Naganath (Maharashtra)

Situated at Audha in Prabhasa Kshetra [Prabhasa Railway Station on Manmadi-Nanded Line] Naganath Jyotirlinga was referred to as follows by Adi Shankaracharya:

Yame (South) Sadanga(old name of Audh)/ Vibhushitangam vividhaischa bhoga bhogai/

Satbhakti muktipradameesa mekam /Sri Naganatham saranam prapadye /

The legend of Aunda Naganatha Temple is that during ‘Aranya Vasa’ (Forest life of twelve years) by Pandavas pursuant to their defeat in a Game of Dice with Kauravas lived in a hermitage and their cows taking water from a river nearby were automatically giving milk back into the same river and finding this miracle act, Bhima found that the middle part of the River was hot compared to the rest of water. Bhima with his mace broke the middle portion of the River seeking to find out as to how had this happened; there was blood gushing out and when dug up to the great surprise Pandavas discovered a Jyotirlinga full of radiance. The Story of Demons Daruka and Daruki as also of Supriya the great Devotee of Bhagavan was also ascribed to Nageswara Temple at Dwaraka in Gujarat was referred to Naganath Temple at Audh in Maharashtra also.

The architectural beauty of the Audha Temple of Prabhasa is distinctive, as was built by Pandavas originally with heavy stones and spacious corridors and halls. The Court Hall is oval shaped supported by strong pillars and the Jyotirlinga of Naganatha Deva is in a Garbhagriha which is in a small internal area. While there is no Idol of Nandi before the Main Deity, there is a separate Shrine for him behind the Main Temple. On all the four sides of the Main Temple are separate shrines dedicated to Twelve Jyotirlingas, besides Vedavyasa linga, Bhadreswara, Nilakantheswara, Ganapati, Dattatreya, Murali Manohar, and Dasavataras- totalling 108 Shiva Temples and 68 Shrines, interestingly including Mothers in law and Daughters in law! Also interestingly, there is a picturisation of a Scene depicting a sulking Devi Parvati and a pacifying Lord Siva! It is said that Aurangazeb ordered to plunder the Temple and swarms of bees drove away the soldiers.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by
V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager,
India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India
The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in