Vaidyanath Jyotirling temple, also known as Baba dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva.Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located at Deoghar,Parli in the Santhal Parganas division of the State of Jharkhand .
In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Vaidyanath Jyotirling faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. Near the temple is the Shivaganga Lake.
According to Hindu beliefs, the demon king Ravana worshipped Shiva at the current site of the temple to get the boons that he later used to wreak havoc in the world. Ravana offered his 10 heads one after the another to Shiva in a sacrifice. Pleased with this Shiva descended to earth and cured Ravana who was injured. As he acted as a doctor, he is referred to as vaidhya (“doctor”). From this aspect of Shiva the temple derives its name.
Legend behind Vidhyanath Jyotirling
According to the stories narrated in the Shiva Purana, it was in the Treta yuga that the demon Ravana, king of Lanka, felt that his capital would not be perfect and free from enemies unless Mahadeva stays there forever. He paid continuous meditation to Mahadeva. Ultimately Shiva got pleased and permitted him to carry his lingam with him to Lanka. Mahadeva advised him not to place or transfer this lingam to anyone. There should not be a break in his journey to Lanka. If he deposits the lingam anywhere on the earth, in the course of his journey, it would remain fixed at that place forever. Ravana was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lanka.
The other gods objected to this plan; if Shiva went to Lanka with Ravana, then Ravana would become invincible and his evil and anti-vedic deeds would threaten the world. Therefore the gods tricked Ravana. Ravana was offered water by Parvati, who then directed all the waters of three rivers (Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati) into Ravana’s stomach.
On his way back from Mount Kailash, Ravana felt an urgent need to urinate and as he could not do so with the holy linga in his hand, he started looking for someone who could hold it for him. Ganesha then appeared as a Brahmin in front of him. Ravana asked Ganesha to hold the linga and went to release himself, but he could not stop urinating because of the trick played on him. Ganesha, pretending to be vexed by Ravena’s delay, set the linga down on earth. The moment linga was kept down, Ravana stopped urinating.
Ravana needed to wash his hands after urination to make himself pious. Finding no water source around he hit the ground with his fist and a big crater was made which got filled with water. When Ravana now tried to move the linga, he could not. Out of anger he press the linga down with his thumb. But after restoring himself, he started to offer his prayers for the linga.
Various festivals like Makara sankranti and Mahashivratri are celebrated with great vigor here.