Do you know the Legend behind Jwala Ji temple?
The very famous Jwala Ji Temple is revered by most people in the Northern parts of India as well as people from other parts of the country. Jwala in Hindi means the flame therefore as the name suggests, the temple harbors a set of eternal flames that have been burning for ages inside the cave, and no one to date has been able to find its source.
Today let’s satiate our spiritual thrust and find out the legend behind Jwala Ji temple and the burning flame situated in Jwalamukhi town of Kangra District of Indian State Himachal Pradesh.
Once upon a time, centuries ago there was a cowherd who realized that even after his cow was being fed properly it was always without milk. One day he grew curious and followed the cow when it went out to graze in the mountains. At the end of the long tiresome day, he found out that a young girl drank all the cow-milk and vanished into the jungle like a flash of light.
He revealed about the mysterious girl to the King. The King had known that a long time back when demons had set their tyranny over the Himalayas and started to trouble the Gods. the Gods came together and focused all of their energy at one place, from there rose a huge flame and from it came out a young girl, who was the first Adishakti.
The young girl was supposed to help the gods being in her human form, she took birth as the daughter of Prajapati Daksha, who was known as Parvati or Sati. She then grew up to be the divine consort of Shiva. Once Sage Prajapati had organized a Yagna, and Parvati arrived to be a part of it even when he (her father) had not invited his daughter and her husband. At her unexpected, uninvited arrival Prajapati got angry and spoke ill about her husband Shiva and herself. Parvati couldn’t bear abuses poked at her husband and sacrificed her life in the Yagna fire that was burning.
When Shiva got to know about it, he grew furious and started to mourn her death by carrying her dead body walking all the three worlds. His mournful energy started affecting the balance of the Universe and God went to Lord Vishnu to seek help.
There goes another story that grows from Parvati’s death which reasons the performing of Tandava by Shiva. You can read it here. Shiva Tandav Dance – Why did Lord Shiva perform tandava?
Lord Vishnu then released a divine bow that cut the body of Parvati into 51 pieces the places where the pieces fell, came to be known as Shaktipeeth. One Such Shaktipeeth is the Jwalaji Temple, where some people believe that the tongue of Parvati fell while others believe that her burning clothes fell there, which has led to the burning of eternal flame.
The King had known this part of the story for long, but he was unable to trace the place where the flame was burning. The King felt that maybe this mysterious girl could help them trace the spot. So they tried to search the forest but their efforts to trace the girl proved futile and they could not find any leads in this regard.
After many years had passed, the cowherd found a clue about the flame and again went back to the King, the King this time was able to trace the spot where the flame was burning. For the first time ever did someone witnesses it, he then built a temple around it so that it could be taken care of and worshipped regularly.
It is also believed that the Pandava brothers had visited this place many years later and renovated the temple. Every year during the Navaratri, there is held a fair at the Jwalamukhi town, where devotees from all over come to witness the flame and seek blessings from the Goddess.
The Jwalaji Goddess is the Kuldevi or Family Goddess of Bhatias and Gujral community. There are two more places where one can witness the flame burning and is revered by people all over.
One such place is the Jwala Devi temple of Shaktinagar, which is situated in the sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. Here the Goddess’ tongue is worshipped. Another flame that is burning is at the Jwala Mai temple at Muktinath village in the Mustang district of Nepal.
It is also believed that there are seven or nine such eternal flames that are burning, that signify the seven divine sisters or the nine Durgas.
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