In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is considered the most powerful and is often referred to as “Maha Dev.” He is regarded as the father symbol of the whole universe. Being devoted to Lord Shiva and chanting his name and prayers keep the mind calm and free of worries and destroys all negativity.
There are many temples exclusively devoted to Lord Shiva around the country but the Ashta Veeratta Sthalams or the eight powerful Shiviji locations where Lord Shiva took on the destruction mood to destroy demons and evil force are some of important ones. He vanquished all the negative energies and demonstrated extreme bravery from these temples.
Evil forces or negative energy can also be interpreted as karma, ego, hatred, pride and fear of death.
The eight temples have been present over 1000 years and are collectively known as “Ashta Veerattanam” (in Tamil).
“Ashta” means eight and “Veeram” means courage or bravery.
The Eight Veeratta Sthalams are as follows:
Thirukandiyur or Kandiyur is the divine place where Lord Shiva is believed to have destroyed the ego of Brahma by removing his fifth head. It is often believed that at the beginning of all creations, Brahma had 5 heads. As a creator of all living beings, his ego was rising uncontrollably until a point where he believed that he was the greatest of all the gods. Lord Shiva wanted to shake this feeling of ego and make him more grounded and decided to teach him a lesson. He hence cut off Brahma’s fifth head, which stood on top of his other four heads. Brahma subsequently realised his lapse in judgement and errors and corrected himself.
Lord Shiva destroyed three deadly rakshasas and the three cities created by them. In this temple, Lord Vishnu gave Lord Shiva the instrument, his arrow to kill the demons.
Lord Shiva Killed Andhakasuran (asuran)
This powerful Lord Shiva temple, one of the Ashta Veeratta Sthalams, is where Shiva is believed to have vanquished the demon Andhakasuran.
Lord Shiva executed Thakkan (Father of Lord Parvathi)
The saga of Sati, her consequent marriage to Shiva, and her father’s resentment and insulting nature towards Lord Shiva that caused her fury is well known. During this, Lord Shiva danced his Tandava and killed Daksha, Sati’s father. Thiruppariyalur was created to symbology this episode in Shiva’s life, where he is known as Daksha Samhara Moorthy.
Lord Shiva sliced the head of Salandharan using His leg thumb finger.
Jalandhran is considered a demon king, who became extremely strong and captured all the three worlds. His desire was to destroy all the gods and was moving towards Shiva. Lord Shiva destroyed Jalandhran with a chakra which he later gave to Lord Vishnu. Thiruvirkudi is the holy temple where this event took place, and it is here that Shiva is worshipped as Jalandhran Samhara Moorthy.
It is believed that the Rishis were trying to use their power by performing yagnas for their own selfish betterment and feeding of ego instead of using it towards protecting the universe. Lord Shiva decided to teach the Rishis and their wives a lesson and destroy their egos and descended as Mohini to do the same.
Lord Shiva is said to have destroyed Kamadev by burning him to ashes for tying to shoot his arrows at Lord Shiva in order to make him fall in love with Goddess Parvati.
Lord Shiva punished Yama to save Markandeya.
The Lord, Kala Samhara Moorthy’s bronze deity at the temple is remarkable with Markandeya embracing the lingam out of which it is believed that Lord Shiva appeared and kicked Yama for his mistake. At this temple, all the Navgrahas (9 planets) along with Yama are obedient towards Lord Shiva and hence prayer to Lord Shiva at this temple can remove all troubles and give a long life.
One may plan to visit these 8 Shivji Temples for receiving Lord Shivji’ bountiful Blessings for valour, longevity, good health, humility, peace, wisdom, restraint and bliss.