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Somnath

Ancient Indian traditions maintain a close relationship of Somnath with release of Chandra  from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati. Chandra was married to Twenty-Seven daughters of Daksha. However, he favoured Rohini and neglected other queens. The aggrieved Daksha cursed Chandra and the Chandra lost power of light. With the advice of Prajapita Brahma, Chandra arrived at the Prabhas Teerth, built a Shivlinga and worshipped Bhagvan Shiva. Pleased with the great penance and devotion of Chandra, Bhagvan Shiva blessed him and relieved him from the curse of darkness partially letting the periodic waning of the Chandra(Moon). Lord Shiva decided to rest in that Lingam till eternity, and hence called Jyotirlingam. Bhagvan Shree Krishna is believed to have built Somnath temple with Sandalwood.

The Somnath Temple is located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of GujaratIndia, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means “The Protector of (the) Moon God”. The Somnath Temple is known as “the Shrine Eternal”, having been destroyed sixteen times by Muslim invaders. This temple is constructed in the Chalukya style with a height of about 155 ft. The stone Kalash place at the top of main shikhara weighs about 10 tonnes. Marvelously adorned Jyotirlinga with flowers, silver and gold adornments is a special attraction in this temple. The aarati puja at this temple is rejuvenating and is best for spiritual enlightenment. Ringing of bells, beating drums and cymbals make the occasion reverberating with Shiv Bhajans.

The research based on ancient Indian classical texts show that first Somnath Jyotirling Pran-Pratistha was done on the auspicious third day of brighter half of Shravan month during the tenth Treta yug of Vaivswat Manvantar. Swami Shri Gajananand Saraswatiji, Chairman of Shrimad Aadhya Jagadguru Shankaracharya Vedic Shodh Sansthan, Varanasi suggested that the said first temple was built 7,99,25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skand Puran. Thus, this temple is a perennial source of inspiration for millions of Hindus since time immemorial.

“Somnath: celebrated city of India, situated on the shore of the sea, and washed by its waves. Among the wonders of that place was the temple in which was placed the idol called Somnath. This idol was in the middle of the temple without anything to support it from below, or to suspend it from above. It was held in the highest honor among the Hindus, and whoever beheld it floating in the air was struck with amazement, whether he was a Musulman or an infidel. The Hindus used to go on pilgrimage to it whenever there was an eclipse of the moon, and would then assemble there to the number of more than a hundred thousand.”

Somnath rose and fell many a time and the amazing drama for its desecration and the devout Hindu’s passionate desire for its restoration continued till the 15th century, when the Hindus finally gave up in absolute misery and built a new temple nearby.