Friday, July 4, 2008


Bhagirahta was the well acclaimed fore father of Rama of Raghu Vamsa and as folklore goes his forefathers were known as sagaras and they had been burnt down due to a curse in the past . And it was for the elevation of these ancestors from the curses to a state of being transported to heaven, is it that Bhagiratha was very keen on bringing the holy river Ganga to the Earth.

This intention was with the belief that the moment h holy waters of the river Ganga were to touch the ashes of the sagaras, they would immediately be released from the curse on them for their sins.

With this in mind Bhagiratha did very severe penance with the sole objective of getting the blessings of Lord Indra for this, and indeed this permission was granted but with the condition that although he was permitted to bring the river Ganga down from Heaven to the Earth, the actual decision of coming down to the arth would be that of Ganga.

Therefore BhagIrahta again started his austerities and prayed to the goddess Ganga., to which she agreed but at the same time clarified that he should locate a person who could withstand the force with which she will descend to earth Bhagiratha agreed to this and zeroed down to the refuge- i.e. the most powerful Lord Shiva !

Having decided on this he did severe austerities for pleasing Lord Shiva., who on appreciating his devotion and efforts, agreed to hold the Ganga on it's downward trip from Heaven to the Earth . On hearing of this Ganga out of her sheer ignorance and pride thought that Lord Shiva would not be able to withstand her force !

She therefore came down with the intention of pushing the Almighty Lord , creator of the entire universe down with her heavy force, not realising that she was insignificant in front of the Lord ! The Lord arrested the flow of the Ganga in His matted hair, and even though she tried her level best to rush out of His matted hair, it was all in vain. since not even a single drop of water could escape !

Bhagiratha got very worried by these developments as it had been his initial intention to bring down the Ganga to planet Earth, and he therefore again prayed to the Lord to show mercy on her. and to this the Lord readily agreed by allowing the Ganga to pass through a strand of His matted hair.

Now, the visibly humbled Ganga flowed very humbly and with tremendous grace, extending ample prosperity on her way to Patala, and it was in this way that the antcestors of BhagIratha were brought to heaven by the holy water of the Ganga !


There is an interesting story about a demon who was in the form of an elephant (gajasura) , who did severe penance and by virtue of the same got several powerful boons from the Gods. But, this elephant demon, did not try to use these gifted powers for good and constructive things, but rather started using them for destructive activities .

He ventured to do all possible to disturb, destroy and cause harm to others. In fact the situation had become such that even the Devas were not able to take him on on account of the powers that he had acquired through his extreme penance !

As happens with all evil forces, this demon elephant was also doomed to be destroyed on account of his actions, which would eventually lead him to his own death. It so happened that when he started to attack the devotees of Lord Shiva who were completely immersed in worship of God at the holy abode Kashi, his ego and mad rage came in the way of his coming to realize whom he is taking on into battle.

Eventually, Lord Shiva, the supreme power of the universe, on seeing his devoteest being harmed , took things into his own hands and immediately destroyed the demon by ripping its body apart , the loud cries of the demon in pain could be heard all over, and in this way he lost his life, since evil cannot survive for very long !


The story goes something like this that for the protection of the world Lord Vishnu wanted to have in his possession a weapon which is all powerful. With this in mind he went on to commence the worship of Lord Shiva with a thousand flowers so as to get the sudarshana chakra as a boon from the Lord Almighty., This had been created by Lord Shiva for jalandhara samhara.

Therefore Maha Vishnu collected the required flowers and started the worship. of Lord Shiva , but during the worship, Lord Vishnu found that he fell short of one flower to thousand, and since he did not want to stop his prayer to Lord Shiva at any cost whatsoever, he did not hesitate a single moment , and went on to pluck out and offered one of this eyes as a substitute for the missing thousandth flower.

Lord Shiva was overwhelmed by this extreme devotion, and immediately gave the Sudarshan Chakra to Maha Vishnu, and thenceforth Maha Vishnu got the name "lotus eyed" (padmaksha) due to the devotion in offering the eye to make up for a lotus.


Have you per chance ever heard of this story of ancient times, wherein several thousands of years ago as the folklore goes, there was a demon king by the name of Jalandhara, who through his harsh austerities and penance had obtained several boons from the Gods, and it was on account of these boons he had become so powerful that had gone on to capture all the worlds and rule over them !

Since he went unchallenged it came into his head one day that he should take on the might of the Devas , and so he went on to challenge them to fight against him.Since none of the Devas was prepared to fight against him since he was very powerful, everybody gave in to him without much resistance.

Further encouraged by this, Jalandhara went on to take on the more powerful worlds of Satya loka and Vaikuntha where again nobody was prepared to do battle with him, but he was informed that only Lord Shiva can fight against him.

Being stupid enough to take on the might of Lord Shiva, he went to Mount Kailash the abode of Lord Shiva, to fight with the God ! Lord Shiva wanted to teach the demon a lesson and therefore took the form of an old man and stood on his way. The old man asked Jalandhara where he was going. to which he got the reply that he was going to fight against Lord Shiva.

On hearing this the old man smiled and asked him to lift a disc (chakra) lying on the ground so as to check his strength by lifting the same above his head, prior to his fighting with the All Powerful Lord Shiva . "

On hearing these words Jalandhara was quite amused since he felt that the old man twas not aware of Jalandhara's strength, and just to show him his strength , he started lifting it and realized that it was not an easy job., and it was then that he realised that it was not an easy task. It was therefore with great diffculty that he took the disc and put it on his head.

Immediately he did so, the disc not only cut off his head but also decimated his entire body into small pieces ! This was the end of the so called invincible demon who had ventured to conquer the entire world , but he had overestimated his strength in taking on the might of the Almighty Lord Shiva.


This is a narration of how Parvati came to get married to Lord Shiva . As most of you must already be aware, Shakthi was born as Parvati, the daughter of the king of Himalayas. Unlike other children her age , as a young child, she was not very keen in playing like the other children. Rather, she was more interested in keeping herself absorbed in the meditation and prayer of Lord Shiva in the mountains. She also had a burning desire to marry Lord Shiva , and it was for that she wanted to perform austerity in the snow covered Himalayas.

Although her parents had shown an initial hesitation , they but finally had to bow down in the face of sheer determination displayed by Parvati., who was performing all her austerities from an ashram. In fact the reality was that Lord Shiva was very happy with Her worship and devotion, and came to her place disguised as an old devotee.Parvati gave due respect to the Old devotee of Her beloved Lord Shiva.This old devotee tried to dissuade her from wasting her youth in meditation and prayer of Lord Shiva, and that instead she should enjoy life by getting married to some one else !

He also went on to make the remarkable suggestion that She could get married to Him, instead of desiring for Lord Shiva who spends his time dancing away in the cemeteries and wearing on his body an attire which includes skulls and bones ! On hearing these words Parvati, not realising that it is the Lord Himself before her , got very angry at him, and informed him that she gave due respect to him only since he appeared to be a devotee and she would not want to hear anything of disregard to her Lord !.

She also immediately asked him to leave the place, on seeing which the Lord was extremely pleased with her determination and devotion, and went on to disclose his identity. Parvati was really astonished on coming to know the reality and pleaded for forgiveness from her Lord. On the contrary, Lord Shiva had taken her scolding in the right spirit and took it to signify the great love she had for Him ! He there and then granted her the wish that she had been aspiring for all along i.e. Her getting married to Him.

On hearing of this grand news, the Parvati's family was delighted beyond measure, and in celebration of the same proceeded to decorated the region in the most wonderful manner one could ever imagine. They were indeed very happy to learn of their beloved daughter's wedding to the Lord Himself ! And in preparation for the same, the young and most beautiful Parvati was decorated with the choicest ornaments, and the best of attire .

And the Groom - Lord shiva - came to the wedding place - astride an old bull, with skull and bone ornaments, with the skin of the tiger as the clothing, accompanied by the roar of the Buta Ganas ! On seeing this, Parvati's mother fainted immediately since she could not imagine to see the groom in such a form for her sweet daughter, softer than the flowers. Now the Lord changed to the form, glittering in a beautiful wedding robe - with golden ornaments and splendid clothing!

When Menai woke up and saw the Groom she was thrilled to see such a beautiful form and was very pleased that He is "the suitable" groom for her daughter. The play of the Lord has no bounds ! Menai saw only the external appearance of the Groom. Other than the great Parvati who knows the glory of that Groom ?! The enchanting Lord in the wedding robe got married to the Daughter of the mountains and this form of God is called Kalyana Sundharar.


Tripura Antakar : Destroyer of three cities .( VIra Murti )

What is tripura and what does it signify ? It is an amalgamation of the three main impurities which go on to bond a person, namely ego ( aham ), deeds and their effects ( karma ) and illusion ( maya ) . One who is truly blessed by God Almighty is fortunate enough to an absence of all these three impurities, since these are burned away , and in their place is a state of total peace and tranquility, with Lord Shiva taking abode in such places, and dancing out there ! ( Thirumular )

Now coming to the story : there were these three demons who had been granted a boon by Lord Shiva that they would be invincible, and could not be destroyed unless and until they were all together, and would need to be killed by a single arrow . These three demons were named Kamalakshan, Tarukakshan and Vvidhunmali, and they went on to create their forts in different areas and ruled the world.

However there were some Devas who were not too happy with the activities of these demons and they went on to complain about the same to Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva told them that he just could not do anything to these three demons as long as they continued to pray to him .Since these demons were very regular in their prayers to him , he would not venture out to destroy them !

So Lord Vishnu took on the form of a sage, and started the task of teaching each of these three demons mayavatham, resulting in their stopping their prayers to the Lord, instead praising themselves and troubling the Devas by torturing them. Now since these three demons had given up all the goodness they had within them, Lord Shiva appeared before them so as to destroy them , and these three demons got together, having forgotten the boon they had been given by the Lord . They dared even to fight with Lord Shiva assuming that they were invincible !

On this fateful day , the earth became the chariot for the Lord, Lord Brahma became the charioteer, Lord Vishnu the arrow, the sun and the moon the wheels of the chariot , the mountain meru as the bow, and the serpent Vasuki as the string in the bow. In this way, all the gods were present in some form or the other in that specially crafted chariot.

Only one aspect needed attention since the gods of fire and death were in the wheel instead of the arrow., which was soon rectified by Vinayaka who broke the wheel to put them in the arrow, and eventually when everything was in place , the Devas were very proud of the fact that with their support Lord Shiva was proceeding to decimate the three demons into non existence.

Lord Shiva however has entirely different plans in mind, he did not actually use any of the Devas for what he had in mind ! He just smiled and in that smile the three demons were burnt down , since the rudhraksha appeared from the three eyes of Lord Shiva during tripurasamhara The Devas were really astounded to realise they had been really stupid to assume that the Lord could not destroy the demons without their support .

Now comes the interesting part , the destruction of the Lord was a creative one , to destroy meant that he recreated by purifying the evil forces . That is what exactly happened in this case as well ! Lord Shiva granted the gift of life to each of these demons , with one of them being given the task of fanning him with chamaran and the other two being used as his security at his abode . This was essentially because they were initially his ardent devotees , even though they went wrong subsequently.


Lord Brahma had a son by the name of Daksha, and Godess Shakti appeared as Dakshayani, the daughter of Daksha. Godess Shakti prayed to Lord Shiva to get married to her, and the Lord accepted Dakshayani ignoring the ostentation of Daksha.

Daksha felt very insulted since the Lord did not get married to his daughter with his special arrangements. He decided to retaliate by arranging a yagya in which all the Gods were worshipped except for Lord Shiva. All the Devas went to attend this yagya out of sheer fear, and accepted the offerings made to them on the occasion..

Since this was a very high handed behaviour on the part of Daksha , he was advised by the great sage DadhIchi to not perpetuate such a yagya where Lord Shiva was being totally ignored since this could lead to serious consequences. However, Daksha chose to ignore this good and sound piece of advice which had been given to him, and continued his Yagya as per previous plans made by him .

On learning of this Dakshayani came to the yagya to advise her father Daksha to refrain from such practises , and to also make offerings to the Lord of gods, her husband Lord Shiva. But Daksha again ignored her advice and in fact went on to make allegations against both her and Lord Shiva. As was to be expected, this elicited a very angry response from Daksha's daughter, and she prayed to the Lord to teach Daksha a lesson .She also ventured to leave the form of Dakshayani, and entered into the yagya fire taking on the form of the daughter of king of Himalayas.

Lord Shiva also took immediate action by the creation of VIra Bhadrar and Bhadra Kali ( Vira Bhadrar is the only deity among the 25 maheshwara murtis, to have the characteristic of not being the manifestation of Lord Shiva Himself, but a power of Lord Shiva). Lord Shiva advised them to destroy the yagya of Daksha, and they virtually charged into the place where the yagya was being performed , immediately mutilating the Devas taking part in the worship, and also cut off the head of Daksha, becoming such a powerful force that nobody could bring a halt to their activities.

Lord Vishnu also came on the scene and put up a brave front, but could not stop these deadly powers, resulting in the Devas gathered there pleading for mercy from Lord Shiva, which he generously agreed to, and after forgiving them on their specific request also went on to give back life to Daksha by affixing the head of a goat on his body, thereby bringing him back to life.. Daksha was then filled with remorse and repented for his sins. Even today you can see the temple of Thirup Pariyalur which stands as a testimony to the destruction of the Daksha Yagyam.


Did you know that King Daksha had twenty seven stars as daughters, and all of them were married to the moon. But here is the other side of the story : the moon had special attraction towards Rohini . So what was to happen, all the other wives made a big issue of it all and went and complained to their father Daksha that their husband moon is not treating them fairly.

Now look at the rage the father got into when he learned that his daughters were not being treated properly : Daksha put a curse on the moon under which it would lose its luminance day by day. And from that day onwards the moon started losing it's luminance part out of his 16 parts. And with this happening , and the moon losing it's luminance each day , it got afraid and ashamed and thereafter disappeared into the ocean. As a result of this,there were many herbs which require the light of the moon to grow, which started suffering in the absence of the moon.

Moreover , due to the moon disappearing in the ocean, there was a lot suffering in the entire world and it was to end this problem only that the celestials advised the moon to take refuge in the Lord Shiva, and left with only one kala, he took refuge in Lord Shiva. Being the graceful Almighty, Lord Shiva wore the moon crescent on His head, making him grow for 15 days and decay for 15 days periodically.

This is the story behind how Lord Shiva has come to have the crescent of the moon on his forehead !


Amrita, the nectar of life !
Amrita ( the elixir of life ) is what you take if you want to live forever, and poison is what destructs life, the two extremes of life itself , one which sustains life forever , the other brings it to a grinding halt within seconds !

Now here's the story behind Amrita , the nectar of life and how it came about ! It was one fine dat that both the Demons and the Devtas, wanted to have the amrit, the nectar that would make one live long avoiding death. The amrit was however in the waters of the great ocean and could only be procured by churning the huge ocean to get out the nectar. Both the demons and the devta gods got together to collectively churn the big ocean.

They started the churning of the ocean with mandhara mountain as the stem and serpent vasuki as the rope, and in the entire process, due to the pain that the serpent vasuki felt, it emitted the poison hala which was very destructive. At the same time due to the churning process yet another poison came out from the ocean .Now both these poisons put together became a disastrous poison that threatened the very existence of all including the devta gods, demons and the lives of all others in the area.

What was to be done under such dire circumstances ? Lord Vishnu made his best efforts to stop the poisons but his body turned blue, and he just could not stop it despite his best efforts. Being scared of the destroying power of the poison, all of them sought the help of Lord Shiva, And here is the flip side , when it came to the Amrit , all these people never thought of offering it first to Lord Shiva, it was only the poisons that were offered to Him !

The Graceful God took the poison as if it is a fruit in the hand. Asked all of them, what He should do with that. They pleaded that the poison would annihilate them all if He left it off. Lord smilingly put it into His mouth ! But isn't all the worlds very much inside the God ? Though it will not affect the Lord, but the worlds would be again affected by the poison, Goddess Shakti, the mother of all creatures, stopped the poison in His throat by putting her hand in His throat. The poison stayed there as a small black (blue) stain. Hence the Lord is called NiIlakanthar .

Now with the blessings of God, the divines continued to churn the ocean and got the amriit. God gave the amrita to the devta gods, but had only the poison. Remember, it is Lord Shiva, who remains Eternal and does not ever need to imbibe the nectar of life , he is therefore the greatest nectar of life !


Dakshinamurthy : South facing Lord Shiva.

The story goes something like this that the four sons, of Brahma, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanat Kumara, did austere prayer and meditation to arrive at what exactly is the Supreme Truth. This was something which was perplexing them and they had done a lot of analysis on the same , but were still not able to arrive at the correct answer. What is the greatest truth in this entire universe , who could answer this question for them ??

Finally, they came to the conclusion that if anyone can answer this question of theirs it has got to be the Supreme Commander of this entire Universe , Lord Shiva Himself !! Having decided this , they came to Lord Shiva so as to get the knowledge of the Truth, but when they reached him , they found him sitting under the banyan tree, and the four sages also quietly sat down around Him.

Lord Shiva was sitting in a yoga stance without even uttering a single word , and the the four sages got all their doubts cleared just by that posture. The form in which God appeared as a Supreme Guide is the form of wisdom known as Dakshinamurthi.

This explains that the very basic fact of life is that the absolute Truth cannot be explained in words and must be experienced. Including the great chinmudra posture, the posture of shrI dakshinamurthi, who is the teacher amongst all of the teachers, indicates a lot of information that needs days to explain.

In fact the posture of the Guru is a thing to be thought about deeply always, to understand what it signifies , and the rest will all become clear by itself .

Does that make sense , the postures of tranquility and peaceful meditation is the ultimate truth, get immersed so much in the supreme power , that nirvana is an absolute certainity , the path to salvation !!


Among the ardent devotees of Lord Shiva is sage Bhringi, who is known to worship only Lord Shiva and not Godess Shakti, who being the power, as the name itself suggests, who had pulled out the energy from sage Bhringi 's body. This resulted in his not being able to stand us straight and he therefore requested Lord Shiva for help , on which Lord Shiva provided him with a stick , using support of which to stand still in one place , the sage continued his worship of the Lord !

Now, on the other hand, Goddess Shakti had the desire of becoming an inseparable part of Lord Shiva's form., and for this she observed the Kedhara Maha Vrata austerity, which is now known as Deepawali , and being pleased with this austerity of hers, Lord Shiva granted her the boon of being an integral part of His form. Henceforth , the Supreme Power of the universe appears as male on the right hand side and female on the left side , and is termed as Ardhanarlshivara.

Significance of this form

Lord Shiva's this form is one of the important forms which is worshipped by the Hindus in India , and it is a much acknowledged form in the Hindu scriptures , as per which God is not only male, He is male - female and neutral too ! This logic states that since God is conceptually beyond sex, and although gets referred as He/She most of the time , it would be more correct to refer to God as It since this defines God's intrinsic condition, as do many hindu scriptures.

Purely looked at, this form of God is also associated with the Grace of God. Shiva and Shakti are one and the same Supreme Power. The formless God is called parashiva. On Its own free-will for the benefit of pashus (souls), which are drowned in Pasha (bondage), It thinks to create the worlds. Its dynamism of creation thus springs out of It, which is called Shakti. Now Shiva and Its power Shakti create everything. This is the form of their togetherness that springs out of Lord Shiva. Because of this, the form is associated with the grace of God. Shiva and Shakti though the same may also act independently.

They are associated like the person and the action of the person. They are one and the same like the ice and the water - one becomes the other. For this reason scriptures describe that Shakti to Shiva is a wife (they are together), mother (shakti becomes Shiva - so Shiva comes out of Shakti) and daughter (Shiva become shakti). Poet Kalidasa hails them as inseparable like the word and its meaning, the letter and it's pronunciation !!


There was a time, much before the creation of the universe, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were having a quarrel as to who is the greater power of the two . Lord Brahma staked claim to the supreme position since according to him he is the creator of the whole world. Lord Vishnu rejected the claim saying the creation would not be useful without his sustenance of the world. They were not able to decide who was the more powerful , and therefore the war of words between these two great Gods escalated, and they were not able to come to any conclusion. Suddenly , at that very point of time , just to make them realize the truth there appeared a pillar of fire which was so huge that both of them were astonished to see it !

Just to decide who was the greater of the two of them they decided to see who could explore the tip of the pillar by reaching the end first Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and went up to reach the top of the pillar, and Lord Vishnu took the form of a wild pig and went down to reach the bottom of the pillar and it was agreed that whoever sees the tip of the same would be the greatest of the two of them.

Now here is the i nteresting part , this pillar was not an ordinary column of fire, it was the Supreme force of Lord Shiva himself, being beyond the limitations of form, color and all other qualities, also having no beginning and no end ! The two Gods set out on their strength to explore the endings the column of fire ut it went on and on only till infinity ! They soon realised that it was futile to look for the end , and as time went on they became more and more tired . Lord Vishnu returned back realizing that it should be the great Lord Shiva having no limits tor boundaries which can ever be measured by all available knowledge,

This then made them realise the truth as to who is actiually the greatest .Lord Vishnu accepted his failure. at that very moment , and Lord Brahma on the other hand, though realizing it is impossible to see the top of the fire column, returned back saying that he had seen the tip of the column, and since his lie stood exposed he is not till day worshipped. Now both of them realizing the greatness of the Supreme power of Lord Shiva, the Gracious one, with lots of devotion and sincerity, started worshipping him.

The Lord out of his grace blesses all the souls in a way they can easily understand and in turn worship the Supreme, Power of Lord Shiva which can not be put into mere words since it is unexplainable, and unexplorable, and appears as a Lingam which is a vertical pillar resembling the flame. As it resembles the flame, iti s neither a form nor a formless, but is just a symbol of the Supreme jyoti. The Lord later appeared in a special form and blessed both Vishnu and Brahma

This form which came out of the formless Supreme out of Its grace to bless the sincere worship of Brahma and Vishnu is a form but represents the formlessness of the Supreme Lord Shiva , and is considered to be very holy by the shaivites ( worshippers of Lord Shiva ) . The shiva lingam (meaning symbol of shiva) is the foremost of all the symbols of Lord Shiva which are worshipped by the shaivites. And much in a similar way as the ashes are closely associated with the fire, the Holy Ash is associated with this Fire pillar signifying Lord Shiva and is considered to be most sacred by all the worshippers of Lord Shiva ! the shaivites.


Have you ever thought of liberation, I mean real liberation from all the worldly surrounding, a state in which you have total tranquility and peace of mind ?

Does such a state exist ? If yes, how do we go about acquiring the same on this our journey of life !

Here is what it is all about :

Mokhsa or Mukti = Moha(passion) + Kshaya (banishment).

Moksha or Mukti is the state wherein there are no attachments of any kind.. "Moksha" effectively stands for the exalted and blissful state wherein one has no desires. This happens when all the karmic forces surrounding the soul are completely destroyed, the soul becomes the supreme soul.

This supreme soul is removed from from the cycle of birth and rebirth . Advaitism gurus propagate that Moksha is the natural state of the soul.

It is a journey by the soul to attain this Moksha and it can be attained by one's own efforts by stopping the influx of Karmas and eradication of Karmic Forces. "Moksha" should be the only objective of one's life.

How do we start this journey? We'll learn more about this in the next post !


Lord Shiva is one who gets very easily pleased....he exhibits total compassion for all his devotees and we are indeed fortunate to be looked after so very well by our Lord Shiva . So go on and just forget all of your worries and insecurities, revel in Shiva Bhakti…......lets begin our journey.

Our journey starts with Bhole Shankar’s Bhakti
and Darshan, leading to invoking his mantras and learning about Him. Deriving some inspiration from the Spiritual Avatars, Teerth Yatra punya, which will then lead us to practicing meditation and other techniques for our spiritual growth.

Finally, we are bound to meet up with our Guru and guiding force of our life , who will push us up into the next realm of our very own existence, helping us find our own path , as we go along on our way !

May Lord Shiva fulfill all our wishes and aspirations, be it material or spiritual – everything is a journey, Lord Shiva is listening – that I know....and guiding us, all the way , all through our lives , just have deep and true faith in Him !


Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

Tryambakam yajamahe,
Sugandham Pushti vardhanam
uruva rukumiva bandhanath,
mruthyor muksheeya mamruthhaath


Have you ever thought of how strong is the foundation on which your life rests ? The stronger the foundation , rest assured , the stronger will be the capacity you have withiin you to take on all the challenges that come your way !

Just in a similar way, you have the civil engineers checking the strength of the foundation of a building, before giving it certification of being fit for habitation.

God too tests the foundations to assess whether our Faith is true and runs deep within our hearts.

We have the case of Shiruthondar, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva was also subjected to a foundation test by none other than the Lord himself, coming to him disguised as an ascetic. When Shiruthondar displayed his finer self by showing that he was truly emancipated and was having no attachment to the world, Lord Shiva came before him and said, "Worship Me as your own Self."

To which the reaction from Shiruthondar was that Lord, show to me your presence in all Creation and " then I shall worship Me, for then I can know that I am really You."

Lord Shiva offered him blessings him and he saw all as Light. The vision was the finale of his career in maaya. He merged as light merges in Light, without noise and without announcement. Even his body became a streak of light which rose up into the depths of space. This was the case of one who had the faith , running true and deep in his heart !


Think of the number of times you could have done some good for some stranger, but something held you back ! Are we not supposed to go that extra mile whenever opportunity comes our way to help others, so as to make the world a happier place for all of us !

Here is this story telling us we often do tend to become indifferent to the sufferings of others : Hundreds
of pilgrims were returning back up from the ghats after having taken their ceremonial bath in the holy river, most of them with their clothes still drenched with water, clinging to their bodies, with some of them complaining of being disturbed by the sight of this pathetic couple. while there were others who said that we will help you out by bringing the Ganga water you are asking for , after we have offered our prayers and worship to Lord Shiva.

Here was this aged couple, with the old man dying of thirst , but no was offering immediate help. And then there was this robber who was in a great hurry to get into the temple to go and pick pockets of a few devotees, when he heard the voice of the old woman asking for a few drops of water. He halted there and then and asked the old lady what the matter was to which she replied that they had come to take darshan of the Lord Vishweshwara of Kaashi, but her husband had fainted out of sheer exhaustion, and all she wanted was a few drops of Ganga water to pour down his throat., but she could not leave him there and go for water. She asked for his help !

The robber was touched by her predicament , and since he had a little Ganga water in the hollow gourd he had with him, he knelt down near the dying person on the lap of the old woman, but the woman told him that the moment the Ganga water goes down his throat, he may die since he is in the last stage of life, and you should therefore speak a a few words of truth as you pour the water !

Since the robber could not comprehend what she meant, so she explained that he was required to speak of some good deed that he had performed during his life, within the hearing of the old man, and then pour the water In his mouth." This was a real difficult situation for the robber. He was trying to figure out what to do , telling the old lady that he hadn't done a single good deed in his entire life , perhaps the very first good deed he was doing was the present act of offering water to this thirsty man !

And having said so, he proceeded to place the gourd at the lips of the old man and gave him a mouthful of water .At that very moment, the old couple had disappeared and in their place stood before him Lord Shiva and Parvati Mata, both of them offering their blessings to the robber.

Lord Shiva said, "Son, life is to be dedicated for the service of others and not devoted to the exclusive interests of oneself. Howsoever many wicked deeds you might have done so far, for your selfless offering of Ganga water with truth on your tongue, We bless you with this Vision. Remember there is no morality higher than truth; there is no prayer more fruitful than seva (selfless loving service.")


Are we not supposed to each one of us be conscious of the love our near and dear ones have for us , the love that we have experienced from our parents as well as from all others whom we share a close relationship with ?

God, too shares the same love for each of us , even though we are not able to recognize the existence of God due to our lack of vision, but then we must be able to know what Love is purely by experience !

Remember when you shared this special love and experienced the love of your parents, of a friend, of a partner or of a brother or sister, or the love you have for your very own kids. This love is in itself a spark of God, who is all Love, who is all the Love in all the worlds at all times.

Remember when you called upon your mother and the love she bore towards you and even if your physical mother could not come to your rescue, some Mother or the Supreme Mother herself was most certainly there for you !.

Here is a wonderful story to make the point. It was a dark night when Lord Shiva and Godess Parvati were journeying through the sky, at which time they saw a man sitting on the branch of a tree, just about to fall on the ground due to extreme fatigue in his hands and legs. Godess Parvati on seeing this pleaded to Lord Shiva on the behalf of this falling man asking that he be saved, and Shiva preferred that Parvati should save him, instead!

In the meantime, the fall of the man had become a distinct possibility and therefore they decided that if during his descent the man shouted "mother" ( amma ) Parvati would save him whereas if while falling he were to chant the name " father " ( appa ) Lord Shiva would help to save him.

The man fell, but he shouted neither Mother nor Father, but Ayyo (sigh of misery), and so he had to descend alone to his destiny !

Do always remember, even if you are not able to recognize the Good Lord, you must most definitely be able to understand what Love is by sheer experience !

Truth is that if you remember God with the purity of your heart , he will most definitely come to your rescue in your hour of need ! God loves each of us more than we can even ever realize ! Rejoice in this love of God for us !


Here is yet another interesting story about this sadhu seeking spiritual enlightenment, for which he had approached a guru for guidance as to how he should go about it .The guru handed him over an idol of Lord Vishnu along with the requisite advise as to how he should go about with the worship.The sadhu followed the instructions but found that even after some months of meticulous puja, he did not get any spiritual elevation.He therefore reverted back to his guru and told him about the same ,and the guru gave him another idol, this time of Lord Shiva and asked him to give it another try.However, after another six months he was back again to his guru, asking for another idol, since as he told that even Lord Shiva had failed him !

Therefore this he was given a Godess Durga idol, which again went on to install in the shrine at his home, where the previous two idols were standing, dust-ridden and neglected, on the window sill. And then one fine day, while Durga-puja was going on, the sadhu was quite surprised to note that the perfumed smoke from the incense sticks that he had burnt was drifting towards the idol of Lord Shiva on the window sill.

He got quite agitated at this , since he felt that the perfumed smoke was meant only for the latest idol and not for the stone idol of Lord Shiva which had been deaf to all his requests made over a period of time . Therefore, he took things into his hands and ventured to tie a piece of cloth round the face of Shiva, so as to close the nostrils and prevent it from inhaling the perfume.

To his amazement, Lord Shiva appeared at just that moment in all his resplendent Glory before the sadhu ! Wasn't this sadhu quite dumbfounded at the miracle unfolding before his very own eyes ! He was not able to figure out how and why the ill-treatment had induced Lord Shiva to give him darshan. Here is what had really happened !

The sadhu for the first time had come to believe that the Lord Shiva idol was alive, conscious, and full of life and it was this belief of his that had forced him to tie the bandage to the nose of the idol. The moment he realised that the idol was full of consciousness, he got the Realisation he was struggling for.

Therefore, the sadhu should see, not the stone which is the material stuff of the idol, but the Power that is inherent in it, that is symbolised by it, the same Power that is inherent in his own heart and that pervades and transcends all creation. This is the spiritual enlightenment we should each one of us seek, on this, our journey of life !

Thursday, July 3, 2008


This temple is located at Grineshwar in Visalakam, near the Ellora caves, in Maharashtra state. And as is the case for the other temples , there is a a story behind this one as well , and it goes something like this that in the ancient days gone by there was a devout woman by the name of Kusuma who was a great worshipper of Lord Shiva and as a part of her daily prayer ritual she regularly immersed a Shiva lingam in a water tank.

And the sad part of the story goes on to state that her very own husband's first wife, being jealous of Kusuma's position of standing and respect in society, went on to murder the latter's son in absolute cold blood. And the miracle happened when Kusuma immersed in the deepest of sorrow, continued with her daily ritual of prayer and worship and the moment she immersed the Shiva lingam again in the tank, her son was brought back to life. It is said that Lord Shiva also emerged in front of Kusuma and the villagers, and it is ever since that day that the shiva lingam at this location has been worshipped in the form of a Jyotir linga Ghusmeshwar.

The Jyotir Lingam exists at Devagiri near Ellora and here Lord Shiva is known by several names - Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Grushmeswara, Grishneswara . Here again , as the story goes in days gone by there once lived a religious brahmin along with his wife, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, and the two of them had not been with a son.

On great pressure from his family he got married to his second wife, who soon bore him a son , but the first wife was very peeved and jealous , so much so that she would spare no efforts in torturing the second wife . The second wife was a staunch follower of Lord Shiva , and would daily immerse his shiva lingam in the water tank at that place as a part of thwe daily prayer ritual .

As time went by , the second wife's son grew up to become a smart young boy , and the couple decided to get him married off. Before this could happen, the first wife killed the boy with an axe, and the second wife was in extreme grief , but continued her worship of Lord Shiva by immersing the shiva lingam in the water tank daily. One fine day, her son came back to life, emerging from the water tank. It was a real miracle for all to behold !

Lord Siva also immediately appeared before them & blessed them, declaring that he would give darshan to devotees in his Jyotir Linga swarupam at the same spot where his Lingams used to be immersed in the tank by the second wife.

Today, this Jyotir Lingam is considered to be at two places, one at Devagiri near Ellora & the other at the Kailasa temple at Ellora.


Kedarnath, considered to be one of the holiest places of pilgrim for the devout and religious hindus, is located on the Mandakini River, with the temple, believed to be very ancient, having been been continually renovated over the past hundreds of years , and as per legend, when Lord Shiva wished to elude the Pandavas, he took refuge at Kedarnath disguised in the form of a bull, and when he was followed, he buried himself into the ground,with only the hump remaining on the surface, and it is this hump that is worshipped in a conical Shiva Pinda form at the temple at Kedarnath.

And the remaining parts of the body of the bull being worshipped at four other places , namely :

  • the arms (Bahu) at Tungnath,
  • face (mukh) at Rudranath,
  • navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar
  • and hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar.

Taken along with the main temple at Kedarnath, these places are called as the Panch Kedar, with the lingam at Kedarnath, being in a pyramidal shape , very unlike the usual cylindrical shape of the lingam at other places.This lingam is considered to be a part of the 12 Jyotirlings in India..

Kedarnath is located on the Himalayan slopes in the Gharwal district of Uttar Pradesh, and the interesting part is that there is even a mention of the greatness of this temple in the vedas as well as the epics. And the name is very apt , since the name Kedara for the Lord signifies " Lord Shiva holding the holy Ganges river in his matted locks and allowing it's even flow to the entire world." .

Kedarnath temple is at an elevation of 11,735 feet above sea level, and the region of the Himlayas, where the shrine is located is known by several names such as Gandhamadana parvatham, Sumera parvatham, Pancha parvatham, etc. (Pancha parvatham, for this is the spot of five sacred peaks namely Rudra Himalayas, Vishnupuri, Brahmapuri, Udayagiri & Swargarohini.

Although you will find the exteriors of the temple to be quite simple, but the interior of the temple is adorned with several marvellous sculptures. There is an irregular shaped conical rock,approximately five feet by four feet., in the garbagriha, and Lord Shiva in the form of a jyotirlingam is worshipped here as Lord Kedareshwar. Common belief over the years is that the jyotirlingam found here actually represents the rump of the bull, which was the form that Lord Siva assumed, when the Pandavas tried to get in touch with him to repent for the sins perpetrated by them during the Kurukshetra war.

This was primarily since it was not the opportune time for humans to worship the Lord at this place, therefore Lord Shiva had taken on the form of a bull to get away from the place. The temple structure that stands till date at this location is believed to have been built by the Pandavas.

The shrine is covered by snow for 6 months in a year (closed from Oct-Nov upto Apr-May). This, it is believed, is the time of the year when the Devas are worshipping the Lord !


For going to the Triyambakeshwarar temple, one has to go to the outskirts of Nasik City in Maharashtra, and the first time you see it you are really impressed by the size of the domes of the temple, and the ancient look that it projects, giving you the feeling that you are back in the era of ancient civilization. The other thing you notice about the temple is that it has an Indo Aryan style of architecture,.with the temple structure having been adorned with numerous idols and sculptures, and is encompassed within a massive stone wall.

There is a huge bull in front of the temple & another marble Nandi is seen on the inside. All these sculptures are seen to be adorned even to the garbagriha with carvings of humans, animals and yakshas on them . And from the last Jyotir Lingam at the centre of the garbagriha, trickles the Ganges continuously throughout the year. It is also said that at the garbagriha one can also see the flames emanating out, and at the same time once can also hear a rumbling sound !

One must most definitely make visit to this ancient temple to get a feel of the way things were thousands of years ago !


is among the holiest of holy spots for visit by the Hindus, and it is the belief that a visit to Kashi Vishwanath during one's lifetime will lead to the liberation and moksha of the soul from the body, and it is therefore that religious minded hindus in India, try to make at least one visit to this place in their lifetime !.

In fact Lord Shiva himself has announced this place to be his Royal residence. Since Lord Shiva's wife's mother felt shame at her son-in-law having no proper place to live, so as to please Parvathi Devi, Lord Shiva asked Nikumbha to provide him with a dwelling place at Kashi.

And it was specifically on the request of Nikumbha that a brahmin named Aunikumbha made Divodas construct a temple for the Lord at this place, and out of extreme pleasure Lord Shiva went on to grant boons to all of his devotees, but Divodas was left out and not not blessed with a son, which lead to him being angered, and in a fit of rage he went on to demolished the structure that he had constructed..In retaliation, Nikubha set a curse on the entire area that it would have no people inhabiting it, and when eventually the place was not having a single soul there.

Lord Shiva again took up his residence out there permanently. And thereafter Lord Shiva along with his consort Parvathi Devi once again started blessing his devotees with wonderful boons. In fact, Parvathi Mata was so pleased that she offered food (annam) to all and sundry and is therefore worshipped as Annapoorani ( giver of food to all ) .

At this place, the Shiva lingam is placed in a square shaped brass plated pit, and all the devotees are allowed to offer prayers such as abhishekam with holy water of the river ganges, garlanding of the Lord, karpoora aarathi,and other puja activities in person to the swaymbhu lingam. Another aspect is that there are several smaller shrines around the main shrine, with the entrance of each ghat having a Shiva linga shrine. Lord Shiva is seen placed on a pedestal at every location in the city, even though there may be no shrine at each such location. Yet another temple known as the Dhundiraja Ganapathi temple is located just behind the main temple .


Nageshwar is in close proximity to the city of Dwaraka, and falls on the way to Beti Dwaraka. The story which originates to thousands of years ago goes like this that there lived in this area a vicious demon by the name of Daruka, who though he was a very staunch devotee of Lord Shiva , took great pleasure in torturing and harassing the good natured people of the area.

One fine day, a merchant by the name of Supriya, who was a strong Shiva devotee, sailed into the area with his goods, at the place where Daruka lived with his wife Daruki, and Daruka requested Supriya to guide him on the path
of devotion to Siva, by explaining the norms of performing pooja and penance. Sensing that Daruka could put to bad use any powers gained by him through such penance, Supriya refused to cooperate with him. This of course was bound to enrage Daruka who then began to torture Supriya, who being a firm believer in the Lord and was not reacting to the torture. Lord Shiva was extremely pleased at this and suddenly appeared to kill the demon Daruka. After this , Daruki, Daruka's wife, ventured out and started creating even more even more trouble than her husband.ever had , leading to Lord Shiva vanquishing her as well, and giving darshan to his devotees at this place in the form of Nageshwar.

The Nageswara Jyotirlingam is claimed to exist in 3 places, one at Dwarka, another at Audhgram,and the third near Almora in Uttar Pradesh.The Siva lingam is facing in the south direction, with the Gomugam facing towards the east direction, and there is an interesting story one recounts about this position, wherein a devotee by name of Naamdev was singing bhajans in front of the Lord, and on seeing this some of the other devotees requested him to stand towards the side so as to not obstruct the view towards the Lord. Reacting to this Naamdev in turn told them to suggest at least one direction in which the Lord was not present so that he could go and stand at that place.. This of course, though not intended, enraged the devotees and they virtually carried out Naamdev, leaving him on the southside. Lo and behold , to the amazement of all, they now found that the Linga was facing South with the Gomugam facing East. This was an eyeopener, and the message came out loud and clear to all the devotees gathered there in worship of the Lord Almighty !


Rameshvaram which is considered to be one of the sacred Dhamas, is also one out of of the twelve sacred Jyotir Lingam locations in India . All these 12 locations spread across the Indian sub-continent are the places where it is said that Lord Shiva came to manifest himself in the form of a towering column of fire. In the ancient times , during the era of Lord Rama , the Jyotir Lingam had been worshipped by him to make up for the sin committed by him of killing Ravana. Hanumanji had been sent to bring the Linga from Kailasa so that Lord Rama could worship it , but since it was getting late, Lord Rama went on to worship the Lingam that was made out of sand by Sita Mata.

In fact, this Lingam which had been worshipped by Lord Rama thousands of years ago, is now known as Ramanathar Lingam, and on Hanumanji returning and finding out that his Lord Rama had not used the Lingam that he had brought, he was quite disappointed.. But when Lord Rama came to know of this , he immediately pacified Hanumanji and gave the name of Lingam Kasi Viswanathar to the lingam brought by Hanumanji. And to this day, even thousands of years later, devotees are called upon to first do worship of Kasi Viswanathar before worshipping Ramanathar.

Yet another interesting aspect of this temple is that it is located on the very extreme south eastern point of the Indian peninsula, and it is at this place that the Sethu bridge had been constructed at that point of time so to as to link this land to Sri Lanka so as to enable all the Varnarams to reach over to the other side at Lanka,when they had gone to rescue Sita Mata from the clutches of Ravana.

If you observe the temple, you will also find that the shape of this island temple resembles the Panchajanya (Vishnu's conch) and like the Tamil letter 'OM'.

Interesting part about this temple complex is that it has a total of 51 teerthams, of which 22 are located within the temple itself, and these large number of teerthams has made Rameshwaram very famous. You may only consider your pilgrimage to be complete only once you have taken a bath in the Agni teertham, where the waters are also considered to have medicinal qualities.


As you enter the inner room of the temple , you find the holy Shiv Linga installed at this sanctum santorum ! The location of Bhimashankaram is at Bhuvanagiri village in Pune district of Maharashtra, and is the origination point of the river Bhima.

The temple at this place is built in the Nagara style is an ancient structure of very limited size , and the Jyotir Lingam is positioned on top of the Sahyadri hill temple. Lord Shiva is considered to be taking relaxing here after the Tripurantaka samharam, and it is the formation of sweat on the body of Lord Siva which is said to have been transformed into the river stream, flowing as the river Bhimarati as we know it today. As on date there are several new buildings which have been added to the complex, and this includes two idols of Nandideva, one of which is very ancient, while the other one has been installed in recent times. The area behind the temple has a theertham and a well from which the water is drawn.

The Bhimashankarar Lingam measures around one and a half feet narrow, and the Goddess here is worshipped as Kamalaja. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the then Maratha ruler of the area had made elaborate arrangements for the r the maintenance of the temple. The moola lingam is installed at a lower level.

One aspect which is interesting is that there is yet another temple at Guwahati in Assam which is also called as the Bhimshankaram and there is a common belief that this is the real Bhimashankaram. The story goes something like this : Bhima, the son of Kumbakarnan & Karkadi, was an asura , and on hearing that his grandfather, uncles & father had been killed by a brahmin & kings, he set out to destroy them. In doing so he went in for severe penance & got tremendous shakti from Lord Brahma, resulting in King Priyadarman of Kamarupa being put in prison.

Thereafter, Priyadarman and his wife Dakshinadevi prayed daily to Lord Shiva with utmost sincerity, and fearing that they would overcome him, Bhima requested them to discontinue their prayers and worship of Lord Shiva. On their refusing to do so,he ventured out to kill both of them. It was at this critical juncture that Lord Shiva emerged out of the Lingam that they had been worshipping and killed Bhima. And to this day , based on the request of the Devas of the area , Lord Shiva still resides here under the name of Bhimashankaram.


There is a story behind the fame of Vaidyanathan which unfolds as follows : This tells of the evil demon lord from the pages of the holy Ramayan, the devouted King Ravana of the kingdom of Sri Lanka ( once known as Ceylon ) who had gone into very severe meditation so as to invoke Lord Shiva, and in doing so he had placed a request before God to come and visit Sri Lanka, so as his capital may become invincible.

Ravana is said to have even made an attempt to lift Mount Kailash, the holy mountain, which is Lord Shiva's abode, and carry it with him to his capital; but Lord Shiva immediately pulverized him with the force of just his finger, and Ravana prayed to him for the Lord's mercy, after which Shiva gave him one of the twelve

Jyotirlingams on the condition that if ever Ravana was to place it on the ground it would take root immediately and hence Ravana had to carry it back inone go on his trip back to his capital. However, this was not to be since Varuna the God of water entered Ravana's stomach belly, and caused him to feel the need to relieve himself.

Vishnu then came down in the form of a lad and volunteered to hold the Jyotirlingam as he relieved himself. But before Ravana could return, the young lad placed the jyotirlingam on the ground to which it became rooted. A disappointed Ravana offered severe penances to Shiva here, and cut off nine of his heads as a part of his repentance. Shiva revived him and joined the heads to the body, like a Vaidya or a physician, hence this Jyotirlingam goes by the name Vaidyanath. The same legend holds at Gokarnam in Karnataka.


There are actually two Jyotir Lingama at this place, having split into two from the original one, and these two Siva lingams are known as Omkareswarar & Amaleshwarar. In the case of this location, the story goes as follows : There was an Emperor by the name of Mandhata belonging to the Ishvaku clan, who was renowned for his greatnessand ruled the kingdom very disreetly.He was involved in truly great penance, and as on date there is an ashram called Mandhata ashram, named after him, out here.
This all powerful and spiritual jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva is located at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, and it was here only that Lord Shiva came in the form of Mahakal, emerging out of the linga which had only then split into two, and immediately killed the demon. It is therefore firmly believed that all those who worship and pray to the linga at this location, will never come to fear death, and if their worship and prayer to God is true, they will most certainly be out of the cycles of life and death, for all times to come !
The Omkareshawar temple at Ujjain , Madhya Pradesh, is built is bearing the hall mark of north indian style of architecture, and the devotees consider the offering of prayers to five faced ( Panchamuga ) idol of Lord Ganesha,installed in this temple, to be most auspicious. At this place there is also a shrine for Annapoorani Mata. Yet another interesting aspect of this place is that Shiva Lingas of various sizes are sold in huge numbers at this place.
Long ago , at one point of time , it is said, Sage Naradar on his visit to the Vindhyas mountain range, had sung praises of Mount Meru. Mount Vindhya , on hearing all these praises immediately prayed to Lord Shiva, with the plea that it also be given a position of stature. And he got the blessings of Lord Shiva who appeared there in the form of Omkareshwarar & Amaleshwarar and gave the gift of growth, but on the condition that none of the worshippers of Lord Shiva would be afflicted on account of this growth.
However, this was not to be since the Vindhyas never stopped stop growing, so much so that they even went on to create obstructions for the sun and the moon. At the same time, Sage Agasthyar was called to checkthe growth, and he told the Vindhyas to agree to stop it's growth till he got back there. The sage never ever returned to the place, and it was only in this way was it that the growth of the Vindhyas was made to come to a halt.
This religious place Omkareshwar is located on the Mandhata hills in Madhya Pradesh, Central India , and was known as the city of Shivpuri in the ancient past. This temple dates way back to the Krita Yuga and the river Narmada flows here around the Mandhata hill in the form of an Om (Omkaram).


The pilgrimage spot which is located exactly opposite to the Mahakaleshwarar temple is called Koditheertham & it is said that the colour of the waters of this theertham keeps changing. The Moola lingam at this location is very small & is located underground, whereas the lingam in the top level is known as Ongareshwarar. Godess Kali who is said to have visited Vikramaditya is called by the name of Harasiddhi Mata.

The story goes something like this there once lived a brahmin in having four sons who lived in the city of Avanti , and all four of them were very great devotees of Lord Shiva. During the same period, there also existed a ferocious demon by the name of Dushanan, who was a major trouble maker, and had a tendency to disrupt all the religious and social activities taking place in the area.

To counter the negative forces of the demon, all the brahmins of the area congregated to the spot , and along with the four devouted sons, offered prayers to Lord Siva. They together created a Lingam at the spot by digging out mud from the nearby area, and a pond was created at the spot from where they had excavated the mud to make the Lingam, This time when the demon Dushanan tried to come and disrupt their prayers, Lord Siva rose from that very pond in the form of Mahakaleshwarar & immediately destroyed Dushanan.

It was only on the request of all the brahmins collected there was it that Lord Shiva gave darshan to devotees at this sthanam, one of the several Jyotir Linga sthanams in India.


The story goes something like this : Lord Shiva and Godess Parvathi had decided to find suitable brides for their sons, Ganesha and Muruga. There was an argument on among both their sons as to who was to get married . Lord Shiva informed them both that of the two, the one who would traverse round the world in Pradakshinam , would be the one to get married off first. Indeed , interestingly enough, both set off on their journey around the world, and by the time Lord Muruga could actually not take even one complete round of the world on his vahana( vehicle ), Lord Ganesha had already taken seven rounds of his parents, (for according to Sastras, going in pradakshinam round one's parents is equivalent to going once round the world (Boopradakshinam).

Therefore , Lord Shiva went ahead and got Siddhi & Buddhi, the daughtersof Viswaroopan married to Lord Ganesha. Muruga, on returning from his long journey round the world, was shocked and angered to learn of the developments. In his state of fury , he went away to stay alone on Mount Kravunja in the name of Kumarabrahmachari. Later, on seeing Lord Shiva coming over to soothe and console him, he tried to move to another location, but on the request of the Devas, stayed at a nearby place. And the actual place where Lord Shiva and Godess Parvathi had come to stay is now known as Sri Sailam. It is believed that even today, Lord Shiva visits Lord Muruga on the Amavasya day & Parvathi Mata on the Pournami day.

The temple which stands a testimony to all these happenings at this holy place is constructed facing the east direction, with the central portion consisting of several pillars , and a huge idol of Nadikeswarar


SOMNATH is the holy place where Chandra Devan had offered worship to Lord Shiva so as to free himself of the curse imposed on him by Daksha. Here is the story behind the curse :

Chandra Devan is considered to have built the temple at Somnath & therefore the name of Somanathar has been given to the Lord. Chandran Devan had fallen madly in love with Rohini, one of the daughters of Dakshan and wanted to marry her . But her father Dakshan wanted to marry all his daughters to one able & loving person, who would treat all his daughters with equal love and affection . Chandran got married to all the daughers on this condition , but his love for Rohini was too great & the time soon came that the other daughters complained to their father about the same .

Dakshan was furious about the neglect of his other daughers , and in a fit of rage he cursed Chandran to diwminish in power & beauty. When Chandran Devan went on to beg to be forgiven for his trespasses , Dakshan said that the only by offering prayers to Lord Shiva is it that he could be freed from the curse. Chandran then came to Somanath & offered prayers to Lord Shiva, doing penance for about 4,000 years. Lord Siva then came before him and told him that he could not fully remove the effects of the curse. Instead, he would be able to wane in 15 days, but would grow again. This is the story said for the waxing & waning of the moon, producing new moon & full moon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


1 Somnath in Saurashtra(Kathiawad) , Gujarat.

2 Mallikarjun in Shrishailam or Srisailam AP (also listed as a Shakti Pitha site).

3 Mahakal in Ujjain OR Mahakalaswar at Ujjain, MP state.

4 Omkar in Mammaleshwaram (at Omkareshwar on the river Narmada, MP)

5 Vaijnath in Parli (Vaidyanath at Deogarh, Bihar

6 Bhima Shankar in Dakini northwest of Poona, in Dhakini, Maharashtra

7 Rameshwaram in Setubandha, TamilNadu

8 Nagesh, Naganath/Nageshwar, in Darukavana, Maharaashtra

9 Vishweshwar/ Viswanath in Banaras/Varanasi , UP

10 Trimbakeshwar near Nasik on the banks of river Gautami/Godavari , Maharashtra

11 Kedarnath/Kedareshwar in Utterkhand Himalayas, UP

12 Ghurmeshwar in Shivalaya OR Grineshwar in Visalakam, near Ellora caves, Maharashtra.

Remember, one who recites names of all these 12 jyotirlings regularly in the morning and evening each day, washes away all the sins which were committed in the previous 7 cycles of birth, and goes on to attain all the powers and siddhis !

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Mahashivratri refers to the worship of Lord Shiva, this auspicious day occuring on the 13th or 14th day of the dark period of Phalgun , which falls during the months of February - March.Literally, Mahashivratri means " the night of Lord Shiva " , and on this day a majority of the ceremonies performed to honour Lord Shiva are performed during the night time . In fact , it was on this very day that Lord Shiva got married to the Godess Parvati. Devoutees of Lord Shiva flock to the Shiva temples in the thousands to pay homage to their creator.
To celebrate this festival , several of the ardent devotees keep a fast , some to the extent that they do not even consume a single drop of water, and also stay awake the whole night . During the festival , the Shiv Linga is worshipped all night by washing it at a regular interval of every three hours with milk, curd, honey,rose water etc. , simultaenously chanting the Magic Mantra " om namoh shiva ". Also , an offering of leaves as well as fruit of the Bael tree are made to the Shiv Linga since these are considered to be very sacred and the belief is that the Godess Lakshmi, the creator of all wealth, resides within them.

On this auspicious day, Mahimna Stotra of Pushpadanta or Ravana's Shiva Tandava Stotra are sung by the devoutees with great passion , and people repeatedly chant the Panchakshara Mantra, Om Namah Shivaya. It is said that he who utters the various Names of Lord Shiva during the Shivaratri festival, with total devotion and concentration, is pardoned from all sins. He directly reaches the abode of Lord Shiva and lives there happily for all times to come , having been emancipated from the endless wheel of birth, death and rebirth. This is known as " "Moksha"!