Jyotirlinga Vaidyanatheshvara – Shiva Purana
Vaidyanatheshvara is also called Vaijnath Temple and Baidyanth Dham shrine. It is revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingams of Shiva. The Maa Parvathi temple is tied up with the main temple, with huge red sacred threads which is unique and worthy of reverence, showing the unity of Shiva and Shakti.
Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba Baidyanath dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India.
Although the name of the builder of the temple is not traceable, certain parts of the front portion of the temple are said to have been built by Puran Mal, an ancestor of the Maharaja of Giddhour, in 1596. During the Mughal period, Raja Man Singh, the ruler of Amber, is said to have built a pond here, which is known as Mansarovar. The temple faces the east and is a plain stone structure with a pyramidal tower, which is 72 ft high.
Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that by sincere worship of Vaijnath Jyotirlinga a person is relieved of all worries and miseries in life. It is also said that by worshipping in the shrine a person attains Moksha and all types of happiness. As a tradition, devotees carry ‘Kanwars' on their shoulders and complete their travel here.
Legend as per Shiva Purana:
Ravaṇa the arrogant minded leader of Rakshasas propitiated Shiva with devotion on the excellent mountain Kailasa. Though the worship continued for a long time, Shiva was not delighted. Then Ravaṇa performed another penance to delight Shiva. The glorious Ravaṇa, scion of the family of Pulastya dug a deep ditch among the groves of trees on the southern side of Himavat, the mountain that is usually the spot of Siddhi. He then kindled fire within it. Near it he installed the idol of Shiva and performed a sacrifice. He performed three types of penance. During the summer he stationed himself in the midst of five fires, during rainy days he lay on the bare ground and in the winter, he stood within water and performed his penance. Thus he performed penance a great deal. Even then Shiva the supreme soul, difficult to be propitiated by the wicked was not delighted. Then the ambitious Ravaṇa began to worship Shiva by cutting off his heads. In the due performance of the worship, he cut off his heads one by one. Thus, when he had cut off his nine heads and one head remained, the delighted Shiva favourably disposed towards his devotees, appeared in front of him. Shiva reinstated the severed heads.
Ravaṇa asked the boon to give him unequalled strength. Shiva said, “So be it.” Then he asked to take His image to Lanka. Shiva said: — “Let my excellent phallic image be taken to your abode. Wherever this phallic image is placed on the ground il will become stationary. There is no doubt about it. Do as you please.” Thus warned by Shiva, Ravaṇa, the king of Rakshasas, took it saying “So be it” and went to his abode. Thanks to Shiva’s Maya, he became desirous of passing urine while yet on his way. Lord Ravaṇa of the family of Pulastya could not stop this urge. He saw a cowherd there and requested him to hold the image. About an hour elapsed, when Rāvaṇa did not return, the cowherd became nervous. He was distressed by its heavy weight. He placed it on the ground. The phallic image remained fixed there. O sage, that phallic image is known as Vaidyanatheshvara. It yields all desires and dispels sins at its very sight. It is famous in the three worlds. It grants worldly pleasures here and salvation hereafter.
After securing the great and excellent boon, the great Asura Ravaṇa returned to his abode and mentioned everything to his beloved wife. He rejoiced much. O great sages, on hearing everything Indra and other gods and sages too became extremely dejected. They spoke to one another, “Ravaṇa is a wicked knave. He is evil-minded and hater of the gods. After securing the boon from Shiva, he will make us more miserable. What shall we do? Where shall we go? What will happen now? What evil deeds this wicked fellow will not do after becoming more efficient?” Thus distressed, Indra and other gods, and the sages too invited Narada and asked him dejectedly. The gods said: — “O excellent sage, you can do everything. O celestial sage, find out some means to dispel the grief of the gods.” Narada said: — “O gods, give up your sorrow. I shall plan out and go. By the mercy of Shiva, I shall carry out the task of the gods.” Thus saying, the celestial sage went to Ravaṇa’s abode. After receiving the formal welcome, he spoke with great pleasure, “O excellent Rakṣasa, you are a blessed sage, a great devotee of Shiva. At your sight today my mind is much delighted.” He listened the entire details how Shiva was propitiated by him and the boon secured. Ravana informed him that he particularly worshipped that Jyotirlinga and bowed to it and have returned home with the intend to conquer the three worlds. Then Narada said: — “O excellent Rakshasa, I shall tell you what is beneficial to you. You shall do as I say and not otherwise at any cost. What you said just now that everything was granted by Shiva should never be taken for granted. What will he not say in his state of mental aberration? It will never come out to be true. How can it be proved? You are my favourite. Hence you shall go again and do this for your own benefit. You shall endeavour to lift up Kailasa. Everything will come out to be fruitful only when Kailasa is lifted up. It is doubtlessly so. You replace it as before and return happily. Decide ultimately and do as you wish.”
Ravaṇa, deluded by fate, considered it beneficial when thus advised. Believing in the advice of the sage he went to Kailasa. Reaching there he lifted up the mountain. Everything on the mountain became topsy turvy and mixed up with one another. On seeing it, Shiva said “What has happened?” Shiva cursed him for being arrogant of his strength. Shiva said: — “O Ravaṇa, do not be arrogant. A destroyer of the arrogance of your mighty hands will come soon. Coming to a firm decision, the mighty Ravaṇa, deluded of his own strength, destroyed the arrogance of his enemies and brought the whole universe under his control. Due to the divine weapons and great strength secured at the behest of Śiva, there was none to counterchallenge Ravaṇa in fight. By listening to this glory of lord Vaidyanatha the sinners get their sins reduced to ashes.
Reference: Shiva Purana, Koṭirudra Saṃhita, Chapters - 28
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