Baba Baidyanath (Baba Dham)
The Puranas speak of the Baidyanath Jyortiligam. According to the Shiva Purana, it was in the Treta yuga that the demon Ravana, king of Lanka, felt that his capital would not be perfect and free from enemies unless Mahadeva stays there forever, he paid continuous meditation to Mahadeva. Ultimately Shiva got pleased and permitted him to carry his lingam with him to Lanka. Mahadeva advised him not to place or transfer this lingam to anyone. There should not be a break in his journey to Lanka. If he deposits the lingam anywhere on the earth, in the course of his journey, it would remain fixed at that place forever. Ravana was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lanka.
His fate willed otherwise. The gods took it ill. They never liked to see Mahadeva as his protector. They devised a plan for outwitting Ravana. They requested Varuna to enter into the belly of Ravana. So, on his way Ravana felt a severe urge to release water. He began looking for a man to whom he could temporarily entrust the lingam. Vishnu appeared before Ravana in the guise of a Brahmin. Unaware of the mystery, Ravana handed over the lingam to the Brahmin. Unfortunately, Ravana could not ease himself soon. In the meanwhile the Brahmin placed the lingam at this place which was and which is now Baidyanathdham.
Ravana tried hard to remove the lingam from the spot where it had been placed. He could not turn out the lingam even an inch. This made him frustrated. He used violence but he only succeeded in pushing the lingam by thumb. Later on he felt guilty of his doings and begged for pardon.
He returned to Lanka but visitied daily to worship the lingam. This continued forever. The place where Ravana descended on the earth is identified with the present Harilajori about four miles north of Baidyanathdham and the place where the lingam was kept, is now Deoghar and the lingam itself is known to all as Baidyanath Jyotirlingam.
Matsyapurana narrates about the sanctity of the holy place where Shakti remains forever and frees people from diseases i.e. Arogya Baidyanathe tu.
Brihad Dharmapurana mentions about the Jyotirlingam of Baidyanath. It describes Haridranagar (Baidyanathdham - Deoghar) where the lingam of Baidyanath exists.
Debi Bhagwat also mentions the abode of Baidyanath in course of its pith nirnaya.
Bhavishyapurana also narrates the existence of Baidyanath. It refers to the tract comprising the present district and Birbhoom as Narikhand, and describes it as follows: Narikhande is district abounding in thickets. It lies west of the Dwarikashwari River. It extends along the Panchakuta hills on its west, and approaches Kikta on the north. The forests are very extensive, chiefly of Sakhota, Arjuna and Sal trees with a plentiful addition of brushwood. The district is celebrated for the shrine of Baidyanath. The deity is worshipped by people from all quarters, and is the source of every good in the present age.
The Shivrahasya also mentions the religious importance of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam.
Thus some of the Puranas ascribe the advent of Baidyanath at Deoghar to the Satya yuga or the first age of the world, when Sati, the wife of Shiva and the daughter of Daksha committed suicide in consequence of the discourtesy shown to her husband by Daksha. Overpowered by grief Shiva, in a fit for frenzy, stuck the corpse of his wife on the point of his trident and roamed about like mad god, till Vishnu cut up the body with his Chakra into 52 parts which fell at different place in India. The heart, it is said, fell at the holy shrine Deoghar and hence that place is called Baidyanathdham. The shrine of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam is at Deoghar and Haridrapeetha lay here. Where the heart of Sati fell, the shrine is called Hardyapeetha and the enblem of Baidyanath has been established there since that time by Lord Vishnu.
The Padampurana in Patal Khand mentions the importance of Hardrapeetha. The religious importance of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam should be based upon the facts of the Puranas and Tantras. Puranas might have fallen a pray to their religious lust, as they did. But they would have been spared the glory of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam of a great importance and surely of great cultural heritage.
Baba Dham is also considered by some people as one out of the twelve Jyotirlingas while some people consider Parli Vaijnath as the jyotirlinga.
Baidyanath is famous for all. Deoghar, the home of gods, is modern name. In Puranas we find in its place names like Haridrapeetha, Ketaki van, Haritalik van, Chitabhoomi and Vaidyanath. In Bengal and upper provinces the place is generally known as Baidyanathdham.
From Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport, Patna, Baba Dham is 259 Km and from Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi it is 279 Km. Other options are Gaya airport which is 273 Km and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata which is 328 Km from Baba Dham
Babadham is located in north-eastern Jharkhand, four miles from Jasidih railway station on the main line of the Eastern Railway from Howrah to Delhi. There is a small railway branch line from Jasidih to Babadham. The railway station at Babadham is called Baidyanath Dham.
Babadham stands near the G.T. Road connecting Calcutta with Delhi. From the G.T. Road, you can take a turn to the state road at Bagodar or at Dumri. Devotees coming down from Kolkata or other parts of West Bengal can take the route via Jamtara.
In the North-East Dumka, Rajmahal and Bhagalpur; in the North-West Munger; in the West Hazaribag and in the South Giridih district border the region. Passenger buses run regularly from Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hazarib
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