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7.18.2007

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

13 comments:

JC Joshi said...

Once it is understood that ‘Shiva the Destroyer’ of Hindu Mythology relates to ‘mrityulok’ where death of all life forms is inevitable, that is, our beautiful ‘planet earth’, and ‘Mahashiva’ as our solar system in which Moon is considered as reflecting the supreme force as the Perpetrator that overcomes the destructive force for different durations as reflected by serpents that hold poison in their throats, and Sun-Earth-Moon reflect Trimurty Shiva’s three different aspects, it perhaps helps appreciate better all the ‘Hindu’ mythological stories…

JC Joshi said...

Ancient Hindus, due to the fear of the unknown in day-to-day life, worshipped the Formless Creator/ physical Earth through different forms either directly available on earth or made out of material provided by earth...Serpents, particularly King Cobra, fascinated man because of their general rope-like appearance and behaviour that the wise related with awakening of 'kundalini' in human form. It conveyed rise of total energy/ knowledge to the head, which otherwise believably remains coiled up at the basic 'bandha' or lock unutilized and thus poor IQ in average person, but a sense of comparative superiority at any time with respect to the common man, because of relativity as a part of design...

There is a saying to the effect that there might be cure for physical ailments but there is no cure for misunderstanding even with the physician of the demigods...

Today it is understood that the Heavenly Bodies virtually float in space around some parent body because of gravitational forces. The ancient wise related these forces with celestial serpents, Vasuki/ Ananta, and so on, for the benefit of common man...

JC Joshi said...

With the background knowledge that the ancient Hindus considered only that phenomenon as the ‘Truth’ which is not affected by time, it is obvious that Jyotirlingas, as different from Shivalingas made from other materials, relate to the stones formed by volcanic fires, that is, igneous rocks.

Volcanoes continue to erupt almost all the time at some location or the other, or - as in the present - volcanologists make available videos to certain TV channels for telecasting those for the benefit of the common man, who doesn’t have physical access to an active one, to view those like Lord Vishnu! Of course unaware that elevated souls or Yogeshwar-like characters could actually see images in their 'mind's eye' pertaining to any location within the universe...

Also, the wise were apparently successful in creating awareness in the masses that whatever humans believe to be happening in the present, in reality, is the story of one day in the life of the unending three-in-one mysterious and mischievous God in its past and as it is being reviewed again and again, that is, history of the physical Earth/ Solar system, or Yogeshwar Shiva/ Mahashiva who alone is perfect…The name given to the one in the foothills of the Himalayas, amidst the Deodars, that is Jageshwar (meaning God awakened), was on account of its believable miraculous power as it fulfilled all wishes of the devotees...

JC Joshi said...

Of course, in those days they couldn’t have asked much as material products weren’t as abundantly available as they are in the present day markets anywhere in the country. In that hilly region, till in the recent past before independence, there were not many roads and population was relatively small. People used to travel on foot on hill tracks and would get served tea and some eatables at some small shops at isolated locations by the side of mule tracks. There used to be a few highways connecting the various small hill towns in the region that served for commutation of people, import of material related with the basic needs from the markets in the other parts of the country located in the plains and also the mail. Many generations didn’t ever visit the towns in the plains, which scared the hill-man because of the heat, crowd and noise. Only a few, who were a bit better off, came out to towns, viz. Allahabad, Lucknow, New Delhi etc. for the sake of higher studies/ jobs, including menial jobs, and pilgrimages because the majority was God fearing and thefts were more or less unheard of. Quite a few, of course, joined the Army and they too were famous for devoted service of the nation…which sounds like a dream today

JC Joshi said...

We have seen earlier elsewhere too how the story related with the suicide of Ardhanarishwar Shiva’s original consort, Sati, in the ‘sacred fire’ related with a religious ceremony arranged by her father, King Daksha Prajapati, to which he hadn’t invited his son-in-law (exterior part of earth) because of the bad company of the ghosts that he kept (air, water, etc.), obviously can be imagined as using a terminology that is understood by the common man at any time. Read with the further part of the story related with the ‘tapasya’ that is worship of Sun-god by Parvati the daughter of Himalaya - and another form of Sati herself - and grant of her prayer to marriage with Shiva is obviously related with evolution of moon from earth-moon itself in which Daksha Prajapati relates to the molten magma in the core of the earth, which gets ejected as lava through an active volcano, which has been imagined in the stories as representing Formless Shiva...

Shiva is indicated in the stories to have carried the dead body of Sati on His shoulder and, in anger, performed ‘Tandava Nritya’ the death dance that was brought to a halt by Narayana, with His ‘sudershan chakra’ or beautiful rings, cutting the dead body into 52 pieces that fell at various places on the Himalayan range (erratic movement of the combined bodies of earth-moon before their separation to result in moon becoming a satellite of earth)…These locations were considered as 'Shakti peethas' or energy centres, and Temples named believably related with the body part of Sati that believably fell over each of these locations...

JC Joshi said...

We have also seen earlier how the hard rocks below the soft soil came to be related with ‘Shukra’ - or the planet Venus that holds poison - acting like the throat of Mahashiva, i.e., the whole earth as the representative of the universe, and Solar system as its essence…And, ‘Shukracharya’ believably was the Guru of the rakshashas or demons, that is physically powerful, but selfish people!

Coming to the door or ‘Dwar’ in Sanskrit, the wise ancients also related ‘Shukra’ with ‘shukranu’ that is semen in animal forms, which could also be understood literally as 'atoms of Shukra’, or small pieces of hard rocks, that is, the molten magma in the core of earth. In an active volcano, despite hardness of rocks, due to ‘natural’ presence of faults and fissures, the molten magma pushes up through the shaft of a volcano that virtually acts like a door, or ‘dwar’, to provide exit to the lava to rise with pressure and appear on the surface of earth. After flowing north, south, east, or west over the crater of the volcano and coming in contact with earth, air, and water etc. the red hot lava (Ma Kali, as destructive force) turns black (Krishna, the physical representative of the Creator!) to enrich the soil that with time gets depleted of its life sustaining elements…and hence the cyclic eruptions of different volcanoes - like water cycle...

JC Joshi said...

'Dwar', or 'Dwaraka', could find use to reflect many worldly phenomena. As Kavitha has also indicated, the western coast at the present day Dwaraka evidently was the gateway to the Indian subcontinent once upon a time, particularly for trade with the advanced Arabian countries, or the inhabitants of the African continent, the root of the present day Homo sapiens, the intelligent race all over the world today.

Observance of ‘holes’ in the ozone layer in earth’s atmosphere, in that otherwise protective layer provided for existence of animal life on earth, in recent times, could also be regarded as ‘Shiva’s closed third eye’, for eyes in animals provide entry to sunlight to make vision of objects possible, and ears act as door for entry of sound energy, and so on. Innumerable pores in animal skin were however called ‘windows’ that believably provided entry to the cosmic energy to various vital organs through blood - and also provided exit to sweat for regulation of body temperature - and was related with the essence of Sun that is sunlight and white Pearl used by Yogis to represent it in physical form…

JC Joshi said...

I am to repeat that the wise ancients related primary and secondary colours with energy and some particular body component. Red (Ruby) was associated with bones, orange (Coral) with the bone marrow, Yellow with fats, Green (Emerald) with muscles, Blue with nerves. Besides these they suggested Gomed and Cat's eye to cater for bad effects of ultra-violet and Infra-red rays...

It is for the presnt day researchers to try to enter the head of the ancientg wise Hindus who apparently entered the head of the Creator, a desire expressed by Stephen Hawking also...

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, I wouldn't have accesss to the computer and post comments till around the 24th or 25th instant when I am likely to reach New Delhi after my sojourn in Mumbai where I had the opportunity to walk for a few days along a small part of the Arabian sea and also see it from one of the high-rise buildings where I stayed, and visualized it as the origin of the annual water cycle. And also view later from the fourth floor window the small hilly suburb and other high-rise buildings during light or heavy monsoon showers and imagine the Himalayan hills, and its forests, or 'Vans', as Shiva's locks, and Gomukh as Ganga's origin, as well as Madhuban/ Dwaraka Van where Krishna once upon a time performed dances in the shade of Kadamba Trees, with ordinary citizens of Brindavan/ ruled over his big empire...

As there are no questions or comments from you, I believe and hope there is no problem in comprehending the loud thoughts I have been posting from time to time...

I wish you all the best.

Dr.Anil Joshi said...

Kavitha,Is the devotee"namdev" refereed by you the same Famous marathi saint"Namdev"

kavitha said...

Hi Anilji,

I dont think the Namdev of Dwaraka is the same as Namdev the Marathi saint. There are references made to his connection with Sikhism but not to any Jyotirlinga as such.

They are two different people most probably.

Hi Joshi Uncle,

More than the king cobra itself as a species, hindu mythology believed in Nagas as demi gods, though am yet to understand why Kundalini has been equated to a serpent form. Its similar to the 1000 petal lotus which conceptually relates to a form of enlightenment but is very difficult to visualize...or maybe cannot be visualized altogether.

Truth as you have very correctly mentioned is independent of time. We need to represent it by physical attributes but can also give it a timeless connect of a different kind.

Say tradition, faith, worship. What has made Hinduism a truth or the Shiva Shakti cult an unshakable truth is its presence no matter what our country went through these years gone in history. Certain belief systems continue to stay, are still maintained even after generations of people have come and gone. It is ever present...isnt that what makes it real!

That is "truth" isn't it. It is here t stay. Ritual in its pure form is here to stay. The Lord in His various interpretations is here to stay.

What we see today are human representations of that very same Formless Lord, because we mortals cannot understand Him in the limited state of mortality.

We just need to move a step further and for once just assume that the world out there actually might look a lot different. Mythology gives us the key to such truth. The presence of a swarg log, patallok, devalok and so on with us in our current form in bhulok. Why not???

My question is why cant they exist? Why do we feel that if we dont sense it, it cannot exist? I am not very comfortable with the connection of jyotir linga with volcanic igneous rock. Its a good analysis but again it tries to compare with what is rather than with what might be and we dont know.

Ritual science, is beyond us maybe today, but it had its value and plenty of it.

It cannot be understood with our conditioning of modern education and we have to unlearn some of it to understand this. Mugging a set of mantras is not good enough. What needs to be understood is the simplicity of this which is made to appear complex when actually if taught with meaning and understanding anyone can pick it up.

If our ancients prescribed ritual as the path to the Lord so be it. It doesnt have to be a job done, it should be a pleasurable moment spent with the Lord, a dialog with Him in a Language common to both Him and us - devotion.

Regds
Kavitha

Dr.Anil Joshi said...

Kavitha,Pandharpur is currently witnessing a unique ageold tradition of "Palakhis"(Pallenquin) of various saints covering distances ranging from 200-400 km on foot over a period of 2-3weeks.It literally is a "Ritual as a path to lord Vithoba".It has all the elements of tradition,faith,worship etc.

rama said...

Delighted to discover this blog. Thank you, and all strength.