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THE SHIV LINGA

Shiva being synonymous with destructive energy is worshipped as the consort of Parvati or Shakti. Shakti is the constructive destruction of the Tamasic qualities, the base form inherent in all. The trinity comprising of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Siva the destroyer represent the universal principle of creation, sustenance and destruction. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but just changes from one form to another. You and I have existed before, are existing and will continue to exist, but in different forms!

Shiva is represented as destroyer only to create. Shakti his consort was born to cohabit and create and also to annihilate something to shape it back to its original form.  Parvati incarnated herself as Kali to slay the demon Raktabheeja. There is a devil in each of us and mighty courage (Shakti) is needed to conquer and destroy the devil in us, only to restore out true potential. The various demons and devils that mythology created, are the various demonic qualities present in each of us. Shiva and Shakti are thus worshipped to enable man to obliterate that which is base and bring out the finest of the human spirit.

Linga

The word ‘linga’ in Sanskrit literally translates to symbol or a sign. Dually, the word also means gender or the phallus. While it is human imagination that painted pictures of Mother Mary, Raama, Lakshmi or Krishna, in reality, the infinite is infinite and formless. When Raama set out to rescue his wife Seeta and wage a war against Ravana, his mission seemed impossible with the ocean being insurmountable. Before venturing to cross the ocean-a perilous task, he invoked the blessings of the Almighty or the infinite force. By simply creating a symbol with sand and mixed with water in an elliptical shape, he infused the power in the symbol, thus instantly making it omnipotent!

The logic is that God or the Supernatural force is formless and shapeless. Your faith in this form or symbol is what makes it potent.

The linga usually is made of stone, crystal, glass or plain clay, signifying the power in all of universal creations. The linga itself has three parts-the lowest part which is a square is known as Brahmabhaga, representing Brahma the creator, the middle portion which is octagonal represents Vishnu the sustainer and the cylindrical portion that projects outside is the Pujabhage, thus called, as this is the portion that is worshipped. The former two are inside the pedestal. One linga or symbol represents all the three forms of universal energy.    

Linga the phallus!

Linga in Sanskrit also means gender or the phallus-the male reproductive organ and the pedestal or region where it is worshipped is representative of the ‘yoni’ or the female reproductive organ! The worship of the Linga in reality is the worship of creative energy and enlightenment. The worship of the Shiva linga is the worship of the yin and the yang the masculine and the feminine principle in you and me. Kaama is desire and Rati is the union that forms out of this desire. Thus, the worship of the linga is the worship of desire.

The linga imbedded in the yoni which is fit for worship, is also the worship of that which is outstanding, creative, yang, ascending and gregarious. The yoni represents the worship of that which is internal, yielding, yin, generative, descending and serene. The linga or the phallus contains the seeds within symbolizing the potent power to regenerate and the yoni that receives, cp-operates and sustains is the actual generator of life!

One without the other is useless. None is superior and none is inferior! The fall of the valleys implies the rise of the mountains. Valleys are formed due to the formations of titanic mountains and mountains exist because of valleys!

The linga also represents the erect spine when man has converged all his attention in yogic posture in realizing the God in him. The linga arising out of the yoni or the base around it, represents the rotation and revolution the planets make around the sun! The worship just accords utmost reverence to duality and opposite forces that govern the universe. It’s not just the worship of the masculine or the feminine principle or forces, but the worship of the masculine and feminine forces existing in every male and the masculine and feminine forces existing in every female! Finally, the worship of Shivalinga is also the worship of the yoni-the sensuality in you.

It also signifies the yin and the yang inherent in all beings. Shakti is worshipped as a yang form in the incarnation of Kali, and the same Shakti is worshipped in her yin manifestation as Parvati. Shiva is yin in his meditative stance and yang as the cosmic dancer-Nataraja! 

If you transcend beyond the gross level, you could progress to the spiritual realm of perceiving equality in duality. It is the worship of the logical and the creative. It is the worship of the rational and the eccentric. Every individual is made up of similar desires, some hidden and some unearthed, some prominent, while some concealed, some conditioned, by societal mores, while others unconditioned by a free spirit!


 

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