ATR - Day 21: Mythological tales about river Kshipra and Ujjain; about liquor prasadam at Kaal Bhairav Temple; and today’s visit to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlingam
Here is how river Kshipra sprung from the blood of Lord Vishnu spilt by an offended Lord Shiva. Yesterday, I went to the Kaal Bhairav Temple and today to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlingam.
October 21, 2023
Saturday, 11:00 PM
Fairyland Clarks Inn,
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh,
Picking from where I left yesterday — the story of Ujjain, river Kshipra and how an angry Lord Shiva drew Lord Vishnu’s blood, creating river Kshipra, on the banks of which Ujjain grew over time. The tale was narrated to me yesterday (October 20, 2023) by the main pujariji of a temple in Ujjain on my insistence. The tale goes like this.
Once, Lord Shiva went to Lord Vishnu as an ascetic seeking alms with his Kapala (human skull, which has a story of its own) in his hand. Lord Vishnu didn’t recognize Lord Shiva and instead of offering alms when Lord Shiva extended the Kapala, Lord Vishnu pointed away with his index finger, summarily dismissing the ascetic from his presence. And offended Lord Shiva shot his mighty trident at Lord Vishnu’s dismissive finger, injuring the finger. The blood from Lord Vishnu’s injured finger started dripping into the Kapala, and soon the Kapala was overflowing, forming river Kshipra. The city of Ujjain grew on the banks of a 195-kilometer long Kshipra over a period of time.
I also attended the aarti, which was very pretty to see, and then went to the Kaal Bhairav temple, which is dedicated to the guardian deity of the city of Ujjain — Kaal Bhairav, a manifestation of the ferocious aspect of Lord Shiva. In Kaal Bhairav temple, liquor is the offering to the deity and the same is distributed as prasadam (also prasad). So I took a quarter of Blender’s Pride and offered it to the deity. Like with all offerings, a small part of it was offered to the deity and the rest was handed back to me as prasadam. Just so you know, beer is not allowed for an offering to the deity. So offer the proper stuff, not the wannabe kiddie fizz with alcohol.
Today, I went to the Mahakaleshwar Temple or Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlingam, which is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a prominent place in Hindu mythology and culture. It is one of the twelve Joytirlingams, the other eleven are Somnath in Gujarat; Mallikarjuna in Andhra Pradesh; Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh; Kedarnath in Uttarakhand; Bhimashankar in Maharashtra; Vishwanath in Uttar Pradesh; Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra; Nageshwar in Gujarat; Baidyanath in Jharkhand; Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu; and Grishneshwar in Maharashtra.
There is a very interesting mythological tale about how the Jyotirlingams came to be, but since I have already told you one today, I’ll keep this one for tomorrow even though the tale is very widely known.
After returning from the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlingam, we quickly packed our bags and rushed to Bhopal, our next destination. Arrived late in the evening, tired after the day’s drive and uploaded the video edited on the way here. It has gone up already (on time), which is relief.
PS: Oh, and I met Avinash, the little boy I talked about yesterday, again. The kid was very happy to see me, and so was I to see the little tilak-adorner of the foreheads.