avantikayam vihitAvatAraM muktipradanaya cha sajjananam |
akalamrityoh pariraxanartham vande mahakalamahasuresham ||
On the banks of river Kshipra, the city of Ujjain exists in Madhya
Pradesh. It is also known as Indrapuri Amaravati, and Avantika. Because
of the number of golden towers of several temples, this town is also
known as "Swarna Sringa.”
One of the seven cities of deliverance or salvation, Avantika
Nagar has 7 Sagar Teerthas,
28 teerthas, 84 SiddhaLingas, 25-30 SivaLingas, Ashtabhairav, Ekadasa
Rudrasthana, temples for hundreds of deities, Jalakund and monuments are
Sthala purana of Ujjain Mahakaleshwar jyotirling
Once there lived a Brahman who had four sons, who were all devotees
of Siva. The wicked demon king Dushan came to Avantika after attaining a
boon from Lord Branhma and started torturing the erudite Brahmanas of
Avantika. But the Brahmanas who were very engrossed in their worship of
Shiva did not even flinch.
The demon king sent all four of his henchmen with the orders that
they have to ensure that no Vedic Dharmanushtan activities are to take
place. The harassed people came running to the Brahmans seeking help.
The Brahmanas assured the people and pacified them. They immediately
started praying to Lord Shiva. Meanwhile, just as the Demon king tried
to attack the Brahmanas, the earth would split open near the Parthiv
Murty with a loud noise and huge crater would form there. In this
manner, Siva assumed the colossal form of Mahakal and appeared. He
ordered the wicked Demon from going anywhere near the Brahmanas. But the
wicked Demon king did not pay heed. As a result, Siva burnt him to
ashes with just one grunt. Seeing Lord Siva in this Avatar, Brahma,
Vishnu and Indra and other Devas came down and prayed to the Lord and
The grandeur of Mahakaleswar is indescribable. Chandrasena, the
king of Ujjain was not only a scholar, but also a staunch devotee of
Lord Siva. Once his friend Maheswari’s follower Manibahdra gave him a
beautiful gemstone called Sundara Chintamani. It shone so bright and
beautiful when Chandrasen wore it on his neck, that he looked even more
glorious than the celestial gods. It would make even them feel jealous.
Once, some kings went and asked Chandrasen to part with the jewel and
Chandrasen promptly refused to do so. This angered the kings, who in
turn attacked Chandrasena’s kingdom. When Chandrasena realized that he
was surrounded by the enemy he sought the help of Mahakal. Bhagawan
Shiva was pleased with his prayers and showed him a solution for his
problem. Just then, by chance, a Brahman woman wandered near Mahakal,
carrying her child with her, and suddenly became a widow. An illiterate
boy once saw the king performing Puja in the stone and installed it in
his empty house. He imagined it to be an incarnation of Shiva and
started worshipping it. The boy became so engrossed in prayer and
chanting, that he even forgot all about food. When his mother went to
call him, any number of calls had no affect on him. He was silently
praying. Angered by this, the mother who was still bound by worldly
love, threw away the SivaLinga. She destroyed all the thing of worship.
The boy was very sad at what his mother had done. He started to pray to
Shiva with his entire concentration. Siva was not long in coming to the
rescue of his devotee. This stone SivaLinga which was brought by the son
of a cowherd soon became adorned with gemstones and turned into a
JyotirLinga. After singing in praise of Lord Siva, when the boy returned
to his house, he was amazed to find a beautiful palatial home instead.
Thus, with the Grace and Blessings of Lord Siva, the boy became rich and
led a very happy life.
In the mean time, the enemy kings who attached ceased
Chandrasena’s empire, began to fight among themselves. They began to say
king Chandrasena is a Siva devotee and ujjain itself is the city of
Mahakal. It is therefore, impossible to anyone to win it. They then
decided to extend a hand of friendship to king Chandrasena and together
they all worshipped Mahakal.
At that time, the Vanara King Hanuman appeared there. He told the
kings that only Siva could grant salvation to mankind and nobody else.
Siva can be pleased with worship done even without chanting any mantras.
The example of the son of cowherd is for us. Then Hanuman looked at
Chandrasena with eyes filled with affection and benevolence and
Historic glory of Ujjain
The Adyapeetha i.e., is the foundation of Sanskrit learning, ethics,
knowledge or science and art had their initiation at this place. It is
indeed the Triveni Sangam or learning of the three great things. The
greatness of Ujjain city was enhanced by the Maurya kings as well as
other dynasties. The great emperor Vikramaditya who began new era by
starting a new way of counting the years, made Ujjain his capital.
It is here that Raja Bhartrihari wrote his great epics (love
stories) Virat Katha, neeti Sataka, the love story of Pradyot Princess
Vasavadatta and Udayan. The beauty of this city found a pride of place
in the descriptions of a great many poets and writers who song its
praise. At the auspicious time at dawn, the women of this town sprinkled
vermillion water in their courtyards and decorated them with Rangoli
In the Mahakal Shiv temple located in Ujjain on the banks of
River Kshipra, at 4 AM puja is performed. After Abhishek, Chitabhasm
(Ash of cemetery) is applied all over Mahakal.
According to classics, Chitabhasm (human ash) is considered as
unholy and inauspicious. If any one even touches it by mistake, one is
required to bathe in order to be purified. But this very ash becomes
holy, by merely touching the body of Mahakal, because Siva is Nishkam or
lust-less. He is not touched by material desires. That is why Shiva is
Mangalmay or auspicious.
The greatness of Shiva is described in this Sloka, thus:
"shmashaneshhvakrida smarahara pishachah sahacharaah
chitAbhasmalepah sragapi nR^ikaroti parikarah |
amaN^galyam shIlam tava bhavatu nAmaivamakhilam
tathApi smartR^Inam varada paramaM maN^galamasi || ”.
Thus Shiva is auspicious and beautiful. Avanti Nagar is Shiva’s
favorite town. Those who visit the Mahakal temple and take a darshan,
will never be touched by sorrows even in their dreams. Those who pray
for whatever they desire to the Mahakal JyotirLinga would be granted all
his/her wishes. They would attain salvation.