Somanatha in Saurashtra, Mallikarjuna in Srisailam;
Mahakala in Ujjain, Omkara in Mamaleshvara;
Vaidyanatha in Parali, Bhimashankara in Dakini;
Ramesha in Setubandha, Nagesha in Darukavana;
Kedara in the
He who remembers these Jyotirlingas morning and evening,
Shall wash away the sins of seven births.
Hymn of the Twelve Jyotirlingas
~by Adi Shankaracharya
The twelve Jyotirlingam Shrines of
Let us first consider the number twelve. Twelve represents, esoterically, both space as well as time. Twelve is the number of months in a given solar year (time), and twelve is the number of constellations that divide up the heavens above (space). For the ancients, time measurement was based on the movement of the celestial bodies through the twelve constellations (signs of the zodiac) that divide up the heavens. Movement of the Sun through one constellation was one solar month, and movement through all twelve constellations was a solar year. So, we can see how the number twelve connects both the idea of space and time. Naturally, therefore, there are twelve Jyotirlingams, each associated with a different zodiacal constellation. The enumeration of twelve Jyotirlingams connects Lord Shiva with the idea of space-time, just as we saw in the previous post.
Now, let us consider the geographical positioning of the Jyotirlingams. If we look carefully at a map showing the locations of the twelve Jyotirlingam Shrines, it is fairly easy to see that a majority (7 out of 12) Jyotirlingams are found in west-central
Aum is the imperishable syllable. Aum is the Universe, and this is the exposition of Aum. The past, the present and the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be, is Aum. Likewise all else that may exist beyond the bounds of Time, that too is Aum. (Verse 1, Mandukya Upanishad of the Atharvaveda).
Aum Namah Shivaya.
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