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Pheena

The Siva Linga

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The popular belief is that the Siva Lingam represents the phallus or the virile organ, the emblem of the generative power or principle in nature. This is not only a serious mistake, but a grave blunder. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of Lord Siva. Linga is the differentiating mark. It is certainly not the sex mark. You will find in the Linga Purana:

Pradhanam Prakriti Yadahurlingamuttamam

Gandhavarnarasaiheenam Sabda-sparsadi-varjitam

The foremost Lingam which is primary and is devoid of smell, colour, taste, hearing, touch, etc., is spoken of as Prakriti (Nature).

Linga means “Mark” in Sanskrit. It is a symbol which points to an inference. When you see a big flood in a river, you infer that there have been heavy rains the previous day. When you see smoke, you infer that there is fire. This vast world of countless forms is a Linga of the Omnipotent Lord. The Siva Linga is a symbol of Lord Siva. When you look at the Linga, your mind is at once elevated and you begin to think of the Lord.

Lord Siva is really formless. He has no form of His own and yet all forms are His forms. All forms are pervaded by Lord Siva. Every form is the form or Linga of Lord Siva.

There is a mysterious power or indescribable Sakti in the Linga to induce concentration of the mind. Just as the mind is focussed easily in crystal gazing, so also it attains one-pointedness when it looks at the Lingam. That is the reason why the ancient Rishis of India and the seers have prescribed the Lingam for being installed in the temples of Lord Siva.

Siva Linga speaks to you in the unmistakable language of silence: “I am one without a second, I am formless.” Pure, pious souls only can understand this language. A curious, passionate, impure foreigner of little understanding or intelligence says sarcastically, “Oh! The Hindus worship the phallus or sex organ. They are ignorant people. They have no philosophy.” When a foreigner tries to learn Tamil or Hindustani language, he first tries to pick up some vulgar words. This is his curiosity nature. Even so, the curious foreigner tries to find out some defects in the worship of symbol. Linga is only the outward symbol of the formless being Lord Siva who is the indivisible, all-pervading, eternal, auspicious, ever-pure, immortal essence of this vast universe, who is the undying soul seated in the chambers of your heart, who is your Indweller, innermost Self or Atman, and who is identical with the Supreme Brahman.

Sphatikalinga is also a symbol of Lord Siva. This is prescribed for Aradhana or worship of Lord Siva. It is made up of quartz. It has no colour of its own but takes on the colour of the substances which come in contact with it. It represents the Nirguna Brahman or the attributeless Supreme Self or formless and attributeless Siva.

For a sincere devotee, the Linga is not a block of stone. It is all radiant Tejas or Chaitanya. The Linga talks to him, makes him shed profuse tears, produces horripilation and melting of heart, raises him above body-consciousness and helps to commune with the Lord and attain nirvikalpa Samadhi. Lord Rama worshipped the Siva Linga at Rameshwar. Ravana, the learned scholar, worshipped the golden Linga. What a lot of mystic Sakti there should be in the Linga!

May you all attain the formless Siva through the worship of the Linga, the symbol of Lord Siva which helps concentration of mind and which serves as a prop for the mind to lean upon in the beginning for the neophytes!

By

SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

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There is another story relating to the lingam in the life of naam dev. naam dev was in search of a Guru and was told to go to this certain village. After having reached there he asked the people if there was anyone who was a guru and wise man.. and the people said there was none..

so naam dev decided to go the temple, as he went there he saw this old lunatic man lying on the ground with his feet/legs resting on the lingam. naam dev got angry and said "what are you doing ? remove your feet from the lingam". The old man said "Im too weak to move them, can you do it for me please" . Naam dev rushed and picked up his feet and as he put it on another spot the lingam came to the same place under his feet. Then suddenly naam dev realized that this was his Guru and he paid his respect to the guru.

The guru then touched the forehead of naam dev and his consciousness was filled with the entire cosmos. He became one with everything and had the realization of God is everywhere and one with everyone.

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