saurAShTradeshe vishade.atiramye jyotirmayaM chandrakalAvataMsam |
bhaktipradAnAya kripavatIrnam taM somanAtham sharaNaM prapadye ||
"Jay Somanath! Jay Somanath”!
Somnath temple, the first in the twelve jyothirlingas, is located at the Viraval port - Prabhas Pattan in Saurashtra - Gujarat.
Anceint Glory of Somnath Temple
Known as prabhAsa kshetra, Somnath occupied a much esteemed place in the Hindu holy places. It finds many references in the purANas & itihAsas.
The inner temple of the Garbhashay was supported to be aglow with
the luster of these gemstones. The Nanda Deep was always kept lighted
with Kannauji attar. The treasure of the temple was forever full of vast
wealth and was kept safe.
For worship of the Lord-and Abhishek (worship with holy water)
sandalwood scented water was brought from Haridwar, Prayag Kashi every
day. However flowers for special festivities were imported from Kashmir.
For the routine daily worship, one thousand Brahmins were appointed.
About three hundred and fifty dancing girls were appointed for the
regular music and dance concerts that took place in the Temple courts.
This religious place of worship was earning the produce of ten
thousand villages. Among the twelve JyotirLingas (Lingas of light)
Somanath is considered as the primary one. Because this deity is
supposed to be Swayanbhu (self-born) and is always awake, lakhs of
devotees visited this temple and considered themselves blessed and to
have achieved piety. Offerings made by crores of devotees amounted to
crores of rupees which kept the Somnath Temple always rich and abundant.
Along with this, the Sun worshipping foreigners (probably Parsis) also
contributed a pat of their profits to the temple treasury which kept its
coffers full, all the time.
sthala purana of Lord Somnath temple
Chandra, (moon) was the first one to receive the benefic boon of Shri
Somanath of Saurashtra, the Shiva pilgrimage, Agni Teerth and Surya
Teerth. Then Chandra built a beautiful golden temple and put a glorious
JyotirLinga in it, the first of its kind in India.
According to Prabhaskhand of Skanda Purana, the legend goes like this:
Chandra married the twenty seven daughters (stars) of Daksha,
but was very partial and showed lot more love and affection to rohini.
The remaining twenty six wives not only felt neglected but also
insulted. They were disappointed with their husband and went and
complained to their father. Daksha was upset to see his daughters suffer
thus, and tried twice to convince his son-in-law to change himself, but
in vain. He put a curse on him that Chandra would be "decreasing” in
The Devas (Celestial gods) were very sad at Chandra’s plight and
went to Brahma. The Creator, in order to find out a remedy for this
condition of Chandra and get a solution for redressing the curse. Brahma
told them that the only way out was to worship Vrishabhdhwaj Shankar at
Prabhas Kshetra Mahamrityunjay. Chandra went on a penance for six
months and prayed to Lord Shiva, at the end of which Shankara appeared
before him. He gave Chandra the boon that in a month, he would grow for
fifteen days in one half and in the other half he would keep loosing one
Kala (shade) per day and decrease in size. He was pleased with the
Devas and in order to increase the prestige of the place, Lord Shiva
Himself came to be known as Someshwar, meaning famous moon (Soma). The
Devas established a Someshwar Kund there. By taking a holy dip in this
pond or Kund, it is believed that one would obtain release from all the
Chandra or moon is also called Som. That is why this JyotirLinga
has become famous as Somanath. Chandra or moon looks very bright here.
Therefore, this place is also known as "Prabhasapattana”.
Later, Shri Somnath Mandir was built by Ravana fro Rupa in the treda yug and Lord Krishna fro Chandran in . Emperor vikramAditya built the temple in the kali yug.
The Somnath Temple is known as the eternal shrine whose glory and fame are legendary. It is believed that Somraj, the moon god, built the Somnath Temple or the Somnath Pattan out of gold. It was rebuilt by Ravana in silver. Again Lord Krishna,
the incarnation of Lord Vishnu built it in wood. Further in the 10th
century it was rebuilt in stone by King Bhimdev Solanki.