Somnath

Somnath
Highlights

Somnath. Daksha was God Brahma’s son. He had many sons and daughters. He gave twenty-seven daughters to the Moon God in marriage. These girls were named after the twenty seven nakshatras.

Daksha was God Brahma’s son. He had many sons and daughters. He gave twenty-seven daughters to the Moon God in marriage. These girls were named after the twenty seven nakshatras.

Now the Moon God did not love all his wives equally. One of the wives was Rohini. The Moon God loved her more than the others. The other wives did not relish this. They complained to their father, Daksha.

Daksha sent for the Moon God and rebuked him. "Dear son-in-law, your wives are my daughters-all of them. I don’t want you to love any one more than the others. It is not a good thing to make any woman sad."

The Moon God promised that he would try to love all of them equally. However, he continued to love Rohini more than the others.

So Daksha became angry, and cursed the Moon God that he should suffer from kshaya.

Kshaya is a dangerous disease. They call it TB now. One who suffers from it coughs incessantly. He becomes thin and weak.

Accordingly, the Moon God lost his lustre.

So he went to Daksha for advice. "I am sorry for my sin.

What should I do to get cured?" asked the Moon God.

Daksha suggested that he should go to Prabhasa Kshetra in Saurashtra, and worship God Somnath.

The Moon God and Rohini went to Prabhasa and worshipped Somnath for several years. Somnath was pleased and blessed the Moon God. "For one fortnight you shall grow in brightness and in the next, you will reduce. That will be your fate from now on.”

That is how we have the bright and dark phases of the moon. Since the moon recovered its brightness here, the kshétra is called Prabhasa. Bhasa means light.

God Brahma then dug into the earth at Somnath, and showed to the Moon God Lord Somnath. He was a small Siva-Linga but he glowed like a thousand suns.

Brahma helped the Moon God to build a big temple for Lord Somnath at the same place.

Somnath is a Swayambhu-linga, a self-born linga. It is not man-made. The place is one of the twelve famous Siva shrines of India.

Many rishis and siddhas did tapas at Prabhasa, and got miraculous powers.

People from all parts of the country go on pilgrimage to this kshetra. The beautiful temple of Somnath faces the sea.

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