Friday, 24 February 2017

Grishneshwar Temple Aurangabad Jyothirlingam

Sri Kusheshwar (Grishneshwar) temple is positioned in the famous village named Verul, in the district of Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra in Western India. The main deity of this temple is Kusheshwar, Grishneshwar (Lord Shiva) and his consort is none.

The holy tree of this temple is Vilwa. The holy water of this temple is well water. The agamam or pooja of this temple is called as Kameeyam. This temple is just 2000-3000 years old in this region. The historical name of this village is Verul.


Being the abode of one of the holiest and ancient temples known by the name of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple, the popularity of Grishneshwar can be ascertained. The village through its serenity and calmness provides just the perfect ambience for all your spiritual enlightenments. Once upon a time the village was ruled by Rani Ahalyabai Holkar and it was she who happened to build the Grishneshwar temple.
The Grishneswar temple was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar who also re-constructed the Kasi Viswanatha temple at Benares and the Vishnu Paada temple at Gaya. Grishneshwar is also known as Ghushmeshwar.



This was originally a settlement of the Naga tribes. The place of the Nagas is Bambi, which is known as “Varul” in Marathi “Varul” gradually changed into “Verul” and is known by this name only. River Yelaganga flows here. The name “Verul” is derived from Yelaganga, on whose banks the village is located. There was a king by the name “Yela” here. The capital of his kingdom was Yelapar, or Yelur or Verul. 
This pilgrimage site is located at a village called Verul which lies at a distance of 11 km from Daulatabad and 30 kms from Aurangabad. It lies at a close proximity to the Ellora caves. Being the abode of one of the holiest and ancient temples known by the name of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple, the popularity of Grishneshwar can be ascertained. The village through its serenity and calmness provides just the perfect ambience for all your spiritual enlightenments. Once upon a time the village was ruled by Rani Ahalyabai Holkar and it was she who happened to build the Grishneshwar temple.

Stala Purana of  Grishneshwar temple:-

The Grishneshwar temple has its root in several legendary tales. As the legendary tale goes, a devotee by the name of Kusuma used to offer prayers to Lord Shiva by dipping the Shivalinga in a water tank. When her son was killed by her husband’s first wife out of jealousy, she continued her rituals and one day Lord Shiva appeared before her, answered her prayers by miraculously restoring her son’s life.



About Legend:-

The legend has that there was a passionate devotees of Lord Shiva Sudharma and Sudheha, a pious Brahmin couple lived in the mountains of Devagiri.   This couple was distressed due to lack of progeny for long time and they underwent severe austerities praying to Lord.   Later, Sudheha wholeheartedly agreed the idea of the second marriage of her husband Sudharma with her sister Ghushma who was also a zealous devotee of Lord Shiva.  Ghushma creates Linga out of raw sand with utmost reverence on regular basis, after the veneration the Linga will be immersed on the pond.    Lord was pleased at the devotion and dedication of Ghushma.  In due course of time Ghushma conceived with a child and gave birth to a stunning boy child.  The arrival of new born brought immense joy in the family, the child was brought up with lots of affection and devotion to Lord.    Years passed by Sudharma and Ghushma found a perfect match for their son and got him married.  Gradually Sudheha became envious at the happiness of her younger sister who had gained abundance of happiness in her married life.   Eventually,  Sudheha’s jealous turned into revenge, she was waiting for an opportunity to ruin Gushma’s joy.   Sudheha killed her foster son while the newly wedded couple was asleep.    Gushma’s daughter-in-law woke up with a horrifying sight, stains of blood all over and she was inconsolable witnessing the lifeless body of her husband.   There was no one at home; her in-laws were already engaged in the daily rituals of worship of Lord on the river bank.  The villagers brought the mortal coil of their dearest son on the river bank and it was duly informed to the couple.  Gushma was completely engrossed in the worship of Lord, the horrendous scene of mortal coil of their son grabbed the attention of Sudharma, but Ghushma was absorbed in the worship, she patiently carried out the veneration of Lord with utmost devotion, there was no trace of grief on her face after witnessing her dearest son’s lifeless body.  Ghushma fruitfully completed the ritual and impassively looked upon the motionless body of her son.   Lord was extremely pleased at the devotion of Ghushma and instantly appeared before them.  The Knower of All, the compassionate Lord narrated the pathetic death of their son in the hands of Sudheha and eventually she was forgiven due to her previous austerities and Ghushma’s kindheartedness.   Ghushma got back her son’s life once again, as a boon she earnestly prayed to Lord to remain on this sacred land forever to bless his devotees.  Hence, the presiding deity assumed his name’Grishneshwar’.

Another legend says - Once the king went hunting. While hunting, the king killed the animals living with the Rishis and munis too. Seeing this, the irate Saints cursed the king, as a result of which, his entire body was infested with insects. Now, smitten by this curse, the king began to wander in the forest. His throat was parched because he was very thirsty. There was, alas, no water to be found anywhere. At last he found a water hole made by the hooves of a horse. Just as the king started to drink water a miracle occurred. The king's body was rid of all the insects. The king did severe penance (Tapa) there. Lord Brahma was pleased and appeared before him and installed Parashta Teerth there. He also created a huge and holy lake near by.

This Brahma sarovar later came to be known as Shivalay.

Legend:-2

Once Shiva and Parvati were playing chess on Mount Kailasa. Paravti checkmated Shiva. Shankara played to be angry at this and went away southward. He went and stayed at a place on the Sahyadri range, where there is cool breeze. This place was given the name of Maheshamauli Bhainsmal. Parvati came there looking for Shankar. She won the heart of Shiva in the form of a hill mountain tribal girl. They both spent some time there happily. 

This forest came to be known as Kamyakavana. Lord Mahesha forbade crows from entering the area of Maheshamouli or Bhainsmal. One day, Paravti was very thirsty. Shankara pierced earth with his trident and got the water of Bhogavati from the Patal (Nether world). This is the Shivalay. 

The Shivalay expands a little ahead where Shivanadi (Shivanand) meets it and a little more further, Yelaganga also flows just near it. When Shiva and Parvati were staying here pleasently, a hunter by the name Sudhanwa came there looking for a prey. A miracle happened and Sudhanwa turned into a woman. At this he did a severe Tapa there. Shankara was pleased and appeared. Actually, Sudhanwa was a woman by birth in his previous life. Thus, Shankara from that very curse of becoming a woman turned Sudhanwa into Yelaganga river. Thus, Punya Sarita Yelaganga was born in the Kamyawana. Later, it was to become the bathing place called Dhara Teerth or ‘Sita’s Snangriha’ and flow from a higher place and goes through Verul village. 

Legend:-3
Once Parvati, was about to fill her hair parting with vermillion and saffron, in Kamyavana. She kept them in her left palm and mixed the water of Shivalay in it. With the right thumb she started mixing them both. Then a miracle occurred, vermillion turned into a ShivaLinga and a great light appeared in it. Parvati was awe struck at this. Then Lord Shankara said: “This Linga was hidden in the Patala.” And removed it with his trident. 

Then a bubble emerged from the earth with water (Kashikhand). 

Parvati kept that glorious light in stone Linga and installed it there. This Purna (complete) JyotirLinga is called Kunkumeshwar. But since Dakshayani created this Linga with the function of her thumb. She gave it the name of Grishneshwara (Grishna means friction). 


Grishneshwar temple Architecture:-
The Grishneshwar temple is a peaceful temple, located at a distance of 20 kms from Dhaulatabad and 30 kms from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The temple is revered as a manifestation of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of the Jyotirlingas on the night of Aridra Nakshatra.




The most striking feature of Ghrishneshwar Temple is the 5 tier Shikara that rises in decreasing height. The crown of the Shikara is the bull at each corner and a monkey behind it. The red volcanic rock temple of Ghrishneshwar should not be missed when you are exploring Aurangabad.


The temple was constructed in the 16th century by a devotee Maloji Bhosle and renovated in the 17th century Ahilyabai Holkar, the Queen of Indore. It is located close to the famous Ellora caves of Dhaulatabad.


The structure of the temple is beautiful to look at, with Dashavataras (avatars or forms of Lord Vishnu) leading upto the temple in red stone. The architecture of the temple is of medieval style and it is built mostly of red sandstone. The temple is filled with paintings, carvings and statues. The pillars of the main court hall too have carvings. The temple is built in ‘Shikara’ style with five tires, and carvings of bulls and monkeys.


You have to enter the temple complex through a small open way. The main structure itself houses the Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum), the Antarala (antechamber) and the Sabha Mandapa (24 pillared hall). Devotees regardless of their religion can enter and offer prayers in the inner sanctum.









The Garbha griha of the temple measures 17 sq feet, and houses the Jyotirlinga, which is self oriented. The Shiva ling in the sanctum has a marble engraving of Goddess Parvati. The lingamurthy faces the east. There is a Nandikeshwari in the court hall. Devotees offer prayers to the Nandi as well.






Importance of the place :-
The Grishneshwar Jyothirling is situated in Western state of India, Maharahtra. The temple is just 20Kms away from Daulatabad which is nearer to Aurangabad. The temple premesis is very spacious and surrounded by a large wall on all the four sides. The Jyotirling and the Goddess, Grishneshwari, both are seen in inside the Garbha gruham. Lot of art work can be seen on the walls. 


Other interesting visiting places surrounding Grishneshwar Jyotirling are listed below: 
Koneru is nearer to the temple and considered very sacred. Yellora Caves are just two kilometers from the temple. These caves are the integration of Hinduism, Jain and Buddhism. There are total 34 caves which are very famous for the art they show on the entire walls. These caves are made between 6th and 10th century. Ajanta caves, Kailasa caves, Aurangjeb Tomb, Bibi ka Makbara, Panchaki, Mini TajMahal are some more in this list.