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Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gujarat — Worship of Almighty Shiva
The Moon & Lord Shiva-The Almighty God
Jyotirlinga, as is clear through the word, is an object that represents the Supreme Lord Shiva. Jyotirlinga is made up of two words; Jyoti and Linga, where Jyoti stands for “radiance or pillar of light” and Linga stands for “Image or Sign of Lord Shiva.” In a nutshell, Jyotirlinga means the Radiant Sign of Almighty Lord Shiva. All Jyotirlingas are considered to be sacred and fruitful places of worship. These Jyotirlingas shrines are considered to be the places where Lord Shiva showed His presence in a fiery form of light in one way or other. Each and every Jyotirlinga has its own significance and a legendry story behind it. There are a total of 12 Jyotirlingas on earth, which are as follows:
- Somnath Jyotirlinga (Gujarat)
- Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga (Andhra Pradesh)
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga (Ujjain)
- Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga (Madhya Pradesh)
- Kedarnath Jyotirlinga (Uttrakhand)
- Bheemashankar Jyotirlinga (Maharashtra)
- Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga (Uttar Pradesh)
- Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga (Maharashtra)
- Vaidhnath Jyotirlinga (Jharkhand)
- Nageshwar Jyotirlinga (Gujarat)
- Rameshwar Jyotirlinga (Tamil Nadu)
- Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga (Maharashtra)
Here I am sharing my views about the Somnath Jyotirlingas that is situated in Prabhasapattana, Gujarat:
SOMNATH JYOTIRLINGA (GUJARAT): Somnath Jyotirlinga is considered to be the first of the Jyotirlinga out of twelve. It is situated in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Somnath pilgrimage is a place which accounts the sangam (admixing) of three pious rivers; Kapila, Hiran, and Saraswati). Here, one goes to the Triveni Sangam Ghat to have a holy dip. It is believed that the moon lost its lustre at this place due to a curse. The story behind this, as is said by the intellectuals, is as follows:
As written in Matsya Purana, Daksha and his wife Panchajani had 62 daughters, 10 of those got married to Dharma, 13 to Sage Kashyapa, 27 to Chandra (Moon), 4 to Aristanemi, 1 to Kama, 1 to Lord Shiva, 2 to sons of Sage Bhrigu, 2 to Sage Angiras, and 2 to Krisasya.
In spite of having 27 wives who are sisters, Moon’s favorite was Rohini. He loved her the most and spent most of the time with her only while others were left lonely and upset. This went on for some days, then months, and then years. All sisters complained of the same to their father Daksha. This made Daksha quite upset and he went to find a way with which the problem could be solved. He talked to Chandra and tried to convince him to handle the situation, but all his efforts went in vain. When no hope seemed to arise, one day he lost his temper and cursed Chandra by saying, “As you are proud of your light, I curse you that you will lose all your light day by day until you lose all of it.” As a result, Chandra started shredding the light day by day and one day lost all the light. The whole world became dark which was really a matter of concern for all.
Then, all Celestial Gods went together to Brahma, the creator, to find a way to get a solution of redressing the curse, as they were all very sad at the plight of Chandra. Brahma showed them the way saying, “As Daksha announced the curse to Chandra, it cannot be taken back, but there is a way; if Chandra worships Lord Shiva and makes Him happy with his worship, then, Lord Shiva could give him light to shine again.” Chandra also realized his mistake and he immediately started worshipping Almighty Shiva at Prabhasapattana. Soon, Lord Shiva was satisfied by Moon’s devotion and worshipping and he fulfilled his desire and gave him his light and shine. As a token of thanks, he took a holy dip at Triveni Ghat to regain his strength and power. Then, he decided to get a temple of Lord Shiva built at that place, i.e. Somnath. The temple was totally made up of Gold. Later, the temple was rebuilt by Ravana in Treta Yuga and then by Lord Krishna in Dwapar Yuga. Then, Emperor Vikramaditya rebuilt it in Kalyuga.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS:
Numerous times, this Grand Somnath temple faced trouble times and Hindu resilience. The temple has been attacked by numerous Muslim Emperors.
- In 722, Junamed, the Sindh Subedar attacked it and looked valuables.
- On May 11, 1025 A.D., (Friday) Mohamad Ghajini destroyed the beautiful Shivling that could be seen from the center having a miraculous magnetic power in Him and looted all the gold and valuables from the temple.
- In 1297 A.D., Allauddin Khilji gave orders to destroy the temple.
- Other attacks on the temple were In 1479 A.D. by Mohamed Begada, in 1503 A.D. by Mujaffar Shah, and finally by Aurangazeb in 1701 A.D.
In 1783 A.D., a great devotee of Lord Shiva, Ahilyabai Holkar, got the temple rebuilt after Indian Independence.
MY OPINION: This is really a place worth visiting. I would really say that one would surely feel calmed and reenergized after visiting here with Lord Shiva’s worship. This will ultimately refuel energy in you and you would be free of all the sins and curses.
Somnath celebrates a large fair on Purnima nights (full moon nights). Maha Shiva Ratri is also a major festival here.
YOU CAN REACH HERE FROM ANY PART OF INDIA THROUGH VARIOUS ROUTES:
Air – The nearest airport is Keshod, 55 Km away from Somnath. There are regular buses and taxis plying between Keshod Somnath.
Rail – The nearest railhead is seven km away at Veraval, which is connected by train to Ahmedabad and some other cities in Gujarat.
Road – State transport corporation buses and private coaches are also available and provide regular services to reach here from other cities in the region.