The three worlds of the Gods, Demons and Humans are pervaded by Lord Shiva in the form of sacred lingams. However, the main Jyotirlingas on Earth are twelve where Shiva appeared by manifesting himself into a physical form and decided to stay there until eternity to bless the world. Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga in the state of Maharashtra is one of them. This Jyotirlinga is one of the most powerful and sacred places in our country and is known to attract a lot of devotees throughout the year. Let us now hear the beautiful legend behind this place. Long ago there was a couple named Sutharam and Sudeha. They lived in the mountains of Devagiri. The couple longed for children but unfortunately, their wish could not come true. They waited patiently, worshipped all the Gods, but in vain. Finally desperate to have a child at home, Sudeha decided to get her husband married again. Sudeha had a sister named Ghusma. Ghusma was a very pious lady and was a very big devotee of Lord Shiva. Sudeha decided to get her sister married to her husband. After a lot of resistance Sutharam finally agreed and married Ghusma. Ghusma loved Lord Shiva the most and under no circumstances missed worshipping him. Every day as part of the worship ritual she would make hundred and one lingams and then discharge them off in the nearby lake. By the grace of Lord Shiva soon they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. The family was complete and happy now. However, after the birth of this child Sutharam would spend most of his time with Ghusma and the baby boy. This closeness started making Sudeha jealous of her sister. Although she was the one to get them married, the emotion of jealousy and insecurity engulfed her and soon she started despising Ghusma and her son. Ghusma was unaware of her sister’s hatred and continued to love her as a good sister. Soon Sudeha’s anger and jealousy crossed all limits. She wanted to end all this and in a fit of rage, she decided to kill the boy. At midnight when everyone was sleeping she barged into the boy’s room and stabbed him to death. After killing him she dragged his body and threw it in the nearby lake where Ghusma used to discharge the lingams. The next morning everyone came to know of the tragedy that took place. Sutharam was inconsolable. He could never expect his wife could do such a wretched thing. The villagers wanted to punish Sudeha for this crime and hence tied her with a rope. Soon they started making arrangements for the boy’s funeral. Ghusma although grief- stricken with her loss held on to her calmness. Despite the tragedy, she decided to first finish off with her daily worship to Lord Shiva. She was confident that Lord Shiva would help her sail through this hardship. Everyone was amazed looking at her dedication and devotion to the Lord. Lord Shiva pleased with her worship decided to appear in front of her. Lord Shiva immediately got the dead boy back to life. Shiva asked Ghusma how does she want to punish Sudeha for her crime. However, instead of punishing Sudeha, Ghusma asked Lord to forgive her. She knew it was anger and jealousy that made Sudeha do this and hence asked Shiva to kill the emotions of anger and jealousy in her instead of punishing her. She requested Shiva to stay near her forever if he was happy with her devotion. Shiva agreed and manifested himself into a Jyotirlinga. This Jyotirlinga is known as Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga.
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