Author – Padmaja Vangala
Sri Ganeshaya Namaha
Sri Gurubhoy Namah
Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha
Forms of Lord Shiva:
Lord Shiva is the incarnation of Rudra as mentioned in Vedas. Lord Shiva is in form of Sakara and Nirakara. It means he’s worshipped as an idol and lingam i.e.Shiva and Shivaling. Except for Lord Shiva rest of God and Goddesses are worshipped only in one form as Sakara an Idol worship. Further, he is worshipped in OMKAR Beejakshara a first evolution Pranavam in-universe. He is honored as Ekadasi Rudra and Panchamkuhi.
Legend of Shivling:
According to Vishnu Puran and Shiva Puran, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were debating over their Supremacy and it resulted in war. During their war, Maheshwar’s weapon by Brahma and Pashupatha’s weapon by Vishnu are shot at each other. Both weapons started to destruct and devastate the entire universe and the situation was unable to control.
Then all Rushi and Devatha pray Lord Shiva to rescue them from universal destruction. In turn, Lord Shiva pray his Guru Lord Vishnu, took his blessings, and emerged as Vast Pillar in form of Jyothi, a radiant sign of Lord Shiva as an Agni, a light, a red flame. Immediately both Maheshwar and Pashupatha weapons are attracted and absorbed by Agni Linga.
Since then that light is worshipped as Jyotirlinga. Shivling is formation of Trimurti Shakti. This Agni Shivling is manifested on earth in Margashirsha month of Dhanurmasam on the night of Arudra Nakshatra and Arudra darshan is a big festival celebrated at Nataraj Temple, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. Arunachalam is the famous sacred place of Agni Shivling situated in Tamilnadu.
A famous Saint Ramana Maharshi lived and worshipped during his lifetime. Today he got many followers of his teachings. Thereafter another four shivling also evaluated as earth, water, air, and Sky constituting five elements of nature forming Panchabootha shivling. He is called Bhootapati and Bhootnath. The important point is all these are situated in South India.
Earth Shivling, Ekambabeshwar Temple, Tamil Nadu.
Water shivling, Jambhukeshwar, Tamil Nadu.
Fire shivling, Arunachalam, Tamilnadu.
Air Shivling, Srikalahasti Temple, Andhra Pradesh.
Sky shivling, Nataraj temple, Tamil Nadu.
Importance of Panchabhoota Shivling:
The 27 Stars and 12 Zodiac signs are based on Panchbhoota in nature which rules human life from birth to death. Therefore in astrology, it is clearly mentioned Zodiac Signs and Stars are headed by four thatva. Basing on this one can perform pooja and sadhana of shivling.
Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are Fire in nature and Agni Shivling is their worship once in their lifetime they have to visit Arunachala Temple in Tamil Nadu. Red Sphatik Shivling is auspicious to Worship.
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn are earth in nature and pruthvi shivling is their worship once in their lifetime, they have to visit ekambareshwaram temple, Tamil Nadu. Mud Shivling is auspicious to worship.
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius are Air in nature, and Vayu shivling is their worship and once in their lifetime, they have to visit Srikalahasti temple, Andra Pradesh. Sphatik Shivling is auspicious to worship.
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces are water in nature, and Jala shivling is their worship and once in their lifetime, they have to visit the Jambukeswara temple in Tamil Nadu. Light blue sphatik Shivling is auspicious to worship.
There is also another 5 important shivling in Andhra Pradesh made of Mercury, Parad Shivling.
1. Amaram Temple, Amaravati, Guntur, worshipped by Lord Indra.
2. Draksharama Temple, East Godavari, worshipped by Lord Surya.
3. Somarama Temple, Bhimavaram, West Godavari, worshipped by Lord Chandra.
4. Ksheera Rama Temple, Pallakolu, West Godavari, worshipped by Lord Vishnu
5. Kumar ram Temple, Samarlakota, East Godavari, worshipped by Kumaraswamy.
Apart from these, there are 64 jyotirlingas in India out of which 12 jyotirlinga are as important and famous as Dwadasa jyotirling.
Every month there will be a Shivaratri that falls on Krishna paksha Trayodasi or Chaturdashi known as Masa Shivaratri. Based on the Lunisolar calendar Magha or Phalguna Krishna Chaturdashi is Maha Shivaratri. Lord Shiva is the pioneer of Tantra. In Tantra Shastra Shivaratri, Holi and Deepavali are three Tantric ratri to perform Tantra sadhana.
Some devotees celebrate Mahashivratri as the birthday of Lord Shiva and in some temples, they perform Shiva Parvati marriage as their anniversary. Based on Vedic texts it is the evolution of jyotirlinga at midnight 12 as Lingodhbhava Muhurat. On Mahashivratri one has to worship at least one Shivling four times. Early morning from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM, again afternoon 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, next in evening 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM end at night 9:00 PM to 12 with panchamrutham consisting of cow milk, curd, ghee, honey, and sugar.
There are various types of Shivling prepared with mud, butter, ash, jaggery or Sphatik or Mercury, or stone shivling. Devotees perform Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam or Maha Lingarchana consisting of 160 Shivling or Sahasra Lingarchana with 1116 Shivling. Shivsahasranam with Bhel leaves and white flowers or Dasasahasranama or Laksha bilvarchana are important on this day. All God and Goddess of Fourteen lokas reside on Bhel Tree, so offering Bhel leaves results in worship of all universal Gods.
At Night 12 Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva meet each other i.e. Hari Hara Milan.
“Shivaya Vishnu Roopaya Shiva Roopaya Vishnave”
Shiva is in form of Vishnu and Vishnu is in form of Shiva. Therefore Lord Vishnu offers Tulsi on Shivling and Lord Shiva offers Bhel Leaf to Lord Vishnu. On this day Lord Shiva will be kind-hearted to his devotees as Bhola Shankar. Fasting, Sankirtan, and night awakening are important on this day.
Omkar is the first Bheejakshar a sacred symbol in Hindu spiritual Life. It is the composition of AA, OO, MAA consists of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar. It is combined with Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur (AA), Bhavani Mata of Tuljapur (OO), Renuka Mata of Mahoor (MAA), and Astha bhuja of Sapthashrungi temple (Bindu) in Omkar.
This temple is situated near Nashik in Maharashtra. It is popularly known as Three and a half shaktipeeth where in Mata sati right arm Limb is reported to have fallen in this place. She’s worshipped as Ashtabhuja Durga. In Agni Puran ashtabhuja Devi dhyaan is also mentioned. In this place, Markandeya Rishi performed Tapasya and he has written Durga saptashati. Therefore Lord Shiva is worshipped as Pranavanath. On Mahashivratri along with Shiva his family Mata Parvati, Ganesh, Kumaraswamy, and Nandi also worshipped.
Devotees of Lord Shiva:
Lord Vishnu, Parvati, Nandi, Ravana, Bhakth Kannappa, Mallar, Pushpadanta, Markendeya Rishi, Rishabha yogi in Skanda Puran and many demons.
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