Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga

Sri Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga

Sri Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharastra

The 6th Jyotirlinga is located 50km Khed taluka, near Pune, Maharastra. It is located in village Bhorgiri, about 125km from Pune, in the Ghat region of Sahyadri Mountains. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur.

Introduction

As per Shiv Mahapuran, once Brahma (the Creator) and Vishnu (the protector) had an argument about creation. To test them, Lord Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the Jyotirlinga. Lord Vishnu and Brahma spit their ways to search downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either direction. Brahma lied that he found out where it ends, while Vishnu concealed defeat. Shiva appeared as the second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till he end of eternity. The Jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Lord Shiva partly appears. The Jyotirlinga shrines, thus are places where Lord Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga

Temple Timings : 

Darshan : 04.30 am – 09.30 pm

Morning Aarti : 04.30 am – 05.00 am

Nijarupa Darshan : 05.00 am – 05.30 am

Shringar Darshan : 04.00 pm – 04.30 pm

Evening Aarti : 07.30 pm – 08.00 pm

Festivals celebrated at Bhimashankar Temple

  1. Mahashivaratri : A huge fair for 5 Days is organised in lake February or early March as a mark of their respect for Lord Shiva and Goddess parvati. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess parvati married this day.
  2. Karthik Poornima : This day falls anytime in November or December. Lord Shiva actually destroyed the demon kingdom of Tripura on this day.
  3. Ganesh Chaturthi : This festival comes in August or September with great enthusiasm and Cheers. The birthday of Lord Ganesha – son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
  4. Deepawali : Deepawali fall in October or November. People decorate whole temple with lamps (Deepams) and priests perform special poojas for Lord Shiva throughout the day. 

Sevas and Poojas takes place at Bhimashankar Temple

  1. Rudrabhishek : This Pooja is for Lord Shiva who the devotees worship as fire or Rudra. The pooja wipes out all sins and purifies the atmosphere.  It also removes all sorts of planetary related ill-occurrences. Mondays of every month, as well as Pradosham days are ideal to perform this pooja.
  2. Laghurudra Pooja : This Abhishek is done to resolve issues related to health and wealth. It also removes the bad effects of planets in the horoscope.

Some of the temples near Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga:

  1. Gupt Bhimashankar : A small trekking path from the Bhimashankar Temple leads you to the place of discovery of the Jyotirlinga. The Linga is on the banks of a waterfall and has greenery around.
  2. Sakshi Ganapati Temple : This temple is just 2 km away from Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple. This Ganapati temple here is “Sakshi” because he is the witness to the visit of the pilgrims. He keeps the attendance, whoever visits the Bhimashankar shrine. All the pilgrims visit this Sakshi Ganapati Temple to show their respects to the Lord Ganapati and Lord Shiva.
  3. Kamalaja Devi Temple : This temple is of Goddess Parvati. She helped the Lord Shiva in his battle against the demons. She sits on a lotus in this Kamalaja Devi Temple.

Some other famous temples in Maharastra

  1. Ozar Ganapati Temple : This is a Ganesha Vinayak Temple. The idol form “Vigneshwara”, worshipped here. The legend associated is, Ganesha defeated Vignasura – a demon of obstacles. This Ozar Ganapati temple is one of the Ashtavinayak Temples, the eight holy shrines of Ganesha in Maharastra, India.

Significance of Bhimashankar Temple

The Linga of Lord Shiva is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga. These are self manifested forms of Lord, unlike the Lingas that are instated by humans. It is said that these Jyotirlingas are when Lord Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. This Bhimashankar Linga occurs at a lower level compared to the ground in the main sanctum.

The top of this Linga is divided  by a narrow groove in the Shiva Linga. Each half of the Shiva linga signifies Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Lord appears as “Ardhanareeshwara” in Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple.

The people consider River Bhima as sacred because it is believed that the river is actually the perspiration of Lord Shankara (Shiva) after he defeated the demon Tripurasura.

The Mokshakund is believed to be the place where the Maharishi Kaushik (known as Brahmarishi Vishwamitra) performed penance or Tapasya to please the Gods.

Sri Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga

Legend of Tripurasura

There were three demons by the names of Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha and Viryavana (as per the legend in Matsya Puranam and Shiva Puranam). They performed Tapasya and obtained a boon from Lord Brahma and the boon was that the Gods will construct three beautiful cities, each made of Gold, iron and silver for the Asuras. These three forts together will be called Tripura. However, the prophecy say that only a single arrow can destroy the city Tripura.

All Demons came and resided at the palaces. After the initial self enjoyment, they started troubling the people of the realm. Even misbehaved with Rishis and Maharishis, terrorised the common folk and eventually challenged the Gods. Therefore, Indra with other Gods went to Lord Brahma to put an end to the Tripura, but Lord Brahma asked them to request Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva obliged and the war began between Devas and Asuras. Goddess parvati was also requested and both of them took the form of “Ardha-Narya-Nateshwar” and descended to the earth.

Lord Shiva asked Vishwakarma to build a Chariot to destroy the Tripura and the Chariot had special features. The Goddess Earth became the chariot, Sun and Moon became wheels of Chariot, Lord Brahma became the Sarathi, Mount Meru (Holy Kailash) became the bow, Serpent Vasuki was the bow-string and Lord Vishnu became the arrow. Just as the three cities Tripura aligned, Lord Shiva burned them to the ground. Then the Gods requested Lord Shiva to rest there and make the place his home. Lord Shiva turned into a Linga and made the Bhimashankar mountains his home.

History

It is believed that the ancient shrine was erected over a Swayambhu Lingam (the self emanated Shiva Lingam). It can be observed that the Lingam is exactly at the centre of the floor of the Garbagriham (the Sanctom Sanctorum) of the temple.

The original sanctum of Bhimashankar dates back to the 13th century. Several renovations were done during time periods. According to a beliefs, a woodcutter named Bhatirao Lakhadhara discovered the Jyotirlinga when his axe hit the tree, the ground started bleeding.

The villagers offered milk to the tree which stopped the bleeding. The village people built a small temple at this site and named it the Bhimashankar Temple.