10. SHRI TRYAMBAKESHWAR


One Of the twelve JyotirLingas of Lord Shankara, the tenth one is known as Tryambakeshwara. This great JyotirLinga on the banks of Gautami has a unique form. The Lord in this Temple's Grabhagriha is not worshipped with Ate. iisheka with water (Jalahari) unlike others. There is just a bottam part of the powiding stone (Ukhali), instead, like a hole. In that hole there are three Lingas shaped like the Thumbs. There are supposed to represent Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha and hence Tryambakeshwara. Of these three Lingas, the Linga of Mahesha has a constant shower of water from an orifice above. It is a natural source of water coming down as Abhisheka for the Lord.

From this JyotiaLinga sometimes, the roar of a lion can be heard. Sometimes flames can be seen emanating from it. At such times, n order to keep safe from Shankara's anger, milk mixed with Bhang (opium) is put in a pitcher and the pitcher is hung upside down so that it trickles down on to the Linga. Rudrabhisheka mantras are chanted at that time. All that liquid just disappears into the hole.When the milk stops flowing, then the Lord is supposed to have cooled down and is peaceful.

About these unique incidents that occur here. they have an unique story attached to each one.
Ahalya's husband, Gautama was doing Tapas or penance on the Dakshina Mountain. It did not rain there for a hundred years and the land was drying up and life forms disappearing. Seeing these conditions of drought, the residents, the saints, and all the birds and animals fled from there. Saint Gautam did a great Mangalik Tapas through Pranayama for six long months.Vareena, the God rain was pleased and appeared before Gautama, who inturn asked for water. At the behest of God Varuna, Gautam dug a hole on his hand. With the help of Varuna 's miraculous power, it filled with water. Varuna said "Due to the power of your penance, this hole would be an unending source of water "Akshya". It will become famous by your name. It will augment all holy retuals like Yagna, Dana, Tapa, Homa Shraadha, and worship of Gods." After this water was thus acquired, the saints started making preparations for the Yagna and the production of "Breehika:'

The river which gave away cows as Go-Daan became Godavari.Ganga who came on the request of Gautama became Gaugtama Ganga.That was the auspicious time of Brahmagiri, the time in between, when the kurmavatara was over and before the assumption of Varahavatar, the Sanghiparva,The planet Guru (Jupiter) was in the Sing of Simha (Leo), Magha Shuddha Dashami, Thursday after noon, when Gautami Ganga was born, Brahma, Vishnu and maheshwar, together assueme the incarnation of Tryambakeshwar and stayed there for their devotees.The area of Brahmagiri too looks like the Lingamurthy. From the tip, the water of Gautami Ganga flows.

The spring at Brahmagiri from where Godavari comes out, is known as Gangadwar. The Ganga water flows from a rock shaped like a cowface, constantly. The temple of Godavari mats is located here. The idol looks happy and peaceful. The VarahaTeertha is close by.

After emanating from Gangadwar, the river Godavari thins down and almost disappears, only to appear again atTahalhati. In order to prevent it from disappearing, Gautam Rishi threw Darbhas on all four sides. Because of this, Godavari flows in Kushavarti. The Kashavarti MahaTeerth is a circle of 27 metres. It is built very strong. There are steps on all four sides to facilitate going down to the waters.

At the time of Simhasta (in Leo), every 12 years, a Kumbhmela is held here. Lakhs of people take a holy dip in Kushavarta. On all the four sides of Kushavartha corridors are built. Beautiful statues are also carved here in the Brahmagiri Talhati, near Kushavarti, there is a big lake called Ganga Sagar. Near it are the Samadhi of Nivruttinath and the caves of Gorakshaguja. After going into Samadhi at Alandi, Gyaneshwar died before his elder brother. This saddened Nivruttanath. A few days later, he also entered Samadhi here, in this holy place of his Guru Gahineenath. It is here in this cave, that Gahineenath had given the initiation or Deeksha of Nathpanth to Nivruttinath. It is said that Sri Datta Bhagawan attained Siddhi is this very cave. Close by, is Neelaparvat, where Neelambika shrine is located. On the Anjali Parvat, Hanuman's motherAnjani did her penance,
On the parikrama path, there are beautiful places like Ram Teerth, PrayagTeerth and Nrisimha Teerth etc. The Peshwa kings planted trees at every 25-hand distance. During the reign of the Peshwas, criminals were asked to do the Parikrama (circumambulation) of Brahmagiri as punishment.

Tryambak city is approximately fifteen hundred feet above sea level. It has clean mountain air and is also a holy shrine. The Temple of Tryambakeshwar was built by King nanasaheb Peshawa. The pillars on all four sides of the Temple are adorned with beautiful carvings.There is a Nandi temple in front of the main temple. Everyday drummers arrives to play on the Nakkaras.

In the main temple of Tryambakeshwar JyotirLinga, Nitya (constant) Puja, Arab and Prasad etc., are arranged. On special occasions, big festivals are also organised. On such occasions, the idol of the Lord is decorated with nice clothes and jewellary, including a crown studded with expensive gemstones. A crown was brought by Naro Shankarji as part of his spoils, when he attacked the South. He dedicated this crown to Lord Shiva. Sardar
Vinchurkarji gave a beautiful chariot to the reigning diety.

Every Monday, the chariot of Tryambakeshwar goes to Kushavarti with great aplomb and comes back into these great rivers of Gangs and Godavari, a small river called Ahilya joins it. On this Sangam (meeting place) a ritual by the name Nagaharam baI-Naganarayanbal is organised by some people. It is believed that due to some unfulfilled desires of ancestors, some people do not have children. In order to remove this ritual of Nayanarambal is held. It is performed like the North Indian obsequies. It is said that by fulfilling this ritual, people will be blessed with children. Someone rightly said
'Tatra gatwa kuru shraddhaapitunuddishya yatnataha"! The Tryambakeshwar Jyotirt_inga is an unique, great, holy and wonderful place of pilgrimage.

'Jays Tryambakeshwarl Jaya Tryambakeshwarll'


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