Wednesday, 8 October 2014

MahaKaleswar-Ujjain

Mahakaala of Ujjain is known among the twelve celebrated Jyotirlingas in India. The glory of Mahakaleshwar temple has been vividly described in various puranas. Starting with Kalidasa, many sanskrit poets have eulogised this temple in emotive terms. The tradition of Mahakala in minds of the people is eternal Ujjain used to be centre point of the calculation of the Indian time and Mahaklala was considered as the distinctive presiding deity of Ujjain.It is mentioned in many Hindu epics that, Lord Shiva had killed a demon here named ‘Tripur’.



Maha Kaala litterally means the “Grand Time” or “Lord of Time”. The theory seems plausible as Ujjain has been and still is a seat of astrology and Indian astronomy having a “Nava Graha”, a “Nine Planet” temple and an observatory.



                The Linga in this temple is also called Dakshinamurti as it is the only one that faces South. Out of the twelve Jyotirlinga's, only Mahakal is known as the Lord of earth and death. The Linga in this temple is also known as Swayambhu as it derives powers from within, quite unlike the other Lingas where the powers are manifested by mantras or hymns. The grandeur of Mahakaleswar is indescribable. The decoration of the linga is different in the morning and evening. One should not miss the evening decoration which is made with the clay from the river shipra. In the early morning at 4.30 AM Bhasmarchana is performed.for Maha Kaleswar. For this the ashes from the burial ground of previous night last pyre is used. The ashes are taken in a thin cloth and this archana is performed.One should not miss this and there is a restrictions for ladies to see this archana directly.



SthalaPuran

According to the Puranas, the city of Ujjain was called Avantika and was famous for its beauty and its status as a devotional epicenter. It was also one of the primary cities where students went to study Holy Scriptures. According to legend, there was a ruler of Ujjain called Chandrasena, who was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva and worshiped him all the time. One day, a farmer's boy named Shrikhar was walking on the grounds of the palace and heard the King chant the Lord's name and rushed to the temple to start praying with him. However, the guards removed him by force and sent him to the outskirts of the city near the river Kshipra. Rivals of Ujjain, primarily King Ripudamana and King Singhaditya of the neighboring kingdoms decided to attack the Kingdom and take over its treasures around this time. Hearing this, Shrikhar started to pray and the news spread to a priest named Vridhi. He was shocked to hear this and upon the urgent pleas of his sons, started to pray to Lord Shiva at the river Kshipra. The Kings chose to attack and were successful; with the help of the powerful demon Dushan, who was blessed by Lord Brahma to be invisible, they plundered the city and attacked all the devotees of Lord Shiva.



Upon hearing the pleas of His helpless devotees, Lord Shiva appeared in his Mahakala form and destroyed the enemies of King Chandrasena. Upon the request of his devotees Shrikhar and Vridhi, Lord Shiva agreed to reside in the city and become the chief deity of the Kingdom and take care of it against its enemies and to protect all His devotees. From that day on, Lord Shiva resided in His light form as Mahakala in a Lingam that was formed on its own from the powers of the Lord and His consort, Parvati. The Lord also blessed his devotees and declared that people who worshipped Him in this form would be free from the fear of death and diseases. Also, they would be granted worldly treasures and be under the protection of the Lord himself.



History:

             The existence of temple is difficult to tell. However, it can be defined as the one which belongs to the Pre-historic period. Puranas narrate that it was first established by Prajapita Brahma. There is reference to the appointment of prince Kumarasena by king Chanda Pradyota in 6th c. BC for looking after the law and order situations of Mahakala temple. The punch-marked coins of Ujjain, belonging to 4th-3rd c. BC, bear the figure of Lord Siva on them. Mahakala temple is also mentioned in several ancient Indian poetic texts. According to these texts, the temple had been very magnificent and magnanimous. Its foundation and platform were built of stones. The temple rested on the wooden pillars. There had been no sikharas on the temples prior to the Gupta period. The roofs of temples had mostly been flat. Possibly due to this fact, Kalidasa in Raghuvansam described this temple as ‘Niketana’. The palace of the king had been in the vicinity of the temple. In the early part of the Meghadutam (Purva Megha), Kalidasa gives a fascinating description of the Mahakala temple. It appears that this Chandisvara temple might have been a unique example of the then art and architecture. It may be ascertained that how splendid had been the temple of the main Deity of that town which possessed multi-storeyed gold-plated palaces and buildings and the superb artistic grandeur. The temple was enclosed by high ramparts attached with the entry-gates. At twilight the lively rows of glittering lamps enlightened the temple-complex.



Architecture


                Upper components of the temple rested on the strong and well-designed pillars and pilasters. Such temples, according to the contemporary Silpa-sastras contained the images of various god and goddesses, Nava Grahas (Nine planets), Apsaras (celestial damsels), female dancers, anucharas (attendants), Kichakas etc. The sculptural art of the temple had been very classical and multifarious. Besides the Saivite images of Nataraja, Kalyanasundara, Ravananugraha, Gajantaka, Sadasiva, Andhakasura-slayer, Lakulisa etc., the temples were adorned with the images of Ganesa, Paravati, Brahma, Visnu, Surya (Sun-god), Sapta Matrkas (Seven mother-goddesses) etc. These images had been very proportionate, well-decorated, sculpturally perfect and carved according to classical and Puranic texts.

                 *** OM NAMAH SHIVAYA***

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