The twelve Jyotirlingas of India ­­– Seats of Silence for the World

A Jyotirlingam (Sanskrit: ज्योतिरिनगम ) is a focal point, or seat, of silence, and represents the great deity Shiva, the embodiment of silence. Jyoti means 'radiance' and lingam the 'mark or sign' of Shiva, or a symbol of the pineal gland; Jyotir Lingam thus means the The Radiant sign of The Almighty. There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India.
It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Ardra Nakshatra. It is assumed that a person who reaches a higher level of spiritual attainment can see these lingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth.
Vedic Literature on Jyotirlingas
According to Śiva Mahāpurāṇa, once Brahma and Vishnu had an argument over their relative supremacy. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either directions. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in Vedic Yagya (ceremonies) while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity.
The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyothirlinga shrines thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. Originally there were believed to be 64 jyothirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyothirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity, each considered a different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.

Locations of the 12 Jyotirlingams

Vedic sloka 

The following sloka (द्वादश ज्योतिर्लिंग स्तोत्रम् Dvādaśa Jyotirliṅga Stotram) describes the 12 Jyotirlingas:

सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथं च श्रीशैले मल्लिकार्जुनम्।Saurāṣṭre Somanāthaṃ ca Śrīśaile MallikārjunamSomanath in Saurashtra and Mallikarjunam in Shri-Shailam;
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालमोङ्कारममलेश्वरम्॥Ujjayinyāṃ Mahākālam Oṅkāram AmaleśvaramMahakaal in Ujjain, Omkareshwar in Amleshwar;
परल्यां वैद्यनाथं च डाकिन्यां भीमशङ्करम्।Paralyāṃ Vaidyanāthaṃ ca Ḍākinyāṃ BhīmaśaṅkaramVaidyanath in Paralya and Bhimashankaram in Dakniya;
सेतुबन्धे तु रामेशं नागेशं दारुकावने॥Setubandhe tu Rāmeśaṃ Nāgeśaṃ DārukāvaneRamesham (Rameshwaram) in Sethubandh, Nagesham (Nageshwar) in Darauka-Vana;
वाराणस्यां तु विश्वेशं त्र्यम्बकं गौतमीतटे।Vārāṇasyāṃ tu Viśveśaṃ Tryambakaṃ GautamītaṭeVishwa-Isham (Vishvanath) in Vanarasi, Triambakam at bank of the river Gautami;
हिमालये तु केदारं घुश्मेशं च शिवालये॥Himālaye tu Kedāraṃ Ghuśmeśaṃ ca ŚivālayeKedar (Kedarnath) in Himalayas and Gushmesh (Gushmeshwar) in Shivalaya (Shiwar).
एतानि ज्योतिर्लिङ्गानि सायं प्रातः पठेन्नरः।etāni jyotirliṅgāni sāyaṃ prātaḥ paṭhennaraḥOne who recites these Jyotirlingas every evening and morning
सप्तजन्मकृतं पापं स्मरणेन विनश्यति॥saptajanmakṛtaṃ pāpaṃ smaraṇena vinaśyatiis relieved of all sins committed in past seven lives.
एतेशां दर्शनादेव पातकं नैव तिष्ठति।eteśāṃ darśanādeva pātakaṃ naiva tiṣṭhatiOne who visits these, gets all his wishes fulfilled
कर्मक्षयो भवेत्तस्य यस्य तुष्टो महेश्वराः॥:karmakṣayo bhavettasya yasya tuṣṭo maheśvarāḥand one's karma gets eliminated as Maheshwara gets satisfied to the worship.

The names and the locations of 12 Jyotirlingas are mentioned in the Shiva Purana (Śatarudra Saṁhitā, Ch.42/2-4). These shrines are:
1SomnathGujaratPrabhas Patan,SaurashtraSomnath is traditionally considered the first pilgrimage site: the Dwadash Jyotirlinga pilgrimage begins with the Somnath Temple. The temple, that was destroyed and re-built sixteen times, is held in reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, tradition, and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan (Somnath - Veraval) in Saurashtra in Gujarat.
2Mallikārjuna SwāmiAndhra PradeshSrisailamMallikārjuna, also called Śrīśaila, is located on a mountain on the river Krishna. Śrīśailaṃ, in Kurnool District in Rayalaseema enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple that is architecturally and sculpturally rich.It is one place where Shakti peetha and Jyotirlingam are together. Adi Shankara composed his Sivananda Lahiri here.
3MahakaleshwarMadhya PradeshUjjainMahakal, Ujjain (or Avanti) in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple. The Lingam at Mahakal is believed to be Swayambhu, the only one of the 12 Jyotirlingams to be so. It is also the only one facing south and also the temple to have a Shree Yantra perched upside down at the ceiling of the Garbhagriha (where the Shiv Lingam sits).It is one place where Shakti peeta and Jyotirlingam are together
4OmkareshwarMadhya PradeshIsland in theNarmada River,OmkareshwarOmkareshwar is in Madhya Pradesh on an island in the Narmada River and home to a Jyotirlinga shrine and the Mamaleshwar temple.
5KedarnathUttarakhandKedarnathKedarnath in Uttarakhand is revered as the northernmost and the closest Jyotirlinga to Lord Shiva's eternal abode of Mount Kailash. It is considered to be 1/2 jyotirlinga along with Pashupatinath in Nepal. Kedarnath forms a part of the smaller Char Dham pilgrimage circuit of Hinduism. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow-clad Himalayas, is an ancient shrine, rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only by foot, and only for six months a year. It is also one of thePadal Petra Stalam of Vada Naadu mentioned in Thevaaram. The other half of Kedarnath is Pashupatinath in Nepal. Shiva assumed the form of wild boar and dived into the earth at Kedarnath to emerge at Pashupatinath. Pure ghee is applied at Kedarnath lingam as the boar was injured.
Bhimashankar is very much debated. There is a Bhimashankara temple near Pune (pictured) in Maharashtra, which was referred to as Daakini country, but Kashipur in Uttarakhand was also referred to as Daakini country in ancient days and a Bhimashkar Temple known as ShreeMoteshwar Mahadev is present there. Another Bhimashankar is in the Sahyadri range ofMaharashtra. The Bhimashankar temple near Guwahati, Assam is the jyotirlinga according to Sivapuran. According to "LINGA PURAN", Bhimasankar temple in Bhimpur near Gunupur of Rayagada district in South Orissa is also believed as Bhimasankar Jyotirlinga, which is situated at the western part of the holy Mahendragiri mountains and at the river bank of Mahendratanaya(which is also believed as the Daakini area by many historian), was excavated in the year 1974, having quadrangular Shakti around the Linga and decorated by a Upavita as per the puran.
7Kashi Vishwanath TempleUttar PradeshVaranasiKashi Vishwanath Temple in VaranasiUttar Pradesh is home to the Vishwanath Jyotirlinga shrine, which is perhaps the most sacred of Hindu shrines. It is also one of the Padal Petra Stalam of Vada Naadu mentioned in Thevaaram. The temple is situated in Varanasi the holiest existing place of Hindus, where at least once in life a Hindu is expected to do pilgrimage, and if possible, also pour the remains of cremated ancestors on the River Ganges. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganges, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is the holiest of all Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishwanath or Vishweshwarameaning Ruler of the universe. The temple town, which claims to be the oldest living city in the world, with 3500 years of documented history, is also called Kashi and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
8Trimbakeshwar Shiva TempleMaharashtraTrimbakeshwar, Near NashikBaijanath Jyotirlinga Temple(also known as Baidyanath Dham)is located in Deoghar, Jharkhand . In the month of Shravana millions of devotee visit the temple. Bholebaba darshan during Shravan month attracts devotees from across India and overseas.Trimbakeshwar Temple, near Nasik in Maharashtra, is a Jyotirlinga shrine associated with the origin of the Godavari River.
9Baidyanath TempleJharkhandDeoghar
It is believed that once Ravan worshipped Shiva for years and requested his god (Shiva) to come to Lanka . Shiva manifested as shivaling and asked Ravan to not to put down anywhere until he takes it to Lanka. Vishnu intercepted Ravana in between and convinced him to keep it for sometime. Since then shiva resides as Vaijanath in Deoghar.
10Nageshvara JyotirlingaGujaratDwarakaNageshvara Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana (Śatarudra Saṁhitā,Ch.42/2-4, referred as "nagesham darukavane"). Nageshvara is believed as the first Jyotirlinga on the earth. There are three major shrines in India which are believed as identical to this Jyotirlinga. Those are the Jageshwar temple near Almora in Uttarakhand state, the Nageshwara temple near Dwaraka in Gujarat state and the Nagnath temple in Aundha in Maharashtra state.
11RameshwarTamil NaduRameswaramRameswaram in Tamil Nadu is home to the vast Ramalingeswarar Jyotirlinga temple and is revered as the southernmost of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of India. It enshrines theRameśvara ("Lord of Rama") pillar. It is also one of the Padal Petra Stalam of Pandya Naadumentioned in Thevaaram.
12GrishneshwarMaharashtraAurangabadGrishneshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana (kotirudra sahinta,Ch.32-33 referred as "Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga"). Grishneshwar is believed as the Last or 12th (twelfth) Jyotirlinga on the earth. This pilgrimage site is located at a village called Verul which lies at a distance of 11 km from Daulatabad and 30 km from Aurangabad. It lies at a close proximity to the Ellora caves.
Some of the other major Shiva temples that are not listed as Jyotirlingas are Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir, India, Pashupatinath in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Maharishi Inaugurates the 48 Brahamanda Saraswati Nagar's, connected to the 12 Jyotirlingas of India

On 9 January 2008, having heard from twenty-seven Rajas that many times the required number of Yogic Flyers have been trained to create perpetual Invincibility for the whole world; and having also heard the news as documented in the world press about the irrevocable transformation in world consciousness— greater harmony, positivity, and progress in all areas of life—His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi expressed the following wish:
What I would like, somewhere, anywhere, is a perpetual memorial for Invincibility. We have the honour of creating this Invincibility for the world, and we want to make a perpetual shrine for the world— A Kriya Shakti—the principle of total dynamism embedded in total silence—Gyan Shakti, Total Knowledge—Veda. a place of pilgrimage in the world. Today, the record shows that the world has been transformed to Invincibility, and we should think of a memorial. I found just now that my work is done. On 12th January we would like to create a memorial for an invincible world.’
Maharishi explained that in these forty-eight Brahmananda Saraswati Nagar to be built in India, Vedic Pundits will maintain coherence in world consciousness through their daily performance of Yagya and Yogic Flying; and he connected this with the establishment of the Towers of Invincibility around the world. Maharishi asked: 
Where should we build them? Where do we want to have them—the Invincible Towers of the world? I want to put to the Rajas that I would like a gift of having achieved the goal. The history of the world will never be the same. See if I deserve that, and where we would like to have such a memorial of the great task that the world will never be the same old suffering world. I wanted a gift. I think I have completed what I have ever done—and I am very sensitive about it. I am making an appeal to the Rajas—do it in the name of Guru Dev. We would want to associate success with Guru Dev and Guru Dev with the twelve Jyotir Linga. Rajas, think for five minutes if you would give me a favour.’
The Rajas resolved to create the most magnificent memorials as a gift to Maharishi. Beautiful suggestions for a suitable memorial came out, ranging from the perpetual shrine in the heart of everyone lit by the Grace of Guru Dev and the realisation of higher consciousness, to the creation of glorious Towers of Invincibility, to the practical implementation of Maharishi’s programmes in every area of life in every country to create Heaven on Earth. Having heard these suggestions, Maharishi said:
When the Rajas are getting ready to give me the favour, I would suggest to make this a Tower of Invincibility—make it a place of knowledge. Jyotish is that knowledge that can really secure all possible invincible structures. Make it a lively place of knowledge. Jyotish should be vibrant there. We should see how many countries we can select—forty-eight—because the Tower of Invincibility is for the world to never come back to that level of suffering. It can only be a place of highly reverberating knowledge—and knowledge of Jyotish is that knowledge that will absolutely secure this for all times.’
Maharishi added that it should not just be a tower to be seen, but a home of Jyotish and Vedic Mathematics—all the twelve fields of knowledge: Education, Health, Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, Defence, Science and Technology, Communication, Religion and Culture, Administration, Law and Order, and Finance and Planning.Now, select the countries, and building will be no problem, Maharishi said. Maharishi explained that the Maharishi Towers of Invincibility will be the representations of the twelve Jyotir Lingas in India, which express the full value of Shiva, pure Cosmic Intelligence, the Constitution of the Universe, the point where the Grace of Guru Dev is most lively to bless all mankind. These will also be where people practice their Yogic Flying for national Invincibility in each country. 
It will be a place,’ Maharishi said, that will not allow world consciousness to be deviated any more in any sense and Jyotish is that point. Have it as a university—a place of learning.

Locations of the 48 Brahmananda Saraswati Nagars throughout India

The 48 Vedic Pandit villages are named Brahmananda Saraswati Nagars in honor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s spiritual master, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, former Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math.
The sites of the Brahmananda Saraswati Nagars center around 12 locations long regarded in India as seats of silence, known as Jyotir Lingas. Each of these 12 locations has four Brahmananda Saraswati Nagars associated with it—one at the Jyotir Linga itself, and three others in three, usually nearby, cities.
Each Brahmananda Saraswati Nagar in turn takes responsibility for four countries in the world. In this way, all 192 countries in the world will be taken care of by the Vedic Pandits through their performances for peace and prosperity.

Following is the list of the 12 Jyotir Lingas, 48 Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars, and 192 countries: 

I. Jyotir Linga of Somnath

(Gujarat, Assam, Tripura) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Somnath, Gujarat. Associated countries: Italy, Libya, San Marino, Malta 
2. Guwahati, Assam. Countries: Spain, Andorra, Morocco, Mauritania 
3. Dibrugargh, Assam. Countries: France, Monaco, Algeria, Tunisia 
4. Agartala, Tripura. Countries: Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Sao Tome & Principe 
**Guwahati is famous as a Shakti Peeth, and Tripura is a very famous Devi Peeth

II. Jyotir Linga of Mallikarjun 

(75 million people of Andhra Pradesh) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Mallikarjun (Sri Sailam, Andra Pradesh). Countries; Netherlands, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Dominica 
2. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Countries: Belgium, Luxembourg, Chad, Niger 
3. Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. Countries: Hamsa (Hungary), Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros 
4. Rajamahendri, Andhra Pradesh. Countries: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan 
**In Hyderabad a major medical college will be built; Tirupati is the site of a beautiful Vishnu Peeth

III. Jyotir Linga of Mahakaleshwar 

(one-half of the state of Madhya Pradesh, about 83 million people) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Mahakaleshwar (Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh). Countries: Canada, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic 
2. Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Countries: Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, Panama 
3. Raipur (Panduka), Chhattisgarh. Countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras 
4. Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Countries: Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia 
**Raipur (Panduka) is the birthplace of Maharishi; Jabalpur is also closely associated with Maharishi. Mahakaleshwar is known as a Moksha Puri, and is a site for the Kumbh Mela; Bhopal is also a famous Shakti Peeth

IV. Jyotir Linga of Omkareshwar 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh. Countries: Denmark, Iceland, Botswana, Zimbabwe 
2. Prayag, Uttar Pradesh. Countries: Sweden, Zambia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo 
3. Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Countries: Norway, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea 
4. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Countries: Finland, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea 
**Omkareshwar is a beautiful location on the Narmada River. Many have visited Prayag—it is a Moksha Puri, and a location for the Kumbh Mela; it is known as Tirth Raj—'king of all the pilgrimage centres'. Ayodhya is capital of Lord Raam and a Global Capital of the Global Country of World Peace. 

V. Jyotir Linga of Vaidyanath Dham 

(Jharkhand and West Bengal, about 100 million people) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Vaidyanath Dham (Deoghar, Jharkhand). Countries: Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan 
2. Calcutta (Mahakali, Bangla). Countries: Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Moldova 
3. Barddhaman, Bangla. Countries: Latvia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan 
4. Jalpaigur, Bangla. Countries: Estonia, Lithuania, Cameroon, Central African Republic 
**Deoghar will be a great seat of learning; Mahakali is a great Shakti Peeth

VI. Jyotir Linga of Bhimashankar 

(Karnataka and Goa) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Bhimashankar, Maharashtra. Countries: Greece, Syria, Gambia, Burkina Faso 
2. Bangalore, Karnataka. Countries: Turkey, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 
3. Gulbarga, Karnataka. Countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus 
4. Gokak, Karnataka. Countries: Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain 
**Bhimashankar is a major seat of learning; Bangalore will have a major medical college; Gokak will also be a beautiful seat of learning. 

VII. Jyotir Linga of Rameshwaram 

(100 million people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu. Countries: USA, Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia 
2. Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Countries: Venezuela, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica 
3. Thiruvananta Puram, Kerala. Countries: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia 
4. Srirangam, Tamil Nadu. Countries: Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda 
**Rameshwaram is one of four special holy places of India; Chennai is a Moksha Puri, also a great seat of learning. Thiruvananta Puram (formerly known as Trivandrum) is where Maharishi gave his first lectures, and is also a great Vishnu Peeth

VIII. Jyotir Linga of Nageshwar 

(106 million people of Gujarat and Rajasthan) 
Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Nageshwar (Dwarka, Gujarat). Countries: Germany, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali 
2. Ahmadabad, Gujarat: countries: Austria, Sudan, Uganda, Congo 
3. Jaipur, Rajasthan. Countries: Bulgaria, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman 
4. Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Countries: Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania 
**Dwarka is a Moksha Peeth, a great seat of learning, and the capital of Lord Krishna. Jaipur and Jodhpur are great seats of learning, and there learning centres will be established. 

IX. Jyotir Linga of Vishwanath 

(80 million people of Bihar) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Vishwanath (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh). Countries: Japan, Vietnam, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands 
2. Patna, Bihar. Countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangaladesh 
3. Darbhanga, Bihar. Countries: Australia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Cook Islands 
4. Bhagalpur, Bihar. Countries: New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tuvalu 
**Varanasi is a great Moksha Puri and traditional seat of knowledge; Patna is a great Shakti Peeth; Darbhanga is a great seat of learning. 

X. Jyotir Linga of Trayambkeshwar 

(96 million people of Maharashtra) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Nasik, Maharashtra. Countries: China, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea 
2. Mumbai, Maharashtra. Countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Timor-Leste 
3. Nagpur, Maharashtra. Countries: South Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati 
4. Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Countries: Philippines, Laos, Micronesia, Palau 
**Nasik is a site of the Kumbh Mela; Mumbai has a great Mahalakshmi temple; Nagpur has a beautiful Devi Peeth; Kolhapur also has a Mahalakshmi temple and is a famous pilgrimage site for Mahalakshmi. 

XI. Jyotir Linga of Kedarnath 

(85 million people in the northern areas of Uttarakhand, Janmu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, and Chandigarh) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Kedarnath, Uttaranchal. Countries: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Rwanda, Burundi 
2. Maharishi Nagar (Noida), Uttar Pradesh. Countries: Czech Rep., Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq 
3. Haridwar, Uttaranchal. Countries: Croatia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Somalia 
4. Janmu, Janmu and Kashmir. Countries: Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina 
**Kedarnath is a very great Jyotir Linga, Haridwar is a place of Kumbh Mela, and a Moksha Puri; Janmu is a very famous Devi Peeth, as well as a Vishnu Peeth

XII. Jyotir Linga of Grishneshwar 
(the other half of Uttar Pradesh, 83 million people, and Orissa) 

Brahmanand Saraswati Nagars
1. Grishneshwar (Aurangabad, Maharashtra). Countries: Great Britain, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone 
2. Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Countries: Ireland, Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius 
3. Puri, Orissa. Countries: South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia 
4. Sambal Pur, Orissa. Countries: Ghana, Gabon, Benin, Togo 
**Mathura is famous as a Moksha Puri and the home of Lord Krishna; Puri is one of the four Dhams and a great Devi Peeth


  1. Thanks for the nice compilation.

    (Pls. correct in the first line: A Jyotirlingam (Sanskrit: ज्योतिरिनगम ))

    Best wishes and JAI GURU DEV

    1. ज्योतिरिनगम should be ज्योतिर्लिंगम्


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Maharishi talks on Soma, mid 1970s

Victory according to Guru Dev (Swami Brahmananda Saraswati)