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Shiva Lingam

Description: This article provides information about the Shivling also known commonly as Shiva Lingam, Shiva Linga and in Sanskrit लिङ्गं, a symbolic form of Lord Shiva.

Introduction

God or Deity is a Principle which exists in every era, that is, Satyayuga, Tretayuga, Dwaparyuga and Kaliyuga and manifests as per need in that particular era; for example, the 9 Incarnations of Lord Vishnu came on Earth as they were needed in those respective Eras. As the time passed, people started worshipping God in various forms. In the same way, the Idol of Lord Shiva changed and worship of His different forms started.

Phallus
Many people associate the symbolic representation of Lord Shiva as phallus in the erotic context; however, Lord Shiva is referred to as the father of the Universe; hence, in the olden days the Idol used to be in the form of a phallus. Lord Shiva is Deity of Dissolution; that is, He eliminates all the bad things and paves way for new creation. In a human context, the phallus is associated with creation; similarly, Lord Shiva is associated with creation of Universe.

One may wonder that as Lord Shiva is a Deity of Dissolution, why is He depicted in the form of genitals, phallus-birth passage form linga, Nandi etc. that are related to Creation? The answer is that, according to the Shaiva sect, the Deity responsible for Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution is Shiva alone. For most people, worship related to Creation and Sustenance is easier than the worship related to Dissolution. Hence, in the Shaiva sect, Lord Shiva is also associated with Creation.

In this article, we will explain about Shiva lingam (Pindi, Shalunka) and Jyotirlinga.

Shiva Lingam (Pindi)

A Shiva lingam (pindi) is made of two symbolic parts – Shalunka (symbol of the passage of birth) and the Phallus (symbol of the male sex organ) or lingam. There is no erotic meaning to the Shiva lingam, in fact, the phallus protrudes out and does not insert as in sexual intercourse. Lord Shiva and Shri Parvati (Shiva’s Divine Energy, also known as Shakti) are considered the parents of the world, and Lord Shiva always functions with the help of Shakti. This does not mean that Lord Shiva is incapable; but to undertake any action, Divine Energy is needed. Hence, both Lord Shiva and Shakti are worshipped together. Lord Shiva’s symbolic lingam in the form of a Shiva lingam or pindi represents the energy of radiance. The containment buildings of nuclear reactors also have a shape similar to the lingam because such a shape is the strongest to contain very high pressures without deforming or breaking open.

This can give us an idea about how strong Shiva’s energy would be !

Subtle picture of a Shiva Linga

Subtle picture of a Shiva Linga

Types of Shiv Lingam

1. Shiva Lingam situated below the ground level (Swayambhu)

This type of Shivling has tremendous amount of spiritual energy, thus, it is situated inside the ground. Devotees do not have the capacity to tolerate such high energy. The Jyotirlinga Shivlings have the maximum amount of intense Shiva Principle in them; followed by the Swayambhu Shivlings. These types of Shivlings are created due to the resolve (sankalp) of Lord Shiva. The discovery of such a Shiva lingam happens when devotees get a Divine inspiration to look for it, and after the discovery its worship begins.

2. Shiva Lingam situated at the ground level

Shivlings of this type are installed by Sages or Kings. In terms of the intensity of Shiva Principle, these have comparatively lesser energy than the Swayambhu and Jyotirlingas. Average devotees are able to endure the energy emanating from it.

3. Shiva Lingam situated above the ground level

Such types of Shivlings are installed collectively by devotees. The energy in these Shivlings is the least of all the Shivlings; hence people can easily bear it.

Linga

A  linga  is  a  representation  of  an  object  or  an  emotion; it is a representation of Lord Shiva.

The Shalunka (base of the linga)

Bhumi (Earth) is the eldest daughter of King Daksha Prajapati (son of Lord Brahma). Aditi, Uttanpada, Mahi and Shalunka are Her other forms. The name shalunka has roots in the name Suvarnashankhini, because women’s sexual organs resemble the shape of a conch. When a ritualistic worship of the shalunka is performed, it is akin to the worship of the Matrudevi. The Shalunka has grooves on its inner side which are very important because due to them, the sattva predominant energy generated in the pindi mostly remains in the pindi and the gabhara (sanctum) of the temple; while the destructive, tama predominant energy, flows out from the source of the shalunka.

Shalunka

Jyotirlingas

The importance of Jyotirlingas

The Jyotirlingas and swayambhu Shivlings are situated underground. The nirgun principle in Jyotirlingas is very high as compared to other Shivalings, hence, they constantly emit greater quantum of nirgun chaitanya and sattvikta, and as a result, the atmosphere on Earth gets purified continuously. Also, as these frequencies are constantly emitted towards the region of hell, they are in continuous combat with the negative energies there. Hence, Earth is constantly protected from the attacks of the powerful negative energies from the region of Hell.

There are twelve Jyotirlingas which are the major places of worship of Lord Shiva. The names of twelve Jyotirlingas are as follows –

Jyotirlinga Site
1. Somnath Prabhasapattan, near Veraval, Sourashtra, Gujarat
2. Mallikarjun Shrishailya, Andhra Pradesh
3. Mahankal Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
4. Omkar / Amleshvar Omkar, Mandhata, Madhya Pradesh
5. Kedarnath Himalay
6. Bhimashankar Dakini region, taluka Khed, district Pune, Maharashtra
7. Vishveshvar Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
8. Tryambakeshvar Near Nashik, Maharashtra
9. Vaidyanath (Vaijnath) Parli, District Bid, Maharashtra or Vaidyanathdham, Bangal.
10. Nagesh (Nagnath) Darukavan, Oundha, district Parbhani, Maharashtra or Almoda, Uttar Pradesh
11. Rameshvar Setubandha, near Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu.
12. Ghrushneshvar (Ghrushnesh) Verul, district Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

Spiritual significance of Jyotirlingas

To empower a rudraksha with a specific quality and energy related mantra, we should select an appropriate Jyotirlinga  and  perform  abhishek  on  that  Jyotirlinga;  for  example, Mahankal is empowered with tama predominant energy, Naganath is Harihar form and is sattva-tama  predominant, Tryambakeshwar is three components oriented (also  known  as  Avadhut), whereas Somnath is appropriate for overcoming diseases. The rituals of Narayan-Nagbali and Tripindi shraddha are performed at the Jyotirlinga places.

The meaning of a Jyotirlinga

  1. The all-pervading Brahmatmalinga or all-pervading light

  2. In  the  Taittiriya  Upanishad,  the  twelve  Principles  of  Brahma, Maya, the embodied soul, the mind, intellect, subconscious mind, ego and  the  five  Cosmic  Elements  have  been  referred  to  as  the  twelve Jyotirlingas.

  3. In the summit of a sacrificial fire the shalunka represents the altar of the fire and the linga the flame of the fire.

  4. A representation of the twelve Adityas (species of Gods who are designated into groups).

  5. The sites of eruption of fire from the dormant state of volcanoes. Since Yama, the master of the southern direction is a subordinate of Lord Shiva, south becomes the direction of Lord Shiva. The Jyotirlingas are south oriented, meaning, the opening of their shalunkas face southwards. Most temples do not face the southern direction. When the opening of the shalunka faces South, its pinda possesses more spiritual energy; while the pinda with the opening of the shalunka facing north possesses lesser energy.

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2 Responses to Shiva Lingam

  1. miraculous god are hear in my life

  2. Halaku says:

    Meaning of Shiv ling based on Vedic sources and commentary of Vedic sages such as Swami Vivekanand, Swami Sivanand and Shri Ram Sharma Acharya of Gayatri Parivar(Haridwar).

    ‘Linga’ in Sankrit means form or mark and it is shaped like an egg and represents the ‘Brahmanda’ or the cosmic egg. Thus it represents elliptical form of divinity. A glance at the image of Shiva Lingam shows there is a pillar with three marks and a disc beneath it called ‘Peetham’ and with a coiling cobra snake around the Pillar and hows its fangs above the pillar.

    Shiva Lingam represents the totality of the Cosmos and the Cosmos, in turn, being represented as a Cosmic Egg. Again an egg is an ellipsoid depicting with no beginning, nor end. Shiva being worshipped as Linga means the Consciousness in its primodal form where consciousness is entering into the Eternal Energy (Shakti).

    Base of the ligna is called ‘Peetham’ and Coiled Cobra snake represents the ‘Kundalini’ shakti or feminine principle of the divinity whom we refer as Mother goddess. Three rows on pillar represents ‘Brahma’, Vishnu and Mahesh – different aspects of the divinity.

    When un-manifest energy begins to manifest itself, the first form is always the Linga. The word Linga means the form. Linga means a perfect ellipsoid. The first form of creation is an ellipsoid and final form before dissolution is also an ellipsoid.

    Thus the first form is a Linga and the final form before dissolution is also a Linga. If you become meditative, your energies will naturally take the form of a Linga. Thus Linga means Linga means the place of dissolution for the world and all beings. It signifies also Satya, Jnana and Ananta—Truth, knowledge and Infinity. It indicates that Lord Siva is endowed with all-pervading and self-luminous nature. Linga is a symbol which makes us understand the various kinds of Artha which are indicated above.
    There are six Lingas, viz., Anda Linga, Pinda Linga, Sadasiva Linga, Atma Linga, Jnana
    Linga and Siva Linga. These Lingas are taken to mean the characteristics by which the Anda (the Universe), Pinda (the body), Sadasiva, etc., are to be recognised and understood.

    Linga is only the outward symbol of the formless being, Lord Siva, who is the indivisible, all-pervading, eternal, auspicious, ever-pure, immortal essence of this vast universe, who is the undying Soul seated in the chambers of your heart, who is your Indweller, innermost Self or Atman, and who is identical with the Supreme Brahman.

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