Written by Nitin
Vaidik Legends About Origin of Narmadaa
There are many legends about the origin of the Baan Ling and their
association with the Narmadaa, in the Pauranik Texts like Aparaajitaa
Pariprachchha, Yaagyaavalkya Sanhitaa, Matsya Puraan (Chapter 5), Hari
Vansh (Vishnu Parv - Chapter 173) and Bhaagvat Puraan (10th Skandh -
Chapter 62), with slightly varying accounts. Two of the most popular
ones are narrated below.
Legend 1 :
The Asur Raaj (Demon King) Baanaasur was the eldest son of the one
hundred sons of Raajaa Bali - Bali was the son of King Virochan, the
grandson of Prahlaad (the famous devotee of Vishnu) and the great
grandson of King Hiranyakashyap. King Baanaasur himself was a great
devotee of Lord Shiv and to seek the Divine Blessings of Lord Shiv, he
performed severe penances for a long time, in the Holy Himaalaya, invoking
Lord Shiv’s favor. Finally Lord Shiv appeared in answer to his austerities
and agreed to grant him a boon. Baanaasur wished for himself 1,000 arms
carrying a multitude of weapons to destroy his enemies and desired that
Goddess Paarvatee consider him as her own son - he was bestowed with what
he asked for. Drunk with power and arrogance, the Demon King started torturing
all the three worlds.
requests of the Devtaa and Lord Indra, Lord Krishn (an incarnation of
Vishnu) severed all the 1,000 arms and the weapons they were holding,
with his Sudarshan Chakra, the Divine Discus. However, Lord Shiv honored
the Demon King (who was, in spite of being an Asur, was an ardent devotee
of Lord Shiv) by giving him his own representation in the form of Swaayambhoo
(natural, self-manifest) Shiv Ling, hence the name Baan Ling.
Legend 2 :
Once Lord Shiv wanted to destroy the Flying City of "Tripur", which had
been obtained as a boon by the Demon Chieftain Baanasur. So, Lord Shiv released a
powerful and fiery arrow from his divine bow called Pinaak. The dart split and broke
the "Three Pur" into tiny bits, which fell on Earth in 3 spots: (1) on the
hills of Shree-Kshetra, which is an unknown identity to this day; (2) on the peaks
of Amara Kantak in the Vindhya ranges and (3) on the banks of the Sacred Narmadaa River.
The bits that fell soon multiplied into crores, each bit becoming a Shiv Ling. As they
formed part of the possession of the Baanasur, they were called as Baan Ling. Amar Kantak,
the peak in Madhya Pradesh State of India, is in close proximity to the source of the River
Narmadaa, which according to the holy texts, originates in the Vindhya Mountains 914 meters
above the sea level, flows westward for 1,292 kilometers through Mandla and Jabalpur Districts
and joins the Arabian Sea in Cambay (Khambhaat Kee Khaadee) near Bharonch in Gujaraat State.
It should be noted here
that the word "Baan" also means an arrow, a reed-shaft, cow’s udder and
pike, quite independent of the legend concerning the Asur King Baan. The import of
these legends is that the Narmadaa Baan-Ling are self-manifest forms (Swaayambhoo)
of Lord Shiv and Goddess Shakti and that they are therefore holier than any other
anionic forms of Lord Shiv.
What Are the Different Types of Narmadaa Baan Ling?
There are many different types of Narmadaa Baan Ling and depending upon
the sacred markings and holy patterns over the body of the Ling, they
are classified and their significance defined. However, note that there
is no necessity to make a micrographic study of the various types of Baan
Ling, to choose one for you - it is sufficient to take certain normal
precautions listed at the end of this article.
Shekhar" states that the Baan Ling picked up from the Holy River Narmadaa
have been worshipped already by the Gods, especially by the Guardian Deities
(Lok Paal) and the sacred stones are still said to contain the impress of such
worship. There are Baan Ling carrying the different marks characteristic of these
Shell mark on its top (Shankhabh Mastak) indicates it has been worshipped by
Lord Vishnu, the Protector of the Cosmos.
(2) Lotus Mark (Padm) denotes it was worshipped by Lord Brahmaa, the Creator of the Cosmos.
(3) Parasol mark (Chhatra) reveals it was worshipped by Lord Indra, the ruler of the Devtaa world.
(4) Heads mark (Shiro Yugma) shows it was worshipped by Lord Agni, the Fire God
(5) Three Steps (Pad) denote it was worshipped by Lord Yam Khand.
(6) Mace mark (Gadaa) indicates it was worshipped by Lord Eeshaan.
(7) Water Vase mark (Kalash) shows it was worshipped by Lord Varun, the Water God.
(8) Banner mark (Dhwaj) denotes it was worshipped by Lord Vaayu, the God of Air.
Mitrodaya", the celebrated gloss on "Mitaakshar" (which itself is a
commentary by Vigyaaneshwar on Yaagyavalkya's "Dharm Shaastra"), quotes
"Kolottara” on the subject of distinguishing the characteristic marks on the
various Baan Ling. This text enumerates 9 varieties of Baan Ling, 8 of them corresponding
to the 8 Guardian Deities (Lok Paal) and the 9th one is called Vaishnav Baan Ling :
(1) The Baan Ling worshipped by Lord Devendra will fulfill all the desires and bestow sovereignty.
(2) The Aagneya Baan Ling will be rosy colored and warm to touch and
carries the mark of the weapon Shakti.
(3) The Yam Baan Ling will have the form of a cudgel or of a tongue.
(4) The Nairriti Baan Ling will look like a sword, carries stain on its
body and will bestow the benefits of Gyaan (Wisdom) and Yog; however, it
is not for the householder’s to worship.
(5) The Varun Baan Ling will be round in shape and may be distinguished
by the marks of a noose (Paash) and will bring prosperity.
(6) The Vaayu Baan Ling will be of black color or smoky complexioned or
ash grey and will have the appearance of a flag post or may carry on its
head the mark of a banner.
(7) The Kuber Baan Ling will be in the form of a quiver or noose or mace
and there might be a hair like line in its centre.
(8) The Raudra Baan Ling will be lustrous like a block of ice and bears
the marks of a bone or spear.
(9) The Vaishnav Baan Ling will have the marks of Conch Shell or Discus
or Lotus or Mace or Jewels on the Chest (Shree Vats and Kaustubh Mani)
or the foot prints of Lord Vishnu and will have variegated colors.
enumerates nine types of Baan Ling :
(1) Swaayambhoo - honey colored with two dark rings
(2) Mrityunjaya - variegated colors with marks resembling spear and coils of matted hair
(3) Neelkanth - elongated and white colored with a black spot
(4) Trilochan - white colored with eye-like marks
(5) Kaalaagni Radar - lustrous and dark, stout with matted-hair like marks
(6) Tripuraaree - honey colored with white marks resembling the
sacrificial chord across and with lotus at the base
(7) Eeshaan - clear crystal with the top tawny brown and marks of a trident
(8) Ardh-Naareeshwar - white colored on one side and red colored on the other side
(9) Mahaakaal - slightly red in hue, shining, stout and longish in shape.
What Are the Colors of Baan
Each Baan Ling is unique with its own markings. The color of the stone
varies a lot, from grey to beige, to brown and a reddish brown. They may
be honey colored, white, blue, black or emerald-hued.
Are Baan Ling Worthy of Worship?
Many categories of Shiv Ling, the Baan Ling come under the Swaayambhoo
category, meaning they are self-manifest and have formed naturally,
which makes them the holiest among the holies and the most suitable for
worship. They do not need to be made worship-worthy by the preliminary
rites of Purification (cleansing) and Consecration (Praan Prathishthaa),
as the Narmadaa Baan Ling naturally contain the Vibhooti of Godhead
present in them. They do not require the traditional rituals of transmutation -
they are natural, self-evident and enduring. They cannot be defiled on any
account and do not lose their merit under any circumstances. The "Marka
Bhed Tantra" (Paataal 7) makes a summary statement to this effect.
However, if the ideal
concept of programming can be accomplished by a competent professional, then the
Narmadaa Baan Ling will bestow better and faster results. Among the several varieties
of Ling, Baan Ling are said to be the most sacred and its worship the most effective.
It is therefore claimed that the Baan Ling when worshipped is a thousand times more
effective than any other Ling. While "Suprabhed" (33) roundly declares
that all Baan Ling are worship-worthy, the "Soot Sanhitaa and "Meru Tantra"
(Chapter 9) states that the ideal size of Baan Ling for worship must be minimum four
Angul or 4 inches or above. Those of smaller size may be used for carrying in person or
worn around the neck as Power Pendants - as mobile Ling, for blessings and protection.
Do Baan Ling Require Strict Worship and Elaborate Rituals?
The Narmadaa Baan Ling are similar to the
Shaalgraam Stones (of the Gandakee River, Nepaal) in this regard: both are
Swaayambhoo. Being self-manifest, both are divine energy tools and do not suffer
from the many disadvantages and limitations of man-made forms and statues. They
do not need to be ceremoniously installed or duly consecrated. They do not even
require going through the normal ritual of invocation of divine presence (Aavaahan),
for the divine presence is already there and will continue to be there, quite independently
of the rituals. This is clearly and boldly stated by the "Marka Bhed Tantra"
(Paataal 7). In fact, the “Yog Saar” (Chapter 5) claims that by merely
thinking about one's Baan Ling early in the morning, a person can gain success in all the tasks of
sacred Shaalgraam, there are no distinct prescriptions or procedures for
the worship of Baan Ling in Pauraanik texts. There is only one Taantrik
text “Yog Saar" of Kaulaa influence that gives a separate Dhyaan and
Mantra for the worship of Baan Ling, which is completely different from
the standard worship ritual offered to Lord Shiv. This procedure in
heavily Taantrik in orientation and involves a lot of visualizing
capabilities and might not be suitable to the householder.
worship of any sacred object like the Narmadaa Baan Ling is always
meritorious, but it is neither indispensable nor obligatory. The mere
presence of a Narmadeshwar Shiv Ling is said to grace its environment
with harmony, mental peace, prosperity and protection. Regular worship
of the Ling with the sacred Mantra, Vaidik Sookt and Stotra cause many
intense and invisible effects. It is said that the sacred and powerful
sounds from such Mantra cause a powerful internal reverberation which is
absorbed by the Baan Ling. With consistent worship, this energy is slowly
released and emitted to the surrounding environments, and is specially known
to have the capacity to negate the accumulated Kaarmik burdens of its worshipper -
in other words, the Baan Ling dissolves the negative Kaarmik baggage (Praarabdh
Karm) carried by the individual.
What Are the Benefits of Having Baan Ling?
Numerous Scriptures acknowledge the superior merits of the Baan Ling and
extol the unsurpassed virtues of them, in bestowing many great benefits.
The "Yaagyavalkya Sanhitaa" states that the benefits that can be
obtained by worshipping a crore of other Shiv Ling are got by worshipping
just only one Baan Ling. It is said that merely thinking about their Baan
Ling early in the morning itself is likely to bestow success in all their
enterprises of the day. It is also said that the Baan Ling secure worldly
welfare as well as emancipation from worldly involvement. It is the considered
view of many that the Narmadaa Baan Ling wash off sins and curses.
Narmadeshwar Shiv Ling works with the breath and the fluids of the body
creating a harmony in the body’s flow. The Narmadaa Baan Ling helps one
to unite the lower self (conscious) with the higher self (unconscious)
so that we may know our own divinity as we seek to know God. It brings
believers into the mystical union with God. It heals and helps opening
the Chakra to resolve issues. It helps with activating the Kundalinee
energy and the seven Chakra. It awakens the energy centers and brings
feelings of peace and wellbeing. It enhances personal or group meditations
for clearer flow of energies. It balances and brings harmony to its surrounding
environment, after cleansing the prevailing negative energies.
On one hand
the Narmadaa Baan Ling is the epitome of masculine power and attraction
and ooze love and affection, on the other hand an adept can use it to
suppress sexual energies and direct them to gain mental and spiritual
Baan Ling are highly communicative gemstones, each with its own individual
personality, purpose and reason for being. It is believed that there is a
Baan Ling destined for each one of us and that the Baan Ling will find it’s
way to us when the time is right and when we are ready to receive it into
Narmadaa Shiv Ling stones can be used to remove negativity and harness
and transmit harmonious vibrations throughout a home and office. A mini
Narmadaa Baan Ling can be carried by a person or worn around the neck as
a pendant to protect the person and also gain divine blessings.
(1) No two Sacred Narmadaa Stones are alike and there are always
variations in the Yoni patterns across the body.
(2) Certain Texts like "Kedaar Khand" of Shiv Puraan defines some "Dusht
Baan Ling" too, means, the Baan Ling that are not auspicious: those with very rough
surface, those which are fully flattened and those which are split at the top. Hemaadri
in "Lakshan Khand" insists that those Baan Ling that are exceedingly corpulent
or very thin, those with sharp edges and crooked tops are meant only for those who wish
emancipation only and are not suitable for householders.