The Vedas speak about the eight forms of Lord Shiva. In these eight forms Lord Shiva occupied the whole world, manifested in the form of Linga. Lord Shiva has many attributes and several titles. These eight forms are significant among those all types of forms. Each of the following Kshetras in India and Nepal are connected to the eight forms of Lord. The eight forms of Lord Shiva assigns the eight forces of nature and also the eight qualities related with these forms are described as below:
- Sarva Linga – for Earth – All spread through one
- Bhava Linga – for Water – Fact of existence
- Rudra Linga – for Fire – Dispel the sorrows
- Ugra Linga – for Air – The fearsome
- Bheema Linga – for Space – The enormous
- Pasupathi Linga – for Soul – Lord of all beings
- Mahadeva Linga – for Moon (Cold) – The Supreme
- Eashana Linga – for Sun (Heat) – The directional Ruler
According to Shiva Purana and Brahma Purana these eight forms of Lord Shiva were connected to the places in India and Nepal. The holy eight Lord Shiva Temples named as Asta Linga Kshetras are described as below:
- Sarva Linga – Ekambareswarar Temple
- Bhava Linga – Jambukeswarar Temple
- Rudra Linga – Arunachalaeswarar Temple
- Ugra Linga – Kalahastheeswarar Temple
- Bheema Linga – Thillai Natarajar Temple
- Pasupathi Linga – Pasupathinath Temple
- Mahadeva Linga – Chandra Natha Linga Temple
- Eashana Linga – Konark Sun Temple
Sarva Linga is situated in Shiva Kanchi Kshetra, Kancheepuram, Tamilnadu. It is in the form of Kshiti Linga in the Amra tree (which produces only one fruit for a year). The Abhisheka for Kshiti Linga is done with the Jasmine oil, instead of water. Main deity in this temple is named as Goddess Kamakshi (consort of Lord Shiva).
Bhava Linga is situated in Thiruvanaikoil in the outskirts of Trichy district of Tamilnadu. This temple is also known as Jambukeshwaram. The principal deity here is ‘Lord Jambukeswara’ and hence this place is called as ‘Jambukeswara Kshetra’. This Linga is also known as Jala Linga. There is a big Jambu tree placed in this Kshetra which is treated sacred as the same as Lord Shiva.
Rudra Linga is named as ‘Lord Arunachala’ located in Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu. Here, Lord Shiva presides in the form of Thejolinga (Divine light) and also named as ‘Agni Linga’. The whole mountain appears to be a Linga here which cures all sins.
Ugra Linga, also named as Vayu Linga is situated in Sri Kalahasti of Andhra Pradesh. This temple of ‘Lord Sri Kalahasteeswara’ is located on the bank of the river called Swarna Mukhi River. It is believed to be that there is a strong wind blowing around the Linga in this Kshetra and it can be seen only by the spiritually raised souls.
Bheema Linga, also named as ‘Akaasha Linga’ is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery in Chidambaram town of Cuddalore district in Tamilnadu. There cannot be seen any idol in the sanctum, but there is a space in the Garbha Graha (Sanctum Sanctorum) and many Abharanas (Jewels) are decorated and it is believed by Hinduism that the Lord is seated there. The idol of ‘Lord Nataraja’ (Lord Shiva in His cosmic Dance posture) is located outside the Garbha Graha for the satisfaction of the devotees.
The famous Pasupathi Linga, also named as ‘yajamana Linga’is located in Kathmandu, Nepal. This temple is called by ‘Pasupathinatha kshetra’. The Lord in this Kshetra is in human form, who is visible up to His waist and being completely decorated with Gold Kavacha. Except the Archaka, nobody (not even the King of Nepal) can enter into the Garbha Graha.
Mahadeva Linga, also named by ‘Chandra Natha Linga’ is located 34 miles away from Chatagav city, West Bengal. This Kshetra is surrounded with many sacred Thirthas. This Kshetra is mainly praised by Devi Purana.
Eashana Linga,also named as ‘Surya Linga’ is situated in the ‘Konark Temple’ near Puri Jagannath Kshetra, Orissa. This temple has been destructed. So devotees cannot see any god here. It is believed that Lord Sri Krishna’s son Samba got cured from the disease leprosy by worshipping the Lord Surya and the Linga here, since then this Kshetra became a remedy center for all diseases.Read more