Baidyanath at Deoghar

The religious importance of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam should be based upon the facts of the Puranas and Tantras. Puranas might have fallen a pray to their religious lust, as they did. But they would have been spared the glory of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam of a great importance and surely of great cultural heritage.
Adi Shankaracharya declared it in the east and in the north geographical boundary of India as:

The architecture of this temple is indigenous. We can place it under Nagar style. It is Shringvat temple. It contains Kati, Mekhala, and Shring which support the style of Nagara. According to religious belief this temple has been built by Vishwakarma, the architect of gods. There are three parts of this temple; i.e., the main temple, the middle part of the main temple, and the entrance part of the main temple. The main temple is beyond historical dates. It has been visited since the age of Rama, the king of Ayodhya. From the available sources we can say that the presence of Chandrakant Mani is also its glory.
In the popular 'Lingaashtalkam' we get the reference to Asthdal Kamal i.e., Chandrakant Mani which is as such:
The lingam is surrounded by the eight petals. It is the origin of the all creations. It destroys the poverty of eight kinds. I, therefore, pay reverential salutation to Sadashiva Lingam. We can ascertain that the Manjhla Khand was built during the reign of Guptas. Inscription certifies it:
The sage desired to erect on the Haridra Peetha a magnificent edifice, splendent as moon light. O wise king of Cholas, such an edifice could not be the work of man, but no doubts it will be accomplished some time in the Kali age.

There is no place greater or more sacred than this, said Sambhu; it is two mile square and four cubits high. As often as, O Lord of mortals, distress obtains in this place, so often does Rama, the lotus-eyed, descend in incarnation. Verily is this haughty goddess beneficent to him like a mother. He verily should be known to be Rama who will cause this temple to be made.
The entrance of this main temple was created later on. Perhaps, this portion was built during the Mughal period. Puranmal, the Raja of Gidhour added this but he took the credit for the building of the main temple. We find an inscription in which the name of Purana has been referred to this temple. This whole area of Deoghar was under the rule of the Raja of Gidhour and the Raja of Gidhour are very much attached with this temple. It is believed that this part of the temple was built by Maharaja of Gidhour.
Thus the abode of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam is a very ancient sacred place of India importance and international fame. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga kshetra in India. Baidyanath Jyotirlinagam is as old as the Ramayana and it is associated with the story of Ravana, in religious literatures. As its very name implies, Baidyanathdham Deoghar, is the holy place where Shri Vishnu is said to have installed Shiva in this form. Hence, the presiding deity here is revered as Baidyanath Jyotirlingam. The holy place is famous for its cultural history where people from every corner of India throng all the year round.
A number of tantras also appreciate this place. It is also one of 52 peethas. The question of Pithas is associated with Devi Bhagwat, Kubjika Tantra, Kalika Rahasyam, Mundmal Tantra and Rudrayamalam etc. These Tantras mention this holy shrine as a popular Tantrik seat for Sadhakas. Famous scholar and Tantric Gopinath Kaviraj have mentioned Baidyanathdaham as a seat of Tantric Sadhana. This holy shrine is famous a Chitabhumi. Here we get the worship of Sri Chakra which is still lying in the inner apartment of Bhitarakhanda, administrative office of the high-priest. Now it is administrative office of the temple. There is also one ever flaming Kund where tantrik rituals are being performed for Shakti Sadhana. Baglamukhi and Jai Durga are supposed to be the chief deities of this pitha. Baidyanath is himself Bhairav and he guards this region against auspicious acts. Tanric Sadhana is the crux to worship Lord Shiva and Shakti. During the time of Durga Puja, the decoration of Gahbara was initiated in the temples of Jagadjanani and Kal Bhairava which is more or less Tantric rituals. The presence of Panchshoola is also a matter of Tantric cult.
The temple of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam has patronage of several sects, castes and communities in the past and even today. The Islam and Christianity is influenced by the spiritual and religious envirornment of the temple. Baidyanath is a centre and symbol of Sarva Dharma Sambhava (respect for all religions). We cannot forget the name of Data Saheb. In the religious and cultural history of Deoghar, there is a place on the north-east of Shivganga which was famous as 'Data Ka Jungle'. In the past there was dence forest here. Data Saheb was a muslim Fakir. He was Bhakta to Baidyanath. Every day he used to offer flowers and Vilva in the hands of priest to please Lord Baidyanath. He used to come in the campus of Deoghar temple and offer flowers to priests and Priests offer them to the lingam. There is still lying Mazar of Data Saheb. Once in a year Urs was offered on the Mazar of Data Saheb.
Baidyanath Jyotirlingam is a great power, gracing great effects. Bhaktas receive it from God for God shows it to the entire world in a way that can not be hid or concealed. He must fulfil desires of devotees. The result of His greatness is the page of Deoghar Jail's history. In British India a jailor was posted at Deoghar. As ill luck would have it he was facing against his misfortune. His son was missing in a sea together with his ship. Jailor was upset and he did not pay proper attention to his work. He was advised by his staff to meditate and worship Baidyanath as God is famous for fulfilling one's desires. He began to meditate upon Baidyanath Jyotirlingam. Miracles took place. Suddenly news come, he is alive and ship is alright. Since then he started a tradition in the Deoghar Jail and 'Phool Kaman' was created to gather flowers and Vilva Patras for worshipping Lord Baidyanath. He was influenced by the great power of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam. This is unique tradition and we can not find such in other temples of Jyotirlingam in India. The temple of Baidyanath is undeniably a famous holy shrine for developing the religious sense in the people which enable them to think and feel that India is not a mere coteric of geographical fragments, but a single, though immense organism, fitted with the tide of one strong pulsating life from end to end. The visit to holy place as an imperative religious duty has made wide travelling a nation habit in India in all ages of life, with young and old alike.
This is one of the twelve Jyotirlingam temples which link India with a remote past by a living chain and it is very satisfactory that the temple without losing its time honoured sanctity benefits by the methods of modern organisation. To those who have travelled so far to Baidyanath Jyotirlingam will remain an impressive picture of the religious life of Hindus. We can quote here Dr. Radha Krishnan - "It is clear that Hinduism is a process not a result; a growing tradition, not a fixed revelation. It never shut off by force wisdom any where, for there are no distinctions of mine and thine in the kingdom of spirit."
In this way we can say that the shrine of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam is the symbol of the unity of spiritual, social, cultural and even temporal of our great India. When people from all parts of country congregate here, they exchange mutual information and feel that they are one and indivisible. We of the great India should be proud of our ancestor's wisdom and foresight.
We conclude this by Shiva Vandana of late High priest Bhavaprita Nand Ojha which is as such:
Prayer of ShivaDevotee-person-hell-destroyer heart success.Silver colour five mouth unequal eyes destroyer of sex.Pressing destroying force Skin cloth, poison-meal always gracing immovable.Many snakes over body, glittering ashes on body.Knott of hair full of water,Sitting on the bull, traveling cities,gods be humble before him.Being and becoming is the voice of life and death and thus pains disappear, worship immovable feet.Then only one will get destination and thus makes his path easy.

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