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In this article, I have tried to answer three questions — (1) Why do we worship Shivlinga? (2) How did Bhagwan Shri Hari get Sudarshan Chakra? (3) What is the story behind the importance of Somnath?
Let us start with the first question.
Have you ever noticed that all the deities are worshiped by the idol (not by the linga) while only Bhagwan Shankar is worshiped everywhere by the idol and also by the linga? So, what is the reason?
Bhagwan Shankar alone is Brahma-swarup. He is both nishkāla (formless) and sakāla (he has a form). Shivlinga represents the formless (nishkāla) Shiva while the idol of Shiva represents the sakāla Shiva. Other deities, not being Brahma (ब्रह्म), have no Niṣkala aspect anywhere. That is why they are not worshipped by the linga.
Now, coming to the second question—How did Bhagwan Vishnu get Sudarshan Chakra?
Once upon a time, tormented by the Daityas, the Devatas narrated their misery to Bhagwan Narayana. Thus, Bhagwan Vishnu went to Kailasha and started worshipping Bhagwan Shankar.
Vishnu would chant thousand names of Shankar and offer one lotus flower against each chant.
In order to test the devotion of Bhagwan Vishnu, one of the thousand lotus flowers was taken away by Lord Shiva. Shri Hari started to search for it, he roamed over the world but didn’t find that flower. So, Bhagwan Vishnu offered one of his eyes instead of that lotus flower.
Bhagwan Shankar was very pleased with this and requested Shri Hari to ask for a boon. He narrated the whole misery of the Devatas to Bhagwan Shankar and said that my weapons are unable to defeat the Daityas. So, Bhagwan Shankar gave Sudarshan Chakra to Bhagwan Vishnu.
Let me answer the third question—what is the story behind the importance of the Somnath temple?
Somnath is the first among the twelve Joyitrlingās. Daksha’s (Lord Brahma’s son) twenty-seven daughters were given to Chandrama (moon). Out of his twenty-seven wives, Chandrama did not love anyone so much as he loved Rohini. The other wives did not like this and narrated their misery to their father Daksha. Daksha told Chandrama – Do not repeat this. But Chandrama did the same thing again — Infatuated of Rohini, he neglected others. So, Chandrama was cursed by Daksha to decay. Informed and by the moon, Indra and other devatas, sought refuge in Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma advised them to go to Prabhas along with Chandrama, make a Shivling there and worship Lord Shiva. He said — Lord Shiva will cure Chandrama. So, Chandrama worshipped Bhagwan Shankar for six months. Lord Shiva was pleased by his devotion. Therefore he requested Chandrama to ask for a boon. The moon said — O Lord, let not my body decay.
Lord Shiva said — Let your form decline day by day in one fortnight and increase steadily in another. To increase the greatness of the region and the glory of Chandrama, Bhagwan Shankar stayed there in the name of Someshwara.
(Content Source: Shiva Purana.)
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