The Special Shivling of Somnath

The Jyotirling of Somnath is considered to be the first Jyotirling. Pauranic traditions maintain that Moon had built a golden temple, followed by a silver temple by Ravana, Bhagvan Shree Krishna is believed to have built Somnath temple with Sandalwood. Even in Mahabharata there is a mention of Somnath. When Arjuna was on his solitary exile, he visited Somnath at the end of his exile and then went to Dwarika and married Subhadra, sister of Lord Krishna.

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.

Now lets come to the Shiv Linga of this temple. It is believed that the ShivLinga placed in the GarbhaGriha of the temple actually freely levitated in air without any support. Following is the explanation given for this property :

Mythology - The Shiva linga in the temple was believed to safely hide within its hollowness the famous स्यमन्तक मणि- Syamantak Mani, the Philosopher's stone associated with Sun god and Lord Krishna. It was a magical stone, capable of producing about 80 gms. of gold dailyIt had Alchemic and Radioactive properties. It could create a force field around itself that kept the linga floating above ground. The Linga was kept under cover of BelPatras-- Aegle marmelos-- to prevent the dangerous effects of its radio protective properties.

There is also historical account of this levitated Shivling and it comes from the account of none other than Zakariya Al Quazwini. Here's his description of Mahmud Ghazni's encounter with the Linga :
“When the king asked his companions what they had to say about the marvel of the idol, and of its staying in the air without prop or support,several maintained that it was upheld by some hidden support. The king directed a person to go and feel all around and above and below it with a spear, which he did, but met with no obstacle. One of the attendants then stated his opinion that the canopy was made of loadstone, and the idol of iron, and that the ingenious builder had skillfully contrived that the magnet should not exercise a greater force on anyone side-hence the idol was suspended in the middle. Some coincided, others differed. Permission was obtained from the Sultan to remove some stones from the top of the canopy to settle the point. When two stones were removed from the summit the idol swerved on one side, when more were taken away it inclined still further, until at last it rested on the ground.
In 1951 the Somnatha construction was completed and the sacred installation ceremony of the Shiva Lingam was performed by the president of India. The present Somnatha Linga is the largest of the 12 Jyotir Lingas. It is a greyish cylinder formed stone made of granite about 1m high and 60cm in diameter. The top is rounded and the Lingam is placed in a large silver plated Yoni.

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