Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple

About The Temple

An Overview Of the Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple Deoghar

The Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple is located in Deoghar district in Santhal Pargana of the Indian state of Jharkhand. The temple dates to ancient historical days and hence, the exact time of construction and information of the maker is unknown. However, according to a legend, the Jyotirlinga was accidentally placed by the demon king Ravana. So, Vishwakarma, the architect of Hindu Gods built the temple.

A place of religious value

Vaidyanath temple is of immense religious significance to the Hindus. The temple is one the 12 jyotirlinga of lord shiva, the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Sree Vaidyanath, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, who is the most powerful entity among the Hindu Gods. The temple has even more significance to the Shaivites, the sect in Hinduism who are ardent followers of Lord Shiva. According to Hinduism, the Jyotirlinga is the supreme eternal ray of light from which Lord Shiva appears. There is a belief in Hinduism that Lord Shiva manifested himself as the Jyotirlinga in this temple.

The presiding deity

Lord Vaidyanath is the presiding deity of this sacred temple. The presiding deity if worshipped in the form of a Shiva Lingam, which represents a phallus. The Lingam is considered as the symbol of energy and revered as Lord Shiva. The Shiva Lingam represents the Brahmanda, according to traditional Hindu religious theory. The deity Lord Vaidyanath is worshipped as the God of doctors. As the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word Vaidyanath suggests, Vaidya means doctor and nath means God. The temple faces the east.

The worshipped form

There is no idol of Lord Vaidyanath in the temple. The presiding deity is revered in the form of a Shiva Lingam. The Lingam is slightly broken on the top. The Lingam is seen placed on top of a block of circular stone, which represents the Yoni. The Yoni is the symbol of the Divine Mother Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Worship is offered to the union of the Lingam and Yoni. This union signifies the eternal source of creative and regenerative energy.

Other holy shrines

Besides the main temple of Lord Vaidyanath, there are twenty-two other minor temples present in the complex of the temple. Most of the other shrines in the temple premises are dedicated to the different incarnations of Lord Shiva. There are smaller temples that are devoted to several significant Gods and Goddesses significant to the Hindu religion.

Rituals of worship

The presiding deity, Lord Vaidyanath is revered in the form of a Shiva Lingam. The Lingam is bathed with water, milk and honey every day. A metal pot containing water can be seen hanging right over the top of the Lingam that continuously drips water on the Shiva Lingam. This phenomenon is done because, according to religious myths, Lord Shiva is fond of water. Moreover, white flowers are offered in reverence to Lord Vaidyanath. Priests at the temple start offering obeisance to the presiding deity even before sunrise. In the course of the day, many other religious rituals are held. Tantric worship of Lord Bhairav, an incarnation of Lord Shiva is also held.

Festivals and ceremonies

Apart from the daily worship of Lord Vaidyanath, there are several religious ceremonies and festivals are also held in the temple of vaidyanath jyotirlinga. Among the events, the most significant are Mahashivaratri and Shravan Mela.

Mahashivaratri is an annual festival held in the month of Magha, which is the tenth month of the Hindu calendar. This festival is one of the most important religious festivities among the Hindus, especially the Shaivites. The celebration of Mahashivaratri is marked by elaborate religious ceremonies. Devotees from every part of India come to the Deoghar Vaidyanath temple to worship the deity. Whole day fasting and all-night vigil are held by the devotees as a token of obeisance to Lord Shiva.

Shravan Mela is another significant religious event. It is marked by pouring of water from the holy river Ganges on the Shiva Lingam. Devotees bring water from the river Ganges in pots called Kanwars. They carry the Kanwars on their shoulders and make a journey on foot from the banks of the river to the Vaidyanath temple. The devotees are known as the kanwariyas. The penance is an obeisance paid to Lord Shiva.

An important place for pilgrims

The holy shrine of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga in Deoghar is one of the most frequented pilgrimage sites in India. It is eminently popular among the Shaivites, who can consider Lord Shiva as the supreme being of the universe. The huge rush of devotees to this pilgrimage during Mahashivaratri and the month of Shravan are worth a site better experienced than heard.

How To Reach

Reaching the holy shrine of this shiva jyotirlinga is no uphill task. There are numerous modes of transport available to reach the temple of Lord Vaidyanath in Deoghar.

  • The nearest airport is Patna that is located at a distance of 260 kilometers from Deoghar Vaidyanath Temple. You can also reach Deoghar from Kolkata and ranchi. Kolkata has an international airport located at a distance of 330 kilometers from the Vaidyanath Temple. Ranchi airport lies at a distance of about 282 kilometers from the temple.
  • Deoghar is well-connected to the rest of the country by adequate railway network. The nearest railway station is the Baidyanath Dham, which is a terminal railway station at a distance of 15 kilometers from Jasidih Rail Junction. It is very easy to reach Deoghar by train from Howrah, Patna and Ranchi. You can easily reach Jasidih Rail Junction as many trains stop by at this station.
  • You can also avail road transport to reach Baidyanath Dham. A Large number of state-run and private buses are available to reach Deoghar Vaidyanath Temple. You can reach Deoghar from almost every part of Jharkhand, Bihar and many important cities of West Bengal. Private taxi services are also available for local sightseeing.

 

Nearby Attractions

There are several other temples, shrines, and other places of tourist attraction located near the vaidyanath jyotirlinga temple.

  • Naulakha Temple is a very revered temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. It is located at a distance of 8 kilometers on the outskirts of Deoghar town. The temple has a remarkable architectural appeal. Rani Charushila, the Queen of Pathuriaghat built this temple as an obeisance to the penances offered by Balanand Brahmachari to Lord Krishna.
  • Tapovan is also an important religious destination. It lies at a distance of 9 kilometers to the east of Deoghar town. This place has many caves, where the sages and seers meditated.
  • Located at a distance of 13 kilometers from Deoghar, lies the Trikuti Hill. The name of Trikuti Hill signifies the three peaks or the Trident of Lord Shiva. There is a temple of Lord Shiva, which is known as the Trikutachal Mahadeva Temple.
  • Another place of religious importance is the Satsang Ashram. This is a holy place for the followers of Shri Shri Thakur Anukulachandra, who a proponent of Arya Dharma. The ashram also houses the Sarva Dharma Mandir.
  • Pagla Baba Temple is also a very revered religious site that is situated 9 kilometers from Deoghar. This is the ashram of Saint Leelanand Chakravarty, who was known as Pagla Baba.
  • Nava Durga Temple is only 2.5 kilometers away from Deoghar. This temple has paintings showing the Goddess Durga in her nine different incarnations.
  • Harila Joria is a Shiva Temple situated at a distance of 5 kilometers to the north of Deoghar. The Shiva Linga in this temple is called Haritakinath.
  • Ramakrishna Mission is a center of spiritual significance. The followers of Sri Ramakrishna Pramhansadeva and Swami Vivekananda frequently visit this place.
  • The internationally acclaimed ashram of Yogacharya Shivanand is situated at about 9 kilometers north of Deoghar. This place is called Rikhia Dham.

History Of Temple

There are several mythological tales and legends associated with establishment of the jyotirlinga temples. According to the Shiva Purana, the demon king of Lanka Ravana appeased Lord Shiva by performing severe penances. Lord Shiva granted Ravana a boon, to which the demon king wanted Lord Shiva to come to Lanka and make his kingdom invincible. Lord Shiva declined the request and told Ravana to bring along one of the twelve Jyotirlinga, which was an emblem of Lord Shiva’s divinity. However, Lord Shiva kept two conditions that the Lingam should not touch the surface of the earth and there should be no breaks in the journey from Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva to Ravana’s kingdom Lanka. However, Ravana was unable to carry the Lingam and placed it on the ground. But, he could not lift it up. So, he started worshipping the Lingam in the same place. Thus, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas was established.

According to another legend, Ravana kept the Lingam on the earth to relieve himself. But, when he came back to resume his journey and tried to lift the Lingam, he was unable to even move the Jyotirlinga from that spot. He applied the whole strength of his body and damaged the Lingam. He had pushed the Lingam with his thumb, and a fragment from the bottom of the Jyotirlinga broke away. Now, Ravana was filled with remorse, and he started to sever his ten heads as penitence to Lord Shiva. Since, Ravana was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva; he took pity on the demon king and healed his wounds. Hence, Lord Shiva came to be known as Lord Vaidyanath, the lords of healers.