Why no other king can sleep in Ujjain, the city of Mahakal?

Mahakal ujjain

Ujjain: The city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh is famous for its ancient and revered Mahakal temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is considered the king of the city. According to a long-standing tradition, no other king or ruler can spend the night in Ujjain, as it is believed to bring misfortune or death to them.

This tradition has come into focus again, as the newly appointed Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Dr. Mohan Yadav, hails from Ujjain and has been elected as MLA from South Ujjain. The question arises, whether he can rest for the night at his home in Ujjain, or he has to follow the tradition and stay away from the city.

The chief priest of Mahakal temple, Mahesh Pujari, says that CM Mohan Yadav can live in the city as a son of the soil, but not as the CM. He says that people of the Scindia royal family, who ruled over the region for centuries, also lived 15 kilometers away from the city, respecting the tradition. He says that another king cannot sleep in Ujjain, as it is an insult to Mahakal, who is given the God of Honor in the city.

The origin of the tradition

The tradition of not allowing any other king to sleep in Ujjain dates back to ancient times, when it was believed that whoever became the ruler in Ujjain would be the king for one night and he would die the next day. This was because Mahakal did not tolerate any other king in his domain.

To counter this belief, King Vikramaditya, the legendary ruler of Ujjain, had started a tradition that whoever would be the king in Ujjain would work under Mahakal and would only be a representative of Mahakal. He also built a throne for Mahakal in the temple and offered his crown to him. Since then, no other king has dared to challenge Mahakal’s authority in Ujjain.

The examples of the tradition

The tradition of not sleeping in Ujjain has been followed by many prominent leaders and rulers of India, who have visited the city to seek the blessings of Mahakal. It is also said that whoever violated the tradition faced some calamity or lost their power.

Some of examples of the tradition are:

  • The fourth Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, had come to see Mahakal in 1979. He rested one night in Ujjain. The next day, his government fell due to a no-confidence motion in the parliament.
  • The former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa, had stayed in Ujjain in 2007 when he was the deputy chief minister. He became the chief minister after 20 days but had to resign from the post after just seven days, due to a political crisis.
  • The former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, had come to see Mahakal in 1971. She had left after having darshan from outside, without entering the temple. She went on to win a landslide victory in the general elections and the Bangladesh war.
  • The former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and other ministers have never stayed in Ujjain at night, whenever they visited the city. They always stayed in nearby places, such as Indore or Dewas.

The tradition of not sleeping in Ujjain is a matter of faith and respect for Mahakal, who is the supreme ruler of the city. Whether the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Dr. Mohan Yadav, will follow the tradition or not, remains to be seen.