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Tryambakeshwara Jyotirlinga

(Ref: Shiva Purana - Koti Rudra Samhita - 24 to 27)

Shiva Tryambakeshwar JyotirlingaMeditation: I meditate on sage Gautama worshipping Lord Shiva at Brahmagiri mountain as an act of repentance for (a false accusation of) killing a cow; and appearance of Lord Shiva (Tryambakeshwara) relieving him from the false accusation and also releasing river Ganga (Gautami Ganga) from his matted hairs.

Story of sage Gautama: In ancient times there lived a famous sage known as Gautama with his chaste wife Ahalya who performed tapas for thousand years in the Brahmagiri hills.

Gautama pleases Varuna Deva and gets perennial water supply: 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. Due to this perennial water supply, the ashrama of Gautama was 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.

Conspiracy against Gautama: 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 are entitled to fill water first, being the wives of sages. The disciples returned and told this to Devi Ahalya. When she accompanied them and got the water, the other wives rebuked her also. 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 were adamant.

Gautama leaves the ashrama: 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. The other sages took this opportunity and blamed Gautama of killing a cow. They asked him to leave the ashrama. Gautama left the place and built an ashrama one krosha away. He asked for the method of repentance from the sages. 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 worships Lord Shiva: Gautama went round the Brahmagiri mountain and then made a Parthiva Linga and started worshipping Lord Shiva. He was accompanied by Devi Ahalya.

Shiva grants boon to Gautama: Shiva was pleased and appeared before 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.

Flow of Gautami Ganga: 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 to bathe in the Ganga, Ganga disappeared. Gautama was merciful to them and asked 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 Jyotirlinga, Nashik district, Maharashtra Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nashik district, Maharashtra Tryambakeshwara Jyotirlinga is identified with Tryambakeshwar temple in the Nashik district of Maharashtra.

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Meditation on Earth and Life: >>

Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)

Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And help Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Last updated on Jun-2021

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