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see also   Ling,    Shiv's Names,

Origin of the Ling
Once Brahmaa and Vishnu argued that among them who was the most powerful Devtaa (god). Brahma Jee, the great architect, thought he was the best as he created the whole Universe, while Vishnu argued that he wouldn't be able to keep it running if He, the sustainer, could not sustain the created world. Everyone recognized this by worshiping Vishnu in his many forms. Brahmaa Jee argued back, that love of materialism was love for him and therefore…..

As the arguments continued, a huge pillar of light appeared between them, infinite and bright. It stretched from one side of forever to the other. They were surprised to see such a tall pillar which had no end. They wanted to know of what was it and where it came from. So Brahmaa Jee started going upward to search for its end or beginning, Vishnu also wanted to know this so he also decided to investigate it. He went down to search the cause. Eons passed, but no end of that pillar was in sight. In surrender they both prostrated before the blazing pillar of Light, and Shiv gave his blessing, acknowledging that it was he in that form and thus he was the infinite Jyoti (light). Since then that pillar became the symbol of Shiv. Since this pillar had no end, its end was shaped as a dome of the sky.

Shamans as Carlos Castenada have spoken of the soul as an infinite column of light stretching through the universe. Moses also saw the burning pillar in his vision of God on Mt Sinai . The Jyotirling itself represents the Aatmaa, the soul, which is seen as light, infinite and eternal light. It is the light of knowledge, the light of illumination, the light of Truth, Aum Tat Sat.

This Ling is the energy of creation, it is represented by a column of stone (symbolic of the dome of the sky) and sitting in the Yoni (representing the earth). Sometimes it has a more phallic presentation symbolic of the interwoven Divine male and female energies. There are twelve Jyotirling temples found throughout India , where there are naturally occurring Ling. These are the places where the Ling was found and a temple was built around it. The found Ling already had the power of Shiv within it, it did not need Praan Pratishthaa (to invoke life) to awaken it or instill Shiva's energy into it.

Authenticity of Jyotirling
The names and locations of 12 Jyotirling are mentioned in Shiv Puraan, Shat-Rudra Sanhitaa, 42/2-4. They are as follows
(1) Somnaath - The most revered among all the Jyotirling, is located in Prabhaas Patan, in Sauraashtra in Gujaraat.
(2) Mallikaarjun, also called Shree Shail - Is the name of the pillar located on Shree Shail Mountain near Krishnaa River, in Kurnool, in AP. Aadi Shankar composed his Shivaanand Laahiree here.
(3) Mahaakaal - in Ujjain or Avantee, in MP. This Ling is believed to be Swayambhoo - the only one to be so. It is also the only one facing South.
(4) Omkaareshwar - in MP, on an island in Narmadaa River
(5) Kedaarnaath - in Uttaraakhand, the Northernmost Jyotirling, it is accessible only by foot and only for six months.
(6) Bheemshankar - in Sahyaadri range of Mahaaraashtra, associated to the destruction of Tripuraasur.
(7) Vishwanaath - in Banaaras, UP, the most visited Jyotirling.
(8) Tryambakeshwar - near Naasik, in Mahaaraashtra, associted with the origin of Godaavaree River.
(9) Baidyanaath Dhaam, also called Vaidyanaath or Baijnaath Temple - in Devghar, in Jhaarkhand, in Bihaar.
(10) Naageshwar Temple - in Dwaarakaa, in Gujaraat. The "daaruk Vane" term in Shlok for Naageshwar is interpreted as Jogeshwar, also situated in Himaalaya. "Daaruk Vane" means Daaruk Van eg Devdaar Forest.
(11) Raameshwaram - in Tamilnaadu, is revered as the Southernmost Jyotirling among all Jyotirling in India.
(12) Grishneshwar - in Aurangaabaad, Mahaaraashtra, near the rock temples of Elloraa.


A Tithi is a lunar day. There are 15 Tithi in the waxing cycle of the moon (Shukla Paksh), and there are 15 Tithi in the waning cycle of the Moon ( Krishna Paksh). The Tithi is based on a relationship between the Sun and the Moon. The first Tithi is 12 degrees of the Moon away from the Sun, after the new Moon (Amaavasyaa) or full Moon (Poornimaa). The second Tithi is the next 12 degrees of the Moon away from the Sun, 12 to 24 degrees and so on. A particular day is ruled by the Tithi prevailed on that day at sunrise time, but the Tithi can change anytime of the day or night as it is not based on the solar day but on the situation of the Moon in relation to the Sun. Each Tithi has a name, a ruling planet, and can be used in Muhoort (picking a proper time).

The Moon is the mother and the Sun is the father. On the material plane, we can see from the Tithi that what was in the mind (Manas) of the mother and father at the time of conception. What is in the mind of the parents at conception is very important in the life of the child. On a spiritual plane we can see what was in the mind (Mahat) of the Divine Mother and Father, or what is the purpose of our creation.

So the Tithi is made of twelve degrees. It shows that each degree is assigned to one of the signs of the Zodiac. In consequences of this, the first degree of the Tithi is Aries, the second degree is Taurus, the third degree is Gemini, and so on. Then the Moon is examined to see which sign within the tithi it is placed. Some computer programs give percentages of the Tithi passed at the time of birth. This chart helps one find the sign easily, by seeing the percent of the Tithi passed through at the time of birth.

Aries       0-8.333 %                   Libra           49.999-58.333
Taurus     8.333-16.666             Scorpio         58.333-66.666
Gemini     16.666-24.999           Sagittarius    66.666-74.999
Cancer    24.999-33.333           Capricorn      74.999-83.333
Leo         33.333-41.666            Aquarius        83.333-91.666
Virgo      41.666-49.999            Pisces          91.666-100 %

Now Back to Jyotirlingam
There are 12 Jyotirling in India. Thus there is one Jyotirlingam associated with one sign of the Zodiac. The cause of one's creation, the purpose of one's being can be seen from the Ling that is associated with the sign. By meditation on this individual Ling, using its special mantra, and by pilgrimage to this holy site, one comes closer to an understanding of the purpose of the Aatmaa's creation. It will help reveal one's purpose of creation. Let us see which Jyotirling is related to which Zodiac Sign.

Aries      with    Rameshwaram in Tamilnaadu     Libra           with    Mahaakaal in Ujjain, MP
Taurus    with    Somanaath in Gujaraat             Scorpio         with   Vaidyanaath, near Bodhgayaa, Bihaar
Gemini    with    Naageshwar                             Sagittarius   with    Vishwanaath in Banaaras, UP
Cancer    with   Omkaareshwar                           Capricorn     with    Bheemshankar
Leo        with   Dhusaneshwar                            Aquarius       with    Kedaarnaath in Himaalaya
Virgo     with    Mallikaarjun                             Pisces           with    Tryambakeshwar

As the Jyotirling is the form of Lord Shiv as light, it is important for Jyotishee (astrologers) to worship the Jyotirling to get in touch with the Jyotir Vidya and awaken the light of the Aatmaa (soul), to help make their inner light shine.

(1) Raameshwaram - associated with Aries - is named after Lord Raam, who is the incarnation of Vishnu who represents perfect Dharm. Aries is the Sun's exaltation position, this is where the Sun has the most vitality, vigor and ability to express its energy. This is a place of power and control, a place of leadership, kings and generals. The Sun signifies our Dharm, it is concerned with righteousness, justice and truth. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaya Namo Rameshwaraaya.

Located on the island of Raameshwaram in Tamilnaadu at a point closest to Shree Lankaa.

(2) Somanath - associated with Taurus. Taurus is the Moon's exaltation position. It is the place of abundance and fulfillment. It is the place of Ras (joy), the nectar, good taste. Also health, the strength of Ojas, the immune system. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaaya Namo Somanaathaaya.

This Temple is located in Veeraaval, just on the seashore, in the western part of Gujaraat.

(3) Naageshwar - associated with Gemini - is named after the Snake lord Shesh Naag or Anant. According to Jaimini it is the exaltation place of Raahu. It has the power to reach the masses, the power to manipulate communication. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaaya Namo Nagesheshwaraya.

Located near Dwaarakaa, in Gujaraat.

(4) Omkaareshwar - associated with Cancer - is named after Omkaar (the sound of Aum). Patanjali says, “Om is the word denoting God (Eeshwar) 2:27. Constant repetition of Om and meditation on its meaning is to surrender to God] 2:28. From that practice, the consciousness turns inwards and obstacles are overcome 2:29.” Omkaareshwar is the Jyotirling which represents the Lord in the form of Omkar. Sometimes Aum is connected with Shiv also, as it is the primal sound from which all others arise. Sometimes it is connected with Ganesh as it comes before all other words in prayer. Sometimes it is used as a transcendental word for denoting the Divine, or the primal and vibration of the Universe. Cancer is Jupiter's exaltation and thereby is the strength and blessings of the Guru. It is the place of the highest use of the "Dhi" Shakti, the power of intelligence. The Mantra is "Om Namah Shivaaya Namo Omkaareshwaraaya".

Omkaareshwar is located in Madhya Pradesh. Take a train to Bobal and then a bus to Omkaareshwar. It is an island situated in the Narmada river, where the popular naturally formed Ling are found and sold throughout the world. The island contains many modern and ancient temples and shrines with Shiv Ling. Also worth visiting on the top of the island is a six foot high large onyx ling.

This Temple is located on the banks of Narmadaa River in between Indore and Khandavaa, on an island which is surrounded by Narmadaa River, in MP.

(5) Dhusaneshwar OR Amarnaath OR Grishneshwar (near Elloraa Caves) - associated with Leo - is the Lord of Tapaswee. A Tapaswee is  who lives in forests or in remote areas. It has the power to forgive you of earlier sins. Dhusaneshwar vowed to forgive everyone. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaaya Namo Dhusaneshwaraya.

(6) Mallikaarjun - associated with Virgo. Mallikaarjun is the greatest Bhakt of Shiv Jee. It is the exaltation place of Mercury. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaaya Namo Mallikaarjunaya.

This temple is located on Shreeshail Mountain, near Krishnaa River, Kurnool, AP.

(7) Mahaakaaleshwar - associated with Libra. Mahaakaal is Shiva as great Time. It is the exaltation place of Saturn as the governor of time. Saturn is the son of Chaayaa, the shadowy one, who has all the curses. Jyotishee go to this Ling to get the knowledge of Time, Varahamahira used to worship at this Lingam. A watch is the Yantra of Mahaakaal, and therefore should not be worn on the right hand. The right hand belongs to Jupiter and the left hand belongs to Venus. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaaya Namo Kaaleshwaraaya.

Mahakala is located in Ujjayinee city in MP.

(8) Vaidyanaath or Baijnaath - associated with Scorpio - is Shiva as the divine physician. Vaidya is the Sanskrit word for doctor which literally means one who has the knowledge, and Naath means Lord. From the Ved, Rudra was called the first physician. Shiv is the modern day form of Rudra. Vaidyanaath has an eight house connection being associated with Scorpio - the natural ruler of the eighth house. It is healing that has to do with holistic modalities working on the spiritual, psychological as well as physical level of healing. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaya Namo Vaidyanaathaaya.

Vaidyanath is located near Bodhgayaa in Bihaar, in Devgarh.

(9) Vishwanaath - associated with Sagittarius - is the Lord of all gods. It is also called Vishweshwar Temple and is the most revered Temple among all. According to Jaimini, Sagittarius is the exaltation place of Ketu. It is a place of spiritual liberation. Ashes are taken to Kaashee Vishwanaath to get liberation. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaaya Namo Vishwanaathaaya.

Vishwanath is located in Vaaraanasee, also known as Benares or its earlier name as Kaashee.

(10) Bheemshankar - associated with Capricorn - is Shiv as the great warrior. Capricorn is the exaltation place of Mars. Shiv has always incarnated with Lord Vishnu whenever he can be of His service. In the Ramaayan Shiv incarnated as Hanuman to help Raam, the hero of the epic. In the Mahaabhaarat, Shiv incarnated as the great warrior Bheem. The Mantra is Aum Namah Shivaaya Namo Bheemshankaraaya.

Located at the source of Bheem River, in a Forest Reserve,  3 hours from Poonaa, Mahaaraashtra.

(11) Kedaarnath - associated with Aquarius - is located in the high Himaalaya. Aquarius is the sign of Saturn and Rahu. It is a sign of ingenuity.

This temple is located on the banks of Mandaakinee River flowing on the west side of Kedaar Hills, in Himaalaya, in UP.

(12) Tryaambakeshwar - associated with Pisces - is the three eyed Lord. Pisces is the exaltation place of Venus. Venus did Tapasyaa (hung from one leg on a tree for twenty years) to obtain the power to bring back somebody to life. On a material level Venus brings us back with the sperm and ovum (Shukra Dhaatu), love, and the sexual act. This is why the 7th house is the house of rebirth. Spiritually, Venus brings us back again and again to get Moksa (liberation). One will come with Venus Uchha (exaltation) when ready for liberation. It is She who is exalted in the last sign of the Zodiac. Bija Aum Jum Sa. The Mantra associated with Tryaambakeshwar is the Mrityunjaya Mantra which cures disease and asks that one be made ready for liberation like a ripe fruit ready to fall off the vine.

It is located at the source of Godaavaree River, about 20 kms from Naasik, Mahaaraashtra.

The Jyotirling are not a simple way to see the life's purpose but the whole chart is the reason for incarnating. The Jyotirling are showing a higher purpose in life beyond what we are incarnating for. We still need to see a person's Dharm, Arth, Kaam , Moksh, and everything associated with that in the chart. The Isht guides our Aatmaa to Moksh (as it is seen from the 12th to Kaarakaansh - Jeevan Muktaansh). The Isht is to be worshiped everyday (especially in the morning), no matter what Roop (form), it is connected to Vishnu. The Jyotirling is the light inside us, and we can be aware of it always, it is connected to the AK, the light that illuminates the individual Aatmaa. It is connected to Shiv. External worship of the Jyotirling for the average person can be done on Mondays.

Note the peculiarities of the sign of the Zodiac representing the Tithi in an individual Raashi chart. See the combinations of planets with that sign, the house that it occupies with reference to the Lagna (Ascendant), and the Yog involving it. Notice the nature of benefics and malefics, their Char Kaarakatwa, as well as other factors influencing that sign. The sign indicated by the Tithi is very specific to the divine's reason for the individual's incarnation.

The purpose of creation is seen from the Tithi. The Jyotirling that physically created you, is seen from the Ling of the Sun Sign. If the two Signs are the same, then this will be a very powerful focus in the life of an individual. One can also see the relation between the Isht Dev Sign and the Jyotirling Sign, there will be some link to be spiritual. “Sun is Shiv in all signs,” the Sun as the Shiv Lingam. The Sun is the Kaarak for the first house, so for health purposes use the Jyotirlingam of the Sun.
[Adapted from]

There is a Shlok about the names of these Jyotirling --

Saurashtrey Somanaatham Cha Shree Shailey Mallikaarjunam |
Ujjayinyaam Mahaakaalam Omkaare Mamaleshwaram ||
Parlyaam Vaidyanaatham cha Daakinyaaam  Bheemashankaram |  
Setubandhey Tu Raamesham  Naagesham Daarukaavane ||
Vaaraan shyaam Tu Vishwesham Tryambakam Gautamee  tatey |
Himaalaye to Kedaaram  Ghushnesham cha Shivaalaye ||
Etaani Jyotirlingaani Saanya Praatah Pathennarah |
Sapt Janm Kritam Paapam Smaranem Vinashyati ||

These temples are closely linked with legends from Puraan and are rich in traditions and history. There are 12 Jyotirling in India -

(1) Som Naath in Gujaraat, the westernmost Jyotirling - associated with the worship of Shiv by Chandramaa.
(2) Mallikaarjun - Shree Shailam near Kurnool houses Mallikaarjun - Aadi Shankaraachaarya wrote his Shivaanand Laharee here.
(3) Mahaakaaleshwar in Ujjain.
(4) Omkaareshwar
(5) Vaidyanaath -
(6) Bheemshankar in Sahyaadri Hills of Mahaaraashtra (through Poonaa) - associated with the legend of Tripuraasur Vadh.
(7) Raameshwaram or Raamlingeshwar on Raameshwaram island in Tamilnaadu - the southernmost Jyotirling.
(8) Naageshwar, near Dwaarakaa in Gujaraat.
(9) Vishweshwar in Banaaras - Vishwanaath Temple, the most visited Jyotirling.
(10) Tryambakeshwar at the source of River Godaavaree, near Naasik, in Mahaaraashtra.
(11) Kedaarnaath in Himaalaya - the northernmost Jyotirling, accessible only by foot, open only for 6 months in a year.
(12) Grishneshwar in the vicinity of Ellora - which has several rock-cut monuments during 1st millennium.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11