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Grishneshwara Jyotirlinga

(Ref: Shiva Purana - Koti Rudra Samhita - 32 to 33)

Shiva Grishneshwar JyotirlingaMeditation: I meditate on the Grishneshwara or Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga at Shivalaya where devotee Ghushma worshipped Lord Shiva by making one hundred and one Shiva Lingas as part of her daily worship; and carried on the worship even on the day she heard about the death of her son; and where Lord Shiva appeared before her and revived her son.

Sudeha killing the son of Ghushma: A brahmana named Sudharma lived near Devagiri mountain. He was well-versed in the Vedas, performed the Vedic rites and taught Vedas to his pupil. He was a great devotee of Shiva. His wife Sudeha was devoted to her husband and also followed Shiva Dharma. However they were not blessed with a son. Sudharma did not grieve about this and engaged himself in the worship of Lord Shiva. However Sudeha was mentally distressed and often implored her husband to strive for a son.

Once Sudeha goes to a marriage ceremony of a neighbour. There, a woman calls her a barren woman who has no one to inherit her wealth. It is a disgrace to her wealth and honour. Sudeha becomes very depressed and narrates this story to her husband. Sudharma consoles her not to be worried because what will happen will happen. But Sudeha insists that he should somehow beget a son.

Due to persistent demand from his wife, once Sudeha prepares two flowers to offer in the sacrificial fire. He mentally marks one flower to be yielding a son. Then Sudharma tells his wife to choose a flower. Sudeha picks the other flower which was not mentally marked to yield a son. Sudharma becomes relieved knowing the will of the Lord and tells his wife to shed false hope for a son and instead devotedly serve the Lord.

Sudeha could not leave her desire to get a son. One day she requests her husband to marry her younger sister Ghushma to beget a son. Sudharma does not agree initially but Sudeha brings her younger sister immediately and persists with her demand. Sudharma warns her that the birth of a son from Ghushma will make her jealous. Sudeha assures him that she will never be jealous of her sister.

At the instance of his wife, Sudharma marries Ghushma. After marriage Sudharma tells Sudeha to look after her younger sister with loving care. He himself continues to engage himself in the worship of Lord Shiva. Sudeha looks after her younger sister with loving care without any jealousy.

Ghushma engages herself in worshipping Lord Shiva daily by making one hundred and one Shiva Lingas. She worships those Lingas and then consigns them daily in a nearby lake. Performing daily worship in this way, she completes the worship of hundred thousand Lingas.

Then, by the grace of Shiva, Ghushma gives birth to a son, who was beautiful and virtuous.

After the birth of the son from her younger sister, Sudeha becomes jealous of Ghushma. Her heart starts burning like a fire. When people praise the son, she was not able to tolerate this. Once a brahmana arrive there and gives his daughter in marriage to the son. Sudharma and Ghushma becomes happy but Sudeha feels her heart burning.

Sudeha's heart keeps burning with the fire of jealousy, which finally she could not bear. She decides to kill the son to extinguish the flame in her heart. So, one night, when the son was sleeping with his wife, Sudeha kills him with a big knife and cuts off his limbs in pieces. She carries those body parts and throws them in the lake where Ghushma daily consigns the Shiva Lingas.

Lord Shiva restoring the son of Ghushma: Next morning, Ghushma gets up early and as usual starts worshipping Lord Shiva by making the Shiva Lingas. The wife of the son screams by seeing blood and flesh on the bed of her husband. Sudeha also pretends to cry. Ghushma hears the news but does not discard her daily worship. Her mind was unperturbed. She completes her worship in noon and says that the one who has given the boy will also protect him. She carries the Shiva Lingas to the lake and consigns them as usual. Then she finds that her son was standing on the bank of the lake. The son declares that he was brought back to life by the grace of his mother and Lord Shiva. Ghushma does not feel too much elated by seeing her son alive, just as she was not perturbed to hear about his death. Lord Shiva appeares before her and tells her to ask for a boon. Lord Shiva also reveals that Sudeha had killed the son and now he is going to kill that woman with his trident. Ghushma asks the boon to save her sister. Lord Shiva becomes greatly pleased with Ghushma due to her devotion and non-attachment. He tells Ghushma to ask for another boon. Ghushma requests the Lord to stay there in her name and protect the world. Shiva then abides there as Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga. The lake which was a store house of Shiva Lingas consecrated by Ghushma becomes known as Shivalaya as also the place. Sudeha arrives there and becomes repentent. The three of them (Ghushma, Sudharma and Sudeha) circumambulates the Shiva Linga hundred and one times. Their minds became free and they feel great joy. By looking at or worshipping this Linga, joy increases in a person.

Pilgrimage: Grishneshwar or Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra Grishneshwara Jyotirlinga is identified with Grishneshwar temple in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.

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Last updated on Dec-2021

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