Mahakaleshwar Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. Jyotirlinga means the place where Lord Shiva himself installed the Lingam. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh. Beautiful description of this temple is found in the works of great poets like Puranas, Mahabharata and Kalidas. The glory of the temple As such, this temple has great importance. There is an influx of devotees here, but during Kumbh the crowd here increases even more.
In the Maha Kumbh Mela, Kalapik Baba had raised questions about the Bhasma Aarti of Lord Shiva and demanded the use of cremation ashes in the Mahakal Aarti. They say that people should come with them on this matter, otherwise it can be dangerous for Ujjain. This demand has been raised by Baba because, at present, in the Bhasm Aarti of Mahakal, the bhasm prepared by burning the dung of Kapila cow, Shami, Peepal, Palash, Bad, Amaltas and Ber wood is used. Mahakal’s makeup: Every morning Mahakal’s aarti is performed with these ashes. Actually this Bhasma Aarti is the decoration of Mahakal and it is the method to wake him up.
Mention in Shiva Purana
The mention of Bhasma Aarti is first found in Shivpuran. Actually, Lord Shiva got angry after getting the message of Mata Sati’s Agni Samadhi. In anger, he lost his mental balance and started roaming here and there with the dead body of Mata Sati. When Lord Vishnu saw this condition of Lord Shiva, he started worrying about the world.
Lord Vishnu had divided the body of Mata Sati into many parts with his Sudarshan Chakra. These parts fell at many places in the country and became lumps. But only the ashes of the dead body of the mother remained in the hands of Shiva. Lord Shiva felt that he might not lose Sati forever, so he applied the ashes of her dead body on his body.
It is a belief that years ago Bhasm Aarti of the ghostly Lord Mahakal was done with the ashes of crematorium, but now this tradition has ended and now Aarti Shringar is being done with the ashes made of Kande.
Rule of Arti
There is also a rule of this aarti that women cannot see it. That’s why women have to veil for some time during Aarti. Priest’s clothing During the Aarti, the priest wears a dhoti. There is no rule to wear other clothes in this aarti. There is a belief behind Mahakal’s aarti being done with ashes that Mahakal is the seeker of the crematorium and this is his makeup and jewellery.
Offerings of Ashes
Bhasma has special importance in the worship of Mahakal and this is its most important prasad. There is a belief that just by taking the prasad of ashes offered on Shiva, one gets freedom from diseases.
There is a story about the appearance of Mahakal in Ujjain that Mahakal appeared to protect the people from the demon named Dushan. After killing Dushan, the Mahakal Jyotirlinga appeared when the devotees requested Shiva to reside in Ujjain.