Divodaseshwar Temple, Varanasi
|Architectural style:||Hindu Temple architecture|
Lord Shiva was very upset at being away from Kashi for a long time and he wanted to make King Divodas commit some mistake. Accordingly, he sent sixty four Yoginis to create some disturbance, but they were enthralled by the beauty and serene surroundings of Kashi which appeared to be a part of heaven. They ultimately settled down there.
When the Yoginis failed to return, Lord Shiva sent Lord Surya with instructions to create some disturbance in Kashi so as to defeat King Divodas in his resolve. Lord Surya came to Kashi and disguised himself as an astrologer, a learned scholar, a religious propagator, a businessman, a brahmin etc. But he could not find any fault with any person in Kashi or the governance of King Divodas. Lord Surya was also very much attracted towards Kashi and the beauty of the city. Lord Surya thought, if he went back to Mandarachal without fulfilling the wishes of Lord Shiva, the latter would get angry. Lord Surya finally settled in Kashi.
Subsequently, Lord Shiva sent Lord Brahma to Kashi with the same purpose. Lord Brahma, disguised as an old Brahmin, visited King Divodas. He was welcomed with honour by King Divodas, who asked the guest (Lord Brahma) as to what could be done for his comfort. The old Brahmin said he desired to perform Aswa Medha Yagna and requested the King to provide all the materials and make arrangements. Lord Brahma, with the help of King Divodas, performed not just one but ten Aswa Medha Yagnas.
Lord Shiva then sent his Shiv Gans who also were enthralled by the beauty of Kashi and decided to stay there. Installing a Shiv Ling in Kashi is considered very auspicious and the Shiv Gans installed various Lings at several places in Kashi. These Shiv Lings came to be known after their names. (Kashi Khand, Chater 53).
Finally Lord Shiva summoned his son, Lord Ganesha (Vinayak) with the specific mission of creating disturbances in the governance of King Divodas.
Lord Vinayak reached Kashi and assumed the guise of an old astrologer. He made people dream of something and in the morning he met those people and narrated the effects of dreams. He also started interpreting the position of planets in various persons’ horoscopes. By such minatory predictions, he made several people leave Kashi.
In due course, he gained entry into the King’s palace and managed to win the confidence of the ladies thereat. As days went by he also impressed the Queen who told the King about the greatness of the old astrologer and suggested that the King should pay his respects to him. On getting his permission, the Queen sent for the old astrologer.
The King welcomed the astrologer with all humility and the latter blessed the King as per the usual practice. The King asked the astrologer to predict the future. The astrologer after deep thought, told various things about the King and the kingdom. He also stated that starting from that day, on the eighteenth day one Brahmin will come and give him (King) some serious advice which should be followed. After saying this the astrologer left the palace.
In some way or the other Vinayak fulfilled his father’s wishes and settled down in Kashi in various different places in different forms.
Finally Lord Vishnu was sent to Kashi where he approached King Divodas as a Brahmin on the eighteenth day. He was welcomed with all honour by the King and Lord Vishnu in the disguise of a Brahmin preached the King all the good things. The King stated that during his period of governance, the people of Kashi were extremely happy and that there was a sense of religious fervour all around.
King Divodas was advised by the Brahmin to install a Shiv Ling in Kashi, which is considered very auspicious. The Brahmin further advised that after installation of Shiv Ling, on the seventh day, a celestial plane would land from Heaven and take the King to Lord Shiva’s abode. King Divodas was very happy at hearing this. He gave the Kingdom to Rajkumar Samaranjayan, installed a Shiv Ling which came to be known as Divodaseshwer and started praying to Lord Shiva. At the pre-appointed day, the celestial plane landed on the earth, and the King was taken to Lord Shiva’s abode.
Those who worship Divodaseshwar will always be happy, they will be absolved of all their sins and they will be victorious in the battlefield. In the present day parlance, this may be taken as victorious in any competition.
Legend / Local stories
How to Reach:
Divodaseshwar Ling is located at D.2/13, Vishwa Bhuja Gauri, near Dharmeshwar/Vishalakshi Gauri. They can travel upto Dasaswamedh Vishwanath Gulli or Bansphatak Vishwanath Gulli by rickshaw and walk on foot to this place. Devotees generally combine prayers at this temple alongwith darshan of Visweshwar/ Annapurna temple.