A tale from Indian mythology Re-told by Vasu Gangapalli
Once upon time, long ago, in direction of south, there lived a Brahman couple named Brahmavatha Sudhram and Sudeha. Their only worry was that they didn’t have children. This made Sudeha very sad and frustrated as they both had tried in all the possible ways to have a child, and their efforts went in vain.
At last, Sudeha got an idea.
“Dear, I want you to do something for me. Please promise me that you shall do it.” She told her husband.
“What is it?” Her husband asked, with a frown on his face as he was skeptical about what her want could be.
“First, you promise me!” Sudeha said, extending here right hand towards him.
“Alright, I promise!” He said, placing his right hand palm upon hers,
“Now, tell me, what you want me to do?”
“As you know, we tried to have a child from quite some time and weren’t successful..”
“I want you to marry my sister Grushma, so that we can have a child through her.”
“No, Sudeha. I can’t do that.” He replied, taking a back step rather shocked with what he heard.
“Remember, you promised me!” Sudeha said with a stern voice, taking a step forward.
“Well, do you think she would agree to do it?”
“Leave that to me. I’ll take care if it!” Sudeha replied, with a smile on her face.
Grushma agreed to marry Sudharma and they both got married. Grushma was a devotee of Lord Shiva.
Every day, she used to make one hundred and one lingas and worship them. Then set them afloat in the nearby pond.
As days passed by, with blessings of Lord Shiva, Grushma gave birth to a baby boy. Sudharm was happy as his long pending wish was granted at last. Grushma was happy too. However, Sudeha became jealous of Grushma and her son as she felt that the mother and son were taking her husband away from her.
“Dear, I think you are closer to Grushma and her son than me.” Sudeha told her husband one day.
“It is just your imagination, my dear. I am close to all of you.”“No, I can see that!”
“It was your wish that I marry your sister, wasn’t it? Now, we all are one family together.”
One night, Sudeha killed Grushma’s son and dumped his body in the pond. The next morning, when everyone discovered the body of the boy floating in the pond, everyone were very upset and grieved for him. Grushma was absorbed in worship of Lord Shiva and she didn’t break down.
“It is Lord Shiva who gave me this child and he will protect him.” Grushma said. She started chanting Lord Shiva’s mantra.
Later, when she went to discharge the Shiva Lingas after worshiping them, she saw he son running towards her. She hugged him overjoyed, as the tears overflowed from her eyes.
“Please don’t cry, mother.” The boy said, wiping her tears with his little fingers, “I shall never leave you and go again.”
Lord Shiva appeared before her and said:
“Grushma, I am pleased with your devotion and I am going to punish your sister Sudeha, for what she did!”
“My Lord, please forgive my sister Sudeha.” Grushma pleaded with folded hands.
“Alright, my child,” Lord Shiva said, “I will forgive her for your sake. Now, go ahead and ask me for another boon.”
“My Lord, if you are really pleased with my devotion then you should reside here eternally in form of a Jyotirlinga and may you be known by my name.” Grushma said.
“As you wish, my child.” Lord Shiva said, raising his right hand and blessing her.
So, on her wish Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirlinga and assumed the name of Grushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.