yam dakinishakinikasamaje nishevyamanam pishitashanaishcha |
sadaiva bhimadipadaprasiddam tam shankaram bhaktahitam namami ||
Location of Bhimashankar Jyothirlingam
On the banks of the River Chandrabhaga (Bhima) on the expansive
meadows, a large number of devotees can be seen dancing as if they are
in a trance. This is a constant scene in Pandharpur. Bheemamayya (mother
Bhima) is equated with Ganga-Bhagirathi and people take a holy dip in
this river. In Pandharpur, river Bhima came to be known as Chandrabhaga,
because it is here that Bhima curves towards Chandrakor.
River Ganga came jumping down from the Jata (Hair) of Lord
Shankar, straight through Swarg (Heaven), to the earth. Bhimamayya is
the perspiration of Lord Shankara. The origin of River Bhima is
BhimaShankar, which is one of the twelve JyotirLingas. In Maharashtra,
in Pune District in the Tehsil of Rajguru nagar (Khed) ahead of
Ghodegaon, there is Sahyadri mountain range. Bhavargiri, Rathachal and
Bhima Shankar mountains are located here. On the Bhima Shankar
mountains, the holy shrine of Bhima Shankar is situated. Although it is a
very windy palce, one does not experience any cold winds here.
There are lions in the forests here. In these thick forests there
are other wild lives too. It is a treasure of various medicinal herbs.
It is now quite easy to reach BhimaShankar. Direct and easy roadways
are laid that take the pilgrims right up to the shrine. Reaching here
from Kokanpradesh is a little difficult because of the mountain terrain.
Many years ago, Shakini and Dakini used to live in these forests.
The settlements were far and few in between. But on the festival of
Shivaratri, there is a huge gathering of crowds, which brightens up the
entire area. The devotees reach here in time and take a Darshan of Lord
BhimaShankar. A lot of improvements made here. There is a Government
guest-house also. It is said that the lions from these forests come to
the shrine every night to get a Darshan of the Lord. Here are some of
the stories attached to the JyotirLinga here.
Purana of Bhimashankar Temple
In the ancient times demons by the name Tripurasura become drunk with
power. They harassed every resident of Swarg (Heavens), Narak (Hell)
and Patal (Nether world). The divines were very scared. Then Lord
Mahadev Himself came to destroy Tripurasur. Lord Shankar assumed
colossal proportions. Tripurasur feared when they saw this Rudravatar.
The fight went on. In the end, Lord Shiva killed the wicked demon and
set the there worlds, Tribhuvan, free. Lord Shankar in the form of a
huge hunk (Virat) was very tired. In order to get some rest, He settled
here on the high area of the Sahyadri mountains sweat started pouring
down from His huge body in thousands of streams. It all joined together
and collected in a pond or Kund. The river that started from there is
known as Bhima, which can be seen even today. Devotees then prayed to
Bhimakaya Rudra thus: "In order to save the good people, reside here
forever”. Bholenath listened to the devotees and stayed there as a
There was once a demon called Bhima, whose parents were
Kumbhakarna and Karkati. Demon Bhima was harassing and torturing one and
all. He was hell bent in the path of destruction of Dharma. Once he
asked his mother about the details of his father. His mother told him
that his father Kumbhakaran is the younger brother of Ravana, the king
of Lanka, who was slain by Sri Ramchandra.
"I am yet to see Lanka; I met your father on some mountains near
by, and after you were born, I continued to stay here itself. After my
husband was killed, only my parental place became a refuge of sorts for
me. My parents are Pushkasi and Karkat. When they went to eat up Agastya
the saint, he burned them to ashes with the power of his meditation and
When he heard the story, he was at once eager to take revenge
against all the divines along with Hari. He began a severe penance or
Tapas, and a pleased Brahma granted him the bon of becoming a very
strong man. With this new strength, he captured all the divines
including Vishnu and Indra. They were in his control. After this he won a
victory over the great Shiva devotee Kamarupeshwar. Kamarupeshwar did
not stop his worship of Shiva even when in prison. He performed the Puja
with the same devotion, observing all the procedures his wife also
joined him in this.
On the other hand, Brahma and Vishnu along with all the other
divines started praying Shankara and of asking for deliverance from the
wicked Demon King. Shiva assured the divines and sent them home after
Bheema learnt from someone that Kamarupeshwar was making
preparations to kill him. On hearing about this, he went straight to the
prison and started inquiring into the process and aim of his worship.
When he learnt the truth from the king, the wicked Demon called Lord
Shiva names and insulted Him and ordered the king to worship Bheema
himself instead. When Kamarupeshwar resisted, Bhemma attached the Linga
with his sword. Before he could strike, Shiva appeared there. A severe
fight ensued in which bows, arrows, swords, axe, the disc and trident
etc. were used. In the end, at the request of Narada , Lord Shankar blew
a fire and burned the wicked Demon Bheema to ashes. Thus the Devas were
released from their sorrows. After this, the divines who were present
there, and the saints together pleaded with Lord Shankara to remain
there. In view of the welfare of the world, Shiva decided to stay there
in the incarnation of Bheema Shankar JyotirLinga.
Self-emanating Mahadev, in the shape of a chariot, the mountains
have become the abode of BheemaShankara. It is also known as Rathachala.
One Bhatirao Lakadhara (wood-cutter) used to live here. Once he was
cutting some wood. Just as he struck the tree with his axe, blood
started to flow from the earth. Bhatirao got scared and ran away. Soon, a
crowd had gathered there. Someone brought a milk cow and made it stand
there. The milk that came from the cow’s udders stopped the bleeding of
the earth. Surprising everyone, a glowing JyotirLinga of Shankara,
emanated from the earth. People built a temple there and installed the
JyotirLinga in the temple. This temple eventually came to be known as
Bhima Shankara temple.