Nov 30, 2023
Nov 30, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 109
Sage Suta speaks about the glory of Onkareshwara Jyotiralingam… Nara and Narayana, the incarnations of Vishnu, offer prayers before ‘Shivalingam’ at Badrikaashrama…later, Shiva situates ‘the self’ in the image of lingam at Kedar tirtha …the legendary tale of Bheem-sankara lingam
Sage Suta knew the curiosity of sages who wanted to learn about the fourth tirtha – Onkareshwara Jyotiralingam. Monk Gokarna with deep dedication began to serve Shiva. After some time, the monk arrived at mountain Vindhya, who worshipped the holy man reverently. The great mountain had nothing to offer to the monk and so, it appeared before celestial sage Narada and stood silently. Vindhya asked reasons of Narada’s silence. He spoke of the height and glory of mountain Meru. Vindhya understood the flaw and therefore, in disillusionment, began to meditate on Shiva and the lord blessed him with the most desired boon.
At this moment, many gods and sages came to the place, began to worship Sankara, and said, “O lord, please stay at the holy place.” Lord happily agreed. An Onkaralingam existed already at the sacred place. It divided itself in two parts – Onkara and Parameshwara Sangya. The holy lingams provide immense happiness to the devotees and bless them so that they live happily in devotion of great lord people believe. Vindhya felt happy and abandoned feelings of sorrows and so a devotee, who was engaged in the prayer of lord, ultimately attained the objective and was free from the cycle of birth and death, a realisation dawned and then, came up the tale of Bheem-sankara lingam. He told them that Bheem was son of mighty Kumbhakaran.
For the wellbeing of created being, Vishnu’s ‘avataras’ Nara and Narayana used to worship ‘Shivalingam’ they situated at Badrikaashrama. Here, they began to pray and worshipped the lord where Sambhu – Shiva regularly came to accept prayers and thus, the incarnations of Vishnu dedicatedly worshipped him in the images of Shivalingams. Lord was happy and so situated ‘the self’ at Kedar tirtha in the image of lingam. It was the most blissful holy ashrama and if a devotee after offering prayers and worship took water, he was free from the cycle of birth and rebirth. When he narrated the tale of Bheem-sankara lingam, he told that a raksasa Bheem lived long back in a country called Kamarupa. He worked against dharma and perpetrated atrocities on the people. He was from the womb of Karkati through mighty Kumbhakaran. He lived in a mountain with mother Karkati.
One day, out of curiosity he asked mother about his father. She told him that he was son of Kumbhakaran, younger brother of mighty Ravana, the king of Lanka. Rama had killed him. Viradha was her husband, whom Rama had killed years back and therefore, she began to live with parents (Karkat and Pushkasi), who one day went in search of food and thought to kill a disciple Sutheeksna of monk Agastya. Monk was very angry and so he reduced my parents to ashes. Now, I had no one to depend upon. At that time, Kumbhakaran arrived at the place suddenly and when he found me alone, he made love against my consent and went away. After some time, a son took birth, she told him and so he was his son.
Bheem was angry with lord Vishnu, who had killed all his relations and now wanted to give troubles to Vishnu. He decided and then, was engaged in austere tapa for one thousand years and pleased Brahma, who blessed him.
When asked, he said to the lord, “Give me strength none else should have.” He was very happy and told his mother, “I am strong and now I can destroy gods and lord Hari – Vishnu.”
Bheem, son of mighty Kumbharana was angry with Vishnu and underwent severe tapa and so, Brahma blessed and attained unlimited powers. Later, he defeated all kings and gods and even Vishnu had to taste defeat. Afterward, he defeated a devotee of Shiva Sudiksna and so he began to work against tenets of dharma and therefore, to help devotees Shiva eliminated the wicked forces
He narrated tale of tapa and Brahma’s boon and the birth of holy Bheem-sankara illuminated lingam. Bheem, the mighty warrior, invaded the land of gods. Afterward, he defeated all the gods and drove them out of heavens. Therefore, to provide relief to gods, Vishnu came to the assistance of devotees but Bheem defeated him in a war. He launched an attack on earth and began to take control of different countries as the kings failed to put up a brave front. Even he defeated a devotee of Shiva King Sudiksna, and imprisoned him. However, the king and the queen meditated on Shiva even in the prison whereas mighty Bheem continued to torture the kings and the people on earth and later, fiercely worked against tenets of dharma.
All gods, sages, monks and suffering people appeared before Shiva and prayed. Shiva was happy and assured gods of heavens and the suffering created beings. He also told gods that Sudiksna was his devotee and he would not permit any wicked forces to create troubles. A fierce war erupted and the whole world was distressed. Sage Narada requested Shiva not to delay. Shiva looked at the entire army of Bheem and in anger scorched the entire army to death. On the prayer of monks and other holy souls, the great lord decided to stay there and so the people and devotees called it Bheem-sankara illuminated lingam, a temple of worship that blessed all and liberated devotees from all miseries and hardships.
It was obvious that Shiva appeared before the devotees in times of crisis and showered blessings. For the well-being, benefit and protection of devotees, he vanquished iniquitous forces, established laws of dharma, and thus, taught humankind lessons of truth and righteousness. Even if a man was a sinner and if with a genuine and sincere heart, he meditated on Shiva, he attained blessings of the lord because it was the only path to deliverance and moksa.
Therefore, in times of crisis, the lord always descended on earth in different incarnations and thereafter, for the happiness, relief and accessibility, he situated ‘the divine self’ in the image of lingam wherever, a sincere and prayerful request came from the devotees, the seers, the sages, brahmins and the gods of heavens. The devotees learnt about the illuminated lingam at Visveswara, the image of the eternal and the formless divine lord bereft of duality.
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