Mahakaleshwar Ujjain

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2006

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What you see is entrance to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling. Mahakala is the Lord of time and Death. One of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at Mahakal is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself) deriving currents of power (shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

What you see is the 24 Khamba Mata ka Mandir. It is the old entrance of the Mahakaleshwar mandir and is today app a 7 walk from it. It would be ok to extrapolate that the ancient temple consists of a huge complex where stand houses today. Attend the morning aarti about 6.30 am, very powerful.

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the south. At the naval point of the earth south facing Mahakala is situated, the only Jyotirling of its kind. This fact has a special significance in the Tantric tradition. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine ie first floor in the picture. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey (just below the shikhar in the picture) is open for darshan only on the day of Nagpanchmi. On the day of Mahashivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple. What you see is the mandir.

A side view of the Mahakal mandir. Ancient Shri Mahakal mandir was renovated in the 11th century. It was demolished by Illtutmish in 1234. Present temple renovated during Maratha rule some 250 years ago by Baba Ramchandra Shenvi, Diwan of Scindia state. Ground plus two floors are made of stone and appear 300-400 years old while the temple Shikhar seems a more recent construction. During the last Simhastha arrangements were improved further.

The Bhasm aarti starts every morning at about 4am and lasts for over two hours. Stand in the line by about 2.30 am if you want to get to sit close to garbhagraha. During the aarti bhasm or ashes are offered to the Lingam. The chanting of mantras, sound and vibrations within make it a very powerful aarti, once in a lifetime experience. Being Shaivites we connected with Lord Shiv during the aarti. The manner in which they dress up the Lord is unique and amazing. The lingam becomes his head ie decorated with flowers, eyes, nose etc. The entire “shringar” is very elaborate and done with a lot of “atmeeyata”. The (bhavna (feeling) is ki Lord Shiv swayam prakat hue (himself was present). We were told that the bhasm or ashes were brought daily from the cremation ground. What you see is Bhasm Shringar.

What you see is Shri Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling. For security reasons we could not click pictures of the temple complex.

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