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Tryambakeshwara Jyotirlinga

(Shiva Purana - Koti Rudra Samhita - 24 to 27) (JL-8)

Shiva Tryambakeshwar JyotirlingaMeditation: I meditate on the Tryambakeshwara Jyotirlinga on the Brahmagiri Mountain where sage Gautama worshipped Lord Shiva.

Sage Gautama performing tapas and getting a perennial water pit from Varuna deva: In ancient times there lived a famous sage known as Gautama with his chaste wife Ahalya (who subsequently performed tapas for thousand years in the Brahmagiri hills). Once there was no rainfall for hundred years. All living beings suffered greatly. Sage Gautama performed tapas with pranayama for six months and pleased Varuna deva. As a boon Varuna deva filled a pit dug by Gautama with perennial water.

Sage Gautama giving refuge to sages and animals in his ashrama: Due to this perennial water supply, the ashrama of Gautama became filled with various foodgrains, trees, flowers and fruits. Knowing about this, thousands of sages, animals, birds and other beings arrived there. The place developed into a beautiful forest.

Conflict between disciples of sage Gautama and wives of sages over water pit: Once when the disciples of sage Gautama went to the water pit to fill water, the wives of the other sages rebuked them saying that they were entitled to fill water first, being the wives of the sages. The disciples returned and told this to Devi Ahalya. When she accompanied them and got the water, the other wives rebuked her also.

Sages plotting against sage Gautama: Thereafter those wives instigated their husbands to drive away sage Gautama. The sages in delusion invoked Ganeshwara and asked for the boon of getting Gautama driven out of the ashrama. Ganeshwara tried to abstain them from their intentions in various ways, warning them that this will bring about their downfall. However the sages remained adamant.

Sages making Ganeshwara trick sage Gautama: Ganeshwara took the form of a skeleton cow and entered the field of the ashrama. Gautama took a straw to drive out the cow but the cow instantly fell down and died.

Sages blaming Gautama for killing a cow and make him leave the ashrama: The other sages took this opportunity and blamed Gautama for killing a cow. They asked him to leave the ashrama.

Sage Gautama performing penance in the Brahmagiri mountain: Gautama left the place and built an ashrama one krosha away. He asked the sages for the method of repentance. The sages told him to circumambulate the Brahmagiri mountain one hundred eight times, bring Ganga on earth and have a bath in that, and worship Lord Shiva by making one crore Parthiva Lingas. Thereafter taking bath in the Ganga, go around the mountain eleven times, and then bathe the Parthiva Lingas in Ganga water hundred times. Gautama went round the Brahmagiri mountain and then made a Parthiva Linga and started worshipping Lord Shiva. He was accompanied by Devi Ahalya.

Lord Shiva appearing before sage Gautama and giving boon of Ganga: Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared before sage Gautama. Shiva told Gautama to ask for a boon. When Gautama told the Lord to relieve him of the sins, Shiva revealed the conspiracy of the sages and told that Gautama is always pure. Sinful persons become pure by looking at him. So Shiva told Gautama to ask for another boon. Gautama thought that the news of his sin has spread everywhere and his intention of purification should be carried out. He therefore requested the Lord to make Ganga flow there. Shiva granted the boon and made the remaining water of the Ganga flow down the Brahmagiri hill. The gods arrived there and eulogized Lord Shiva and Devi Ganga. They requested them to stay there permanently. The gods told that when Guru (Jupiter) will come in Simha Rasi, all the gods will also arrive there. At the request of gods and sage Gautama, Ganga flowed there by the name Gautami, and Lord Shiva abided there as Tryambakeshwara Jyotirlinga. Both of them wash away great sins.

Gautami Ganga flowing from Brahmagiri mountain: The flow of Ganga started in Brahmagiri hills from Udumbara branches. Sage Gautama took bath there. The place is known as Gangadwara and washes away all sins. When the sages who hatched conspiracy against Gautama came there for bath, river Ganga disappeared. Gautama out of mercy told the sages to perform repentance by circumambulating the mountain hundred and one times. After the completion of their repentance, at the request of sage Gautama, river Ganga appeared there again from Kushavarta, a place below Gangadwara. A person taking bath there is relieved of all sins.

Pilgrimage: Tryambakeshwar Temple, Nashik district, Maharashtra Tryambakeshwar Temple, Nashik district, Maharashtra Tryambakeshwara Jyotirlinga is identified with Tryambakeshwar Temple in the Nashik district of Maharashtra.

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Last updated on Mar-2024

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