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About Shiva Lingam & Jyotirlingam

Shiva Lingam & Jyotirlingam

Lord Shiva known as God of Destruction, worshipped and offered pooja in the form of Lingam. Lingam means symbol infinite universal conscience that resets after cosmic annihilation and symbol of auspiciousness. The yoni that surrounds Lingam is considered as the form of Shakti an eternal union of Absolute Reality.

Legend behind Lingarupam

There are many legends behind why Lord Shiva is seen in Lingarupam. One of the legends is that there was a great sacrificial ceremony that was going to take place many hundreds of years ago. The great sage Narada Muni was invited to it and asked who would receive the effects of the sacrifice. No one could answer, so the sages who were present asked him who should receive it. Narada said that Sri Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva were all eligible, but they would have to find out which one had the most patience and purity to be the receiver of the sacrifice. So he chose the great sage Brighu to learn the answer.

Brighu had many mystic powers and was able to travel to the domain of the demigods. So first he went to see Lord Brahma, but Brahma was preoccupied and did not notice Brighu’s presence. Feeling insulted, Brighu cursed Brahma, and “You are so proud of your power of creation; you did not notice my arrival. For this you shall have no temples on earth.” Thus, there are very few temples of Brahma on earth. Next, Brighu went to see Shiva in Kailash, but Shiva also did not notice Brighu’s arrival. Feeling offended Brighu, cursed Shiva to be worshiped only as a lingam on earth. This is the reason why Lord Shiva is primarily represented and worshiped as a lingam on this planet.

Lastly, Brighu went to see Lord Vishnu, who also did not recognize Brighu’s presence. Brighu was so angered that he went forward and kicked Vishnu’s chest. Lord Vishnu apologized if He had hurt Brighu’s foot and began praising Brighu. Brighu immediately felt pleased and could understand that Vishnu was actually the most qualified to receive the offerings from the sacrifice. However, Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and Lord Vishnu’s wife, was very displeased by Brighu’s action and, therefore, does not bestow much mercy on the brahmanas who, as a result, are often without much money.

Legend behind Jyothirlinga

Jyothirlinga being Lord Shiva in the form of flame/light linga, the legend is that once the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods, Brahma and Vishnu were fighting over each other’s prowess. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the futility of their fight, Lord Shiva assumed the form of a flaming Linga in between Brahma and Vishnu and challenged both of them by asking them to measure the gigantic Linga.

Awestruck by its magnitude, Brahma and Vishnu decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other. Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and went upwards while Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Varaha - a boar and went into the earth towards nether land. Both searched for thousands of miles but neither could find the end.

On his journey upward, Brahma came across Ketaki flower. Exhausted and bewildered with his search to find the uppermost limit of fiery column, Brahma made Ketaki assent to lie that he had seen the top of the column where the flower had previously resided. Accompanied by his accomplice, Brahma confronted Vishnu and asserted that he had indeed discovered the origin of the cosmic column.

At this point, the central part of the pillar split open and Shiva revealed himself in His full glory. Overawed, both Brahma and Vishnu bowed before him accepted lord Shiva’s supremacy. Lord Shiva also explained to Brahma and Vishnu that both of them were born out of him and that the three were then separated out into three different aspects of divinity.

However, Lord Shiva was angry with Brahma for making a false claim. The Lord cursed Brahma that no one would ever pray to him. (This legend explains why there is hardly any Brahma temple of significance in India.) Lord Shiva also punished the Ketaki flower for testifying falsely and banned her from being used as an offering for any worship.

Since it was on the 14th day in the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is extremely auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri - the grand night of Shiva.

In Shiva Purana, the Dvadasa Jyotirlinga stotram names the 12 Jyothirlinga sthalam and also the benefits attained by chanting the stotram everyday. The deity's name, the state and the location are given below

Dvadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram in Sanskrit & English

सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथं च श्रीशैले मल्लिकार्जुनम्।
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालमोङ्कारममलेश्वरम्॥
परल्यां वैद्यनाथं च डाकिन्यां भीमशङ्करम्।
सेतुबन्धे तु रामेशं नागेशं दारुकावने॥
वाराणस्यां तु विश्वेशं त्र्यम्बकं गौतमीतटे।
हिमालये तु केदारं घुश्मेशं च शिवालये॥
एतानि ज्योतिर्लिङ्गानि सायं प्रातः पठेन्नरः।
सप्तजन्मकृतं पापं स्मरणेन विनश्यति॥
एतेशां दर्शनादेव पातकं नैव तिष्ठति।
कर्मक्षयो भवेत्तस्य यस्य तुष्टो महेश्वराः॥

“Saurāṣṭre Somanāthaṃ ca Śrīśaile Mallikārjunam |
Ujjayinyāṃ Mahākālam Oṅkāram Amaleśvaram ||
Paralyāṃ Vaidyanāthaṃ ca Ḍākinyāṃ Bhīmaśaṅkaram |
Setubandhe tu Rāmeśaṃ Nāgeśaṃ Dārukāvane ||
Vārāṇasyāṃ tu Viśveśaṃ Tryambakaṃ Gautamītaṭe |
Himālaye tu Kedāraṃ Ghuśmeśaṃ cha Śivālaye ||
etāni jyotirliṅgāni sāyaṃ prātaḥ paṭhennaraḥ |
saptajanmakṛtaṃ pāpaṃ smaraṇena vinaśyati ||”
  • Gujarat – Sourashtra, Somnath

Somnath is the foremost of the twelve Jyotirlinga Shrines of Shiva. It is held in reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, tradition, and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat.
  • Andhra Pradesh – Srisailam, Mallikarjuna
Mallikārjuna, also called Śrīśaila, is the name of the pillar located on a mountain on the river Krishna. Srisailam, near Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple that is architecturally and sculpturally rich. Adi Shankara composed his Sivananda Lahiri here.
  • Madhya Pradesh – Ujjain, Mahakaleshwar
Mahakal, Ujjain (or Avanti) in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple. The Lingam at Mahakal is believed to be Swayambhu, the only one of the 12 Jyotirlingams to be so. It is also the only one facing south.
  • Madhya Pradesh – Shivpuri, Omkareshwar
Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh on an island in the Narmada river is home to a Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple.
  • Maharashtra – Parli, Vaidyanath
This village is located on the slopes of Meru or Naganarayana mountain. Parli is an ancient village located near the three rivers Brahma, Venu and Saraswati. The mountains and jungles and the rivers, are full of useful medicinal herbs. That is why Parali Jyotirlinga is also known as Vaidyanatha. There also another interpretation of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga at Deogarh, Jharkhand.
  • Maharashtra – Dhakini, Bhimshankar
This temple is associated with the legend of Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura. Bhimashankar, in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra, contains a Jyotirlinga shrine associated with Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura.
  • Tamil Nadu – Rameshwaram, Rameshwar
This vast temple in the island of Rameswaram, in Southern Tamilnadu enshrines Ramalingeswarar, and is revered as the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of India.
  • Gujarat – Dwarka, Nageshwar
Nageshwar Temple, Dwarka in Gujarat is home to the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple. However, the term "daruka vane" in the shloka (religious verse) for Nageshwar has also been interpreted for Jageshwar, also situated in the Himalaya. Daruka vane means deodar forest.
  • Uttar Pradesh – Varanasi, Vishwanath
Vishwanath temple in Benares in Uttar Pradesh  is the goal of the thousands of pilgrims that visit this ancient city. The Vishwanath shrine is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.
  • Maharashtra – Nashik, Triambakeshwar
The origin of the river Godavari is intimately linked with thisJyotirlinga shrine. Trimabakeshwar is the holy town for two reasons. Firstly it is one of the seat of 12 Jyotitlinga, secondly according to historical records, Nasik is one of ther four places where the elixir of immortality, 'Amrit', fell to earth from a pitcher as Gods and demons were engaged in the tussle to gain the ownership of the jar full of 'Amrit'.
  • Uttarakhand – Rudraprayag, Kedarnath
Nestled in the snow clad Himalayas is an ancient shrine rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only on foot, six months in a year.
  • Rajasthan – Shiwar, Ghushmeshwar
Ghushmrshwar Jyotirling is abode of Lord Shiva, nestled in the picturesque Devgiri hills in Shiwar, in the State of Rajastan. There is also an interpretation of Grishneshwar temple in Maharashtra in the tourist town of Ellora.

It is believed that a sincere devotee who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and evening washes all the sins committed in the previous seven births and attains all the powers and Siddhis.

GIRI's Pick: 

Shiva Tandav Stotram


जटा टवी गलज्जल प्रवाह पावितस्थले, गलेऽवलम्ब्य लम्बितां भुजङ्ग तुङ्ग मालिकाम् |
डमड्डमड्डमड्डमन्निनाद वड्डमर्वयं, चकार चण्डताण्डवं तनोतु नः शिवः शिवम् ||१||
Jatatavee gala jjala pravaha pavitha sthale,
Gale avalabhya lambithaam bhujanga thunga malikaam 
|
Dama ddama dama ddama ninnadava damarvayam,
Chakara chanda thandavam thanothu na shiva shivam 
||1||

जटा कटा हसंभ्रम भ्रमन्निलिम्प निर्झरी, विलो लवी चिवल्लरी विराजमान मूर्धनि |
धगद् धगद् धगज्ज्वलल् ललाट पट्ट पावके किशोर चन्द्र शेखरे रतिः प्रतिक्षणं मम ||२||
Jata kataha sambhramabrama nillimpa nirjari,
Vilola veechi vallari viraja mana moordhani |
Dhaga dhaga daga jjwala lalata patta pavake,
Kishora Chandra shekare rathi prathi kshanam mama. ||2||
धरा धरेन्द्र नंदिनी विलास बन्धु बन्धुरस् फुरद् दिगन्त सन्तति प्रमोद मानमानसे |
कृपा कटाक्ष धोरणी निरुद्ध दुर्धरापदि क्वचिद् दिगम्बरे मनो विनोदमेतु वस्तुनि ||३||
Dara darendra nandini vilasa bhandhu bhandura,
Sphuradigantha santhathi pramodha mana manase |
Krupa kadaksha dhorani niruddha durdharapadi,
Kwachi digambare mano vinodhamethu vasthuni. ||3||
लता भुजङ्ग पिङ्गलस् फुरत्फणा मणिप्रभा कदम्ब कुङ्कुमद्रवप् रलिप्तदिग्व धूमुखे |
मदान्ध सिन्धुरस् फुरत् त्वगुत्तरीयमे दुरे मनो विनोद मद्भुतं बिभर्तु भूतभर्तरि ||४||
Jada bhujanga pingala sphurath phana mani prabha,
Kadamba kumkuma drava praliptha digwadhu mukhe |
Madhandha sindhura sphurathwagu utthariya medhure,
Mano vinodhamadhbutham bibarthu bhootha bharthari. ||4||
सहस्र लोचनप्रभृत्य शेष लेखशेखर प्रसून धूलिधोरणी विधूस राङ्घ्रि पीठभूः |
भुजङ्ग राजमालया निबद्ध जाटजूटक श्रियै चिराय जायतां चकोर बन्धुशेखरः ||५||
Sahasra lochana prabhoothyasesha lekha shekhara,
Prasoona dhooli dhorani vidhu sarangri peedabhu |
Bhujangaraja Malaya nibhadha jada jhootaka,
Sriyai chiraya jayatham chakora bandhu shekhara. ||5||
ललाट चत्वरज्वलद् धनञ्जयस्फुलिङ्गभा निपीत पञ्चसायकं नमन्निलिम्प नायकम् |
सुधा मयूखले खया विराजमानशेखरं महाकपालिसम्पदे शिरोज टालमस्तु नः ||६||
Lalata chathwara jwaladhanam jaya sphulingabha,
Nipeetha pancha sayagam saman nilimpanayakam |
Sudha mayookha lekhaya virajamana shekharam,
Maha kapali sampade, siro jadalamasthu na. ||6||
कराल भाल पट्टिका धगद् धगद् धगज्ज्वल द्धनञ्जयाहुती कृतप्रचण्ड पञ्चसायके |
धरा धरेन्द्र नन्दिनी कुचाग्र चित्रपत्रक प्रकल्प नैक शिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने रतिर्मम |||७||
Karala bhala pattika dhagadhaga jjwala,
Ddhanam jayahuthi krutha prachanda pancha sayage |
Dharadharendra nandhini kuchagra chithrapathraka,
Prakalpanaika shilpini, trilochane rather mama. ||7||
नवीन मेघ मण्डली निरुद् धदुर् धरस्फुरत्- कुहू निशीथि नीतमः प्रबन्ध बद्ध कन्धरः |
निलिम्प निर्झरी धरस् तनोतु कृत्ति सिन्धुरः कला निधान बन्धुरः श्रियं जगद् धुरंधरः ||८||
Naveena megha mandali nirudha durdharath sphurath,
Kahoo niseedhi neethama prabhandha bandha kandhara |
Nilimpa nirjari darsthanothu kruthi sindhura,
Kala nidhana bandhura sriyam jagat durandhara. ||8||
प्रफुल्ल नीलपङ्कज प्रपञ्च कालिम प्रभा- वलम्बि कण्ठकन्दली रुचिप्रबद्ध कन्धरम् |
स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिदं भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं गजच्छि दांध कच्छिदं तमंत कच्छिदं भजे ||९||
Prafulla neela pankaja prapancha kalima prabha,
Valambhi kanda kanthali ruchi prabandha kandharam |
Smarschidham puraschidham bhavaschidham makhachidham,
Gajachidandakachidham tham anthakachidham bhaje. ||9||
अखर्व सर्व मङ्गला कला कदंब मञ्जरी रस प्रवाह माधुरी विजृंभणा मधुव्रतम् |
स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं गजान्त कान्ध कान्त कं तमन्त कान्त कं भजे ||१०||
Agarva sarva mangalaa kalaa kadamba manjari,
Rasa pravaha madhuri vijrumbha mana madhu vrtham |
Suranthakam, paranthakam, bhavanthakam, makhandakam,
Gajandhakandhakandakam thamanthakanthakam bhaje. ||10||
जयत् वदभ्र विभ्रम भ्रमद् भुजङ्ग मश्वस – द्विनिर्ग मत् क्रमस्फुरत् कराल भाल हव्यवाट् |
धिमिद्धिमिद्धिमिध्वनन्मृदङ्गतुङ्गमङ्गल ध्वनिक्रमप्रवर्तित प्रचण्डताण्डवः शिवः ||११||
Jayathwadhabra vibramadbujaamga maswasath,
Vinirgamath, kramasphurath, karala bhala havya vat |
Dhimi dhimi dhimi dhwanan mrudanga thunga mangala,
Dhwani karma pravarthitha prachanda thandawa shiva. ||11||
स्पृषद्विचित्रतल्पयोर्भुजङ्गमौक्तिकस्रजोर्- – गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्ठयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः |
तृष्णारविन्दचक्षुषोः प्रजामहीमहेन्द्रयोः समप्रवृत्तिकः ( समं प्रवर्तयन्मनः) कदा सदाशिवं भजे ||१२||
Drusha dwichi thra thalpayor bhujanga moukthika srajo,
Garishta rathna loshtayo suhrudhwi paksha pakshayo |
Trunara vinda chakshusho praja mahee mahendrayo,
Samapravarthika kadha sadashivam bhajamyaham. ||12||
कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन् विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरः स्थमञ्जलिं वहन् |
विमुक्तलोललोचनो ललामभाललग्नकः शिवेति मंत्रमुच्चरन् कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् ||१३||
Kada nilampa nirjaree nikunja kotare vasan,
Vimuktha durmathee sada sirasthanjaleem vahan |
Vilola lola lochano lalama bhala lagnaka,
Shivethi manthamucharan kada sukhee bhavamyaham. ||13||
इदम् हि नित्यमेवमुक्तमुत्तमोत्तमं स्तवं पठन्स्मरन्ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धिमेतिसंततम् |
हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नान्यथा गतिं विमोहनं हि देहिनां सुशङ्करस्य चिंतनम् ||१४||
Imam hi nithya meva muktha muthamothamam sthavam,
Padan, smaran broovan naro vishudhimethi santhatham |
Hare Gurou subhakthimasu yathi nanyadha gatheem,
Vimohinam hi dehinaam sushakarasya chithanam. ||14||
पूजा वसान समये दशवक्त्र गीतं यः शंभु पूजन परं पठति प्रदोषे |
तस्य स्थिरां रथगजेन्द्र तुरङ्ग युक्तां लक्ष्मीं सदैव सुमुखिं प्रददाति शंभुः ||१५||
Poojavasana samaye dasa vakhra geetham,
Ya shambhu poojana param padthi pradhoshe |
Thasya sthiraam radha gajendra thuranga yuktham,
Lakshmeem sadaiva sumukheem pradadathi shambu. ||15||
इति श्रीरावण- कृतम् शिव- ताण्डव- स्तोत्रम् सम्पूर्णम्
Ithi Ravana krutham, Shiva thandava stotram, Sampoornam.

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