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Explained: Why Shiva Linga Or Lingam Is Worshipped?

Note: There are many possible meanings for the Shivling, but I will only include the ones that are widely accepted and make rational sense in this post.

shivling

There are several temples dedicated to different forms of Lord Shiva all over India, from Kashi Vishwanath to Meenakshi. But one very common and distinctive feature in almost all the temples dedicated to Shiva is the presence of a ShivaLinga.

Shiva linga is an important part of Hinduism. It is a small, cylindrical object that represents the god Shiva. The word “linga” comes from the Sanskrit word for “distinguishing symbol.” Shiva linga is typically made from stone or metal and may be decorated with various things like garlands, Chandan, etc. The purpose of a Shiva linga varies, but it is most often used to symbolize the power of the divine.

In Hinduism, every action, ritual, or practice has a deeper meaning and significance. Worshipping the Shiva linga is one such example where its significance extends beyond just being an aesthetically pleasing idol. Let’s see why Shiva linga is worshipped and what it signifies.

Significance Behind Worshiping The Shivling Or Linga

shivling

The Sanskrit word linga means “symbol” or “sign.” The Shvetasvatara Upanishad has one of the earliest known uses of the term “linga” in connection with Shiva. In this text, it is stated that Lord Shiva, who is known as the Supreme Being, does not have a linga (symbol). In layman’s terms, it is not possible to define either Brahman or that which has no symbol.

But the problem here was that humans can’t worship something beyond characteristics because we need a form and can’t imagine the formless. So, as in Hindusim, every being is free to define God hence, Lingam was associated with Shiva.

Now, one other interpretation of the Lingam is that the two components of the Shiva Linga—the ling and the Panapattam—represent the Universal self (Lord Shiva) in his awakened aspect, while being in unity with his dynamic cosmic energy.

This interpretation of the Lingam can be found in the Shiva Purana (the Shakti, Parvathi). By identifying Ling as the phallus and Panapattam or Yoni as the vagina of the Universal Parents, this pairing can also be seen as an act of worship centered on the reproductive cycle.

The Story Behind The Shiva Linga

Hindu Puranas and Epics explain Shiva’s linga worship. Before creation, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu debated over who is the greatest.

Suddenly, between them, a little column of fire begins to stretch upwards and downwards, representing Lord Mahadev. Vishnu admitted defeat as he descended to the depths of the Linga’s bottomless pit. However, Brahma lied and was punished since he claimed to have seen the end of the segment.

There are many additional occurrences described in the Puranas, including the well-known episode that took place in the Deodar forest.

In this version of the tale, Shiva castrates himself after the women of holy men become drawn to him. He then chooses to leave the linga as his symbol behind on earth.

The reason why people worship the Lingam is not that it is just another stone because I have heard many people around me say that it’s just a stone, and if God resides in a stone then I will worship the mountains. Well, it is true that it is a stone, but the meaning that we give to something makes even the ordinary significant.

Shivaling is a symbol of Divine energy, the highest form of energy that is responsible for the creation and sustenance of this universe, and this is the reason why we worship Shivling.

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Written by Mukund Kapoor

I'm Mukund Kapoor, a reader, thinker, and self-taught writer. Welcome to Mukund Kapoor's blog. I love to write about Spirituality, Success and Self-improvement. I sincerely hope my articles help you find the answers you're looking for, and I wish you a pleasant voyage over the vast expanse of existence. Wishing you all the best.

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