|Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling Main Temple. Wikimapia|
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain, a prominent Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one among the twelve Jyotirlinga sthalas - abodes where Lord appeared as a pillar of Jyoti - fire to prove his supremacy over Lords Brahma and Vishnu and subdue their ego. The 12 Jyotirlinga temples are considered to be the holy abode of Lord Shiva. It is located on one side of the Rudra sagar lake in the ancient city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. The presiding deity, Lord Shiva in the form of lingam and is believed to be Swayambhu (self-manifested), that was consecrated with chanting of certain mantra as per temple Agama Sastras.
The temple of Mahakaleshwar of great antiquity with massive front part and imposing tower dominates the skyline of Ujjain city. The sight is awe-inspiring and is part of the city life and its people Here the lord reigns eternally guarding the city and its people . The temple has five levels, one being below the ground and is surrounded by massive walls with a wide open court yard. This historical temple is located on the banks of the river Kshipra. As part of the puja protocol, after abiskekam, Chitabhasm (ash) is
|Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling. Ujjain The Divine India|
|Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling. Ujjain. Creative Darshan|
Tiru Oonjai Maakalam (oonjai means Ujjaini in Tamil) suggests that this temple is pretty old. The temple normally is open from 4 am to 11 pm and Maha Shivaratri is a major festival celebrated on a grand scale here. A huge fair or mela is held on that day here.
|Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling. Ujjain. Amritsar Temples|
Here at Ujjain lots of people visit this holy shrine to get his blessings because Siva is Nishkam or lust-less and has no material desires. But he lavished wealth on his devotees if they have trust in him and do their duty with dedication, without falling prey to wicked ways to get material happiness.
The shrine here is considered as one of the 18 Sakthi peethas that are endowed with sakthi (mystic power) as a part of Sati Devi fell on these places when Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of Sati Devi. The upper lip of Sati Devi is believed to have fallen here and the sakthi called Mahakali.
|Mahakaleshwar Jyothirlinga Temple, Ujjain.en.wikipedia. org|
|Shiva carrying the corpse of Sati Devi, en.wikipedia.org|
According to Sthala purana (legend)of Ujjain in Avantika there lived a Brahman with four sons, who were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva. who were all devotees of Siva. An obnoxious, wicked demon king by the name of Dushan, who after getting boon from Brahma, tortured and terrorized the people living there. The scholarly Brahmins stoically underwent untold miseries and pain , but never had they failed to worship Shiva and the nithya pujas conducted despite impediments. Their bhakthi / devotion was more intense than ever before. The demon ruler and his henchmen saw to it that there were no Vedic and Dharmic activities taking place in that area. The Brahmins never stopped their prayer to Lord Shiva. Enraged Dushan, now physically attacked the Brahmins and prevented them to conduct prayers and Pujas. As his acts of violence and nefarious activities transgressed the limits of endurance, the Brahmins prayed to Lord Shiva.
When the demon and his associates were on a rampage, the earth split open near the Parthiv Murty with a thunderous noise and a crater was formed. Out came through the crater a gigantic form of Mahakal in all his glory. No sooner had Shiva assumed the form of a Mahakala - mammoth size than he reduced the demon and his associates into ashes in a jiff.
Since then, the very name Ujjain has become embodiment of Mahakala and in those days Ujjain was the seat of Mahakal and the rulers were fervent Shiva devotees.
According to another legend the ruler of of Ujjain Chandrasen a staunch devotee of Lord Siva. had a beautiful precious stone called Sundara Chintamani which he wore on his necklace. It was given to him as a gift by his friend Manibahdra a follower of Maheswari. It was so irresistible and engaging, some kings wanted Chandrasena to give the gemstone to them. Upon his refusal, his rivals king Ripudamana and king Singhaditya of the neighboring kingdoms turned against him and attacked the kingdom. His intense prayer to the lord never failed and the lord destroyed the enemies, by assuming the form of Mahakala.
Once a Brahman widow with a son was wandering near Mahakal. the king Chandrasena, on the advice of Lord Shiva, was performing Puja to the stone installed in his empty house. He imagined it to be an incarnation of Shiva and started worshiping it. The boy, for un-known reason, attracted by the beauty of the stone assumed it to be a form of Shiva and began to meditate. One day his mother threw away the Shiva linga as the boy had spent most of his time with it chanting all the time, forgetting house-hold chores, sleep, food, etc. The boy was grief-stricken. He started to pray to Shiva with intense concentration. This stone Sivalinga which the boy had been worshiping, became a precious stone and ultimately turned into a Jyotirlinga. Not only was the boy surprised to see a resplendent Jyotirlinga, but also a big beautiful palace. Thus, with God's grace the boy became rich and led a very happy life.
The above legends tell us how the God rescued his devotees when they were in serious trouble and how he was compassionate to those who had trust in him.