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Lord Shiva's powers

May 04, 2004 05:30 PM IST

On Mount Kailash was Lord Shiva's Atmalinga, which was all powerful, as Lord Shiva himself had invested it, through Prana Pratushti, with Divine Powers.

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On Mount Kailash was Lord Shiva's Atmalinga, which was all powerful, as Lord Shiva himself had invested it, through Prana Pratushti, with Divine Powers.

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King Ravana, a devout devotee of Lord Shiva, was also an Asura. Lord Ravana used to behead himself everyday, and offer his decapitated head to his Shivling, as a form of worship.

However, there arose the thought in Ravana's mind that he should ask Lord Shiva for the boon of the Atmalinga, so that he could usurp Lord Shiva's powers, and become as powerful as his Master. To do so, he went to Mount Kailash, Lord Shiva's abode in the Himalayas, and through austerity, penance and worship pleased Lord Shiva with his devotion.

Lord Shiva, pleased with his devotee's love for him, appeared to him and asked him what boon he wished for. Immediately Ravana asked for the Atmalinga, for that was his purpose in performing the devotional rituals. Knowing Ravana's purpose, and reading his thoughts, Lord Shiva, told him that he could take the Atmalinga, but was not permitted to place it on the ground on his homeward journey to Lanka.

When evening fell, and time for Lord Shiva's worship approached, Ravana desperately looked around for someone who would hold the AtmaLinga, so that he could perform his devotional worship.

Lord Ganesha appeared to him, in the form of a small boy, to whom Ravana, in desperation, entrusted the Linga, warning him not to place it on the ground. While Ravan was on the seashore meditating on Lord Shiva, the boy kept calling to him, telling him that the idol was too heavy to hold anymore. When Ravana was through with his puja, he turned around and found that the boy had disappeared, and that the idol had been placed on the sandy shore. He tried his best to lift it, but his Herculean strength also failed him.

Finally he gave up hope of taking it, and returned to Lanka emptyhanded.

A huge temple, where this idol is called "Mahabaleshwara" was eventually built there, and has become a place of worship for millions of Shaivites.

Lord Shiva had sent his powers to South India, to promote Shaivism there, and rejected the selfish demands of Ravana!

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