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Jyotirlinga Series: Mallikarjuna Swamy Varla Temple

Jyotirlinga Series: Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Varla Temple has an interesting backstory - related to both Shiva as well as Parvati.

While Mallikarjuna means Parvati (Mallika) and Arjuna (Shiva), Bhramaramba is another name of goddess Parvati. Another interesting fact is that this temple, apart from being a Jyotirlinga, is also one of the main Shaktipeeths in the country.

So, let's find out the legend associated with the temple, shall we?



Once upon a time, a sage named Silada Maharshi, son of Som Muni, performed strict tapas to please Shiva.

Pleased with his efforts, Shiva gave him darshan and asked him his wish. Sage Silada mentioned that he wanted sons who would carry forward his legacy of worshipping Shiva. He was granted the boon.

Soon, sage Silada's soon had two sons, whom he named Nandi & Parvat, who became great devotees of Shiva, as per the boon.

Parvat even went on to perform strict austerities, just like his father, to please Shiva. Pleased with his efforts as well, Shiva appeared before him too and asked what he wanted.

Parvat mentioned that in the similar way that Mt. Kailasa (Shiva's celestial abode) has all the holy things residing in it, he himself wanted to become a mountain on whom Shiva should reside!

Shiva was quite intrigued with his wish, as no one had requested such a thing to him, ever. He agreed to make Parvat a mountain, and himself resided over it, in the form of a jyotirlinga.



Another story goes that once there was an asura named Arunasura who performed tapas and pleased Gayatri devi. He asked to be immortal, but she mentioned that she didn't have the powers to grant such a wish, and he should pray to Brahma instead.

So, Arunasura started his penance for Brahma. Now, the devas were scared of the destruction that the asura would cause, and so they requested Brahma to prevent it.

So when Arunasura asked for a boon of immortality to Brahma, Brahma mentioned that this would be against the laws of nature, and he couldn't grant this.

Arunasura hit upon an idea, and asked to be immune to two and four legged creatures. The wish was granted, and Arunasura soon began troubling the devas.

The devas now prayed to Shiva and Parvati to help them out.

So, devi Parvati took the form of a thousand bees (or Bhramara) and killed the evil asura, thereby bypassing the boon.

Then, in the form of Bhramaramba devi, she decided to reside in Srisailam where Shiva already resided as a jyotirlinga.

And that is how the Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Varla Temple came to be.

Interestingly, this temple along with being a jyotirlinga, is also a Shaktipeeth as the neck of devi Sati is said to have fallen in this place.

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