Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Murudeshwara- The story of Aatmalinga

In the previous post you have read about Murudeshwara Temple. As I've mentioned , the piece of Aatmalinga thrown by Raavana fell here. What made Raavana to throw the Aatmalinga? This story is narrated through sculptures made of Plaster of Paris, near  Murudeshwara temple. There is cave like construction at the base of Lord Shiva statue:
You can enter the cave by paying 10 Rupees as entry fee.( The collected amount is used for Annadaana-feeding the visitors of the temple). Once entered, a colourful magnificent  sculptures take you to a different world. There is audio narration of story. You can move seeing each of the sculptures and  listening to the story.
Raavana's mother was a devotee of Shiva. She worshipped, Shiva Linga made of sand.She wished to worship Aatmalinga and conveyed her wish to her son Raavana.
Raavana promised his mother, that he would get the Aatmalinga from Lord  Shiva.
As promised to his mother, Raavana prayed Lord Shiva.
 Naarada approached Shri Vishnu and requested him to divert Raavana's mind, thinking , Raavana would use his power to cause evil to the world.
In spite of Raavana's severe penance , Lord Shiva did not appear. So Raavana became furious and lifted the Kailasa Parvata.
Satisfied by Raavana's worship, Lord Shiva appeared with wife Parvati. By this time, Vishnu had played his trick to divert Raavana's mind. Because of this trick, Raavana asked Parvati from Shiva. And Shiva let Parvati go with Raavana.
On the way back to Lanka( Raavana's Kingdom), Naarada met Raavana. He told Raavana that, Lord Shiva had not given him real Parvati and she was in Paatala Loka( world below earth). When Raavana turned back, Parvati appeared as Mahakaali. Horrified by this, Raavana went to Paatala Loka.
In Paatala Loka, Mandodari, daughter of the King looked like Parvati to Raavana  and he married her.
When Raavana returned with his wife, his mother scolded him for not bringing the Aatmalinga.
Raavana again went and prayed Lord Shiva. He started sacrificing himself to Lord Shiva,
cutting every organ. Finally when he started cutting his head, Shiva appeared and gave him the Aatmalinga.Lord Shiva, warned him, the Aatmalinga should not be kept on ground.
This time as instructed by Shri Vishnu, Naarada approached Shri Ganesha, to take Aatmalinga from Raavana.
As Raavana nearing Gokarna, Vishnu made it appear like evening, by masking the Sun. Raavana had to perform his Sandhya Pooja( rituals to be performed in evening),he found Ganesha in disguise of a boy.Raavana requested him to hold the Aatmalinga till he completed his worship.Ganesha told Raavana, as the Aatmalinga was very heavy, he would call Raavana thrice. If Raavana did not come within that time, then he would place the Aatmalinga on the earth.

As planned , Ganesha, called Raavana thrice and placed  the Aatmaling on the earth. Raavana became very furious and hit Ganesha on his scalp.

Raavana realized, this happened because of the trick played by Shri Vishnu. He tried to uproot the Aatmalinga.
Different parts the Aatmalinga were thrown towards Southern direction. 
The case of the Aatmalinga fell in Sajjeshwara, 
The lid of the case fell in a place called Gunavanthe(Gunavatheshwara) 
The thread of the Aatmalinga fell in a place called Dhareshwara and
The cloth covered to Aatmalinga fell on Kanduka hill, or now its called Murudeshwara. 
The place where Aatmalinga placed, is called Gokarna.

Did it not take you to mythological world? The sculptures are built so nicely that  expressions on the face are very clear. In coming posts I will share about all  five temples. If possible try to visit these places and temples. 

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,


  1. Wonderfully detailed paintings.

  2. Beautiful legend Ranjana. Thanks for the lovely series of pictures depicting the story of the Atmalinga and your accompanying narration. Nice read for the morning !

  3. Hi

    It did take me to a totally different world. Great pics and write up.

  4. Awesome mythological imposed photography.

  5. These are some fantastic shots and i always appreciate the same!! I am back to blogs after a long time but really glad to find your blog !!

  6. This lazy bugger got her travel wish by simply reading a blogpost--thanks for the journey:)

  7. Thanks for liking this. I feel my efforts are rewarded.
    @ Rajesh: These are not paintings..scluptures made of plaster of Paris :-)

  8. I do love stories and mythological stories are my favourite , I have a blog about stories.


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