Jyotirlinga Nageshwar / Naganath Shiva
Nageswaram Naganatham Nagabrana booshidham |
Nataka-pradham Navarasa Pradham Jyodhir-Swaroopam Vandhe Namami ||
The Jyotirlinga Shloka goes: ...Nagesham Daarukavane...
There are three different interpretations to this part of the Jyotirlinga Shloka. The first version is that Darukavan is in Dwaraka, the land of Lord Krishna. There is another belief that goes to say that Darukavana means Daruka Vane or deodar forests at the Himalayan foothills, which would be Jageshwar which houses another cluster of Shiva temples. The third to take claim to Nageswar Shiva is Audhgram near Purna in Andhra Pradesh.
The surrounding mythologies seem to be constant and all of them refer to a demon called Daruka. Daruka was known to be a tyrant, who didn't allow anyone to live in peace. A merchant by the name of Supriya came to Darukavanam while he was out sailing to sell his wares. (This also probably explains why Dwaraka is celebrated to host a Jyotirlinga shrine as its on a coastline) Supriya was an ardent Shiva devotee. Daruka asked Supriya to teach him how to worship Lord Shiva, how to perform puja and penance. Supriya was worried that Daruka would gain additional power with his puja and hence refused to help. This enraged Daruka andhe tortured Supriya, but it didn't change Supriya's mind. Seeing the devotion of Supriya, Lord Shiva appeared in Jyotirlinga form and destroyed Daruka. But Supriya's problems did not end here. Daruki, who was Daruka's wife took on the reign and continued torturing everyone. Shiva vanquished her too and gave darshan to the people of Darukavana in Jyotirlinga form.
They say this linga is different from all the others as its Gomugam (the extension of the Linga from which the fluids of libation flow out) faces South, unlike all others that face North. It is beleived that a devotee called Namdev was singing bhajans to the Lord when one of the devotees asked him to move so that they could view the Lord. Namdev, continued to sing asking the devotees if there was any place that the Lord did not exist, he would be happy stand there. The enraged devotee, moved him to the south of the Linga only to realize that the Shiva Linga had turned South and pointed its Gomugam to the east.
Indian mythology has its charm. From great Gods testing aspirants to great sages reaching extreme heights of perfection to mortal devotees of the Lord getting to see His favor in their lifetimes. It probably just goes to say that a pure heart and a clean mind with sincerity is all that is needed to achieve this. Does it really matter where the real Jyotirlinga is hosted? Would it make the other Lingas installed in the Indian country side any less potent? Shiva is worshipped, respected with awe and possibly feared as well. Nobody would question that, but what needs to be questioned is whether we are willing and capable to handle that kind of potency.
Photo courtesy: Liveindia.com