Jyotir Linga Rameswaram, shrine near the sea
Rameshwaram – Temple for a cosmic bath
It was a moment, a moment recorded in faith, not written on a tablet or a wall but in the mind’s of the generations to follow, an event that brought awe and amazement over the truth, that there is a supernatural out there.
In the middle of the vast ocean, a King lay his feet on the sandy beaches of earth and turned the island into a sacred land. It was an island that took the shape of the sacred subtle sound OM. On this island He was advised to worship the Lord by a great sage, who guided him through his worship. It was here that his worship brought into being a huge column of fire that rose out of the ocean and presented itself as a Jyotir Linga among these sacred sands.
A miracle on the golden sands remains embedded in the mind. The vast ocean ahead gives no hint that it ever subdued to a column of fire. Its sunrise again, the calm waters send ripples to the coast, ripples that gentle toss the boats waking the world out of deep slumber. Times have changed, the very idol of the Lord that once was worshipped by the great King in the open, is now covered well within the walls of a huge temple. Three prakaras, need to be crossed to see the Lord deep within his dark chamber. A chamber where the very light of the Jyotir Linga now lies dim, and is visible only to a true sincere aspirant.
They say the great King was Lord Rama who was advised by sage Agastya to perform the worship to Lord Shiva to rid himself off the karma of having killed Ravana, a great Shiva Bhakta. It was Hanuman who went to the banks of Narmada (or Kailasa is debatable) and brought back the Shiva Linga for the worship but didn’t make it in time. Lord Rama made a replica of the Lord in sand and Lord Shiva rose to give it its life. Hanuman was very disappointed that he didn’t make it in time and that the ritual was performed in his absence. He tried to uproot the Linga but was unsuccessful and the marks of it are still visible on the Linga. The Shiva Linga Hanuman brought was also installed, a little to the south, and should be worshipped first before the main Linga is worshipped.
Read more in details: Rameshwaram – Temple for a cosmic bath
It’s a different world there, when one descends into Rameshwaram, with 51 theerthams scattered around this island. 22 of these wells are well within the temple complex. The feeling of purity is very evident when you walk through the corridors, bathing at each well and heading into the temple to finally meet the Lord. The times have changed, the dark torch lit corridors now blaze with electric lights, yet the pillars and the music carries you back into those times, of a different living, perfect living with a slower life and more room for peace and spiritualism and oneness with the Lord.