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Srikalahasti - from Srikalahasteeswara Sthala Purana

Linga worshipped in various Yugas:

Srikalahasti Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana ch 3: Linga worshipped in various Yugas: The Linga was originally worshipped by Vayu in Maha Kailasha on the peak of Sivanandaikanilaya. In Kritayuga it was shining link gold and was worshipped by Brahma, Agastya, Devi Parvati, Yogini Neela, Harahara, Mayura, Bheema, Chandra, Surya and Indra. During this time Lord Brahma brought the peak called Sivanandaikanilaya from Kailasha and fixed it here. Sage Agastya brought down river Ganga in the form of river Swarnamukhi.

In Tretayuga the Linga was shining like silver and was worshipped by Hari, Brahma, Devi Lakshmi, Subramanya, Sri Rama, Rishi Markandeya, Kanappa, Spider (Sri), Serpent (Kala), Elephant (Hasti) and Sudarshana.

In Dwaparayuga the Linga was like steel and was worshipped by celebate couple Subhaga and Vijaya, Japala, Mrutyunjaya, Narada, Suka, Sanatkumara, Parasara and a group of thousand gods.

In Kaliyuga the Linga is like a rock with the glow of camphor and was worshipped by Saranga, Varaguna Pandya, Rajendra Chola, Neelakantha, Chakradhara, twin princesses Amritalatha and Kanthimathi, Padmasena etc.

Spider Sri attaining salvation:

Srikalahasti Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana ch 28: Spider Sri attaining salvation by worshipping this Linga: On the banks of river Tamrapani lived a noble brahmin called Satyasakha. However due to sins committed by him in previous birth he got a wicked son who discarded his parents and relatives as well as the brahminical ways. He associated himself with the weaver community and was adapted by a weaver. He was named Karamba by the weaver and was married to a weaver. When Karamba was old and in death bed, he gifted a cloth to a brahmin to decorate a Shiva Linga. In the next birth he was born as a spider called Sri, but due to the merit of gifting a cloth for Shiva, he was devoted to Shiva. He regularly took bath in river Swarnamukhi and decorated the vicinity of Shiva Linga with cobweb spinning in the shape of chariots, mandapas, towers, thrones etc. He continued this for several years.

One day Lord Shiva wanted to test the depth of his devotion. On a Monday on Chaitra Shukla Chaturdasi, the Lord reduced all creations of the spider to ashes. The spider in great dissappointment ended his life by entering into the flame of a lamp. By the grace of Shiva, the spider regained his original form and saw Lord Shankara before him seated on a bull. In great joy the spider sang praises of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased and told him to ask for a boon. The spider asked for a place in the Vayu Linga and his name to be associated with this place. Lord Shiva granted the boons. The spider merged in the Vayu Linga.

Serpent Kala and Elephant Hasti attaining salvation:

Srikalahasti Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana ch 29: Serpent Kala and Elephant Hasti attaining salvation by worshipping this Linga: A brahmin well-versed in Vedas lived in the vicinity of Malaya mountain. He was sincere in his worship. But because he accepted money for the pujas he performed, he was born as an elephant. At the sametime another brahmin lived in the cave of the Himalayas. He saw a gandharva worshipping Shiva with precious stones. The gandharva told him that by doing so one would reach Kailasha in this birth itself. The gandharva also told him that the easiest way to get the precious stones is by being reborn as a serpent and obtaining them from Naga Loka. Thus the brahmin was reborn as a serpent.

The serpent used to worship the Vayu Linga every morning with precious stones. The elephant used to worship the Linga at noon time with tender leaves and fragrant flowers. The serpent used to remove the flower offerings of the Lord thinking that the thorns will cause pain to the Lord. Similarly the elephant used to remove the offerings of precious stones thinking that they are heavy burden on the idol. One day the serpent hid and saw who was removing his offerings of precious stones. He saw the elephant, and in anger entered inside his trunk, reached his head and bit him with poison. With great pain, the elephant dashed his head on the rock and both died. Lord Shiva was pleased and appeared before them with Gnanamba. They regained celestial forms and praised the Lord with hymns. Lord Shiva told them to ask for a boon. They wanted a place in the Linga and their names to be associated with the kshetra. Also, the devotees bathing in Kala Teertha and Hasti Teertha and worshipping the Vayu Linga should get salvation. Lord Shiva granted them the boons. The serpent and the elephant merged with the Linga. The Lord named the kshetra as Srikalahasteeswara associating the name with Sri (spider devotee), Kala (serpent devotee) and Hasti (elephant devotee).

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Last updated on May-2018

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