Apart from the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, 13th Jyotirlinga is the last icon of the current cycle of creation and destruction and has been placed at Minto, Australia.
It was necessary for the icon to be consecrated in the southern hemisphere. As Australia is at ‘mouth of the snake‘, a symbol of protection and an ornament around neck of Lord Siva, it was sent there from Nepal.
Outside the Somanath temple an arrow (Banasthambh) points along an unobstructed path of light towards the south pole. This was believed to indicate that the 13th Jyothirlinga should be consecrated in Southern Hemisphere.
As there was only one continent with human population, closer to Antarctica, Australia was chosen.
13th Jyothirlinga was a gift to Australia in 1999 by the late Majesty Maharajadhiraja Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, King of Nepal. Accompanying the icon were 7996 hyms arranged in 8 volumes. These hyms were composed specifically for this icon by the Chief Priest of the King of Nepal.
13th Jyothirlinga was consecrated on the 14th Febraury 1999 when various stars and planets aligned as described in the epic Ramayana, a phenomenon which occurs once every 100 years. Consecration of the icon was carried out under the instruction of the Jagadguru, the highest spiritual leader in India.
13th Jyotirlinga is inside a man made Cave Temple
Does 13th Jyotirling exist according to Puranas ?
In Siva Purana’s Koti Rudra Samhita, Suta Muni states that apart from 12 Jyotirlingas from Kedarnath to Rameswaram, there are 9 Upa-Jyotirlingas.
The above 13th Jyotirlinga could be one among them, which was transfered from Nepal to Australia.
Mukti-Gupteshwar is one of the 1129 names for Lord Siva.
Earliest worship was in naturally formed caves (like Amarnath). This reflects humility of the ego in prayer. When we are underground, we are closer to mother earth and protected by the womb of the earth.
Below the ground, there is complete silence and stillness, making an environment that is highly conducive to meditation.
Below-ground structures enjoy constant temperature, with relative cool in summer and warmth in winter. The structure is also bushfire proof and earthquake sound is within limits.
This is how the artificial cave temple was visualized by the architect, before its construction.
Mukti Gupteshwar Mandir is at 203 Eagleview Road, NSW, 2566, Australia.
It is closer to Minto railway station, which is about 45 minutes drive from Sydney.