6.26.2007

Jyotir Linga Bhimashankar, Sahyadri Hills


View location map of this temple!

Kshetragyam Kshetrapalancha Parartyaika prayojanam|
vyomakesam Jyothir-swaroopam Beemasankaram Namamyaham||


It’s the peak of the rainy season, and the ghats are lush green and fresh under the cloudy sky. The air smells of the earth just wet with droplets of pure water from heaven as the clouds grey out the sunlight. Heavy droplets, bringing to the mind peace and tranquility that one doesn’t have to pay for but just experiences. The Sahyadri hills unfold their carpets of thick vegetation and it’s a divine feeling to feel the cool breeze ruffle ones hair! The mind is peaceful, the senses awake, the focus is Bhimashankar.

In this picturesque land among fort walls and rich pure streams of water lies a little temple, ancient and powerful holding the very light of the Lord within its walls. Here the ancient temple bell rings and the sound reverberates through the air, divine echo that has been heard since 1720 AD. Times have changed, new replace the old and yet this temple still stands there in all its ancient finery. Built in the ancient Nagara style, this temple has small shikharas rising upwards towards the ancient finial where one can see the orange glow of the flag that gloriously surmounts it.

It’s a winding way to walk down along a railing with small shops selling everything that can be offered to the divine within. Interestingly here, the lesser known milk weed flowers are offered as compare to the common marigold yellow mounds in baskets. A dip in the sacred waters of the kund here transports the mind to a different world as one proceeds to meet the Lord.


















Closing one's eyes and drifting towards infinity draws the soul to the sound of a river, a sacred river called Bhimarathi, fed by the divine sweat of Lord Shiva as He rests after the Tripurantaka Samharam. The story goes that the demon Tripurasura had accumulated enough power and had started harassing every one at Swarglok, Bhulok, and patal(Netherworld). Lord Shiva came to their rescue and took on the form of Rudravatar. He defeated Tripurasura and saved the three worlds.

The Puranas indicate that Bhima was an asura born to Kumbakarna and Karkadi. When he heard from his mother that his father, grandfather and uncles had been slain by Lord Rama in war he decided to avenge their deaths. He did severe penance and won the favour of Lord Brahma who granted him immense power and strength. With this he defeated the devas and finally came to attack all the Kings. King Priyadarman (Kamarupeswar) of Kamarupa and his queen Dakshinadevi were thrown into the dungeons. They continued to worship Lord Shiva even in the dungeons. Fearing they would vanquish him, Bhima commanded them to stop worship. When they refused he went ahead to kill them. Shiva rose out of the Linga they worshipped, in Jyotir Linga form and destroyed the asura. On the request of all the devas Shiva continues to reside here as Bhimashankar.






















Click on the photos to enlarge.

Photo courtesy: world66.com (Creative Commons License), Copyright © 1998-2001 Live India Internet Services!

19 comments:

kavitha said...

Anilji, Joshi Uncle,

This silence is not suiting me. I suddenly feel i don't have visitors :) Hope to hear your comments on my blog soon, its interesting to see varied perspectives on my posts.

Warm regards
Kavitha

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, I cursorily saw your last two posts here in Mumbai on 28/6 at my daughter's place. The essence of creation, communicated through Hindu Mythological stories, is that Shiva that is physical Earth is unending or immortal.

Wroodrah said...

you speak of history like you were there..

and of shiva, like you've been touched.

everyone sees shiva in a light of their own comprehension, ...shiva is vast.

somehow..
your history reflects not just history but an aspect that has his roots in you.

could you, in a blog of yours ...describe shiva ...the man you see him as.

i feel like i've been wanting to hear your description of shiva for a while now.

please oblige

JC Joshi said...

Hi wroodrah, Yes, His Story reflects in the history man apparently is engaged in.

Shiva is Nadbindu, i.e., a point source of infinite energy and the vast apparent physical universe to Him is a phenomenon akin to human dreams - illusory and unending as He perhaps seeks His Own Mother or origin.

The above is the essence of the 'Hindu Belief' communicated through 'His Own Images' or characters in His Story that is unending, because He is unborn...

kavitha said...

Hi Wroodrah,

I am deeply touched with your comment. You seem to have read my heart out in each of my posts...maybe it was evident but you voiced it.

Am still trying to define Shiva, but the more I try, the more I feel inadequate and small... I still don't know Him.

I have tried to describe Him in various posts, but that doesn't complete Him.

What do I say...

Regds
Kavitha

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, we have tried earlier also to visualize Bhootnath Shiva - with the help of our own pictures or images captured in the past that depict in chronological order our own history - believably reviewing His Story of achievements, and failures too, in His eventually reaching perfection through His Own (illusory) Images.

In view of the above, 'I' am a character in the drama in the life of Formless Shiva and His own reflection at some point of time. This is communicated in the statement, "Shivoham/ Tat twam asi," that is 'I am Shiva/ And so you too are!'

JC Joshi said...

It is difficult for the imperfect reflections of Shiva Himself to accept because of "maya" that is illusion as part of a grand design by Shiva the formless perfect creator.

JC Joshi said...

It is a matter of visualization, as the ancient wise persons also expressed, "Hari ananta/ Hari katha ananta." That is, the Formless Vishnu/ Shiva has under consideration innumerable characters, each of whom have their own opinions about different aspects of Creation.

In the present the same is expressed as, "Pasand apni-apni/ Khyal apna-apna." Apparently intelligent human being, gaining more and more knowledge about the 'Nature' and acquiring greater and greater power today is leading the entire human race to what one believes is 'advancement'. The only problem, however, is that human race apparently gets diverted from the original objective in mind. For example, as it gets reflected in say 'global waqrming' and apparent likely risk to the life of the entire animal world if corrective measures aren't immediately taken by all countries...

The ancient wise persons explained this to be on account of lack of overall knowledge. This gets reflected in the story of 'specialist' archer Arjuna, in Mahabharata, eventually realizing the 'Absolute Truth', or acquiring the knowledge of our planet earth he 'mrityulok' as the Supreme physical Form of 'Krishna the light of the thousand suns'...

JC Joshi said...

Once again continuing on who Shiva is, let me reiterate as follows.

The ancient wise human characters appear to have conveyed through innocuous stories the inherent design in all aspects of ‘Nature’.

They also conveyed that although the Creator is formless, the physical universe is working based on common logic. That is to say that the solar system - each of whose members has gravitational force associated with its form - is the ‘satva’ or essence of the universe that the unborn and unending or immortal Creator Himself is. And, amongst the Heavenly Bodies or planets that constitute the Solar system, our planet earth is the true physical model or a true reflection of the Creator who Himself, however, being a point source of energy, is related with zero time and space.

In a similar manner, Shiva in human form at a particular point of time only, called (the peak of) Satyuga, reflects the ‘true copy’ of the planet earth, but with a difference, that is, although man remains ever at the head of the animal world, or ‘at the top of the food cycle’ always, on account of the apparent time created due to generation of the solar system, the behaviour of the animal world on earth appears different from that of earth itself, which is immortal whereas the animal world is of a transient nature - serving some useful purpose known only to the Formless Creator – such that human efficiency appears to the terrestrials to reduce with passage of apparent time.

JC Joshi said...

Fred Hoyle, a famous astronomer, stated to the effect that as nothing was known to the early scientists in the west, they could float a hypothesis, which needed to be proved or disproved by the scientists who arrived on the scene later as more and more data became available. He felt that the task had become difficult for the present day scientists to come out with some new theory on account of the huge amount of data now available that needed to be considered.

The ancient characters that were called Yogis in the east appear to also similarly have stressed the need to acquire overall knowledge to reach the 'Truth' or the various 'Truths' that they realized and expressed in Vedas, and eventually the 'Absolute Truth', expressed in 'Vedanta', that is the existence of one and only Formless Creator and His infinite 'images'...

JC Joshi said...

In the present days, generally apparently of specialization and, unlike in the past stress given to deriving essence, or ‘looking inwards’, the human race - in the words of the ancients - is 'viewing outwards' only due to the inherent forces incorporated in the grand design of 'Nature'. It is believably on account of this design that man continued to be getting farther and farther from Truth or God with the passage of time. As we have seen earlier also, the Creator was believed to be reviewing the story of successes and failures, like a slow motion picture over Yugas of apparent time and infinity in space, before He achieved perfection, although within no time and space.

In the early eighties, Sir Fred Hoyle concluded, to the effect, that on account of the complicated chemical structure of life on earth it had to be the work of some intelligent life, either on earth or anywhere outside our galaxy even.

Like working within water-tight different compartments, surgeons have also found there was difference in the structures of male and female human brains. Although both had two different hemispheres, in the males one did verbal function while the other did the visual function. In the females, however, both hemispheres did both visual as well as visual functions, and allowing exchange of information between the two hemispheres through some sort of diffusion, which perhaps made the female form more versatile in case of damage to any one of the hemispheres. And perhaps therefore the concept of superiority of Durga/ Parvati...

It is also learnt that the human brain is a super analogous computer, and that the relatively inferior electronic digital man-made computers today are designed to perform different tasks in a manner similar to the functioning of human brain, but to much lower capacities, and efforts are constantly on to reduce the gap between the two.

The word Yogi literally means mathematicians - as yoga means addition. However, the word in reality conveyed individuals who had realized fusion of a component of supreme soul in each different physical form that itself was made by conversion of some part of its sound energy - represented symbolically by numeral zero (0), or letter ‘O’, attached to the letter ‘M’, perhaps standing for ‘Material’!

Yogis had reached the conclusion that man was a model of the universe, such that the supreme knowledge was recorded in eight different ‘chakras’ as we have seen earlier elsewhere too…

Dr.Anil Joshi said...

Kavitha,Joshi uncle,Due to some technical snag on part of BSNL My network connection was not working.It has been set right now.I was also missing the blog immensely!Incidently What is the meaning of the word Wroodrah is.I agree with him.We all are witnessing a search of the" divine "by Kavitha.A very honest & true search!!

JC Joshi said...

Hi Anilji, Kavitha, wroodrah...
Yes, the wise ancients realized the divinity to reside within each being. And, that in human form only He/ She/ It could be reached by seeking the supreme knowledge - existing as the essence of the infinite - recorded within the form, but in eight chakras, and thus needing Yoga, or addition, to reach at the sum total.

Yogiraj Krishna says in the Gita that anybody can reach Him, but only if one surrendered one's actions in Him! However, ‘Maya’ doesn't permit one to do it easily! We humans apparently surrender in every Tom, Dick, and Harry, but hesitate to surrender in the all powerful and ‘Sarvaguna sampanna’ that is all rounder God, because of lack of faith and also because of ‘natural’ existence of innumerable external forces, or a variety of agencies, as part of a grand design, that divert one from the goal...The story of, say for example, King Harish Chandra could perhaps apparently inspire a true seeker...if it so be God’s will!
One could perhaps take heart from the communication of the wise that the story is applicable to Satyuga and that in Kaliyuga lesser efforts are needed!

kavitha said...

Hi Anilji, Joshi Uncle,

Took me a while to understand that wroodrah could mean w roodrah alias rudra, a form of Shiva.

Not sure if it was intended to be this way though.

Regds
Kavitha

JC Joshi said...

The human race looks for the divinity in human characters only, viz. the bearded and with locks of hair on the head, Yogeshwar Shiva, in the era called Satyuga; the selfless and obedient son of Dasharatha, Lord Rama, of the Tretayuga; the mysterious and mischievous Krishna the sudershan chakradhari character of Dwaperyuga, and so on, as the purushottam or the best among humans...The ancient wise characters however conveyed man as model of the universe. And, perhaps they associated Earth with Shiva, Sun as Rama, and Moon as (peetamber) Krishna as a reflection of Earth's centre, and so on...

In the present, everyone knows that a model cannot do what a prototype does - it only helps in visualization of the prototype. In the west also, similarly, man was indicated as an image of God. In the east the same was expressed through the statement that the physical universe is illusory, a result of 'Maya' whereby the Formless is seen in innumerable physical forms due to lack of proper vision through the physical eyes of the animal world. Therefore, the Yogis advised activation of the 'third' or 'mind's' eye to realize the 'Absolute Truth' or the existence of the Formless Shiva/ Vishnu...

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, That was a good investigative work! I am sure you have hit the bull's eye! Perhaps I could say that like Arjuna reportedly saw only the bird's eye, you too see Shiva and His various names, or reflections, and therfore you are on the right track! I read 'hardxxxx' when I attempted to read it in reverse order!

Best wishes.

JC Joshi said...

A modified comment is given below.

That was a good investigative work. Reading in reverse order, I found it hard for I could see only the word ‘hardxxxxx’. And because I normally spell the word as ‘Rudra’, I couldn’t perhaps have read it straightforward as ‘Roodrah’, like you did! Perhaps W stands for wroodrah’s first name.

Anyway, what we seek is the formless divinity who believably resides within each human being, unknown to us, although Himself He is in a super conscious state, fully aware of each form’s past, present, and future – as Krishna reportedly told Arjuna too as referred in the Gita. The ancient wise people compared this phenomenon with the musk deer that gets the sweet smell and goes round and round (like some people go on pilgrimages in all directions, visit all the 12 jyotirlingas and so on, of course as part of a grand design!) seeking the source of the fragrance, unaware that the source is in its own navel!

As we have tried to see it elsewhere too, navel in human form believably is the house of the Formless, that is, 'Swadhistan Chakra', the house where He Himself is located...

JC Joshi said...

Krishna is believed to be the father of Yoga, the representative of the Formless in physical form. As we have seen it elsewhere earlier also, in cosmic terms, He is represented by the centre of our galaxy. It is the super gravity 'Black Hole' that is located there and makes the innumerable Heavenly Bodies go around it, in cluding our solar system that contains our earth too.

In the Gita, Krishna says that the entire creation is copying Him, which could perhaps be seen reflected in the sun, as the centre of our solar system, making its members go around it. And, similarly, our earth apparently makes its one and only satellite, the moon, go around it...Earth-Moon were, perhaps therefore, referred as the essence of the galaxy/ universe. In human form, these were believed represented by Shiva-Parvati at the end of the Satyuga...

The variety in 'Nature' and in animal world too was believed to be on account of the structure of the forms utilizing permutations and combinations of the essences of the selected members of our solar system, from Sun to Jupiter - the essences of these two located at the solar plexus and the navel respectively in human form while Earth-Moon occupied the highest position, as the 'third eye' (as teh controller or 'Ajna chakra') and the brain (Sahasrara chakra'), respectively...

JC Joshi said...

Krishna also says that anybody can reach Him, through whatever character one finds superior to her, or the Guru, that is, higher in the apparent hierarchy, for He is present within all images. This phenomenon can be observed in the ritualistic practices continued since time immemorial in India, where various images/ idols and any and all forms are worshipped by 'born Hindus', although the majority, particularly the youth, perhaps are not aware of the basis of the practice...For example, one could see the reflection of Krishna, meaning black, in coal and its various forms, viz. charcoal, hard-coke, diamond, etc. As children we have seen how charcoal turned red when it was lighted in ovens. Blowing air into the lighted coal resulted in yellow coloured flames that were used for cooking all meals. And, the blacksmiths used bellows to get still hotter flames for forging iron into different forms...