Ghusma. When a son was born of Ghusma, Sudeha became extremely jealous of her. Sudharma and Ghusma were devout worshippers of Sri Shiva. They used to make Shiva Lingam out of clay and immerse them in a lake after worship. They continued their worship even on the day their son was killed thinking that He (Shiva) who has given them the son will take care of him also. After worship, when they immersed the Shiva Lingam in the lake, Sri Shiva appeared and restored their dead son from beneath the lake. On the request of Ghusma, Sri Shiva also forgave Sudeha and stayed there as the Grishneswar Jyotirlingam. The lake is renamed as Shivalaya.

एतानि ज्योतिर्लिङ्गानि सायंप्रातः पठेन्नरः ।
सप्तजन्मकृतं पापं स्मरणेन विनश्यति ॥४॥
Etaani Jyotirlingani Sayampratah Patthennarah |
Saptajanmakrtam Papam Smarannena Vinashyati ||4||

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