‘Most Sacred’ of Shiva’s Abodes? Why Ujjain’s Mahakal Mandir Holds Special Significance in Hinduism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the primary section of Mahakaleshwar Hall in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, dedicating the formidable Rs 856-crore mission to the nation.

Earlier than he unveiled the massive shivling coated in strands of sacred crimson threads, amid Vedic chants to mark the inauguration, the prime minister carried out puja with rituals on the well-known Mahakaleshwar Temple, which homes one of many 12 jyotirlingas of Hindu deity Shiva.

Right here’s why the Mahakaleshwar Temple or the Mahakal Mandir holds particular significance in Hinduism:

What’s the which means of ‘Mahakal’, or ‘Mahakaleshwar’?

The divinity related to the holy metropolis of Ujjain is centred across the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga positioned contained in the temple, which is also called Mahakal Mandir. The temple is devoted to Hindu deity Shiva, believed to be the god of time and dying. He’s referred to as Mahakaleshwar, made up of the 2 meanings of the phrase ‘kaal’ – time and dying.

These jyotirlingas, or shrines, are believed to be essentially the most sacred abodes of Shiva. In line with the Puranas, the Hindu god pierced the world as an countless pillar of sunshine referred to as the jyotirlinga. Barring the the Mahakaleshwar jyotirlinga in Ujjain, the opposite 11 jyotirlinga websites are Somnath and Dwarka’s Nageswar in Gujarat; Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh; Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh; Kedarnath in Uttarakhand; Bhimashankar, Triambakeshwar and Aurangabad’s Grishneshwar in Maharashtra; Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh; Baidyanath Temple in Jharkhand’s Deoghar; and Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

Positioned on the banks of Shipra river, thought of holy, this temple in Ujjain is among the many most sacred Shiva temples within the nation. The town has different well-known temples as nicely, and one of many oldest bathing ghats, Ram Ghat, is likely one of the venues for the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage held each 12 years.

Why is the ‘Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga’ most outstanding?

The Puranas and different holy scriptures in Hinduism have a vivid description of the glory of this ‘jyotirlinga’ and it’s also talked about in lots of historic Indian texts, together with a poetic textual content, Meghadutam, composed by Kalidasa within the 4th century.

Many consider that the lingam (one other time period used for shivling) in Ujjain is swayambhu, which suggests it’s naturally occurring and even “self-manifested”. Also referred to as dakshinamukhi, that is the one jyotirlinga dealing with the south whereas the opposite 11 face east. That is identified to be a novel function linked to the tantric traditions of Shiva worship in Hinduism, and is discovered solely in Mahakaleshwar.

In line with a report in The Indian Specific, the shivling faces south because the path of dying is believed to be the south. A neighborhood legend says an Ujjain king by the title of Chandrasena was a Shiva devotee and so sturdy was his devotion that the god appeared in his Mahakal type and destroyed his enemies, as per the report. Shiva then agreed to reside within the metropolis, on request of his devotees, and have become its chief deity.

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