Nageshwar – The Place for Chanting Namah Shivaya

Of the ‘Trinity’, Shiva symbolizes destruction. But being ‘Asutosh’, Shiva can be appeased easily with the pouring of water or milk on his Jytirlinga and by chanting the mantra ‘Namah Shivaya’ which means ‘Salutations to Shiva’. The five syllables in the Mantra denote five elements. ‘Na’ denotes his hidden Grace, ‘ma’ denotes the world, and ‘Shi’ denotes Shiva. ‘va’ is the revealing grace and ‘ya’ is the soul.

Adi Shankaracharya denotes Shiva as one who purifies the chanter of ‘Shiva Mantra’. Shiva is the name of eternal consciousness that dwells within every human heart. Shiva is known as Nilakantheshwar as his throat became ‘Blue’ by swallowing the poison churned out of the ocean. For dousing the intense heat produced within, the sky poured water on him, as ordered by Indra. He is known as Nageshwar because the serpent king adorns his neck. Nageshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the holiest temples in Gujarat, located on the coast of Surashtra.

Enshrining one of the 12 Jyotirlinga, the myth is that, Shiva resided at this place in the form of Jyotirlinga after sayaing a demon named Daruka. The demon appealed to god for the place to be named after him. Hence the name Nagnath emerged. Inside the temple, the Shivalinga faces the south and the Gomugam towards the east. During the festival of Shivaraatri, the place is thronged with visitors who go there for obtaining his holy bliss.

The holy Gita suggest that we have the right, only to do our duty or ‘Karma’, but not on the result or ‘Phala’. In commemoration of the great sayings of Lord Shri Krishna, through Gita, the Gita Mandir is built on the western part of the city. The artistic feature of the temple in the shape of marble structure adds to the religious fervor of the visitors. The Dwarakadheesh Temple enshrines Lord Krishna in a five storey structure.

The river Gomati is the replica of the holy river Ganga that descended from heaven on the request of King Bhagirathi so that the sacred waters might wash over the ashes of the sons of his ancestor, Sagar. Ganga first fell on the locks of the hair of Shiva so that the force of the torrent is absorbed. Ganga then flows down as Sapta – Sindhva or the seven sacred rivers. Those intending to perform ‘Pinda Daana’ or rituals for the souls of their ancestors to live in peace, in their heavenly abodes, come to ‘Gomti Ghat’.

Devi Rukmini was the most beloved consort of Lord Krishan. The Ruksmanee Mandir, artistically enriched, enshrines her and attracts visitors’ attention. Bevt Dwaraka is mythologically significant place because Lord Krishna is believed to rule Dwaraka from this place. Also, Lord Vishnu killed the demon Shankarasur here.

March to June is suitable for visiting temples. July to September is suitable for short duration travel.October to February is suitable for visiting sight-seeing and other kinds of tourist activities.

Gita advises for total submission to the supreme that comes in the shape of blue-bodied Krishna who is the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu. One can achieve this by visiting Nageshwara and obtain the bliss of both Shiva and Shri Krishna.