Somnath Jyotirlinga: The 1st Shiva Lingam and the Lord of the Moon God.

Jyotirlingas are the most sacred temples in India, dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the three members of the Trinity besides Lord Brahma and Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Shiva manifested in these temples and blessed his devotees with each Shivalinga. Jyotirlingas are pillars of light that represent the beginning of all creation. However, we at Vedic Story earlier narrated how Shivalinga came into existence with the origin story of Lingodbhava Murthy, or Lingam. Meanwhile, today we will narrate the story of Somnath Jyotirlinga, the 1st Shiva Lingam temple in Gujarat.

Legends of Somnath Jyotirlinga

Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple has several enchanting stories that make this shrine one of the most visited in India throughout the year. Devotees flock over to the temple to get blessings from Lord Shiva. However, many people don’t know about the back story of the Somnath Jyotirlinga, the 1st Shiva Lingam of Lord Shiva. Vedic Story today is going to narrate the whole story of how Somnath Jyotirlinga got its name and how it came into existence.

The Story of the Moon God and His Marriage with 27 Constellations (Nakshatra)

Shiva Purana narrates the story of the Moon God, or Chandra, the son of Sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. It narrates that at the beginning of the Yugas, Lord Brahma made his son, Daksha, the king of Praja, or people; thus, he became Prajapati. Lord Brahma assigned him several duties along with a promise to populate the world, and thus, he married him off to Prasuti, the daughter of Manu. They gave birth to many daughters; out of those 27 daughters, he married the Moon god so that they could fulfill the duty given to them by their father, Lord Brahma, the creator of the world.

Daksha Prajapati proposed the sage Atri to his son, Chandra, for marriage with his 27 daughters.

Chandra, the moon god, is the Hindu deity of night, vegetation, and plants. He is also the guardian of directions, known as Dikpala, and one of the Navagraha, the nine planets of Hinduism.

Sage Atri and Anusuya accepted the proposal and married off Chandra, the moon god, with Daksha and Prasuti’s 27 daughters, the constellation, or the Nakshatra. However, Chandra only desired to marry Rohini, but he got married off to the other daughters of Daksha too. Sage Atri did not want to disappoint Daksha, as he was the Prajapati of the world; thus, he got Chandra married without any desire.

Chandra married the 27 Nakshatra: Ashvini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigashiras, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha, Magha, Pūrvaphalguni, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Svati, Vishakha, Anuradha, Jyeshtha, Mula, Purvashadha, Uttarashadha, Shravana, Dhanishta, Shatabhisha, Purvabhadrapada, Uttarabhadrapada, and Revati.

After marriage, Chandra started spending quality time with Rohini, his beloved newlywed wife, ignoring the other daughters of Daksha. Years passed as they enjoyed themselves without thinking about the feelings of other wives.

Invitation from Daksha to Attend the Spring Season Festival

Prajapati Daksha and Prasuti arranged a huge festival to welcome spring. Spring is the season that brings love, joy, and happiness. It is also believed that it is the season of love and togetherness as nature blossoms in full swing.

Daksha and Prajapati also wanted to see their daughters after years of marriage with Chandra and see how they were performing their duties. Thus, he invited Chandra along with his 27 daughters.

Revati, Roshini, and other daughters seemed happy with the moon god, and this feeling of satisfaction gave immense joy to Daksha and Prasuti.

However, the joy of the spring festival and the happiness faded away in a flash when Revati told Sati about her disheartened life and feelings as a neglected wife.

Negligence of Chandra

The negligence of Chandra towards his other wives, along with Revati, spread like wildfire, and soon, Prasuti, the mother of 27 Nakshatra daughters, came to know about it. She gave advice to her daughters on how to attract Chandra with their sheer elegance, beauty, and shringar.

However, nothing worked as he was engaged and swirling in Rohini’s love.

Disturbed and disheartened, Revati couldn’t handle this situation anymore and thus desired to be separate from Chandra. She asked her father if she could live there for some time without letting him know about the circumstances.

Daksha happily agreed.

Prajapati Daksha Cursed Chandra

As time went by, Prajapati Daksha noticed that Revati hadn’t any desire to return to Chandra Lok to fulfill her duties as the wife of the Moon god.

He asked Revati what the reason was behind her unwillingness towards Chandra, and wasn’t she happy? Revati, without thinking about the result, told how Chandra neglected her and other daughters of Daksha and how he only cared for and loved Rohini.

Listening to Chandra’s injustice and the denial of his duties as a husband infused Daksha with anger and guilt about marrying off his daughters with such a person who wasn’t an ideal candidate and holds a prime position as a celestial body. Thereafter, Prajapati Daksha decided to punish him because he wasn’t performing his personal duties. How could he perform his duty equally towards the people and beings on earth?

King Daksha ordered Chandra to come to his kingdom for the accusations against him by Revati.

As the father-in-law of Chandra, Daksha did sideline his personal feelings of helplessness as a father, but he performed his duties as a Prajapati. He cursed Chandra, the celestial body of the universe, to lose his luster, his existence as a moon, and fade away because a divine being holding such a high position isn’t allowed to do injustice to anyone.

With the curse, the Moon god, Chandra began to lose his luster and slowly his life.

Maha Mrityunjay Mantra Prayer to Lord Shiva and Maha Shivratri

As a result, Revati, Rohini, and other daughters were on the verge of losing their husband, Chandra. Thus, they requested that Daksha forgive the moon god. However, he didn’t listen. 

To save the life of Chandra, they began praying to Lord Shiva by chanting the Maha Mrityunjay Mantra with Markandeya Rishi, Sati, reversed sages, and other devotees of Lord Shiva in Prabhas Patan, Veraval, Gujarat. 

Mahabharat and Bhagavata Purana also mentioned the Maha Shivratri, where Lord Shiva revived the Moon god from the curse and also placed him on his head so that the world wouldn’t lose the beauty of night, serenity, and the balance of day and night. 

He also blessed the people on earth by saying that whoever worships Somnath Jyotirlinga, the 1st Shiva Lingam, where Moon God got his life back, would get their wishes fulfilled.Thereafter, Lord Shiva came to be known as Somnath by establishing his Somnath Jyotirlinga, the 1st Shiva Lingam. Apart from Somnath, Lord Shiva is also known as Somchandra, Chandrashekhar, and the Lord of Chandra.

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