Being one out of the twelve Jyotirlingas, Baidyanath is famous for all. Deoghar, the home of gods, is modern name. In Puranas we find in its place names like Haridrapeetha, Ketaki van, Haritalik van, Chitabhoomi and Vaidyanath. In Bengal and upper provinces the place is generally known as Baidyanathdham.
The sanctity of Baidyanath is mentioned in several Puranas which refer to it and as they are unquestionably the golden treasure of Hindu religion and culture, Baidyanath Jyotirlingam has attained great importance.
The Puranas speak of the Baidyanath Jyortiligam. According to the Shiva Purana, it was in the Treta yuga that the demon Ravana, king of Lanka, felt that his capital would not be perfect and free from enemies unless Mahadeva stays there forever, he paid continuous meditation to Mahadeva. Ultimately Shiva got pleased and permitted him to carry his lingam with him to Lanka. Mahadeva advised him not to place or transfer this lingam to anyone. There should not be a break in his journey to Lanka. If he deposits the lingam anywhere on the earth, in the course of his journey, it would remain fixed at that place forever. Ravana was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lanka.
His fate willed otherwise. The gods took it ill. They never liked to see Mahadeva as his protector. They devised a plan for outwitting Ravana. They requested Varuna to enter into the belly of Ravana. So, on his way Ravana felt a severe urge to release water. He began looking for a man to whom he could temporarily entrust the lingam. Vishnu appeared before Ravana in the guise of a Brahmin. Unaware of the mystery, Ravana handed over the lingam to the Brahmin. Unfortunately, Ravana could not ease himself soon. In the meanwhile the Brahmin placed the lingam at this place which was and which is now Baidyanathdham.
Ravana tried hard to remove the lingam from the spot where it had been placed. He could not turn out the lingam even an inch. This made him frustrated. He used violence but he only succeeded in pushing the lingam by thumb. Later on he felt guilty of his doings and begged for pardon.
He returned to Lanka but visitied daily to worship the lingam. This continued forever. The place where Ravana descended on the earth is identified with the present Harilajori about four miles north of Baidyanathdham and the place where the lingam was kept, is now Deoghar and the lingam itself is known to all as Baidyanath Jyotirlingam.
PRISONERS & SHRINGARI PUJA
Think about a place, where prisoners (kaidi) are advised/guided for worshipping of lord shiva.
Yes its Babadham and the Deoghar Karavas.
As there used to be a “Shringar Puja” at every evening in Baba Mandir. For this pooja, garlands/FOOLON KI MALAYEN used to pluged & prepared by Prisoners in Deoghar Jails within the campus.
Later few of constables, pick up them and enchanting Shiva (Har Har Mahadev) throughout the way from Karavas to Mandir, and later with the same puja will be done. This is not just one day work, or a work on special occasion, in fact a tradition which has been carrying since uncountable years.
Last week “The Telegraph” has mentioned it:
“Perhaps Babadham — as the temple town is popularly known — is the only place in the country where inmates languishing in jails prepare flower ornaments for the deity. The inmates prepare flower crown that is used during night Shringar, a special decoration of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga of Baidhyanath every late evening.“
There is an interesting story associated with this ritual, though. A British jailer started this tradition, said elderly residents of the temple town, after inmates suggested him to pray to the deity of Baidayanath for speedy recuperation of his ailing son.
The jailer, Christian by faith, did not turn down the advice. He reportedly prayed to the deity of Baidhyanath to save his son’s life.
The boy recovered within few days and an elated jailer started offering flower bouquets to the temple daily.
“It is a very old story but I doubt if there is any historical evidence or any references about the incident or the name of the British officer,” Falguni Marik Kushbaha, a local resident, said.
FESTIVALS of 2008
14th January 2008 – Makar Sankranti
15th January 2008 – Makar Sankranti in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and in Vaishnava traditions
15th January 2008 – Pongal
23rd January 2008 – Thai Pusam
11th February 2008 – Vasant Panchami – Saraswati Festival
6th March 2008 – Maha Shivaratri
22nd March 2008 – Holi
7th April 2008 – Ugadi (New Year in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh)
7th April 2008 – Gudi Padava
13th April 2008 – Chithirai 1 (Tamil New Year)
14th April 2008 – Ram Navami
14th April 2008 – Vishu (Kerala)
14th April 2008 – New Year in Bengal and Assam
20th April 2008 – Hanuman Jayanti
7th May 2008 – Akshay Tritiya
18th May 2008 – Narasimha Jayanti
18th June 2008 – Vat Savitri Vrat
4th July 2008 – Puri Rath Yatra
18th July 2008 – Vyas Purnima, Guru Purnima
16th August 2008 – Raksha Bandan
24th August 2008 – Sri Krishna Janmashtami
3rd September 2008 – Ganesh Chaturthi
12th September 2008 – Thiru Onam
30th September 2008 – Navratri Begins
7th October 2008 – Durga Ashtami
8th October 2008 – Maha Navami
9th October 2008 – Vijaya Dashami – Dussehra
17th October 2008 – Karva Chouth
27th October 2008 – Deepavali (Tamil Nadu and South India)
27th October 2008 – Lakshmi Puja
28th October 2008 – Diwali
29th October 2008 – Annakut – Gujarati New Year
3rd November 2008 – Skantha Sashti
4th November 2008 – Chhat Festival
13th November 2008 – Tulsi Vivah
16th November 2008 – Sabarimala Mandala Kalam begins
9th December 2008 – Gita Jayanti
9th December 2008 – Vaikunta Ekadashi