The story of Ghušamesvara,the twelfth Jyotirlińga is described in detail in Chapter 32 and 33 of Koti Rudra Samhita of Shiva Mahapurana.
In Northern region near Devagiri hill, there lived a Brahmana of Bharadwaja clan named Sudhrama. He was well proficient in Vedas and Dharma. He had a wife called Sudeha who was chaste and devoted to Lord Shiva. Though she was devoted, she was barren.
दक्षिणस्यां दिशि श्रेष्ठो गिरिर्देवेतिसंज्ञकः।
नित्यं राजतेऽद्भुतदर्शनः।। २॥
There is an excellent mountain Devagiri in the northern region which
it looks quite charming.
तस्यैव निकटे कश्चिद्भारद्वाजकुलोद्भवः।
सुधर्मा नाम विप्रश्च
Close to that, there lives a Brähmana, born in Bhardvāja race, known
by the name of Sudharmā and who was well-versed in all the four
तस्य प्रिया सुदेहा च शिवधर्मपरायणा।
His wife named Sudehā was immensely devoted to Śiva. She was also
devoted to her husband and was well-versed in her household
This Brahmin though he didn't possess child, never felt bad and used to think that it was his Karma and will of the Lord. But neighbors used to rebuke Sudeha as barren women.
कदाचिच्च सुदेहा वै गेहे च सहवासिनः।
विवादस्तत्र सङ्गतः।। १६ ।।
Once Sudehā, went with her maids to the abode of her neighbour, where
the marriage was being performed.
तत्पत्नी स्त्रीस्वभावाच्च भर्त्सिता सा तया तदा।
दुरुक्त्या वै सुदेहा विप्रकामिनी॥ १७॥
There, Sudharmā's wife was rebuked by the ladies of the neighbourhood
calling her as a neutral woman. At these words, Sudehā felt painful at
अपुत्रिणि! कथं गर्व कुरुषे पुत्रिणी ह्यहम्।
भोक्ष्यते पुत्रो धनं ते कश्च भोक्ष्यते।। १८ ।।
The neighbouring women said, “O Sonless woman, why are you arrogant? I
am the mother of a son who would inherit my wealth, but you have none
to inherit your riches.
नूनं हरिष्यते राजा त्वद्धनं नात्र संशयः।
धिग्धिक्त्वां ते धनं
धिक्ल धिक्ते मानं हि वन्ध्यके॥ १९॥
Of course the king will surely confiscate your entire property. You
are a barren woman, disgrace to you, your wealth, your honour as well
as your prestige.”
भर्सिता ताभिरिति सा गृहमागत्य दुःखिता।
कथयामास तदुक्तं सर्वमादरात्।। २० ।।
Sūta said, “Having been thus scolded by her neighbour, she was
depressed and she returned home. Then she narrated to her husband all
that happened in the neighbourhood and the harsh words spoken by the
She requested her husband to conduct a Yajna for begetting son and he agreed after persistent demands. Her husband gave her insignia flower but she missed it.
अग्नेरग्रेऽक्षिपत्पुष्पद्वयं विप्रो ह्यतन्द्रितः।
पुष्पं तं मेने पुत्रकामदम्॥ २५॥
The conscious Brähmana then offered two flowers in the sacrificial
fire, thinking in his mind that the right side flower would yield a
एवं कृत्वा पणं पत्नीमुवाच ब्राह्मणः स च।
अनयोग्राह्यमेकं ते पुष्पं
With this resolve, the Brähmana told his wife. You shall take one of
these two flowers to decide about your getting a son.
तया च मनसा धृत्वा पुत्रश्चैव भवेन्मम।
तदा च स्वामिना यच्च धृतं
पुष्पं समेतु माम्।। २७॥
इत्युक्त्वा च तया तत्र नमस्कृत्य शिवं
नत्वा चाग्निं पुनः प्रार्थ्य गृहीतं पुष्पमेककम्॥ २८॥
She thought, “I shall surely have a son. Let the insignia flower come
to me.” Then she bowed in reverence to Śiva and the yajñafire.” After
eulogising again, she picked up one of the two flowers.
स्वामिना चिन्तितं यच्च तद्गृहीतं तया न हि।
शिवेच्छासम्भवेन वै॥ २९॥
The insignia flower was missed by her due to delusion caused by the
desire of Śiva.
Now, Sudeha as a desire to have son, asked her husband to marry her younger sister Ghušma and husband agreed after persuasions.
इत्येवं प्रार्थितः सोऽपि सुधर्मा प्रियया तया।
समुपायंस्त विवाहविधिना द्विजः॥४१॥
At the insistence of his wife, the Brähmana Sudharmă, married the girl
Ghušma with all the due ceremonies.
Sudeha, as ordained by Sastra, served her younger sister after the marriage. Ghusma was ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and served lord Shiva with fervent devotion. She used to bath daily 101 Shiva Lingas in near by lake.
कनिष्ठा चैव या पत्नी स्वस्रनुज्ञामवाप्य च।
नित्यमेकोत्तरं शतम्॥ ४५॥
The younger wife with the approval of his sister, made hundred and one
lingas of Śiva daily.
विधानपूर्वकं घुश्मा सोपचारसमन्वितम्।
तडागे निकटस्थिते॥ ४६ ॥
According to the auspicious religious provisions, Ghusmã, rendered
devotional worship to these lingas and consigned them daily in the
एवं नित्यं सा चकार शिवपूजां स्वकामदाम्।
In this way she performed the wishfulfilling adoration of Siva daily
making them and then consigning them in the nearby lake as per the
existing tradition with devotion.
कुर्वन्त्या नित्यमेवं हि तस्याः शङ्करपूजनम्।
Thus performing the worship of Śiva regularly she completed the
adoration of a hundred thousand lingas, which could yield the benefits
of all the desires.
Due to this devotion, Ghusma begot a son and Sudeha started hating Gushma after son was born. After some years, Sudharma decided to marry his son. During marriage, the felicitations of neighbors made Sudeha more jealous.
एतस्मिन्नन्तरे विप्राः कन्यां दातुं समागताः।
विवाहं तस्य तत्रैव
चकार विधिवच्च सः॥४॥
After a few days, a Brähmana arrived there in order to give his
daughter to the son in marriage and the father of the boy
appropriately married the boy with the girl.
सुधर्मा घुश्मया सार्द्धमानन्दं परमं गतः।
Sudharmā was quite happy with his second wife Ghušma and because of
this, all the relatives, honoured Ghušmá, enormously.
तं दृष्ट्वा सा सुदेहा हि मनसि ज्वलिता तदा।
अत्यन्तं दुःखमापन्ना हा
हतास्मीति वादिनी।। ६॥
In fact Sudehā felt burning in heart by observing her sister Ghušmā.
She felt that she was quite unfortunate and thus remained
Just after the marriage, Sudeha connived to kill son of Sudeha. One night she cut limbs of son and threw them into lake where Ghusma used to worship Shiva Lingas.
एकस्मिन्दिवसे ज्येष्ठा सुप्तं पुत्रं वधूंयुतम्।
चाङ्गेषु गृहीत्वा छुरिकां च सा॥ १५॥
Once during the night, as the son was sleeping with his wife, she took
out a big knife and cut off his limbs.
सर्वाङ्ग खण्डयामास रात्री घुश्मासुतस्य सा।
तत्रैवाक्षिपद्दृप्ता महाबला॥ १६॥
यत्र क्षिप्तानि लिङ्गानि घुश्यया
तत्र क्षिप्त्वा समायाता सुष्वाप सुखमागता॥ १७॥
Thus the elder wife cut off the limbs of Ghušma’s son, during the
night. Since she was quite strong, she carried the limbs to the lake,
where the earthen lingas of Śiva were daily consigned into the water
by Ghušmā. After consigning the son’s limbs in the lake water, she
returned home and slept.
After seeing blood stains, daughter-in-law was worried but not Gushma. She was of calm composure and did her daily worship of 101 Lingas in nearby lake.
प्रात:काले समुत्थाय वधूः शयां विलोक्य सा।
देहखण्डैर्युक्तां दुःखमुपागता॥ २०॥
When the bride got up in the morning, she found the bed was soaked in
blood. She also found the pieces of flesh there. She therefore felt
घुश्मा चापि तदा तस्या वध्वा दुःखं निशम्य सा।
Ghušma, heard the miserable lamentation of the bride, but did not
discard the performing of the sacred rites, besides the daily
adoration of Siva in the form of earthen lingas.
मनश्चैवोत्सुकं नैव जातं तस्या मनागपि।
Her mind was free from disturbance. The husband also did not shed away
his calm, till the completion of the daily worship.
मध्याह्ने पूजनान्ते च दृष्ट्वा शयां भयावहाम्।
तथापि न तदा
किञ्चित्कृतं दुःखं हि घुश्मया॥ २६॥
The worship of Śiva was ended at noon, then she looked at the terrible
bed but inspite of that Ghušmá did not feel painful at all.
She completed Puja at noon and after completion she said that Lord Shiva would take care of her son. The son came from lake alive and even after resurrection of her son, she was with equanimity.
मध्याह्ने पूजनान्ते च दृष्ट्वा शयां भयावहाम्।
तथापि न तदा
किञ्चित्कृतं दुःखं हि घुश्मया॥ २६॥
The worship of Śiva was ended
at noon, then she looked at the terrible bed but inspite of that
Ghušmá did not feel painful at all.
येनैव चार्पितश्चायं स वै रक्षां करिष्यति।
भक्तप्रियः स विख्यातः
कालकालः सतां गतिः॥ २७॥ यदि नो रक्षिता शम्भुरीश्वरः प्रभुरेकलः।
मालाकार इवासौ यान्युङ्ते तान्वियुनक्ति च।। २८॥
अद्य मे चिन्त्या
किं स्यादिति तत्त्वं विचार्य सा।
न चकार तदा दुःखं शिवे धैर्य
She uttered, “The one who has given the boy shall protect him too. He
is the destroyer of Kāla, the goal of the noble people. He is well
known as the favourite of his devotees. He is ours protector, the sole
lord, and resembles a gardener. He can separate those who are united
by him. What shall I gain by worrying over (the death of the son)?
Thus realising the truth and getting enthusiastic in dedicating
herself to Śiva, she did not grieve much.
क्षिप्त्वा च पार्थिवांस्तत्र परावर्त्तत सा यदा।
पुत्रस्तडागस्थो दृश्यते स्म तटे तया॥ ३१॥
When the earthen lingas were consigned by her, thereafter she found
her son standing on the bank of the lake.
मातरं हि मिलिष्यामि मृतोऽहं जीवतोऽधुना।
पुण्यप्रभावाद्धि कृपया शङ्करस्य वै॥ ३२॥
The son said, “I would like to see my mother. After my death, I have
been brought back to life by lord Śiva because of the grace of my
mother and the grace of lord Śiva.”
जीवितं तं सुतं दृष्ट्वा घुश्मा सा तत्प्रसूर्द्विजाः।
प्रहृष्टा नाभवत्तत्र दुःखिता न यथा पुरा।। ३३ ।।
Sūta said, “O Brāhmanas, finding that her son had been brought back to
life, the mother did not feel so delightful, since she did not feel so
painful even at his death earlier.
Lord Shiva appeared before and explained the evil plan of her elder sister. She asked Lord Shiva to forgive her sister. When lord Shiva asked her boon, She asked Him to stay there as Linga.
सोवाच तद्वचः श्रुत्वा यदि देयो वरस्त्वया।
चैव रक्षार्थमत्र स्थेयं मदाख्यया॥४३॥
Śiva said, “O Ghušma, you better ask for another boon that could be
beneficial to you which will be granted by me. I am immensely please
with your devotion and your nature of being free from attachment.”
Sūta said, “Hearing these words of Śiva Ghusmã said, “In case the lord
is desirous of granting a boon to me, then you stay here in my name,
for the protection of the universe.”
तदोवाच शिवस्तत्र सुप्रसन्नो महेश्वरः।
स्थास्येऽत्र तव नाम्नाहं
At this Siva felt delighted and he said, “I shall be lodged here in
your name and shall be known as Ghušmešvara in order to bestow
comforts over the people.
घुश्मेशाख्यं सुप्रसिद्धं लिङ्गं मे जायतां शुभम्।
लिङ्गानामालयं जायतां सदा।। ४५॥
The Sivalinga of mine shall be
known as Ghušmešvara besides being sacred and famous. This lake too
(would be auspicious as well) being the store house of the Sivalingas
for all times to come.
तस्माच्छिवालयं नाम प्रसिद्धं भुवनत्रये।
सर्वकामप्रदं होतद्दर्शनात्स्यात्सदा सर:॥४६॥
This place would be popular in the three worlds and shall be known
as Śivālaya (the abode of Śiva). This lake too will fulfill all the
desires of the people at its mere sight.
Location of Jyotirlinga:
There are two Temples with similar names, Ghusmeshwar and Grishneswar. But Ghusmeswar in Rajastan looks like the original 12th Jyotirlinga as that temple is situated near Devagiri and lake. It is also called as Shivalay, which was changed to Shival and Shiwar.