Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam or "Lingam of Light". There are said to be twelve Jyotirlinga shrines in India although their location is not consistently identified. The Jyotirlingas look like any other Shiva Linga. However, it is believed that a person who has attained a certain degree of spirituality sees these lingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth.Jyotirlinga are the 12 special shrines dedicated to Shiva since ancient times .
Significance of greatness of the Jyotirlingas. It goes on to say that by reciting the name of 12 Jyotirlinga a devotee can eliminate all the sins. Besides, the devotee becomes calm, chaste and pure as he becomes illuminated and enlightened with supreme and divine knowledge.
Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotra
Sourashtre Somanadham, cha Sri Shaile Mallikarjunam || Ujjayinyam Maha Kalam, Omkaram, Amaleshwaram || Paralyam Vaidyanatham, cha Dakinyam Bhimasankaram || Sethubandhe thu Ramesam, Nagesam thu Darukavane || Varanasyam thu Viswesam, Trayambakam Gouthami thate || Himalaye thu Kedaram, Ghushmesam cha Shivalaye || Ethani Jyothirlingani Sayam Pratha Paden Nara || Saptha Janma Krutham Papam Smaranena Vinasyathi
Legend of Jyotirlinga
According to a legend of Lingodbhavamurthy narrated in Linga Purana, once Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were fighting to prove who was the Supreme Being. At this point, Lord Shiva appeared as a flaming Linga and challenged the duo to measure the gigantic Linga (phallic symbol of Lord Shiva). Brahma and Vishnu decided to find one end each and declared that whoever returned first would be acknowledged as supreme. Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and went down. Brahma, in the form of a swan, flew upwards. They searched for days but in vain and returned to the starting point exhausted and bewildered. At that moment, the central part of the pillar split open and Shiva revealed himself in his full glory. Brahma and Vishnu realized their mistake and acknowledged Shiva as the Supreme Being.Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is especially auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri. Worshipping Shiva on this day is believed to bestow one with happiness and prosperity. Hindus believe that a sincere devotee who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and evening washes all the sins committed in the previous seven births and attains all the powers and Siddhis.
There are Twelve Jyotirlinga Temples in India These 12 jyotirlinga shrines are-
• Somnath Jyotirlinga in Saurashtra (Guj)
• Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga in Srisailam (A.P.)
• Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain (M.P.)
• Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga in Shivpuri / mamaleswara (M.P.)
• Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga in Parali (Mah)
• Nageswar Jyotirlinga in Darukavanam
• Kedareswar Jyotirlinga in Kedarnath / Himalayas (Utt)
• Tryambakeswar Jyotirlinga in Nasik (Mah)
• Rameshwar Jyotirlinga in Setubandanam / Rameshwaram (T.N.)
• Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Dakini (Mah)
• Visweswar Jyotirlinga in Varanasi (U.P.)
• Ghrishneswar Jyotirlinga in Devasrovar (Mah).
Two jyotirlinga are on the sea shore, three jyotirlinga on river banks, four jyotirlinga in the heights of the mountains and three jyotirlinga in villages located in meadows.
Om Namah Shivay !