A Jyotirlinga also called as Jyotirlingam and Muktilingam, is another form of Lord Shiva. By worshipping the twelve Muktilingams, we would get salvation after our death. Usually Shiva would be worshipped in the form of Lingam, and Jyotirlingam means Lingam which contains shining in its appearance, and it would appear with full of brightness.Actually there are twelve Jyotirlinga Temples in India.
As per our auspicious Shiva Purana, once Lord Brahma and Vishnu were conversing about their supreme powers, and during their argument, Lord Shiva had appeared in the form of bright flames in a gigantic form, and he covered the entire universe through his divine powers. When Lord Vishnu and Brahma decided to test the beginning and end of the flames, Lord Vishnu though he took the form of a wild boar, he was unable to find the bottom of Lord Shiva, and he has accepted his defeat. But Lord Brahma took the form of a swan, and though he could not find the top of Lord Shiva, he pretended as if he has seen his head. Due to that Lord Shiva had cursed him, to have no temples in the world, and as a result of that, still Lord Brahma is having only a few separate shrines dedicated to him.Lord Shiva emerged in the form of flames in the present day Arunachala Mountain, which is situated in Tiruvannamalai.
In remembrance of this incident, Lord Shiva is worshipped in twelve Jyotirlinga Shrines. And worshipping Lord Shiva in his Jyotirlinga Shrines is considered as very sacred deed, and we would get the blessings of Lord Shiva throughout our life.
The twelve Jyotirlinga shrines are as follows:
1. Somnath, Gujarat
2. Mallikarjuna in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
3. Mahakaleswar in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
4. Omkareshwar in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh
5. Kedarnath in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
6. Bhimashankar in Maharashtra
7. Vishwanath in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
8. Trimbakeshwar in Nashik, Maharashtra
9. Baidyanath in Deoghar, Jharkhand
10. Nageshwara in Dwarka, Gujarat
11. Ramanathaswamy in Rameswaram.
12. Grishneshwar Temple in Maharashtra
Among the twelve Jyotirlingas, Kasi Temple is considered as very auspicious temple for performing our Ancestors rituals. Lord Shiva is our divine father, and he is ready to fulfil our wishes, and grants various boons to us. By chanting the “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” mantra, and by worshipping him in his holy temples, we would get goodness in our lives.