A jyotirlinga is the devotional representation of Lord Shiva . Jyoti means ‘radiance’ and lingam the ‘Image or Sign’ of Shiva; Jyotir Lingam thus means the Radiant Sign of The Almighty Shiva.According to Shiv mahapurana, only 12 jyotirlingas have sprouted up on their own and rest all are man-made.
Worship of the linga is one of the most important aspects of devotion to Shiva, since it is believed that he is present in the linga. The word linga actually means “a sign,” or “characteristic.” The Absolute Brahman is formless, so it should have no linga. But the people on this earth needs some form or symbol on which they can pray upon and concentrate their mind.
1. Somnatha Jyotirlinga, Gujarat
Originated where Soma or Moon God prayed to Lord Shiva when he was cursed by Daksha.
2. Mallikarjuna, Andhra Pradesh
Originated where Shiva and Parvati lived in the hills of southern India after Karthikeya left Kailasha and he even refused to let them live on his hill where he resides.
3. Mahakala, Ujjain
Originated where he killed a great demon Dhushana when he was about to kill Shiva’s 4 brahmin devotees and on request of the brahmin devotee.
4. Omkareshwara, Madhya Pradesh
Originated on the request of Vindhya mountains when he wanted to become equal to mountain Sumeru.
5. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Originated where the hump of the buffalo whom Pandavas were chasing fell down after completing their journey on earth.
6. Bhimashankara, Maharashtra
Originated when Lord Shiva killed Bhima by mere utterance of sound “Hum”.
7. Visvanath, Kashi
Shiva decided to live here in form of Linga as the brahma’s fifth head fell there. It is also said that even after Maha-pralaya, the city of kasha will never demolish.
8. Tryambakeswara, Maharashta
Originated due to a boon given by a Lord Shiva to Rishi Gautama. He wanted that River Ganga should flow near his ashram so that he can bathe and remove his sin of killing cow by mistake. But Goddess Ganga insisted that she will flow there only if Shiva is also present there. Goddess ganga flow there in form of Godavari.
9. Vaidyanatha, Jharkhand
Gifted to Ravana by Shiva due to his extreme tapasya and he was about to take it to Lanka. But then due to intervention of Ganesha, he was unable to do the same.
10. Nageshawara, Gujarat
Originated due to devotion of supreme devotee of Lord Shiva, Supriya.
11. Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
Made by Lord Rama before passing on from the ram Setu and showing his devotion to Lord Shiva and getting blessings for winning the war.
12. Ghushmeshwar, Rajasthan
Originated due to extreme devotion of the devotee Ghushna who prayed to Lord Shiva’s linga even after her son’s demise and forgave the person who killed him.
These jyotirlingas has a deep connection with Atma-karaka in our chart. All this 12 jyotirlingas are associated with a different zodiac sign and visiting them in accordance with our own planetary placement can bring us great fortunes and helpful in repayment of karmas too.