Maha Sivarathri falls today There are thousands of lingams all over India but some of them have a special importance. The most important of these are called Jyothirlingams and they are twelve in number. Most of these are supposed to be self formed or sprouted out of their own will. A few have been installed [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

A visit to all the twelve Jothirlingams in one lifetime


Maha Sivarathri falls today

There are thousands of lingams all over India but some of them have a special importance. The most important of these are called Jyothirlingams and they are twelve in number. Most of these are supposed to be self formed or sprouted out of their own will. A few have been installed by human hands. Every Shiva worshipper dreams of doing a pilgrimage to all these twelve Jothirlingams at least once in his lifetime.

On the festival of Shivratri, the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centres in Sri Lanka has organised mega events in Batticaloa and Colombo.In Colombo, there will be 12 Jothirlingam Dharshan in one place. Additionally there will be a special exhibition on Soul, Supreme Soul and Drama. There will be a “Sacrificial Fire“ to become obstacle-free and experience peace. The public can also enjoy a meditation experience.

In Batticaloa there will be 12 Jothirlingam Dharshan and pictorial exhibition with a cultural event. A chariot procession of six Jothirlingams from six towns will be held.
Given here are the 12 Jyothirlingams:

1. The Somnath Temple in Gujarat

Shiva is worshipped as Someshwara in this temple in the Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Gujarat which is associated with the legend of Daksha Prajapati and the moon. The Lord is said to be “the Protector of (the) Moon God”. It is popularly known as “the Shrine Eternal”.

2. The Mallikarjuna Temple in Andhra Pradesh

Mallikarjuna is the name of Shiva in the town of Sri Sailam near the town of Kurnool in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. The temple is rich in carvings and architectural wealth. Adi Shankara is supposed to have composed his great poem called “Shivananda Lahari” at this temple.

3. The Mahakaleshwara Temple of Ujjaini

Mahakaleshwar in the ancient and historic town of Ujjain or Avanti on the river Shipra is one of the four places in which the Kumbha Mela takes place.
The temple here is situated beside the cremation grounds and it is said that the ashes of this cremation ground is taken for puja in the temple. According to the legend Shiva vanquished the demon Dushana here.

4. The Omkareshwar Temple in Madhya Pradesh

Omkareshwara is situated on an island in the middle of the river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh. Lord Shiva is here is also known as Mamaleshwara.
This island houses another temple- Amareshwar (“Immortal Lord” or “Lord of the Immortals “) temple, built on the same island which is another Shiva abode.

5. The Kedarnath Temple in Himalayas

Located in the Himalayas, near the Mandakini River in Kedarnath, this is the northernmost of the Jyothirlingams in the snow clad Himalayas. It opens only from May to October. The last 12 km of the journey to Kedarnath has to be made on foot or pony. This temple has many legends associated with Vishnu, Parvati and the Pandavas.

6. The Bhimashankar Temple in Maharashtra

Bhimshankara is situated in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra. The easiest way to go there is via Pune. It is the renowned source of the Bhima River which meets with the water stream of the Krishna River at Raichur. Legend says that Shiva destroyed the demon Bhima here.

7. The Kasi Vishvanath Temple at Varanasi

Spiritual people who visit Kashi Vishwanath temple scatter ashes of deceased ancestors in the holy River Ganges. Situated on the banks of the river Ganga in Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, this is the most famous temple of Shiva in India and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. Manikaran ghat is the place where countless Hindus have been cremated. Legend says it is here that the first Jyothirlingam, the fiery pillar of light, broke through the earth’s crust and flared towards the heavens.

8. The Triambakeshwar Temple at Nashik

About 28 km away from the city of Nashik, Maharashtra, the Trambakeshwar temple is a Hindu paradise in Trimbak of Nashik District at the source of the revered Godavari River. Several spots on the banks of this river are considered sacred bathing places for pilgrims. The Jyothirlingam here is linked to the legends of Gautam Muni, Ganga, Brahma and Vishnu.

9. The Vaidyanath Temple at Jharkhand

The temple of Vaidyanatha is situated in the state of Bihar in the town of Deogarh. It is linked to the legend of Ravana’s severe penance to Shiva.

10. The Nageshwar Temple at Gujarat

The tenth Jyothirlingam is known as Nagesha and is situated near the pilgrim city of Dwaraka in Gujarat. Believed as the first Jyothirlingam on the Earth, Nageshvara, is another Jyothirlingam of Shiva. It symbolises protection from all poisons or vices. There are three identical shrines which resemble the structure of this Jyothirlingam. Jageshwar temple (Uttarakhand), Nageshwara temple (Gujarat) and Nagnath temple (Maharashtra).

11. The Rameshwar Temple at Tamil Nadu

The huge temple of Rameshwaram is situated on the island called Rameshwaran in the state of Tamilnadu. It is associated closely with the Ramayana.

12. The Grishneswar Temple near Ellora Caves

Grishneswara is situated near Aurangabad in Maharashtra, close to the famous caves of Ellora. According to legend Shiva restored life to the dead son of a devout woman called Kusuma here.

Spiritual awakening through Raja Yoga meditation

The vision of the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centres in Sri Lanka is to create spiritual awakening for a better world by following a value based lifestyle and creating an environment of peace, purity and happiness.

By recognising the core values that lie in every human being, the Brahma Kumaris have been nurturing these values through constant practice of Raja Yoga meditation and observing peaceful principles. In recognition of their efforts, the institution was incorporated into Act of No 37/98, by the Parliament of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 1998.

“We believe that Raja Yoga meditation gives you a clear spiritual understanding of yourself, helps you re–discover and use the positive qualities already latent within you, enables you to develop your strengths of character and create new attitudes and responses to life,” a release from the organisation said. For more information contact tel: 011-2717572.

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