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Parli Vaijnath - the 5th Jyotirlingam of lord Shiva
Parli Vaijnath, a shrine for the 5th of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva is situated in the Beed district of the state of Maharashtra, India. It is about 110 km from Nanded, a big city well connected with Aurangabad & Mumbai by road, rail & air. Nanded is famous for several very important Gurudwaras (place of worship for the people of Sikhism) & is a major pilgrimage place for the Sikhs.
India is dotted with countless millions of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, & almost without exception everywhere Lord Shiva is worshipped in His Linga or phallic form. However, according to the scriptures, 12 of those countless millions are Jyotirlingams, which are given special status by the scriptures. Parli Vaijnath is the 5th of them as per the famous “Jyotirlingam Stotra”.
Parli Vaijnath temple is a majestic temple situated on a low hill. It is surrounded on all sides by a high & strong wall. There is a wide staircase called “Ghat” through which devotees enter the temple. The original “ghat” was built in 1108 A.D.
Outside the high wall, there is a tall pillar with multiple lamp stands on it. It is called “Deep Stambha”. Lamps are lighted on this in the evening, particularly on auspicious days, & the sight is really fantastic.
On entering the temple, there is a court hall , which is a big pillarless wooden hall with awesome decorations of different motifs including figures from Hindu mythology.
There three sacred bulls made of brass in the centre (Nandi, the companion of Lord Shiva, & two others) facing the main chamber (Garv Griha or sanctum sanctorum ) housing the Lingam of Lord Shiva.
The court hall & the “Garvgriha” (sanctum sanctorum) are situated at the same level, which is an unusual thing for a Shiva temple (in almost all cases, the sanctum sanctorum is situated at a lower level than the court hall & the devotees have to descent to offer worship to the presiding deity of the temple).
The Shiva Lingam here is of black stone (Shaligram stone). One can touch the Lingam while worshiping. There is no restriction on the basis of caste or creed & anyone can come & visit this place.
The name “Vaijnath” is same as “Vaidyanath” , the god of the physicians. It is said that the Shiva lingam here possesses divine power to cure all diseases. Several mythological tales where Lord Shiva has sanctioned life to a dead or dying person are related to this temple.
The original temple was renovated by the pious queen Rani Ahilyabai Holkar in the 18th century A.D.
There are eleven other smaller temples around the main temple, dedicated to the other 11 Jyotirlingams of Lord Shiva.
A visit to this place has a calming effect on body & mind.