The meaning of the Shiva Lingam or Shiva Linga lies deep within. It speaks a lot…
It signifies the creation of the universe, preservation of the universe, and even the destruction of the universe.
It is the ultimate concept or definition of God in the Hindu religion and probably all of the mysteries of the whole existence are hidden within this extraordinary symbol.
Now, let me explain what the Shiva Lingam is all about. I’ll try my best to elucidate the features of this symbol in the simplest way as much as possible.
So let’s roll in:
What is a Shiva Lingam?
First of all, the Shiva Lingam is actually called Jyotirlingam. Which means a Pillar of Light. It is both Shiva & Shakti.
It is the depiction of all-pervading formless God, Brahman. Shiva is Brahman, he is the manifestation of the Ultimate God Para Brahman.
So portraying him in the form of a symbol is the perfect way to represent his formless nature.
The Lingam is actually the phallus (erected penis) of Shiva resting in the Shakti’s yoni (vulva). Both the reproductory organs of Shiva & Shakti is signifying the process of creation. Meaning the male & female energies are the fundamental forces that are responsible for the creation of this whole existence.
But this phallic symbol should not be interpreted from the perversion or biological point of view. If you do so, the meaning of this great symbol will be very superficial…
And that’s why I said at the beginning of this article that the meaning of the Lingam lies deep within.
By keeping things even more simple, the Shiva Lingam signifies two opposite energies of one single energy are penetrating into each other for the creation of the cosmos.
So, these two opposite energies are known as Shiva (Male Divine Energy) & Shakti (Female Divine Energy) in Hindu tradition. Shiva & Shakti are not two separate entities, in fact, they are just two aspects of a single infinitely powerful energy. The macrocosmic consciousness of the Para Brahman.
Shiva & Shakti are divine couples. Lingam also signifies the Parashiva & Parashakti are copulating as energy beings beyond time & space to create time & space. It is resulting in constant orgasm & constant creation.
I’m saying again…
Please don’t interpret this orgasmic state from the biological point of view. It is unfathomable and also beyond human comprehension.
Now let me introduce you with the features of a Shiva Linga:
Meaning of the Features of Shiva Linga
The way a Shiva Lingam or Jyotirlingam is carved has many different meanings. The most prominent and widely accepted meanings of a lingam have been encapsulated below:
- The Phallus: A Phallus is the most prominent feature when it comes to Shiva Lingam. As I already said above, it is the reproductive organ (penis) of Shiva which is uniting with Shakti via the female reproductive organ (vagina).
- Tripundra: On the phallus of Shiva there are three horizontal lines with a red dot in the middle. This mark is called Tripundra (which is usually worn in the forehead by the devotees of Shiva) and the three horizontal marks generally indicate the three Gunas of nature, viz. Sattva (Creation), Rajas (Preservation), and Tamas (Destruction). There are also other interpretations of these three horizontal lines, like Three-Eyed God, Trikaldarshi (knowing Past, Present & Future), etc. The red dot in the middle indicates Shakti or Mata Parvati.
- Yoni of Shakti: As the name suggests, this is the Yoni of Shakti, which is embracing the Shiva’s penis to start the creation process.
- Vishnu: The middle part of the pedestal is called the part of Vishnu. In this part, the power of preservation resides. But you might ask yourself, how Lord Vishu came in the Lingam, which is exclusive to worship Lord Shiva? Well, if you see it from the anatomical viewpoint of the Vulva, this part is actually the Vagina, which is called Birth Canal. And right after a baby passes through the vagina, the baby is no more being created in the mother’s womb. He or she has to be preserved by the power of Vishnu Tattva.
- Brahma: The base of the Pedastal (in fact the Brahma Bhag continues until the pedestal ends beneath the surface) is called Brahma or Brahma Bhag. But again, why Brahma Bhag? The Lingam is exclusive for Shiva & Shakti! It is because Brahma is responsible for the creation and the base of the pedestal is possibly the Cervix which connects the birth canal (vagina) to the Uterus. Meaning it’s the doorway to the Uterus, a doorway to the hollow chamber of creation. So the Brahma Tattva is responsible for these two female internal organs. So, the Brahma Tattva nourishes the child, develops the child until the infant takes birth.
There are also three stages which are connected with three parts of the Lingam.
The base is called Evolution (Srishti), which indicates the development or creation of something in nature.
From the beginning of pedestal and before the base of the pedestal is called Preservation (Sthiti), which is primarily associated with the force fields of the universe, like Magnetic Fields, Gravitational Fields, etc.
And the last one is Involution (Samhara), which indicates destruction. The destruction is not only indicating death or apocalypse of the universe but also the death or destruction of negative things like ego, jealousy, anger etcetera for the salvation of the individual beings.
Note: Sometimes the Shiva Lingam is depicted with a snake coiled up the phallus. This is a symbol that indicates the Kundalini Energy, which resides in all human beings at the base of the spine. This energy is non-existent at the biological level, which can only be found on the etheric level.
So What a Shiva Lingam Holistically Means?
Shiva Lingam is the symbol of Brahman. Shiva is also called the Nirakar Nirguna Brahman.
The Nirakar means formless, Nirguna means which has not any attribute and Brahman means which is all-pervading with eternal consciousness. Hence the human form is not needed for depiction.
So when you worship a Lingam, you actually worship the unmanifested supreme God, Brahman.
It is a pantheistic approach in Hinduism to elucidate the primordial forces or energies of nature, which is controlled by imperceivable energy and also far beyond human intellect.
What do you think about the Shiva Lingam?