Rudra-Shiva concept (Study)

by Maumita Bhattacharjee | 2018 | 54,352 words

This page relates ‘Twelve Jyotirlinga incarnations of lord Shiva’ of the study on the Rudra-Shiva concept in the Vedic and Puranic literature, starting with the concept of God as contemplated by the Rishis (Vedic sages). These pages further deal with the aspects, legends, iconography and eulology of Rudra-Shiva as found in the Samhitas, Brahamanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads Sutras and Puranas. The final chapters deal with descriptions of his greatness, various incarnations and epithets.

14. Twelve Jyotirliṅga incarnations of lord Śiva

Śiva has numerous names and epithets. He had taken many forms or incarnations for the welfare of the universe. Some of them are described below:-

The names of the twelve Jyotirliṅgas are—[1]

  1. Kedāra on Himālaya,
  2. Bhīmaśaṅkara in Dākinī,
  3. Viśveśvara in Vārānasī,
  4. Tryambaka on the bank of the river Gautamī,
  5. Somanātha in Saurāṣṭra,
  6. Mallikārjuna on Śrīśaila,
  7. Mahākāla in Ujjayinī,
  8. Amareśvara in Oṃkāreśvara,
  9. Vaidyanātha at Citābhūmi,
  10. Nāgeśa in Dārukavana,
  11. Rāmeśvara at Setubandha,
  12. Ghuśmeśvara at Śivālaya [Ghuṣmeśvara?].

It is said that if the names of Śiva are recited or repeated aloud early in the morning, one becomes free from all sins and attains complete enlightenment. People who utter these names with devoutness, without any desire, will be free from the misfortune of misery of rebirth in mother’s womb. All those who worship him will be free of any misfortune and will be let liberated.[2] He who worships Kedāreśvara with full devotion, will never suffer in distress even in dream.[3] Śiva emancipates people from worldly existence. Just as medicines are resistant to diseases, similarly Śiva is antagonistic to the troubles of worldly existence.[4]

Footnotes and references:


kedāro himavatpṛṣṭhe ḍākinyāṃ bhīmaśaṅkaraḥ | vārāṇasyāṃ ca viśveśastryambako gautamītaṭe || saurāṣṭre somanāthaśca śrīsaile mallikārjunaḥ | ujjayinyāṃ mahākāla oṃkāre cāmareśvaraḥ || vaidyanāthaścitābhūmau nāgeśo dārukāvane | setubandhe ca rāmeśo ghuśmeśca śivālaye || Śiva-purāṇa, 4.1.23


Ibid., 4.1.24-28


taddinaṃ hi samārabhya kedāreśvara eva ca | pūjito yena bhaktyā vai duḥkhaṃ svapne’pi durlabham || Ibid., 4.19.12


śivo’pi hi tathānādiḥ saṃsāranmocakaḥ sthitaḥ | vyādhīnāṃ bheṣajaṃ yadvatpratipakṣaḥ svabhāvataḥ || Ibid.,

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