Hara Hara Mahadev!

अवन्तिकायां विहितावतारं
मुक्तिप्रदानाय च सज्जनानाम् ।
अकालमृत्योः परिरक्षणार्थं
वन्दे महाकालमहं सुरेशम्

avantikāyāṃ vihitāvatāraṃ
muktipradānāya ca sajjanānām ;
akālamṛtyoḥ parirakṣaṇārthaṃ
vande mahākālamahaṃ sureśam

Shiva Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Stotram

This is an extract from the द्वादशलिङ्गस्तोत्रम् The inauguration of the redevelopment of Shri Mahakāl Lok was done earlier this year – a Danskhineshwar Jyotirlinga, situated in the centre of the ancient world – Ujjain.

One more place to visit in the coming years!

जय श्री महाकाल!

There is a story about how simple Lord Siva is. He was in Kailasa without any palace, without any building, sitting on the snow-capped peaks. It was very cold. One day, Parvati said, “Why are we living like this, like beggars? Can we not have a palace? Indra will visit, Brihaspati will visit, Narada will visit, and so many Devas will visit. Are they going to sit here on the ice? They come to have your darshan. We shall have a good house. We cannot go on like this, like beggars, for a long time.”

“Oh, why do you want to bother yourself with all this?” Lord Siva said. “It is all right.”

Parvati would not listen. “We must have a palace.”

“All right, please yourself,” he said.

A day was chosen and Vishvakarma, the celestial architect, was ordered.

And Lord Siva said, “All right, the lady insists. We can build a palace, though I am not interested.”

Immediately a miraculous palace was created. A day was selected for the Griha Pravesha. Brihaspati and all the devas were called.

Brihaspati said, “It is all right, everything is beautiful, but Shani’s (Saturn) drishti is there on this house. It will be in flames.” Saturn’s drishti means, if Saturn looks at anything, then it is finished; it will not succeed.

“Oh, then we don’t want it,” said Siva to Parvati. “I have already told you it is not for us. Now Brihaspati says there will be trouble as Shani has his eye on this and he will be up to some mischief, so let us not enter it at all.”

Parvati said, “Who is Shani? You are lord of all the three worlds. Can he wag his tail with you? You are afraid of Shani? What a shame! If you just say a word, he will keep quiet.”

“Whatever you say. I am not interested.”

“You please go and tell Shani not to do anything; that’s all,” she told Siva. “You give an order.”

“All right, I will convey your message,” he said.

“Not my message, but you give the order. You order him not to do any mischief with this house,” said Parvati.

“All right, replied Siva. “I am going to Shani to tell him that he need not interfere with this house.”

Then Parvati said, “Listen. If he agrees to what you say, it is well and good. But if he says ‘I am sorry’, if he is going to set fire to it, I will set fire myself before he does it. Why should he set fire? I can do it myself. So you give me a signal from there if he is not willing. Then I will immediately set fire to it so that the wretched thing goes up in flames before he can do anything.”

“All right. What signal?” asked Lord Siva.

“Play your damaru,” she said. “Twirl it several times, I will hear the sound and immediately I will set fire to the house. Shani need not come and do it. I myself will finish it.”

“Okay,” Lord Siva said, and went and told Shani, “Parvati’s insistence has brought a palace; somehow it was constructed, and Brihaspati says your mischief is there. I think you will not mind it. Don’t disturb us unnecessarily. We have no palace, no house. So I hope you will keep quiet. Don’t do any mischief.”

“Oh God, why should I do any mischief? Never will I do that! I would not think of it. How can you utter such things about me? When you have built a palace, I will go and interfere with it? Nothing doing!” replied Shani.

“Oh, I am so happy. You are so good. You are so kind to me. Immediately you have agreed to what I said. Ask for a boon.”

“Oh, what boon can I ask for? Mahadeva, you are famous for dance. I want to see your Tandava just here.” Immediately as Siva started dancing, twirling his damaru, Parvati set fire to the whole palace.

When Lord Siva returned to Kailasa, he said, “Shani has agreed, so there is no trouble.”

“What no trouble? You have given the signal and I have set fire to the palace,” said Parvati.

“What signal?” he asked.

“I heard your signal.”

“Oh, it was not a signal. I was dancing,” he said.

“Why did you dance unnecessarily?”

“Because when Shani was so kind, and I was so pleased with him, I offered a boon. He said, ‘The boon is only this: show your tandava nritya.’ I forgot your idea. I did not think of this point at all. Oh, the whole thing is spoiled. The house is gone. So we are once again sitting on the icy peak of Kailasa.”