ilapure ramyavishalake.asmin samullasantam cha jagadvarenyam |
vande mahodaratarasvabhavam ghR^ishneshvarakhyam sharanam prapadye ||
Grishneshwar jyotirlinga location
"Blessed by VerulNagar, there is no other place like it on this
earth, where Lord Grishneswara resides, the best palce on this earth.” –
On this holy pilgrimage of the JyotirLingas of Lord Shankara, the
last one, with out which the pilgrimage will not be considered as
complete, is the twelfth JyotirLinga, of Grishneshwar.
About 30 km towards the west side of Aurangabad, there is a
village called Verul. In this village there is a place of pilgrimage
called Shivalay, when the great Holy Trilinga of Ghrishneshwar is
located. The stories associated with Verul, Shivalay and Ghrishneswar
are like this:
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.
Sthala purana of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga
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.
There is a story about Shivalay also:
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
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.
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).
On the southern mountain called Deva Parvata, a great scholar
Brahmin Sudhama of Bharadwaja gotra, used to live with his beautiful,
devout wife called Sudeha. They had no children. They were very unhappy
because of this. They were harassed and tortured by the sly remarks of
their neighbours. But Sudhama, an intelligent person, did not care about
these. One day, Sudeha threatened to commit suicide and sister Dushma,
married her husband. Both of them promised that there would be no
jealousy between them.
After sometime, Dushma gave birth to a son. And eventually even
that son married. Both Sudhama and Dushma, were nice to Sudeha. But
jealousy did get the better of Sudeha. Once she picked up Dushma’s son
who was sleeping by her side and killed him. She threw the body into the
lake near by.
In the morning there was a big hue and cry. Dushma’s grief knew
no bounds. Even then, she went to the river to do her routine worship.
She made her usual hundred Lingas and began worship she saw her son
standing near the lake. Shiva was pleased with her worship and revealed
the truth about Sudhas forgiveness of Sudha’s sin. She indeed requested
Shiva to remain there itself for the welfare of the humanity.
Shiva acceded to her request and remained there with the name of Dhushamesha.
History of the Grishneshvar Temple
The very devout Shiva devotee, Bhosale (The Patel or chief of Verul)
once found a treasure hidden in the snake pit (ant hill) by the grace of
Lord Grishneshwar. He spent that money to renovate the temple and built
a lake in Shikharshinganapur.
Later on, Goutamibal (Bayajabai) and Ahilyadevi Holkar renovated
the Grishneshwar temple. This 240ft x 185 ft temple is still there
strong and beautiful as ever. Halfway up the temple, Dashavataras are
carved in red stone. These are beautiful to look at. There are also
other beautiful statutes carved out. A court hall is built on 24
pillars. On these pillars there are wonderful carvings. The scenes and
paintings are beautiful. The Garbhagriha measures 17ft x 17 ft. The
Lingamurty faces eastward. There is a gorgeous Nandikeshwara in the