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Worship of Srikalahasteeshwara by serpent Kala and elephant Hasti

(Ref: Srikalahasteeshwara Sthalapurana - 29)

Lord ShivaMeditation: I meditate on the Linga of Srikalahasteeshwara which was worshipped by serpent Kala and elephant Hasti; Kala and Hasti finally attaining salvation by worshipping that Linga.

Worship of Srikalahasteeshwara by serpent Kala and elephant Hasti: 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 Srikalahasteeshwara associating the name with Sri (spider devotee), Kala (serpent devotee) and Hasti (elephant devotee).


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