Mahakal is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, shrines that are considered to be the most sacred abodes of Shiva.
Ujjain Mahakaleshwar: In the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, it is located in the ancient city of Ujjain. On the banks of the holy river Shipra, the temple is located. Shiva as a lingam believed to be Swayambhu, deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself as opposed to images and lingams established and imbued with mantra.
Brahma and Vishnu once argued over who was supreme in creation.
Shiva tested them by piercing the three worlds as an endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga.
In order to find the end of the light, Vishnu and Brahma travel along the pillar downwards and upwards, respectively.
In contrast, Vishnu conceded defeat after Brahma lied that he had found the end.
As a second pillar of light, Shiva cursed Brahma to have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would worshipped forever. Shiva is a part of reality.
The Jyotirlingas are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.
There are 64 forms of Shiva, not confused with Jyotirlingas.
Among the twelve Jyotirlinga sites, each takes the name of the presiding deity – each considered to be a different manifestation of Shiva.
The primary image at all of these sites is the lingam, which represents the beginningless and endless stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.
The 12 Jyotirligas are:-
- Somnath in Gujarat,
- Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh,
- Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh,
- Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh,
- Kedarnath in Himalayas in Uttrakhand State,
- Bhimashankar in Maharashtra,
- Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh,
- Triambakeshwar in Maharashtra,
- Baidyanath Temple at Deoghar in Jharkhand,
- Nageswar at Dwarka in Gujarat,
- Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu
- Grishneshwar at Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
In Ujjain Mahakaleshwar, the idol known to be dakshinamukhi, which means it faces the south.
This is a unique feature that found only in Ujjain Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas.
Above the Mahakal shrine the sanctum where Omkareshwar Mahadev consecrated.
In the sanctum sanctorum, images of Ganesh, Parvati, and Karttikeya installed west, north, and east.
The image of Nandi, Shiva’s vehicle, is located to the south.
Only on Nag Panchami is Nagchandreshwar available for darshan on the third floor.
There are five levels in the temple, including one underground.
Located near a lake, the temple set in a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls.
With sculptural finery, the spire adorned with shikhars.
The underground sanctum illuminated by brass lamps.
Prasada (holy offering) offered here to the deity can re-offered unlike in other shrines.
In Ujjain, Shiva, the presiding deity of time, reigns eternally in all his splendor.
With its imposing façade against the skyline, Ujjain Mahakaleshwar’s temple evokes primordial awe and reverence with its shikhar soaring into the sky.
Even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations,
The Mahakal dominates the city’s life:-
The Mahakal (Ujjain Mahakaleshwar) dominates the city’s life and provides a link to ancient Hindu traditions that cannot broken.
Maha Shivaratri celebrated with a huge fair near the temple, and worship continues through the night.
During the visit, devotees not allowed to bring bags, mobile phones, or cameras.
For devotees, there are are available for devotees ton store their belongings.
Another awesome spectacle is the procession of God Mahakaal in his palanquin, called Shahi Savaari,
to the river Kshipra, on the last Monday of Sawaan during the months of Shraavana or Bhadrapada.
The Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Temple as a Shakti Peeth:
As Shiva carried the corpse of Sati Devi, body parts fell to the ground, enshrining Shakti in Shakti Peethas.
The 51 Shakti Peethas each have shrines dedicated to Shakti and Kalabhairava.
Here, Sati Devi upper lip said to have fallen, and the Shakti called Mahakali.
References in Hindu scriptures Ujjain Mahakaleshwar:-
In the Puranas, Ujjain called Avantika and noted for its beauty and devotional significance.
It was also one of the main cities where students studied holy scriptures.
A ruler of Ujjain named Chandrasena was a pious devotee of Shiva and worshipped him constantly, according to legend.
The farmer’s boy Shrikhar was walking on the grounds of the palace one day.
He heard the King chanting Shiva’s name and ran to the temple to pray with him.
The guards, however, removed him by force and sent him to the outskirts of the city near the Kshipra river.
In this period, Ujjain’s rivals, primarily King Ripudamana and King Singhaditya,
attacked the Kingdom and took its treasures.
When Shrikhar heard this, he began praying, and the news spread to a priest named Vridhi.
His sons urgently pleaded with him to pray to Shiva at the river Kshipra after hearing this.
With the help of the powerful demon Dushan, who blessed by Brahma to be invisible, the Kings plundered the city and attacked all Shiva devotees.
When Shiva heard the pleas of His helpless devotees, he appeared in his Mahakala form and destroyed King Chandrasena’s enemies.
Shiva agreed to reside in the city:-
According to Shrikhar and Vridhi’s request, Shiva agreed to reside in the city and become the chief deity of the Kingdom, Kingdom.
Having protected his devotees, Shiva would also protect the nation from its enemies.
From that day on, Shiva resided in His light form as Mahakala within a Lingam created by Shiva and his consort, Parvati.
As well as blessing his devotees, Shiva declared that people who worshiped Him in this form would be free from fear of death and illness.
Their worldly treasures would also granted to them and they would protected by Shiva himself.
Kingdom of Ujjain:-
Bharthari received the kingdom of Ujjain from the celestial god Indra and the King of Dhara as the elder son of King Gandharva-Sena.
During Bharthari’s reign as king of ‘Ujjayani’ (modern-day Ujjain), a Brahman blessed with immortality from the celestial tree of Kalpavriksha after years of austerities.
The Brahman presented the same to his monarch, Raja Bharthari.
He passed it on to his love, Pinglah Rani, Raja Bhartrhari’s last and youngest wife.
In love with Mahipaala, the state’s head police officer, the queen handed the fruit to him.
He then gave it to his beloved, Lakha, one of the maids of honour. Lakha presented the fruit back to the king because she loved him.
After completing the circle:-
the fruit revealed the downsides of infidelity to the king,
who summoned the queen and ordered her beheading.
It was then that he abdicated the throne and became a religious mandicant.
Later, he became a disciple of Pattinatthar, who first engaged in an argument with king Bhartrhari about samsari and sanyasi.
In the course of the conversation, Pattinathar said that all women have ‘dual minds,’ and this might be the case even with Parameswari.
In response to this news, the King told Rani Pingalah to punish Pattinathar and make him sit in the kalu maram (tree whose top part has sharpened like a pencil and the entire tree fully coated with oil; anyone who sits on the top will split into two pieces),but the tree caught fire and Pattinathar survived.
The king received these news and turned directly to Pattinathar and asked him “are you ready to die?”
The next morning he came with tears in his eyes and released the saint from jail because he saw Queen Pingalah in love with horsemen.
He gave up his empire, wealth, and even his full coat dress to become a disciple of Pattinatthar and got moksha (salvation) in the Srikalahasteshwara Temple in Andhra Pradesh, home to the Vayu Lingam, a part of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Shiva. Ujjain Makaleshwar.
History of Ujjain Mahakaleshwar:-
During Sultan Shams-ud-din Iltutmish’s raid on Ujjain in 1234-5, the temple complex destroyed.
When the invasion occurred, the Jyotirlinga dismantled and thrown into a nearby pond (Kotiteerth Kunda), with the Jaladhari (a structure supporting the Lingam) stolen.
In 1734 CE, the Maratha general Ranoji Shinde appointed by Baji Rao I to collect taxes in the Malwa region.
Shinde dynasty members such as Mahadji Shinde (1730–12 February 1794) and Daulat Rao Shinde’s wife Baiza Bai continued to develop and manage the estate (1827–1863).
A major program of the then Gwalior State used to held here under Jayajirao Shinde (until 1886). (Ujjain Mahakaleshwar)
During the 4th decade of the 18th century, the Maratha Empire established in Ujjain.
Ujjain administered by Ranoji Shinde, the faithful commander of Peshwa Bajirao-I.
The Diwan of Ranoji was Sukhatanakar Ramchandra Baba Shenavi, who invested his wealth for religious purposes.
During the 4th and 5th decades of the 18th century, he reconstructed the Mahakaleshwar Temple.
Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Dev Sthan Trust replaced in 1947 by Ujjain Municipal Corporation. At present, it is under the control of the collectorate office of Ujjain.