Lord Shiva is one of the most popular worshipped Gods in Hindu Religion the Jyotirlinga of Bhagwan Shankar havegreat aura and presence. Out of these 12 Jyotirlinga in India – 5(4) are in Maharashtra, 1(2) in Gujarat, 1 in TamilNadu, 1 in Uttaranchal , 1 in Uttar Pradesh, 1 in Andhra Pradesh and 2 in Madhya Pradesh. There is controversy about Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. Some believe that it is situated near Dwaraka in Gujarat while others believe that it is inMaharashtra. The twelve temples attract millions of Hindu devotees and the most important common festival observedin these temples is the Maha Shivaratri.
JYOTIRLINGAM means ‘the linga of light’ or the source of light.The Shiva-lingamis in the symbolic form of a stone tinctured with a cycle of light.There are numerous legends associated with the originof Jyotirlinga. It is believed that Lord Shiva for the first time appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga. The Jyotirlinga is an attempt by humans to give a form to the formless source of supreme energy.
SOMNATH is situated at Somnath Patan (the south coast of Saurashtra), near Veraval in (Prabhas Kshetra) Junagadhdistrict in Gujarat. Somnath is considered to be the first of the Dwaadash Jyotirlingas of Shiva and is a revered pilgrimage center in India.
LEGEND OF SOMNATH TEMPLE
Skanda Purana, in a chapter on Prabhasa Khanda, describes the emergence of this Jyotirlinga. Legend goes that themoon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. Amongst all his wives, he had special love towards Rohiniand neglected the others. Seeing the negligence of Chandra towards his other wives Prajapati Daksha cursed Chandrathat he would lose his beauty and radiance. But because of a moon devoid of radiance and beauty the entire worldbecame lifeless. A disturbed Chandra, came down to Prabhasa with Rohini and worshipped the Sparsa Linga ofSomnath after which he was blessed by Shiva to grow and shine in the bright half. As the moon regained his light here,this town came to be known as Prabhasa. Brahma, one of the trinity, installed the Brahmashila, and paved way for theconstruction of the temple. On the request of the Chandrama and other gods Bhagwan Shankar assumed the nameSomchandra (Jyotirlinga) and resided there eternally. He became famous by the name Somnath in the three worlds.Since, it was the Prabhas Kshetra where Bhagwan Shri Krishna performed all his Lilas. In this temple there is a smallcave in which a lamp burns continuously. The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva.