Is Nageshwar Jyotirlinga the 7th of the 12 Shiva temples submerged in Dwarka?

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is the 7th Shiva temples among the 12 most sacred Shivalingams after the appearance of Lingodbhava Murthy. This temple is one of the oldest and is mentioned in the Shiva Purana. Nageshwar temple is situated near Ahmedabad, 15 km away from Dwarka. The temple is also famous as the Nagnath and holds prominent place in Vedic Story. 

Significance of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is believed to have appeared as the swayambhu lingam enshrined in the underground chamber of the Shiva Temple. It attracts thousands of devotees every year. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga signifies and symbolizes protection from poisons, including snake poison. 

Characteristics of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga

According to ancient Indian mythology, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is mentioned in the Purana. Earlier, the temple was known as the Darukavana because it was surrounded by forest. 

Legends of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga has amazing legendary tales. One such tale is linked with the demon and demon Daruka and Daruki. Daruki prayed to Goddess Parvati, the Dasa Mahavidya and she blessed her with a forest to behold worshiping rituals and rites. 

Goddess Parvati gave a boon to take the forest wherever she went. However, with time, Daruki misused her boon and moved the forest into an under-sea world. Due to that, she became even more powerful and decided to stop the worship of Lord Shiva in the temple. She began kidnapping the devotees with the help of Daruka in the undersea forest. 

Daruka once kidnapped Supriya, one of the greatest devotees, with other innocent people. They were so afraid and kept chanting ‘Om Namah Shivay’ to save them from the tortures of Daruka and Daruki. 

Lord Shiva appeared before the devotees and defeated the demons. Supriya installed Nageshwar Jyotirlinga to show his devotion, and Lord Shiva showered his power on the Lingam. He gave the idol a name, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. 

How did Lingam come to be a symbol of Lord Shiva? 

Hindu mythology also narrates a tale of Darukavana, or Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. Once, Darukavana was a living space for a group of dwarf sages. They were famous by the name of ‘Balakhiyas’. The dwarf sages were devotees of Lord Shiva. 

With the devotion of the dwarf sages, Lord Shiva was so pleased and decided to test them before giving them a boon. He appeared in the forest as a Naga ascetic. Seeing a nude sage, the wives of dwarf sages were attracted to him. 

Balakhilyas witnessed such a heinous act of their wives and got angry. They were upset with the nude ascetic and cursed him to lose his lingam. 

With the effect of the curse, lingam dropped off from the body of nude ascetic. 

The earth shook so hard with the weight of the lingam. 

Lord Vishnu and Brahma came to the conclusion that if the curse was not removed, then the end of the earth was near. 

Lord Vishnu and Brahma appeared before the nude ascetic and requested that he must take his lingam back. They also prayed to Lord Shiva to be present in the Darukavana as Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. 

How is Bhima, the second Pandava brother, linked to the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga?

Another lore about the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is connected to the second Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharat. 

Bhima, the mighty and strongest of the five Pandavas, discovered a river of cream and milk with a self-manifested lingam of Lord Shiva in Darukavana. 

And the story goes like that: 

After getting defeated by the cruel Kauravas in a game of dice, the Pandavas forced to live 12 years in exile and one year in cognitive. 

Throughout these years, the Pandavas and their common wife, Draupadi, traveled the entire India. 

During their wandering, they entered a dark forest. It was Darukavana. They witnessed a cow used to come to the lake every day in the morning and shower Lingam.

One day Bhima followed the cow down to the lake to bath the linga. Bhima and the other four Pandavas decided to destroy the lake with a mace. Bhima struck the holy water from all four sides of the lake, and thereafter, Lord Shiva appeared before them. 

After this incident, Krishna, the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu, the cousin of Pandavas, informed them that the cow who was milking the lingam was the Nandi, and the stone he was milking, the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, a self-menifested lingam of Lord Shiva. 

Pandavas then built the magnificent, unshattering temple of Jyotirlinga on the ground floor to showcase their devotion to Lord Mahadev.

How is Nageshwar Jyotirlinga representing the human body in a sleeping position?

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple’s architecture is divine and follows western methods and principles of construction with Vaastu Shastra. 

The Shiva temple is planned and constructed based on the Sayanam (sleeping) posture of the human body. It is divided into five main parts or proportions.

  1. Mahadwar (feet): It is the main gate to the Nageshwar temple. Devotees of Lord Shiva enter through his feet.
  2. Entrance Porch (hands): the second part is the hands that fall between the two sacred idols of Lord Hanuman and Ganesh, giving the openness of free hands.
  3. Sabha Mandapa (abdomen and chest): after that, the part of the body comes as the main prayer hall with a seating area that symbolizes the human abdomen and chest.
  4. Antarala, the fourth part of the human body, is the worship place of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva.
  5. Garbhagriha (head): it is the house of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga and the head of the human body.

FAQs

Are Darukavana and Dwarka in Gujarat the same?

Indian ancient texts such as Shiva Purana and Nageshwar Jyotirlinga were installed in the “Darukavana ”, a forest in Bharatvarsh, around hundreds of years ago. The forest was a blessing from the goddess Parvati to the demon couple called Daruka and Daruki. 

However, with time, it came to be known as Dwarka, the city of Krishna. 

What is the reason behind Darukavana or Dwarka’s submersible in the ocean?

According to Hindu mythology Vedic Story and the epic Mahabharat, Gandhari, the wife and queen of Dhritarashtra, cursed Krishna and his kingdom to submerge in the ocean after the deaths of her 100 sons. Darukavana, or Dwarka, was submerged after the death of Krishna.

Who brought the Darukavana into the center of the ocean?

After getting the boon from Goddess Parvati, Daruki and Daruka began taking advantage of their power and shifted Darukavana into the ocean to become even more powerful and tortured devotees of Lord Shiva at Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple.

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