A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirlingam, is a devotional representation of the Supreme God Shiva. A Jyotirlinga is a shrine where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam. Jyoti means ‘radiance‘ and lingam the ‘Image or Sign‘ of Shiva; Jyotir Lingam thus means the Radiant Sign of The Almighty Shiva. A Jyotirlinga is a holy representation of Lord Shiva. The images of lingas is the “lingam” representing the beginning and end stambh (pillar) or the infinite nature of Lord Shiva.
Story Behind Jyotirlinga incarnation of Lord Shiva
As mentioned in Shiva Purana,When Lord Vishu and Lord Shiva were debating over who is supreme, Lord Shiva had produced a vast pillar of light and asked both of them to find the end of the light in both directions. To which, Lord Brahma lied that he found the end, but Lord Vishnu accepted defeat. Lord Shiva then cursed Lord Brahma that even though he is the creator of the Universe, he won’t be worshipped. And the Jyotirlingas are believed to have appeared from that infinite pillar of light produced by Lord Shiva.
According to the Shiva Purana – Shata Rudra Samhita 42,there are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines.
1. Somanatha Incarnation
|Somanatha Jyotirlingas Image Source|
2. Mallikarjuna Incarnation
|Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Image Source|
3. Mahakaleshwara Incarnation
|Mahakaleshwara Jyotirlinga Image Source|
4. Omkareshwara Incarnation
|Omkareshwara Jyotirlinga Image Source|
5. Kedarnatha Incarnation
|Kedarnath Jyotirlinga Image Source|
6. Bhimashankara Incarnation
|Bhimashankara Jyotirlinga Image Source|
7. Vishwanatha Incarnation
|Vishwanatha Jyotirlinga Image Source|
8. Tryambakeshwara Incarnation
|Tryambakeshwara Jyotiringa Image Source|
9. Vaidyanatha Incarnation
|Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga Image Source|
10. Nageshwara Incarnation
|Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Image : Source|
11. Rameshwara Incarnation
|Rameshwara jyotirlinga image Source|
12. Grishneshwara Incarnation
|Grisneshwara Jyotirlinga Temple image source|
Lord Shiva Jyotirlinga Mantra with Meanings
Saurashtre Somanatham Cha Shrishaile Mallikarjunam |
Ujjaiyinyam Mahakaalam Omkarama-Maleshwaram |1||
सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथंच श्री शैले मल्लिकार्जुनम् |
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालमोंकारममलेश्वरम् ||
Meaning – Somanath in Saurashtra and Mallikarjunam in Shri-Shailam; Mahakaal in Ujjain, Omkareshwar in Amleshwar.
Paralyam Vaidyanatham Cha Dakinyam Bheemashankaram |
Setubandhe Tu Ramesham Nagesham Darukavane |2||
परल्यां वैद्यनाथं च डाकिन्यां भीम शंकरम् |
सेतुबन्धे तु रामेशं नागेशं दारुका बने ||
Meaning – Vaidyanath in Paralya and Bhimashankaram in Dakinya; Ramesham (Rameshwaram) in Sethubandh, Nagesham (Nageshwar) in Darauka-Vana.
Varanasyam Tu Vishvesham Tryambakam Gautamitate |
Himalaye Tu Kedaram Gushmesham Cha Shivalaye |3||
वाराणस्या तु वश्वेशं त्र्यम्बकं गौतमी तटे |
हिमालये तु केदारं घुशमेशं च शिवालये ||
Meaning – Vishvanath in Vanarasi, Triambakam at bank of the river Gautami ,Kedarnath in Himalayas and Gushmeshwar in Shivalaya (Shiwar).
Atani Jyotirlingani Sayam Pratah Pathennarah |
Saptajanma Kritam Papam Smaranena Vinashyati |4||
एतानि ज्योतिर्लिंगानि सायं प्रात: पठेन्नर:|
सप्त जन्म कृतं पापं स्मरणेन विनश्यति ||
One who recites these Jyotirlingas mantra every evening and morning, gets relieved of all sins committed in past seven births. One, who visits these, gets all his wishes fulfilled by Shiva grace and one’s karma gets eliminated as Maheshwara (Shiva) gets satisfied to the worship.