Are You Aware of the Two Legends of Nageshvara Jyotirlinga?
Gujarat based Nageshvara Jyotirlinga temple is one of the twelve jyotirlingas, where a 25 m tall statue of sitting Lord Shiva attracts entire attention of pilgrims. The powerful Nageshvara Jyotirlinga symbolises protection of all devotees from all poisons. As per Rudra Samhita sloka, Nageshwar is referred by the phrase ‘Daarukaavane Naagesham’, after the name of the ancient name of a forest in India. This name signifies that pilgrims, who pray to the Nageshwar Linga, become free of all poisons.
Legends of Nageshvara Jyotirlinga
The significance of Nageshvara Jyotirlinga temple is mainly based on following two stories.
‘Balakhilyas’ legends story goes on with a group of dwarf sages that worshipped Lord Shiva for a very long time in Darukavana. Shiva decided to test their devotion and patience, for which he came to them as a nude abstainer wearing only serpents (nagas) on his body. Seeing this, wives of the sages got fascinated by the saint and left their husbands behind to go after the saint. Sages got much disturbed and outraged by this and lost their patience over the saint. They cursed the ascetic to lose his linga. As the Shiva linga fell on the earth due to the curse, the whole world started trembling terribly. Seeing the terrible state of earth and mankind, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma came to Lord Shiva to request him to take back his linga and save the earth from destruction. Upon their request, Lord Shiva consoled them and took back his linga; He also promised his divine presence in the place, Darukavana in the form of a Jyotirlinga forever.
There is another story behind the establishing of Nageshvara Jyotirlinga, referring back to hundreds of years ago. As per Shiv Purana, there was a demon couple named Daruka and Daruki. Daruka was an immense devotee of Goddess Parvati, due to which he was also blessed by the Goddess. Daruka misused the blessings and tyrannised local folks in huge number. Though Lord Shiva captured the demon while he had imprisoned Supriya, one of his devotees; he couldn’t kill him as he was blessed by his own wife, Parvati. In the place of killing the demon, Lord Shiva assured Supriya that he would always protect all in the form of a linga. Ever since the linga was placed in the location, Nageshvara Jyotirlinga has been revered by the devotees from all around the country.