Omkareshwar Temple, Varanasi
According to Kashi Khand, Chapter 73, Goddess Parvati wanted to know about Omkareshwar Ling and Lord Shiva narrated as under :
Once Lord Brahma underwent severe penance for several long years and a mighty or very strong force erupted from beneath, piercing the ground, radiating divine light all over. This assumed the form of a divine Ling and Lord Brahma beheld a divine energy which was representative of all the Vedas (Rig, Yajur and Sam Veda), the energy which represented Akaar, Ukaar and Makaar. Lord Brahma saw in that divine light, the energy of OM which governs the entire universe.
Lord Brahma visualized a creature with four horns, seven hands, two heads. The Lord also saw a divine energy encompassing all the Vedas, Puranas, five Brahms (Akaar, Ukaar, Makaar, Naad and Bindu). Lord Brahma was so enchanted with the Panchakshara Ling (Panch+Akshar means five letters mentioned within the coasts above) that he started singing praises of Lord Shiva whom he could visualize in person, standing in front.
Kashi Khand has described in detail the praises and eulogy which were expressed by Lord Brahma in veneration of Lord Shiva. Very pleased with the prayers of Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva granted a divine boon to the former. Lord Brahma desired that Lord Shiva should always be present in the Shiv Ling which had appeared as a Divine energy and the name of the Ling should be Omkareshwar. Lord Shiva granted accordingly and stated that the Shiv Ling was to be called Shiva Panchayatan, symbolic of Akaar, Ukaar, Makaar, Naad and Bindu.
A devotee who takes a holy dip in Matsyodari Teerth and worships Omkareshwar will not have the fear of rebirth. A person who worships Omkareshwar will derive the benefits accruing out of performing Ashwa Medha Yagna. Worshipping Omkareshwar is equivalent to reciting one lakh Rudra Japam and is also equivalent to worshipping all the Shiv Lings in the world.
A person who is a devotee of Omkareshwar will attain Mukti even if he dies at any place other than Kashi. Lord Shiva told Lord Brahma that with the radiating energy of Omkareshwar, Lord Brahma will be successful in his job of creating human beings. After granting all the boons to Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva disappeared inside the Ling.
Earlier there were five Shiv Lings representing Shiva Panchayatan viz. Akaareshwar, Omkareshwar, Makaareshwar, Naadeshwar and Bindu Ling. Now there are only three Lings, Akaareshwar, Omkareshwar and Makaareshwar.
Omkareshwar Ling is also known as Kapileshwar and Nadeshwar. Omkareshwar ling was stated to be on the banks of Matsyodari Teerth where, during rainy season, the rising river Ganges also used to join.
According to Kashi Khand (Chapter 73), on Ashtami and Chaturdasi days, having a bath in Matsyodari Teerth and praying to Lord Omkareshwar, will cleanse the devotee of all sins. A person praying at Lord Omkareshwar temple is really lucky and will find place in heaven. His ancestors plunge into ecstasy on seeing their descendent praying at the above temple.
Legend / Local stories
How to Reach:
Omkareshwar temple is located at A-33/23, Pathani Tola, North of Machhodari. Matsyodari Teerth as mentioned in Kashi Khand has dried up now and the locality is known as Macchodari. The temple is approachable from a famous locality called Machhodari and if a devotee travels through the left of Machhodari, he will come across Trilochan Police Chowki after which he will take a left turn to reach Omkareshwar.