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Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple information
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Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple

Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba Baidyanath dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India. It is a temple complex consisting of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath, where the Jyotirlinga is installed, and 21 other temples. According to Hindu beliefs, the demon king Ravana worshipped Shiva at the current site of the temple to get the boons that he later used to wreak havoc in the world. Ravana offered his ten heads one after another to Shiva as a sacrifice. Pleased with this, Shiva descended to cure Ravana who was injured. As he acted as a doctor, he is referred to as Vaidhya ("doctor"). From this aspect of Shiva, the temple derives its name. Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva, known as Kānvarias or "Bhole", to Hindu pilgrimage places of Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of Ganges River. Millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in Baidyanath Temple in Jharkhand. Baidyanatham Chithabhoomau and Sivmahapuran Satarudra Samhita is the ancient verse that identifies location of Vaidyanth Jyotirlinga. According to which Baidyantham is in 'Chidabhoomi', which is the ancient name of Deoghar. In Dwadasa jyothirlinga sthothram, Adi Sankaracharya has praised Vaidyanath jyothirlinga in following verses: "Poorvothare prajwalika nidhane sada vasantham girija sametham surasuraradhitha padapadmam srivaidyanatham thamaham namami " This states that Vaidyanath jyotirlinga is located at Prajwalika nidhanam (meaning funeral place i.e., chithabhoomi) in the North-Eastern part of the country. Deoghar is far located in east compared to Parli which is in west-central part of the country. Also Chidabhoomi indicates that, in olden days, this was a funeral place, where corpses are burnt and post-death ceremonies were performed. This place could have been a center of tantric cults like Kapalika/Bhairava where Lord Shiva is worshipped significantly as smasan vasin (meaning, residing in crematorium), sava bhasma bhushita (meaning, smearing body with ashes of burnt bodies). While, the Dvadasalinga Smaranam has variation by which, verse is Paralyam Vaidyanatham, i.e., Vaidyanatham is in Parli, Maharashtra. The names and the locations of the 12 Jyotirlingas mentioned are: Saurashtre Somanathamcha Srisaile Mallikarjunam| Ujjayinya Mahakalam Omkaramamaleswaram || Paralyam Vaidyanathancha Dakinyam Bheema Shankaram | Setu Bandhethu Ramesam, Nagesam Darukavane|| Varanasyantu Vishwesam Tryambakam Gautameethate| Himalayetu Kedaaram, Ghrishnesamcha shivaalaye|| Etani jyotirlingani, Saayam Praatah Patennarah| Sapta Janma Kritam pApam, Smaranena Vinashyati|| Thus the three temples claiming their shrines as 'real' jyotirlinga of Vaidyanath are Baidyanath temple at Deoghar, Jharkhand, Vaijnath temple at Parli, Maharashtra and Baijnath temple at Baijnath, Jharkhand.[citation needed] Bhavishyapurana also describes Baidyanath as follows: "Narikhande is district abounding in thickets. It lies west of the Dwarikashwari River. It extends along the Panchakuta hills on its west, and approaches Kikta on the north. The forests are very extensive, chiefly of Sakhota, Arjuna and Sal trees with a plentiful addition of brushwood. The district is celebrated for the shrine of Baidyanath. The deity is worshiped by people from all quarters, and is the source of every good in the present age." It is believed that, Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga. The same shrine of Vaidyanath is considered as one of 51 Shakti Peethas, where 'heart' of Sati (goddess) fell, after being broken apart by the Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu, from the body of Dakshayani (Sati), carried by the lovelorn, distraught Shiva, at the location on which the respective temple is built. Since the heart of Sati fell here, the place is also called as Hardapeetha. Here Sati is worshipped as Jai Durga (Victorious Durga) and Lord Bhairav as Vaidyanath or Baidyanath. Dakshayani was reborn as Parvati, daughter of Himavat, king of the mountains, and his wife, the Devi Mena.

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