Story of Srikalahasti Shivling and Spider



Srikalahasti Temple, located at Srikalahasti near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, is a famous shrine dedicated to Shiva. The Shivling worshipped in the temple is famous for the three signs on it – the three signs are of spider, snake and elephant. The story of the spider associated with Srikalahasti symbolizes the importance unwavering devotion.

Once there was a spider who was an ardent devotee of Shiva. It once stumbled upon a Shivling in the forest. It began to worship Shivling by weaving beautiful patterns of web around it. The spider would each day make a new pattern of web and offer to Shiva.

This act of devotion and offering continued for several years.

One day Shiva decided to test the devotion of the spider. As usual the spider was about to complete the new pattern of web for the day suddenly a fire engulfed the web and burnt it up.

The spider then again started weaving another web, this one too caught fire when it was about to be completed.

The spider was not dispirited and it continued to build a new web. But it too caught fire. This happened many times.

Finally, the spider completed the tenth pattern and it too caught fire and in despair the spider jumped into fire and immolated itself.

The whole episode of fire was created by the third eye of Shiva and the Lord was testing the devotion of the Spider.

The spider was saved by Shiva and it attained Moksha (liberation).