Religious significance of Mallikarjuna Swamy

Jyotirlinga is the sacred form of Lord Shiva and there are twelve such Jyotirlingas in India. There is a Jyotirlinga in Srisailam, where Lord Shiva is being worshipped as Mallikarjuna. Srisailam is located in Andhra Pradesh.

The epics from Shiva Purana say that the story behind this Jyotirlinga goes around Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. When Shiva and Parvati were discussing about the brides for their sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya, both of them had argued who should be the first to get married. Lord Shiva said that the one who goes round the world, which is also called Pradakshina, will be the first to get married. By the time Lord Kartikeya could go round the world on his vehicle, Lord Ganesha made seven Pradakshinas around his Parents.

As per the Sastras, going in pradakshinam round one’s parents is equivalent to going once round the world. Lord Siva got Siddhi & Buddhi, married to Lord Ganesha. By seeing this on his return, Kartikeya was enraged and went away to stay alone on Mount Kravunja in the name of Kumarabrahmachari. On seeing Lord Shiva coming over to calm down him, he tried to move to another place. However, the other Gods have stopped him.

Lord Siva visits Lord Kartikeya on no moon day & Parvathi Devi meets on full moon day. The spot where Lord Siva and Parvathi stayed came to be known as Sri Sailam. The temple is constructed facing eastwards and the centre mandapam has many pillars, with a huge idol of Nadikeswarar.

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