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Lord Shiva has been worshipped in Linga form from time beginning as described in answer here. Among the Lingas there are 12 Jyotirlingas which are of special importance.

Mahatmya of 12 Jyotirlingas is described in Koti Rudra Samhita of Shiva Purana in the chapter "Dwadash Jyotirlinga Mahatmya". It states:

सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथं च श्री शैले मल्लिकार्जुनम्
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालमोंकारे परमेश्वरम् ।।
केदारं हिमवत्पृष्ठे डाकिन्यां भीमशङ्करम् ।
वाराणास्यां च विश्वेशं त्रयम्बकं गौतमीतटे ।।
वैद्यनाथं चिताभूमौ नागेशं दारुकावने ।
सेतुबन्धे तु रामेशं घुश्मेशं च शिवालये ।।
द्वादशैतानि नामानि प्रात्यस्त्थाय यः पठेत् ।
सर्वपापविनिर्मुक्तं सर्वसिद्धिफलं लभेत्
।।

Somanath in Saurastra, Mallikarjuna in Shri Saile, Mahakala in Ujjaiyana and Parameshawara also manifested as Omkara. Kedara in Himavat and Bhima Shankara in Dakinya. Vishewaswara in Varanasi and Trayambaka in side of Gautami. Vaidyanath in ChitaBhumi and  Nageshwara in forest of Daruka. Rameshwara in Setubandha and Ghusmeshwara in Shivalaya. These name of 12 Jyotirlingas who recites in morning, he gets freed from all sins and is eligible to get all Siddhis.

There are twelve Jyotirlingas mentioned in the similar popular verse.

Saurāṣṭre Somanāthaṃ ca Śrīśaile Mallikārjunam

Ujjayinyāṃ Mahākālam Omkāram Mamleśhwaram

Paraly Vaidyanāthaṃ cha Ḍākinyāṃ Bhīmaśhaṅkaram

Setubandhe tu Rāmeśaṃ Nāgeśhaṃ Dārukāvane

Vārāṇasyāṃ tu Viśveśaṃ Tryambakaṃ Gautamītaṭe

Himālaye tu Kedāraṃ Ghuśmeśaṃ ca Śivālaye

etāni jyotirliṅgāni sāyaṃ prātaḥ paṭhennaraḥ

saptajanmakṛtaṃ pāpaṃ smaraṇena vinaśyati

I have already asked a question about Somanath What is the story of Somanath Jyotirlinga?. Now I want to know the story of Mallikarjun Jyotirling.

Please mention the scriptural reference.

Mallikarjun temple is situated in Srisailam Andhra Pradesh.

enter image description here (Taken from official website of Srisailam Devastanam).

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The stories of all jyotirlingas are described in KotiRudraSamhita of Shiva Mahapurana. Chapter 15 of same Samhita describes the story of Sri Mallikarjuna or Malleswara in detail.

After going around the earth, Kartikeya reaches Kaliasa and Narada communicates him about the marriage of Ganesha. Kartikeya knowing this leaves Kailasa and goes to Krauncha mountain.

तच्छुत्वा स कुमारो हि प्रणम्य पितरौ च तौ।
जगाम पर्वतं क्रौञ्चं पितृभ्यां वारितोऽपि हि।। ५ ।।

On hearing this, Kumāra, offering his salutation to his parents, proceeded on to the Krausica mountain for living there, much against the advice of his parents.

कुमारस्य वियोगेन तन्माता गिरिजा यदा।
दुःखिताऽऽसीत्तदा शम्भुस्तामुवाच सुबोधकृत्॥६॥

After the departure of Kumāra, his mother Girijã felt extremely painful at heart. Then Siva advised her appropriately.

कथं प्रिये! दु:खितासि न दुःखं कुरु पार्वति!।
आयास्यति सुतः सुभ्रूस्त्यज्यतां दुःखमुत्कटम्।७।।

He said, “O Beloved Pârvati, why do you feel anxious? O Damsel with beautiful eyebrows, your son would return, you better get relieved of the mental agony.”

सा यदा च न तं मेने पार्वती दुःखिता भृशम्। तदा च प्रेषितास्तत्र शङ्करेण सुरर्षयः॥८॥

When Pârvati was so suffering from the mental agony, she did not listen to Śiva, then Śiva sent the divine sages to Skanda's place.

Devas, Sages and Shiva ganas request Kumara Kartikeya to return Kailasa but Kumara doesn't heed to anyone and finally Shiva-Parvati go and frequently visit that place.

अथो सुदुःखितौ दीनौ लोकाचारकरौ तदा।
जग्मतुस्तत्र सुस्नेहात्स्वपुत्रो यत्र संस्थितः।। १४।।

Then both of them feeling painful, displaying the worldly traditions, because of their love for their son, went to the place where their son was lodged.

स पुत्रश्च कुमाराख्यः पित्रोरागमनं गिरेः।
ज्ञात्वा दूरं गतोऽस्नेहाद्योजनत्रयमेव च।। १५॥

Kumāra, on the other hand, knowing about the arrival of his parents, discarding his attraction for the Krausica mountain went to a place located at a distance of three yojanas.

क्रौञ्चे च पर्वते दूरं गते तस्मिन्स्वपुत्रके।
तौ च तत्र समासीनौ ज्योतिरूपं समाश्रितौ।। १६ ।।

After the departure of their son from the Krausica mountain, both of them taking to the form of Jyoti (flame) established themselves at the Krausica mountain.

पुत्रस्नेहातुरौ तौ वे शिवौ पर्वणि पर्वणि।
दर्शनार्थं कुमारस्य स्वपुत्रस्य हि गच्छतः॥ १७।।

Because of their love for their son, both Śiva and Pârvati used to go to the place of their son, in order to have a look at him.

अमावस्यादिने शम्भुः स्वयं गच्छति तत्र हि।
पौर्णमासीदिने तत्र पार्वती गच्छति ध्रुवम्॥ १८॥

Śiva used to go to that place on the moonless day while Pârvati went there on the full-moon day.

तद्दिनं हि समारभ्य मल्लिकार्जुनसम्भवम्। लिङ्गं चैव शिवस्यैकं प्रसिद्धं भुवनत्रये।। १९॥

Since that date Mallikarjuna-linga earned popularity in the three worlds.

  • 1
    I was planning to ask the questions about all 12 Jyotirlingas. But as you have pointed that all are mentioned in same Samhita so should I ask them or abandon them? – Triyugi Narayan Mani Jul 26 '16 at 6:33
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    @TriyugiNarayanMani It will be actually good for newbies to know about legends associated with 12 jyotirlingas but i'm not sure what people here on this site think about it. – The Destroyer Jul 26 '16 at 6:35
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    @Triyugi Narayan Mani I also think you should ask seperate questions on all Jyotirlingas... as each has its own story and own significance... also you can add map of location... and temple images in questions of that Jyotirlinga... That will make every questions look little different... – Tejaswee Jul 26 '16 at 6:44
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    Hi guys, just cleanup the comments once done with the discussion :) Thanks. – Mr. Alien Jul 26 '16 at 16:51

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