Jyotir Linga Ujjain(Avanti) - Mahakala Shiva
Mahakalam Lavanyam Madhura Karunarasa varithim |
Mahalingam Mangalaroopam Jyothir swaroopam sirasa namami||
Ujjain, a land of mystery and secrecy held together by a small little town, is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in India. Born within itself, a swayambhuva linga and not man made, this Linga is powerful to derive its own energy and has not been induced by mantra shakti, unlike other Lingas.
The interesting part of this temple is that it is multi-storeyed and the actual Jyotir Linga is underground. The beauty of it is that one walks through dark passages lit with brass lamps to find the Lord sunken within the earth, still alive and brimming with overpowering presence.
What a presence! To think that it actually spreads to the Linga above and makes the entire temple more potent. The presence of the Lord is far more intense here. The shikhara of this temple towers above enveloping Mahakaleshwar, a form of Dakshinamurthi Shiva Himself. Parvati, Ganesha and Karthikeya also reside within these walls.
The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is placed above Mahakaleshwar Shiva who resides in the lower chamber. A additional floor as been attributed to Nagchandreswar, who is worshipped by devotees only on Nagpanchami day.
A silent Linga, Mahakaleswar Shiva and Omkareshwar, all reside together here. The myth goes as follows. Ujjain, previously known as Avanti was located on the banks of the sacred river Shipra. In this little town lived a brahmin named Vedhapriya who had four sons. Close to Avanti was a mountain kingdom called Ratnamala which was ruled by a demon King called Dushanan. Dushanan has done immense worship to Brahma and had acquired a lot of power and was now almost invincible. He had grown to be very proud and began to illtreat his people and subjects. Dushanan finally invaded Avanti and began to rule it with tyrany. A lot of unhappy people went to Vedhapriya to seek his help.
Vedhapriya at that time was performing Shiva puja with his four sons. When the people came to their house, Vedhapriya's eldest son Devapriya consoled them saying they were not strong enough to face the fierce demon. They told them to leave it in Lord Shiva's hands and continued to worship the Lord. King Dushanan came to know this and decided to kill Vedhapriya and destroy all the Lingas they were worshipping. He came upon the pit from which mud was traditionally taken to make the Lingas for centuries. As he advanced with his army, Lord Shiva rose out of the pit as a column of fire in Jyotir swarupa form and burnt King Dushana and his entire army in one blow.
All the people worshipped this form of the Lord and named Him Mahakala Jyotir Linga, the protector of the Universe.
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