Why is Lord Shiva worshipped in the form of a Lingam?By Nilakhi Banerjee
A peek at the rounded, elliptical, an-iconic image of Shiva Lingam placed on a circular base (known as Peedam). Which is found in the Sanctum Sanctorum (Garbhagraha) in all Shiva abodes, has given rise to various interpretations. Without realizing the scientific truths also discovered by the ancient Hindu sages. The cult of worshipping Shiva Lingam also as the holy symbol of Lord Shiva, has been from time immemorial.
Shivalinga is not just a Hindu concept:
Lingam was mentionedas ‘Prayapas’ by the Romans also who introduced the worship of Shiva Lingam to European countries. The idols of Shiva Lingams were found in the archaeological findings in Babylon, a city of ancient Mesopotamia. Moreover, the archaeological findings also in HarappaMohenjo-Daro. Which yielded numerous Shiva Lingam statutes, have disclosed the existence of a highly evolved culture long before the Ariyan’s immigration.
The three parts of Shivalinga:
Shiva Lingam consists of three parts. The bottomless part also which is four-sided remains underground, the middle part which is eight-sided remains on a pedestal. The top most part, which is actually worshipped, is round. The vertical dimension of the round part is one-third also of its circumference. The three parts symbolize Brahma at the bottom, Vishnu in the middle and Shiva on the top. The pedestal is provided with a passage for draining away the water that is poured on the top.
What does Shivalinga signify?
The Lingam is symbolic of both the creative and destructive power of Lord Shiva. And great sanctity is attached to it by the devotees. Unfortunately for some critics to have an imaginary invention on the image of Shiva Lingam. As a male organ and viewed with obscenity. But had conveniently forgotten how a part could have appeared from the base. In addition, since Lord Shiva is described as having no form. It is ridiculous to maintain that Lingam represents a phallus.
How Swami Vivekananda explains Shivalinga
That’s the reason why Swami Vivekananda described Shiva Lingam as the symbol of the Eternal Brahman. When a German Orientalist, GustaOppert traced it to phallicism. Accordingto Swami Vivekananda citation, Atharva Veda that the worship of Shiva Lingam was sung in praise of sacrificial post. A description of the beginningless and endless of the Eternal Brahman and refuted it as an imaginary invention.
The science behind Shivalinga
Shiva Lingam symbolises the totality of the Cosmos and the Cosmos, in turn, being represented as a Cosmic Egg. A peek at the image of Shiva Lingam shows there is a pillar. With three marks and a Disc beneath it and sometimes with a coiling cobra snake. Around the Pillar and represents its fangs above the pillar.
The Vedic science and Shivalinga
In those times in the place of using these English words such as Proton, Neutron, Electron, Molecules and Energy. The ancient sages employed the usage of the words like Lingam, Vishnu, Brahma, Sakthi. Who in turn is divided into Renuka and Rudrani), Sarppa, etc. as Sanskrit was the main language in those periods.
Form of divinity
‘Linga’ in Sankritstands for 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 simple 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. Shiva as worshipped in Linga form means the Consciousness in its primordial form where consciousness is entering into the Eternal Energy (Shakti).
The various meanings associated with Shivalinga
Bottom 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. Triple rows on pillar represents ‘Brahma’, Vishnu and Mahesh – different aspects of the divinity. However, When un-manifested energy begins to manifest itself, the first form is always the Linga. The word Linga means the form. Linga means a perfect ellipsoid.
The spiritual meaning of Shivalinga
Hence the first form is a Linga and the final form before dissolution is also a Linga. If you become meditator, your energies will naturally take the form of a Linga. Thus Linga means the place of dissolution for the world and all beings. It resembles also Satya, Jnana and Ananta—Truth, knowledge and Infinity. Thus represents that Lord Shiva is endowed with all-pervading and self-luminous nature.
Has nothing to do with the male organ
In the Sanskrit phonetics, the word linga refers to a ‘chief mark’ or ‘characteristic’ of something. As a word, it is not per se a synonym for the male sexual organ, as some would believe. Linga indicates what is outstanding and determinative. In regards to this, the male sexual organ can be said to be the distinguishing characteristic or linga. Of a man at a physical level, but linga in other contexts can have quite a different meaning.
A universal pillar of Dharma
The Shiva linga is frequently a pillar of light. An important Vedic fire rituals, the fire could be made to rise. In the shape of a pillar which could also then take the shape of a man! In fact, the term Dharma originally refers to what upholds things and can be symbolized by a pillar. The Shiva linga is the cosmic pillar of Dharma. The pillar is also an innate symbol indicating the erect spine and concentrated mind.
A form of Linga that heals
In Ayurvedic treatment, the formation of the Pranalinga. Or concentration of Prana at a subtle level is what allows deep healing and rejuvenation to occur. In the Puranas or Vedic astrology, the Shiva linga symbolises the power of light behind the Sun, Moon, planets and stars. According to Vastu Shastra also the Shiva lingam is used to stabilize. The spiritual and vital energy in a house, as a conduit of cosmic forces.
How the legend came into being
Extreme care was taken even by Goddesses and Apsaras (heavenly courtesans at Lord Indra’s court). To not provoke Lord Shankara during his meditations, as even the most inadvertent disturbance. Could bring the rage of the destroyer Hence. It became a legend that women should not be allowed near a shivling.
Anyone and worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati together. They are the supreme being irrespective of creed and colour. Our Vedic culture was indeed full of scientific miracles. We shall unfold other such jaw dropping scientific roots in our next articles.