सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Siva Linga>"


Siva Linga


शिव लिङ्ग


śiva liṅga

In General

The literal meaning of Shiva is auspicious and Sivalinga is a representation of Siva and Sakthi. Siva symbolizes the dormant auspicious energy which transform into various forms during the creation. Creaton involve rhythem and destruction of old forms. Siva, the Nataraja does this work. The creation-destruction or transformation of matter is a continuous process which takes place always and in every being. The process take place in time so Siva is also called Kala Rudra. Siva is again the energy lies dormant after the annihilation of whole creation. So, to represent the philosophical idea behind the angry but harmonious transformation the rishis thought a symbolic shape as Sivalinga is most appropriate.

Few indologist are considering linga as a physical part of Lord Siva’s human form without giving evidence for their argument in any of the Hindu literature. The Siva Saharanama, Rudra Namaka-Chamaka, Shiva Agamas or stories on Siva in Puranas did not support such representation for Sivalinga. The people who interpret Sivalinga as phallu are borrowing the concept from Greek-Roman mythology and their intention is to make the Hindu gods ugly.


Siva or Rudra is a Vedic Devata. During Vedic period there was no idolatory worship and none of the mantras addressed to Siva-Rudra gives any indication on the use of Sivalinga. However the excavation in Sindhu-Saraswati urban civilization sites, which form the last phase of Vedic period, gives evidence of Sivalinga worship.


There are many stories in purana regarding origin or Sivalinga. One such story from Linga Purana which is repeated in many other puranas is about about a mighty Shiva linga with radience. Once, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu engaged in an argument on their relative power; then, a mighty linga appeared before them. Brahma took the form of a swan and set out to reach the top of the linga. Vishnu took the form of a boar to seek out the foot of the linga. But in spite of their efforts, they could not succeed in finding the limits. They realized their mistake and the peerless greatness of linga which is Lord Shiva.

There are twelve famous Siva temples with Jyothir Lingas, they are: Kedarnath (Uttarakhand), Visvanatha (Kashi), Somnatha (Gujrat), Vaidyanath (Jharkhand), Ramesvara (Tamil Nadu), Ghrisnesvar (Aurangabad), Bhimasankar(Pune), Mahakaleshwar (Ujjain), Mallikarjuna (Andhra Pradesh), Omkareswar (Madhya Pradesh), Nagesvar (Dvaraka), and Tryambakesvar (Nasik).

The five Pancha Bhuta lingas in India are located at Kalahastisvar (air) of Andhra pradesh, Jambukesvar(water) of Tiruchirappalli, Arunachalesvar(fire) of Thiruvannamalai, Ekambesvara (earth) at Kanchipuram, and Nataraja (space)at Chidambaram.

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Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana