Death is but another facet of life, just as a coin has either a head or a tail. It is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity and is the crown of life. So it does not matter how a man dies but how he lives. Shrimad Bhagwadgita says that death is certain for everybody that is born, that death for which there is no remedy. One can realize the reality of death by paying a visit to Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, in the Malwa region of Madhya Prasesh.
Mahakaleshwar is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimages, as it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingam, the most sacred abode of Lord Shiva, one of the trinity of Creator, Saviour and ‘Destroyer’. As per the Law of eternity, one that is ‘created’ has to enjoy a life and ultimately be ‘destroyed’. This eternal role of destroying is played by Lord Shiva. Hence, compared to others of the trinity, Brahma and Vishnu, Shiva, also known as Mahakaleshwar gets more worship from human beings.
Shiva gets adorned with Bhasma or ash and is believed to be the epitome of mystic deeds that could be achieved only through ‘Tantra’. Mahakaleshwar temple is one of the 10 topmost Tantra temples of India, having the rituals of offering Aarti of ash. It is the most opted temple for getting the holy blis of Lord Shiva, the destroyer (death). By worshipping the Jyotirlingam, time (Kaal) too could be appeased.
Bhasma Arti is a very unusual that symbolizes Death and Life. For this ritual, fresh and hot ashes are collected from the burning ghats or funeral pyres and the same is smeared on the Jyotirlianga, as a mark of great devotion, reverence and total submission to Lord Shiva.
The combination of Rajput styles and the Mughal style of architecture of Mahakaaleshwar temple adds to its religious importance. The temple is a towering five-storied massive structure along with marble colonnades that could be rarely found in temple structures. Since the worshipeed is facing southwards, the deity is known as Dakhinamurtias.
Ganeshji is son of Shiva and Parvati who got the head of elephant. The Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir, a gigantic statue of Ganeshji. Those seeking knowledge, inner enlightenment and foresight would be spiritually inspired by visiting this temple.
Another amazing religious site for visitors is the Chaubis Khamba Temple that was built during 10th to 11th century. Although in ruins, the magnificent entrance gate, Mahakaala Vana still evidences the architectural skill of the past. The Gopal Mandir, dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna, located in Ujjain evidences Maratha architecture.
The best time to visit Mahakalshwar temple is during October to March
Time is invincible and death is inevitable. Yet there are religious ways of appeasing them by offering prayer and worship to Lord Shiva who is “MahaKaal” or Great Time Himself. There is no other place of worship better than Mahkaleshwar Temple. One achieves the unachievable and can reach to a point unreachable by paying a visit to this sacred place.