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5th Jyotirling-Vaidyanaath

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5-Vaidyanaath Temple
Read also  The Greatness of Vaidyanaath Jyotirling

Vaidyanaath Jyotirling is the 5th Jyotirling from among the twelve Jyotirling. It is the most sacred abodes of Shiv. It is located at Deoghar in the Santhal Parganaa's division of the State of Jhaarkhand. It is also known as Baabaa Dhaam and Vaidyanaath Dhaam. It is the only place in India where the Jyotirling and the Shakti Peeth are together. They lay side by side. Vaidyanaath Temple is also considered to be one of the 52 Shakti Peeth shrines of Satee. It is believed that the heart of Satee fell here, when her half burnt body being carried by Shiv at the end of Daksh's Yagya, was chopped to pieces by Vishnu's discus. Three different places have claimed themselves as the real sites for the Jyotirling of Vaidyanaath. Thus there are three different temples - Vaidyanaath Temple in Deoghar, Jhaarkhand; Baijnath Temple at Paralee in Mahaaraashtra and Baijnaath Temple in Kaangadaa, Himaachal Pradesh.

In Puraan we find its place names like Haridra Peeth, Ketakee Van, Haritaalik Van, Chid-Bhoomi and Vaidyanaath. In Bangaal and upper provinces the place is generally known as Vaidyanaath Dhaam.

Temple Site at Deoghar
It is believed that the Temple site in Deoghar was a Chid-Bhoomi where dead bodies were burnt and after-death rituals were carried out. There are 22 temples in the same campus of different Gods and Goddesses among which Lord Shiv is regarded being as supreme. Modern concepts ascribe that the shrines are of both old and new styles. The temple of Shiv is 72 feet tall and it is lotus shaped. Its top contains three ascending shaped gold vessels that are compactly set, which is donated by Giddhor King. Besides, these pitcher shaped vessels, there is a 'Panchshool' (Five knives in Trident shape), which is rare.

The architecture of this Temple is indigenous. We can place it under Naagar style. It is Shringvat temple. It contains Kati, Mekhalaa, and Shring which support the style of Naagar. According to religious belief this temple has been built by Vishwakarmaa, the architect of gods. There are three parts of this temple - the main temple, the middle part, and the entrance part. The main temple is beyond historical dates. It has been visited since the age of Raam. We can ascertain that the Manjhalaa Khand (the middle part) was built during the reign of Gupta(s). Inscription certifies it.

Legends Behind the Ling

In its inner top there is a eight-petal lotus jewel (Chandrakaant Mani). From the available sources we can say that the presence of Chandrakaant Mani is also its glory. In the popular 'Lingaashtakam' we get the reference to Ashtadal Kamal ie Chandrakaant Mani which is as such: - "The Lingam is surrounded by the eight petals. It is the origin of the all creations. It destroys the poverty of eight kinds. I, therefore, pay reverential salutation to Sadaashiv Lingam.

Story of Raavan
The 'Ling' (Lord Shiv) is also very rare. There is a very well known story behind this famous Jyotirling. The demon Lord Raavan from the Raamaayan meditated with all his devotion in hope to make Lord Shiv come over to Lankaa so that his city would become invincible. Raavan even attempted to lift the holy mountain, Mount Kailaash, but Lord Shiv crushed him by pushing the Mountain with his left small toe and Raavan had to beg for his forgiveness. Raavan was very disappointed and offered severe penances to Lord Shiv and offered his nine heads. Lord Shiv revived him and joined the heads to the body like a physician or Vaidya and hence this Jyotirling got the name Vaidyanaath. Lord Shiv had mercy on him and gave one of the twelve Jyotirling to Raavan on the condition that if it is placed on the ground it will take stick to it immediately. Raavan was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lankaa.

The other gods objected to this plan; if Shiv went to Lankaa with Raavan, then Raavan would become invincible and his evil and anti-Vaidik deeds would increase more than before. Therefore the gods tricked Raavan. Raavan was offered water by Paarvatee, who then directed all the waters of three rivers (Gangaa, Yamunaa and Saraswatee) into Raavan's stomach.

On his way back from Mount Kailaash, Raavan felt an urgent need to urinate and as he could not do so with the holy Ling in his hand, he started looking for someone who could hold it for some time for him. Ganesh then appeared as a Braahman in front of him. Raavan asked Ganesh to hold the Ling and went to release himself, but he could not stop urinating because of the trick played on him by the three rivers. Ganesh, pretending to be vexed by Raavan's delay, set the Ling down on earth. The moment Ling was kept down, Raavan stopped urinating.

Raavan needed to wash his hands after urination to make himself clean. Finding no water source around he hit the ground with his fist and a big crater was made which got filled with water. Later this water flowed as Chandrakap River. When Raavan tried to move the Ling, he could not. Out of anger he pressed the Ling down with his thumb. But after restoring himself, he started to offer his prayers to the Ling.

So some believe, that the Ling containing Shiv's soul was established by Raavan at Gokarn, on the Kanaaraa coast. Raavan tried to uproot the Ling, mutilating it, until it looked like a cow's ear, means Gokarn. Hence it is called the Gokarn Ling of the strong-god - Mahaabaleshwar.

If one worships Vaijnaath Jyotirling a person can eliminate all his worries and miseries. It is also a giver of Moksh and all types of happiness. According to other traditions, not mentioned in any Puraan, the "Ling" got neglected after the death of Raavan until it was noticed by a rude hunter, Baijoo, who accepted it as his God and worshipped daily; proclaiming to the world as the Lord of Baijoo (Baidyanaath).

This shrine is also associated with Rishi Maarkandeya, the devotee, whom Shiv saved from untimely death. The sage desired to erect a magnificent edifice, shinning as moonlight, on the Haridra Peeth. Such an edifice could not be the work of man, but no doubts it will be accomplished some time in the Kali age.

Temple Site at Paralee

On the slopes of Mount Meru or Naag Naaraayan is Vaidyanaath. It is in Paralee village of Beed district of central Mahaaraashtra state. Popularly known as Paralee Vaidyanaath this is the fifth Jyotirling amongst Dwaadash Jyotirling circuit. As per Hindu scriptures, Vaidyanaath is a place where the gods grabbed nectar from the demons and Shiv stayed here in the form of Jyoti (flame) in Vaidyanaath Shiv Ling. The place also enjoys he status of Kaashee (Vaaraanase) and so many call it Anokhee Kaashee.

Of course, there is an ongoing debate for this place amongst the Hindu scholars about the geographical location of the fifth Jyotirling. The fact is that apart from the debate and dispute, Paralee Vaidyanaath is considered as fifth Jyotirling and the devotees also visit this place along with Vaijnaath Dhaam or Baabaa Dhaam situated in Deoghar district of Jhaarkhand state in India.

Vaidyanath Temple Complex :
Vaidyanaath Temple is believed to be around 2000 year old. It is said that the construction of this Hemad style temple took 18 years to complete The present temple structure was renovated by Mahaaraanee Devee Ahilyaabaaee Holkar in 18th century. The Temple is built on the slopes of Mount Meru and situated at 80 feet above village level. It has three directions and three doors. It is on the outskirts of the village and about four kilometers from both bus stand and the railway station.

The present structure has an interesting story mingling with mysticism. Mahaaraanee Ahilyabai Holkar who renovated the Temple had great trouble finding stone of her choice for the Temple. She got information about stones from a dream and she was surprised to find stone of her choice in the nearby Mountain Trishalaa Devee. And thus she renovated the Temple. The Temple complex is surrounded by strong walls. Inside the Temple complex, there is a corridor and a Sabhaa Mandap. Outside the main Temple there is a Deep Stambh (a pillar to keep lamp) and a statue of Ahilyabai Holkar. Nana Rao Deshpande built the wonderful Sabhaa Mandap. It is made from Saag without having any support. One can see the meditation room for men and women in the main temple. From this place one can have a direct Darshan of Vaidyanaath Jyotirling as the sanctum is on the same ground level.

There are 11 Temples housed in this Temple complex. It is the only place, where one can find the Temple of Naarad. There are temples of Tryambakeshwar, Ghrushneshwar etc also.

The Mythology-1 :
Paralee Vaidyanaath is wrapped in three stories. One of them finds place in scriptures also. It is the famous Amrit Manthan (churning of nectar) story involving Devtaa and Daanav. In this process, 14 gems emerged in which Dhanvantari and Amrit were the prime attraction for Devtaa and Daanav. There was poison also. To save the Devtaa, Lord Shiv drank the poison and that is how his throat turned blue and so he is called Neelkanth.

To keep away Amrit and Dhanvantari from the demons, Vishnu hid these two gems in a Shiv Ling located in Paralee. Demons came to know of this and rushed to grab Amrit and Dhanvantari from the Shiv Ling. When demons tried to touch the Shiv Ling, Shiv Ling turned into a flame (Jyoti). Scared demons ran away from there. However when Devtaa touched the Shiv Ling, there was a free flow of nectar. It is believed that Lord Shiv stays here in the form of Jyoti (flame) and so it is called the Jyotirling. It is said to have nectar and Dhanvantari. So it is also known as Amriteshwar and Dhanvantari.

My Note:
This story has no reference of Mohinee Avataar of Vishnu, which is a very important Avatar and has another reference too (as Shiv was not physically present there, and hearing that Prabhu appeared as a woman, he requested Vishnu to show him His that Roop. In spite of warning that His that Roop was very sexy and was not good for him to see, Shiv insisted Him to show it to him. Vishnu did so and Shiv ran away after Her, that his semen fell on the Earth. Later he came into his senses and felt embarrassed. Vishnu then assured him that from onward His Maayaa will not affect him.) so this whole thing seems no basis of he Samudra Manthan story.

The Mythology-2 :
In olden days, here was a dense forest full of medicinal plants. Here lived saint Vaidayanaath an expert in using medicinal herbs and plants. Once, Vaidyanaath started Poojaa to please Shiv. Shiv appeared. Saint Vaidyanaath requested him to stay permanently at this place. The Lord agreed. Lord took the form of Jyoti Shiv Ling. Hence it is known as Paralee Vaidyanaath Jyotiling. It is believed that the Darshan of Vaidyanaath Jyotirling, free one of all types of diseases.

People here say that Darshan of Vaidyanaath Jyotirling is not complete without the Darshan of Yogeshwaree Devee Temple in Ambejogai. They have an interesting story for this. Marriage of Vaidyanaath a resident of Paralee was fixed with Yogeshwaree of Ambejogai, a village 25 km far from Paralee. However the marriage party could not reach Ambejogai in time and the auspicious time passed. It is said that marriage party was turned into statues. And thus it is said that Darshan of Yogeshwaree Devee Temple in Ambejogai is a must to complete the pilgrimage.



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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on October 19, 2013