The Mahakaleshwar temple located in Ujjain is the 3rd Jyotirlinga among the 12. Various sacred scriptures have told us about the legend behind this powerful shrine. Devotees from all across the world travel to this temple throughout the year .However the most number of devotees visit this shrine during Kumbh Mela. The priests conduct a very special kind of Arti Puja here which is called the Bhasma Arti. We all know that Shiva adorns ash and loves to wear it on himself. For years the ash used for this Bhasma Arti was collected from the cremation ground every day and was applied on him every morning as a sacred ritual to wake him up. However in last few years the ash used now is made by burning certain specific objects. Now let us understand the origin of this scared shrine
Once in the city of Avanti there lived a Vedic scholar named Vedipriya. The scholar had 4 sons. Vedipriya was a Shivabakht and worshipped the lord with utmost care and love. His sons were also devoted to Shiva and would sit their father to do tapsya daily. With their combined bhakti and devotion the city of Avanti was awash with grace. There also lived a mighty demon king named Dusana who was blessed with invincibility by Lord Brahma. However the demon despised the Vedas and all sacred things. He had conquered a lot of cities with the help of this demon army. When he came to conquer Avanti he heard about the Shivabakht Vedipriya . He was so furious with him that he wanted to kill him and hence rushed to his house to slay him. Vedipriya and his sons were deeply engrossed in worshipping the Lingam and didn’t realize that intruders had entered his home. The moment Dusana was about to behead the brahmana Shiva emerged out of the Lingam and killed Dusana and his entire army. Vedipriya for the love of his Lord asked Shiva to stay there in that Lingam forever. Shiva granted him the same and hence stayed there forever. This is how we got the 3rd Jyotirlinga. There is one more fascinating story about the Mahakaala which I will share in my next post. Keep reading and sharing!!
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