India is a country of religions and beliefs. We all know there are people who believe that we worship "that part" of our beloved and renowned Gods? It may sound strange for many of you, but this belief exists.
Yes, my dear friend, there is a very crucial story associated with the way we worship Lord Shiva who is deemed to be the God of Destruction.
Shiva Linga is the symbol of God Shiva which is worshipped so adorably by Hindu community. But many of you, even many of Hindu people might not know about the story behind worshipping Shiva Linga and what it actually signifies.
There are two main tantric symbols, ie, the Shiva Linga and the Shakti Yoni, by the name you might have already made a wild guess but I will take you through the detailed account of what they actually mean.
This may be a sunrise for you, but it is true. The worshipping of Shiv Linga is not just an Indian and Sri Lankan concept. According to sources, the concept has been introduced as 'Prayapas' by the Romans who originated the worship of Shiva Lingam to European countries. Earlier, many statues of Shiv Linga were found in Babylon, a city of ancient Mesopotamia and later in Harappa-Mohanjo-daro.
Many Lingas are found in Hindu temples like that at Kedarnath and in the Himalayas as rocks in the shapes of small mountains. There are twelve famous Jyotirlinga or 'light forms' of Shiva in twelve special temples.
Did you know what is the basic principle behind the symbol of Shiva Linga?
According to an article published on Speaking Tree, Shiva Linga is often taken as an upright funnel-shaped just like a male sex organ. But only a few people know that there are many other types of Linga which are circular, elliptical, triangular or columnar.
As per the same article, in reality, it is not the essence of the sexual side, but it holds the principle of immutability, stability, strength and durability. According to the Sanskrit language, Linga refers to characteristics of something. If we think in a language sense, it is nowhere in relation with the male sexual organ.
This isn't just the only definition given to the Linga. You will be shocked to know the science behind it.
Shiv Linga is termed as a Cosmic Egg (relating to the universe especially as distinct from the earth). When one first looks at the Linga, it shows a pillar with three marks with a disc beneath it and a coiling cobra snake around the pillar. According to a Danish scientist, Neils Bohr, Shiv Linga consists of Proton, Neutron and Electron.
In Sanskrit, the egg shape represents the 'Brahmanda' or the cosmic egg, ie, a divine power. The base is called 'Peetham' and the Coiled Cobra snake represents the 'Kundalini' shakti or feminine principle of the divinity whom we refer as Mother Goddess.
Do you know why unmarried women are not allowed near Shiv Linga?
According to Speaking Tree, Goddesses and Apsaras were given proper instructions to not provoke Lord Shankara during his meditations. It is because even the most accidental disturbance could bring the anger. Hence, it is said that, it became a legend that unmarried women should not be allowed near Shiv Linga.
To all those people who believe that Linga defines the male sex organ, one must think how a phallus could have appeared from the field? Moreover, since Lord Shiva is described as having no form, so how it is possible to call it his phallus?
What do you know about the different parts of the Linga?
It is said that, the bottom part is a four-sided part which remains underground, the middle part is eight-sided that remains on a pedestal. The top part, which is actually worshipped, is the round Linga. You will be shocked to know that the three parts symbolize Brahma at the bottom, Vishnu in the middle and Shiva on the top. The support part, ie, the middle one is provided with a passage that drains the water which is poured on the top.
The Linga is preferred to be the place where the energy is generated and sustained. The Linga projects a subtle body. The subtle body is different than the normal body as it doesn't require reborn. It is symbolized as egg-shaped like form. It also indicates the upper spinal region from the heart to the head.
What do you know about the Yoni?
in Sanskrit, Yoni means 'a place of origin'. To all those who believe it to be a sacred symbol, you must know that the female sexual organ can be said to be the Yoni but not necessarily indicate it. It is the creative center of a woman, according to biological beliefs, it is a womb. If greatly expressed, it is a cave, a valley or a place of origins, matrix of space and time.
But again, translating Linga or Yoni in sexual terms will never do justice to their Sanskrit means and neither to our beliefs.
The Yoni is considered to be an abstract representation of Shakti and Devi, the force that moves through the entire universe. In Hindu philosophy, according to tantra, Yoni is the origin of life.
What do Linga and Yoni denote together and how to worship them?
In Sanskrit, Yoni means vulva, source or origin and Linga means symbol of Shiva. As Shiva is represented as an endless fire, Linga-Yoni represents the origin of an endless fire which created the universe.
The Yoni is the creative power of nature and represents the Goddess Shakti. The Linga stone represents Shiva and is usually placed on the Yoni. The Lingam is the generated source of all that exists. The Linga united with the Yoni represents the nonduality of inborn reality and original energy.
According to the sources, though myths are unmarried women cannot worship Shiv Linga but on the other side, unmarried women can worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati together. You must be aware of the 16 somvar vrat or the Monday fasts for 16 consecutive Mondays that girls often keep. This is because Monday is considered to be the day of Lord Shiva.
As Lord Shiva is deemed to be the perfect husband, unmarried women fast and pray to Lord Shiva to bless them with a good husband just like him.
All you need to do is visualize this Shiva Linga with its circular yoni base in your heart and the conical linga extending up to your head, growing into all the consciousness within you. You can use the mantra OM Namahâ Shivàya, to aid in this process, connecting to the Shiva energy behind all that is.
I hope you liked the story.
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