Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Siva Temple Murdeswar Karnataka
Puranic Story of the Murudeshwar Temple
The history of the Murudeshwara temple dates back to the period of Ramayana. Legend says that Ravana (the Lanka King), prayed Lord Shiva in a strong devotion to attain immortality by getting the AtmaLinga. Atma Linga is the divine Lingam of Shiva that gains immortality to the Hindu Gods. As a result of the worship by Ravana, Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him for a boon. Ravana requested the AtmaLinga as his boon. Lord Shiva agreed to give him the boon but on a condition that the AtmaLinga should never be kept on the ground. It is believed that if the AtmaLinga was placed on the ground, all the powers would return to Lord Shiva. Ravana started back on his journey to Lanka with the AtmaLinga.
However, Sage Narada realized that Ravana may obtain immortality and create ruin on earth with the AtmaLinga. He approached Lord Ganesh to help him. When Ravana neared Gokarna, Lord Vishnu blocked the sun and made it as dusk. Ravana wanted to perform his evening rituals. He was worried because the AtmaLinga was in his hands and he would not be able to do his rituals. At that moment, Lord Ganesh came near him in the mask of a Brahmin boy. Ravana requested him to keep the AtmaLinga until he performed the rituals. He told the boy not to place it on the ground. But Lord Ganesh fixed a deal with him. He said he would call Ravana thrice, and if Ravana did not return, he would place the AtmaLinga on the ground. As decided, Ravana could not return all of a sudden and Ganesh placed the Atma-Linga on the ground. The angered Ravana tried to pull up the AtmaLinga and destroy it but failed. He threw the holder of the linga to a place called Sajjeshwara which is 23 miles away and the lid of the case to a place called Gunavanthe (earlier known as Guneshwara) and Dhareshwara, 10-12 miles away. At last, he threw the cloth covering the AtmaLinga to a place called Mrideshwara in Kanduka Hill (Kanduka-Giri). Mrideshwara is later renamed as Murudeshwara.