Saturday, 2 February 2013

Vaidhyanath jyothirling

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Baidyanath Jyotirlinga

Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India. It is a temple complex consisting of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath, where the Jyotirlinga is installed, and 21 other temples.

According to Hindu beliefs, the demon king Ravana worshipped Shiva at the current site of the temple to get the boons that he later used to wreak havoc in the world. Ravana offered his ten heads one after the another to Shiva as a sacrifice. Pleased with this, Shiva descended to earth and cured Ravana who was injured. As he acted as a doctor, he is referred to as Vaidhya ("doctor"). From this aspect of Shiva, the temple derives its name.

Difficulty in identifying location of Baidyanath Jyotirlinga

'Baidyanatham chithabhoomau' [sivmahapuran kotirudra samhita 1/21-24] is the ancient verse that identifies location of vaidyanth jyotirlinga. According to which Baidyantham is in 'chidabhoomi', which is the ancient name of Deoghar. While, the same part of text has variation by which, verse is 'paralyam vaidyanatham', i.e., Vaidyanatham is in Parli, Maharashtra.

Thus the three temples of,

    Baiydanath temple at Deoghar, Jharkhand,
    Vaijnath temple at Parli, Maharashtra and
    Baijnath temple at Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh    
    are claiming their shrines as 'real' jyotirlinga of Vaidyanath.

In Dwadasa jyothirlinga sthothram, Adi Sankaracharya has praised Vaidyanath jyothirlinga in following verses,

    Poorvothare prajwalika nidhane
    sada vasantham girija sametham
    surasuraradhitha padapadmam
    srivaidyanatham thamaham namami

This states that Vaidyanath jyotirlinga is located at Prajwalika nidhanam (meaning funeral place i.e., chithabhoomi) in the North-Eastern part of the country. Deoghar is far located in east compared to Parli which is in west central part of the country. Also Chidabhoomi indicates that, in olden days, this was a funeral place, where corpses are burnt and post-death ceremonies were performed. This place could have been a centre of tantric cults like Kapalika/Bhairava where Lord Shiva is worshipped significantly as smasan vasin (meaning, residing in crematorium), sava bhasma bhushita (meaning, smearing body with ashes of burnt bodies).

Interestingly, the same shrine of Vaidyanath is considered as on of 51 Shakti Peethas, where 'yoni peetham' of jyotirlinga itself is considered as the Shakti Peetha.

Legend

An 1870 watercolour showing worship of the Jyotirlinga in Deoghar

According to the stories narrated in the Shiva Purana, it was in the Treta yuga that the demon Ravana, king of Lanka, felt that his capital would not be perfect and free from enemies unless Mahadeva (Shiva) stays there forever. He paid continuous meditation to Mahadeva. Ultimately Shiva got pleased and permitted him to carry his lingam with him to Lanka. Mahadeva advised him not to place or transfer this lingam to anyone. There should not be a break in his journey to Lanka. If he deposits the lingam anywhere on the earth, in the course of his journey, it would remain fixed at that place forever. Ravana was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lanka.

The other gods objected to this plan; if Shiva went to Lanka with Ravana, then Ravana would become invincible and his evil and anti-vedic deeds would threaten the world.

On his way back from Mount Kailash, it was time for Ravana to perform sandya-vandana and he could not carry out sandya-vandha with Shiva linga in his hand and therefore searched for someone who could hold it for him. Ganesha then appeared as a sheperd who was rearing sheeps nearby. Ravana requested Ganesha pretending as shepherd to hold the linga while he completes sandya-vandana and also guided him not to place the linga on ground at any movement. Ganesh warned Ravana about leaving the linga on the bank of the river and walking away if he doesnot return soon. Ganesha, pretending to be vexed by Ravena's delay, set the linga down on earth. The moment linga was kept down, it got fixed to the ground. When Ravana after returning from sandya-vandana tried to move the linga, but he could not. Ravan failed miserably in his attempt to uproot the linga. The Gods were happy with Shiva linga not reaching Ravana's place.
Shravan Mela

More than a million pilgrims visit this shrine every year. It is famous for the mela of Shraavana (a month of the Hindu calendar), between July and August. About 7 to 8 million devotees visit the place from various parts of India and offer holy water of Ganges to the deity collected from Sultangunj, which is almost 105 km from Deoghar. An unbroken line of people in saffron-dyed clothes stretches over the full 104 km for the month. The pilgrims are called Dak Bam and they do not stop even once in their journey from Sultangunj, located near Bhagalpur to Vaidyanath. Pilgrims to the temple later visit the Basukinath temple.

1)Baiydanath temple at Deoghar, Jharkhand

Vaidyanath Temple, also called Vaijnath Temple and Baidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Bihar in the south west of Keeul Station. Baidyanath shrine is revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingams of Shiva. It may be noted that some schools of thought believe Vaidyanath near Parali in Andhra Pradesh to be the Vaidyanatha Jyotirlingam.

Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that by sincere worship of Vaijnath Jyotirlinga a person is relieved of all worries and miseries in life. It is also said that by worshipping in the shrine a person attains Moksha and all types of happiness. As a tradition, devotees carry ‘Kanwars’ on their shoulders and complete their travel here.

Legend Behind Vaidyanath Temple

Legend has it that demon King of Lanka, Ravana meditated upon Lord Shiva, as he wanted to request him to come over to Sri Lanka and make his capital invincible. It is said that Ravana attempted to lift Mount Kailash and take it with him to his capital. However, Lord Shiva crushed it with his finger. Ravana prayed to him and sought his mercy, after which Bhagwan Shiva gave him one of the twelve Jyotirlingams on the condition that if it were placed on the ground it shall fix itself to the ground and shall remain there for eternity. Ravana thanked Lord Shiva and holding the Linga carefully started of to the Lanka. However, Varuna the God of Water, entered his belly and caused him to feel an urgent need to relieve himself. Vishnu then came down in the form of a lad and volunteered to hold the Jyotirlingam as he relieved himself. Before Ravana returned, Vishnu placed the Jyotirlingam on the ground and it became rooted to the spot. A disappointed Ravana offered severe penance to Shiva here, and cut off nine of his heads. Shiva revived him and joined the heads to the body, as if by the work of a Vaidya or a physician, hence this Jyotirlingam goes by the name Vaidyanath.

According to another legend, Vaidyanath is one of the 52 Shakti Pitha shrines of Sati. It is believed that the heart of Sati fell here, when her half burnt body being carried by Shiva at the end of Daksha's Yagna was chopped to pieces by Vishnu's discus.

Some people believe that this temple was re-discovered by a cowherd Baiju and hence named Baijnath.

Structure of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga

Vaidyanath Temple at Deogarh houses a spacious courtyard bound by stone walls. In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath temple faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. Near the temple is the Shivaganga Lake.

2)Vaijnath temple at Parli, Maharashtra


Yogeshwari of Ambejogai was married to Lord Vaidyanatha of Parali. But by the time the marriage party reached, the auspicious time of the wedding had passed. As a result the people of the marriage party turned into stone statues. Yogeshwari was waiting away from Parali. This is one story that is frequently heard there.
When the Gods and Demons made their combined effort in Amrit Manthan (Churning for Nectar), fourteen gems emerged. There were Dhanwantari and Amrit Ratnas in it. When the Demons rushed to grab Amrit, Lord Vishnu hid the Amrit and Dhanwantari in the Shiva Linga of Lord Shankara. Just as the Demons tried to touch the Linga, flames started emanating from the Linga. The scared Demons ran aay. But when devotees of Lord Shankara touched the Linga, there was a free flow of Amrit from the same. Even today, devotees touch the Shiva Linga as a part of taking Darshan. Here, there is no discrimination between caste, creed or color. Anyone can come and visit this place. As the Lingamurthy is supposed to have Amrit and Dhanvantari, it is also known as Amriteshwar and Dhanvantari.
“Vaidyabhyam Poojitam Satyam, Lingametat puratamam
Vaidyanathamiti prakhyatam Sarvakamapradayakam”.
The mountains and jungles and the rivers, are full of useful medicinal herbs. That is why Parali JyotirLinga is also known as Vaidyanatha.
It is here that Lord Vishnu successfully helped the Devas to obtain Amrit. Therefore, this place is also known as ‘Vaijayanti”.
Once the Demon King Ravana went to Kailasa mountain and did a severe penance to please Lord Shankara. Put up with cold, heat, rains and fine and even then when Lord Shiva did not appear before him, he began to cut his head off in order to offer it to the ShivaLinga. Then the Lord appeared after Ravana tried to offer his tenth head. He restored all of Ravana’s heads and granted him boons. Ravana expressed his desire to take Lord Shiva to Lanka as a boon. He said, “I want to take you to Lanka”. Shankara, who is very soft hearted to His devotees, agreed to accompany Ravana to Lanka. He told Ravanan, “You must carry my Linga with care and devotion, but do be careful not to put it down on the earth until you reach your destination, or else, it will stay at whichever place you put it down” Shiva cautioned.
Ravana began the journey homeward carrying the Shivaling. On the way, he wanted to relieve himself by urination. He bid a cowherd boy to hold the Linga while he relieved himself. The cowherd was not able to bear the weight of the Linga and when he could no longer hold it, he put it down on the earth. And the Shiva Linga put there stayed as Lord Shiva already ordained and came to be known as Vaidyanatheswar.
Here, the gods were sad about Ravana taking away Shiva to his Lanka. They requested saint Narada to do something. Narada met Ravana and said to him by way of praising his penance and Tapas. “You made a mistake in trusting Shiva. Believing Shiva’s word was wrong. Go to him and slander him and get your way. Go to Kailasa and move it entirely. Your success will be gauged by your art of moving Kailasa from there”. Ravana was tricked into believing Narada. Ravana promptly carried out Narada’s bidding. Lord Shiva saw the ego driven mischieves rAvaNa and told him: “A unique power is soon going to born which will destroy your pride in the strength of your arms”. Narada informed the Gods of these tidings and his success in his mission. The gods were relieved and were happy. In the meanwhile, Ravana too was happy with the boon he received from Lord Shiva. He returned and was in a trance and was under the influence of Shiva’s mythical power. He was heady and drunk with power. He decided to conquer the entire universe. To subdue his ego only God had to descend on the earth in the Avatar of Rama. 

Recent developments in Parli Vaidhyanath

Near Parali Village, the temple is built with stones on a high mound. The temple is surrounded on all four sides by strong walls. The insides have corridors and a courtyard. Outside the temple there is huge Deep Stambh or pillar. The main gate or the Mahadwar has a Minaret nearby. It is called a Prachi or Gawaksha, i.e., window. With the help of the location of these special prayers are held for Sun God, based on the sunrays falling through these windows, directly on to the Lingamurthy.
There is a strong, wide staircase to enter the Temple. It is called ‘Ghat’. The old Ghat was built in the year 1108. 

The inner portal of the temple and the court hall are both of the same size. Therefore, the deity’s Darshan has to be done from the courtroom itself. No other place has this type of arrangement. At other places, the inner portal or the Garbhagriha is visually deep. 

The Lingamurty at Vaidyanath is made of Shaligram stone. It is beautiful and very smooth and is in a benevolent attitude. On all the four sides of the temple, Nanda Deeps (lights) keep burning.
Vaidyanath temple was renovated in the year 1706 AD, by Shiva devotee Ahalyadevi Holkar. She obtained some special stones from the nearby mountain range of Trishula Devi range, which is close to Parali. This place was Ahalyadevi’s favorite. 

Late Nanarao Deshpanda built the wonderful court hall of the temple. The artisans were brought from the village and with the help of the devotees. A Rama Rajeshwar Mahadev Temple too is built in memory of them near to the Vaidyanath temple. With in the premises of the Vaidyanath temple itself, there are eleven more temples for Shiva. The Veerashaiva Lingayats consider Vaidyanath Temple as the best.
Srimant Pershwa donated a large piece of land as an endowment to the temple commission. Today this establishment works through a committee. Several auspicious events are arranged here. Travelers can stay here in comfort. 

Just as Parali is a place of pilgrimage for Shiva devotees, it is also a meeting point for Hari Hara. In this mixed holy place, Lord Krishna’s festivals too are celebrated along with Lord Shankara’s festivals, with great festivity. The water from the Harihar Teerth is brought for the daily worship of Vaidyanath. Every Monday devotees gather here in great numbers. 

On Chaitra Padva, Vijayadashani, Tripuri Pournima, Maha Shivaratri and Vaikunth Chaturdashi, big celebrations take place. During these celebrations, there is no distinction between Bel and Tulsi. Mahadev is offered Tulsi leaves and Vishnu is offered Bel leaves. This unique practice is seen only in Vaidyanath. During the rainy season (Sravan) worship of Vaidyanath, the entire area of Parali echoes with the chanting of Rudrabhisheka Mantrochchar. The regular Puja is also done with great devotion and dedication. 

Markandeya, obtained his boon of life here in Parali from Vaidyanatha. This story is from Shivapuran, Markandeya was not blessed with a long life. Yama wanted to take his life in accordance with the time of Markandeya’s life. But Shiva released him from imminent death and from Yama. A pond is named after him. It is here that this happened. 

The story of Satyavan and Savitri too is based in Parali this holy place. On the Narayan mountain, the Vata Vriksh or Banyan tree of Savitri’s story, is still here to be seen. There is a temple of Vateshwara there.
King Sriyal and Queen Changuna’s dear son Chilia, came to life due to the kindness of Lord Shiva in Parali Vaidyanath. 

Lord Ganesha’s idol without the usual trunk and in a sitting posture like a body builder can be seen here.
Great saints like Vakrebua, Dhundiraj, Yamaraj, Vishweswar, Guru Lingaswamy lived here. Their holy touch has made Parali even holier. It is a place of pride for Maharashtra.
“Vaidyanatheswaram NaamnaatalLinga Bhavamukheta
Prasiddham Trishulokeshuh Bhuktimukti pradamsataam
JyotirLingamidam sreshtam Darshant Poojanaadapi
Sarvapapaharam Divyam Bhuktivardhana muttamam
Maanusham durlabham Praanya Vaidyanathasya Darshanam
Na Karoti naro yastu Janma nirardhakam”.

 Location of Vaijnath temple at Parli

If one is to draw a line between Kanyakumari and Ujjain, Parali village can be clearly seen on that line. This village is located on the slopes of Meru or Naganarayana Mountain. Parali is an ancient village located near three rivers, Brahma, Venu and Saraswati, because of the presence of one of the twelve JyotirLingas of Shankara, it has become famous. This village is also known as Kantipur, Madhyarekha Vaijayanti or Jayanti. It is 26 kilometers from Ambejogai in the Beed district. 

3)Baijnath temple at Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh

 Baijnath is a town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 50 kilometres from Dharamshala which is the district headquarters.The very famous ancient temple of Lord Shiva (Baijnath) is situated here which is believed to be one of twelve jyotirlingas according to popular legends also giving the town its name .

Geography

Baijnath is located at 32.05°N 76.65°E.[1] It has an average elevation of 1,314 metres (4,311 feet). It is a small township in the Dhauladhar range of western Himalayas, 16 km from Palampur in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh

History

Baijnath is famous for its 13th century temple dedicated to Shiva as Vaidyanath, ‘the Lord of physicians’. Originally known as Kiragrama, the town lies on the Pathankot-Mandi highway (National Highway No. 20) almost midway between Kangra and Mandi. The present name Baijnath became popular after the name of the temple. The town is located on the left bank of the river Binwa, a corrupt form of ancient Binduka, a tributary of river Beas.

The Baijnath temple has been continuously under worship ever since its construction in 1204 A.D. by two local merchants named Nitin soni and Shishir soni(Paprola). The two long inscriptions in the porch of the temple indicate that a temple of Shiva existed on the spot even before the present one was constructed. The present temple is a beautiful example of the early medieval north Indian Temple architecture known as Nagara style of temples. The Svayambhu form of Sivalinga is enshrined in the sanctum of the temple that has five projections on each side and is surmounted with a tall curvilinear Shikhara. The entrance to sanctum is through a vestibule that has a large square "Mandapa" in front with two massive balconies one each in north and south. There is a small porch in front of the mandapa hall that rests on four pillars in the front preceded by an idol of "Nandi", the bull, in a small pillared shrine. The whole temple is enclosed by a high wall with entrances in the south and north. The outer walls of the temple have several niches with images of gods and goddesses. Numerous images are also fixed or carved in the walls. The outer doorway in the porch as also the inner doorway leading to the sanctum of the temple are also studded with a large number of images of great beauty and iconographic importance. Some of them are very rare to be found elsewhere.

The temple attracts a large number of tourists and pilgrims from all over India and abroad throughout the year. Special prayers are offered in the morning and evening every day besides on special occasions and during festive seasons. Makara Sankranti, Maha Shivaratri, Vaisakha Sankranti, Shravana Mondays, etc. are celebrated with great zeal and splendour. A five day state level function is held here on Maha Shivratri every year.


The main attraction of Baijnath is an ancient temple of Shiva. Neighbouring towns are Palampur Kangra and Joginder Nagar in Mandi district. According to the legend, it is believed that during the Treta Yug, Ravana in order to have invincible powers worshiped Lord Shiva in the Kailash. In the same process, to please the almighty he offered his ten heads in the havan kund. Influenced by this extra ordinary deed of the Ravana, the Lord Shiva not only restored his heads but also bestowed him with powers of invincibility and immortality.

On attaining this incomparable boon, Ravana also requested Lord Shiva to accompany him to Lanka. Shiva consented to the request of Ravana and converted himself into Shivling. Then Lord Shiva asked him to carry the Shivling and warned him that he should not place the Shivling down on the ground on his way. Ravana started moving south towards Lanka and reached Baijnath where he felt the need to answer the nature’s call. On seeing a shepherd, Ravana handed over the Shivling to him and went away to get himself relieved. On finding the Shivling very heavy, the shepherd put the linga on the ground and thus the Shivling got established there and the same is in the form of Ardhnarishwar (God in form of Half Male & Half Female).

In the town of Baijnath, Dussehra festival in which traditionally the effigy of the Ravana is consigned to flames,celebrated all over the country is not celebrated as a mark of respect to the devotion of Ravana towards Lord Shiva. Another interesting thing about the town of Baijnath is that there are no shops of goldsmiths here .

Another version  also suggests that while Ravana was descending from the Himalayas with the Shivling Lord Shiva had awarded him after years of worship which was supposed to be established at Lanka, now Sri Lanka, which would have blessed him (Ravana) with undefeatable powers even to the Gods which was not to be placed anywhere during the course of travel, even during resting, Ravana was tricked by one of the Devas (Gods), who posed as a beggar and wanted help from Ravana and promised to hold the Shivling for him while he (Ravana) could fetch some food for the beggar. The Deva posing as beggar placed the Shivling on ground, in absence of Ravana. The Shiva idol or the Shivling at Baijnath temple is the same Shivling which was placed by the Deva after tricking Ravana.

History: The history of the ancient Baijnath Temple is hazy and the two long inscriptions fixed in the walls of the mandapa of the temple gives us account of the temple. The temple was built in Saka 1126 (CE 1204)by two brothers Manyuka and Ahuka in devolution to Lord Vaidyanatha. The inscriptions tell us that a Sivalinga known as Vaidyanatha already existed on the spot but was without a proper house so the present temple and a porch in its front was constructed. British Archaeologist Alexander Cunningham noticed an inscription of 1786 in the temple referring to its renovations by king Sansara Chandra. An inscription on the wooden doors of the sanctum of the temple provides the date as samvat 1840 (AD 1783) that is very near to Cunningham’s date. The devastating earthquake that shook the entire region of Kangra on 4 th April 1905 also caused damage to the shrine, which has been reported by J. Ph. Vogel and has since been repaired. At present the temple is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India but the performance of worship and rituals are under a local board at Baijnath with SDM as its chairman. The hereditary priests continue to get a share of the offerings.

How to Reach

Besides the main temple there are several other shrines which are of equal importance for the local residents. Some of them are Mukut Nath temple at Sansal (6 km)and the Mahankal Temple on Chobin Road.

The town offers splendid views of the Dhauladhar Ranges and numurous mountain streams.

Tibetan Monasteries at Sherabling (Bhattu)(5 km),Chauntra and Chowgan on the Mandi Highway and at Bir(14 km).

Billing(28 km) is an international paraglding site which is considered as one of the best in the world for paragliding and other aerosports .The site has been the host to international events such as the Paragliding Pre-World Cup multiple times and other national and international events.

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