Maha Shivratri 2023: Know the secret behind 12 Jyotirlingas

A Jyotirlinga is considered a linga which has the light of Lord Shiva in it. The Jyotirlingas are believed to have been formed from the pillar of light produced by Lord Shiva to prove his supremacy to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. This happened on Maha Shivratri day. The Maha Shivratri 2023 is on Saturday, February 18.

There are 12 Jyotirlingas in India.

1. Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat

The Jyotirlinga at Somnath temple in Gujarat is considered to be the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas. It is believed the Moon worshipped Lord Shiva here to escape from the curse of Daksha. Lord Shiva took residence here assuming the name Somchandra.

2. Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Andhra Pradesh

The Mallikarjuna Temple is situated on the Shri Shaila Mountain on the banks of the Krishna River in southern Andhra Pradesh. Lord Shiva took residence after his inability to appease Kartika who was upset at Ganesha getting married before him.

3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh

The Mahakaleshwar temple is located on the banks of the Kshipra River, in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. It is believed Lord Shiva took residence here pleased with the devotion of Shrikar, who took to worshipping Shiva in the form of a stone.

4. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh

The Omkareshwar Temple is located on an island in the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh. This is where Lord Shiva took the form of Omkareshwar to help Devas defeat the Danavas.

5. Baidyanath Jyotirlinga, Jharkhand

The Baidyanath Temple is located at Deogarh in Jharkhand. This is where Lord Ravana was duped to place the jyotirlinga he had obtained from Lord Shiva to be taken to Lanka.

6. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra

The Bhimashankar Temple is located on the banks of the Bhima river near Pune. Lord Shiva took residence here after defeating Bhima, son of Kumbhakarna. It is believed that the Bhima river was formed out of the sweat that poured out of Shiva’s body during the battle.

7. Rameshwar Jyotirlinga, Tamil Nadu

Rameshwar Temple is located on the island of Rameshwaram on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu. It is believed Lord Rama made the linga from the sand before proceeding to war against Ravan. After blessing Lord Rama, Lord Shiva took residence in this linga thus making it a Jyotirlinga.

8. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Gujarat

The Nageshwar temple is located on the Sourashtra coast of Gujarat. Lord Shiva manifested here in the form of a jyotirlinga to protect his devotee Supriya from the demon Daaruka.

9. Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi

Kashi Vishwanath jyotirlinga is considered to be the first jyotirlinga that broke out through the crust of the Earth when Shiva displayed his supremacy over Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.

10. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nasik

The Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga near Nasik in Maharashtra is considered to be the source of the Godavari river. Lord Shiva had River Ganga flow through here after Gautama Rishi did the sin of killing a cow. After repeated pleas from the rishi, Lord Shiva took residence here in the form of a Jyotirlinga.

11. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath temple is situated at a height of 12000 feet atop the Kedar mountain in Uttarakhand. It is believed Lord Shiva took residence here pleased with the penance of sages Nara and Narayana.

12. Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad

The Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga is located near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Lord Shiva manifested here pleased by the penance of his devotee Sudharm.

The 12 Jyotirlingas are also considered to represent the 12 signs of the Moon, in the following order

Somnath Aries
Mallikarjuna Taurus
Mahakaleshwar Gemini
Omkareshwar Cancer
Baidyanath Leo
Bhim Shanker Virgo
Rameshwaram Libra
Nageshwar Scorpio
Vishwanath Sagittarius
Trimbakeshwar Capricorn
Kedarnath Aquarius
Grishneshwar Pisces

in-depth horoscope