The most popular belief is that Lord Shiva first appeared in the form of Shivling or Shivalingam on the night of Mahashivratri. This form is also known as Jyotirlinga or Lingodabhavamurti. This huge column of fire had no beginning or end. It first appeared before Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma who got into an argument in trying to solve Lord Brahma’s question – who am I?
Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and Vishnu took the form of a boar to find out the beginning of the huge pillar of fire. Lord flew high up and Lord Vishnu went down searching for the beginning or end of the pillar of fire. But they could not find the beginning or end of it.
Finally, they returned back and started meditating to find out what this unexplainable phenomenon was all about. Then they heard the Sound ‘
And Lord Shiva appeared before them and announced that all they see are nothing but forms of the Supreme Entity. When this is understood and practiced a person attains Moksha or liberation. Thus Shivratri is the night when Lord Shiva appeared with the knowledge of self realization which leads one to bliss and liberation.
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