The Importance of Shiva Linga in Hinduism•
Posted on August 22 2022
The Shiva linga is also known by other names such as Shivling or lingam. The linga is an abstract of Lord Shiva, who is represented as The Destroyer in The Trinity. Shiva is the key deity of Shaivites.
Some Hindu scriptures state that the linga came into existence as soon as soon as the Universe was created before any other form. It will also be the last form to depart from the Universe before its dissolution. This is why is it is represented as a beam of fire with no beginning or end indicating the infinite nature of Shiva.
A Shiva linga has a cylindrical pillar like structure that rests on an elongated bowl like structure on a circular base. The circular base on the top has a spout. The linga is generally crafted out of stone or quartz. The quartz linga does not have any colour on its own and portrays the colour of any substance that it comes in contact with.
There are various representations of the Shiva linga in Hindu Mythology. Each representation has its own significance. Read on to know the two major representations.
Parashiva and Parashakti
One representation highlights the Shiva linga associates the linga with two key parts. The upper cylindrical portion called represents Parashiva. The lower circular base is called the pitha and represents Parashakti. The Parashiva form of the lord is considered to be the absolute reality and is spaceless, formless and timeless. On the other hand, in the Parashakti perception, Shiva is said to have a form and is considered to be the basic element of anything that exists, power, pure consciousness and power. Together, they symbolise the union of the female and male principles and hence the wholeness of any existence.
Brahma-Pitha, Vishnu-Pitha and Shiva-Pitha
According to another representation, the Shiva Linga features three main parts representing all the deities of the Trinity. The circular base at the bottom is called Brahma-Pitha and is said to symbolise Lord Brahma, referred to as The Creator. The elongated bowl like structure with the spout over the circular base is known as Vishnu-Pitha and is said to represent Lord Vishnu, characterised as The Preserver. The cylindrical portion at the extreme top is referred to as Shiva-Pitha and symbolises Lord Shiva.
Shiva Linga Significance
The Shiva linga has a great significance for Hindus and is much more than a mere piece of stone. They believe that the linga is a massive source of power that cannot be described. There are mainly three main types of linga – black Shiva linga, white marble Shiva linga and parad Shiva linga. Each type has its own significance.
The black Shiva linga is packed with protective energies and helps followers in resonating with the energies of the five elements of nature. These are fire, earth, air, water and space. The linga worship energises the chakra system, charges the kundali energies and triggers inner transformation of its devotees. It acts as a guiding path towards a new life, builds a sense of unity and bring harmony and peace in the life of a person who carries the linga with him/her. The Shiva linga is enriched several healing properties and serves as a healing stone in solving sexual problems such as impotency and infertility.
The white marble Shiva linga helps to boost the concentration and attention skills of an individual. It is a good choice for meditation. This linga imbibes a positive mindset in its worshippers and guides them to stay away from negative thoughts and intentions. The linga also has the powers to prevent anyone who worships it from attempting to commit suicide.
The parad Shiva linga yields great benefits when it is worshipped wholeheartedly with utmost devotion and belief. It helps the devotees to be strong mentally, physically, psychologically and spiritually. The linga also blesses them with positive strength and prosperity. This Shiva linga offers protection against disaster, evil power, natural calamities and other adverse effects.
The Shiva linga can be of any size. The linga in some temples are really huge and even taller than the devotees. On the other hand, some Shiva temples have lingas that are only as big as the devotees’ knees or even smaller. Similarly, some Shiva lingas are plain while others have elaborate carvings or traditional symbols marked on them.
There are various Shiva lingas in various temples across the country. Some of them are believed to be of swayambhu type. They are said to have manifested by themselves. Interestingly, some lingas are given more importance than others. One of them is the linga is the Madhyarjuna in dedication to Lord Mahalinga in the Shiva temple in Tiruvdaimarudur. This shrine is considered to be one of the greatest Shiva temples in South India. The other prominent Shiva lingas are the five Pancha-bhuta lingas and twelve Jyotir-lingas in different parts of India.