Random Musings-Part 31- Shiva Linga

Nithin Sridhar

1.Those who equate Shiva Linga = Phallus as absolute and only authentic meaning, without ever understanding the meaning & symbolism of Linga must visit Shiva temples!

2. In many temples, the Shiva Linga has been carved into a Face. Further, Vibhuti (ash) which is put on forehead is put on the Linga. This goes to show that, Linga is considered as body of Shiva especially as the face of Shiva.

3. The meaning of Linga & Yoni as sexual counterparts only denotes the presence of Cosmic Purusha & Prakriti in Universe. The cosmic male principle represents the “Chit” and cosmic female principle represents “Kartatva”.

4. Only in certain specific tantric rituals does the equation Linga= Phallus has practical application.Saying Shiva worship is Phallus worship though true in specific context of certain tantric sadhana,is quite off the mark in larger context.

5. The conception of Linga in reality is similar to that of Saligrama. Both are representations of Shiva & Vishnu respectively. Shiva & Vishnu tattvas are specially said to manifest in Linga & Saligrama. Hence, Shiva Linga is not Shiva’s Phallus but, is Shiva himself. Its his representation on earth.

6.  In certain Lata sadhana, that is inherently sexual in nature- Shiva the Comic Purusha & Shakti the Cosmic Prakriti is represented by Linga as Phallus & Yoni as Vagina respectively. In such Lata sadhana’s, the male is Bhairava himself and his counterpart bhairavi herself. And only in this context that physical Phallus as representing Shiva has practical relevance.

7. It is often said that, Shiva Linga present along with its Adishtana represents Shiva & Shakti in Union. True, such a interpretation is indeed valid. But, here Shiva Linga is representative of Creation of Universe from Union of Cosmic Purusha & Cosmic Prakriti. The Procreation among humans & other animals is only a imitation of this Cosmic Creation. Hence, a Union of Shiva with Shakti need not be same as Sexual Union. Instead, this Cosmic Union is clearly explained in imagery of Ardhanarishwara. Hence, to reduce the worship of Shiva-Linga into Phallus worship is highly careless.

8. Further, many natural Lingas available in nature is without any Adishtana. In such a condition, saying Shiva Linga represents not Shiva Tattva but Shiva’s Phallus is quite shallow.

9. As mentioned before, the relevance of Worship of Linga= Worship of Phallus is valid only in such Lata Sadhanas, where in, the act of Sexual Union is utilized as a tool to attain Spiritual Union. In such Sadhanas, the Shiva Tattva is invoked in Phallus and Shakti Tattva is invoked in the Yoni.

10. Hence, the worship of Shiva Linga in temples is largely not a Phallus worship. It is simply a worship of Shiva.

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