Shiva Lingam and Its Significance
worship is very popular among the Shivaite Hindus. They worship Lord Shiva in the form of Linga. The literal meaning of ‘Linga’ means mark or sign. Generally Linga has two parts: upper part is called linga and lower part is called yoni. Yoni represents female creative energy. Let us know the significance of Shiva lingam in hinduism.
The Denotion of Shiva lingam
The Linga denotes or is the symbol of the energy of the Creator of the Universe. It is said that at the end of Universe, after the destruction, the elements find the resting place in the Lingam. Linga is also a representation of the infinite Column of fire of which Lord Vishnu and Brahma were unable to trace the ends.
The Shivalingam: The Design and Material
The design of Shivalingam is as shown in the figure. The circular part or quadrangular receptacle is known as Avudaiyar. The pedestal is designed to drain off the water while washing or doing the abhishekam. The upper circular portion is called Shiva lingam. It represents Lord Shiva. This can be of various shapes like cylindrical, elliptical or in the shape of umbrella. In some Shiva lingams images of Lord Shiva are also carved on the Lingam.
Generally the lingam is made of stone either carved or Svambhu or naturally existing. In very rare cases, like that of Shivalingam in Kanchipuram, it is made of sand. In such cases the abhishekam is offered only to the pedestal and not to the lingam. Shiva lingas are also made of metal, crystals, wood and precious gems. Some hindu scholars of Shiva worship say that Shivalinga can be made of other materials such as rice, ice, cow dung, butter, rudraksha seeds, sandalwood, grass, flowers and molasses.
The Worship of Shiva Linga
Shivalinga is worshipped with great reverence by the devotees of Lord Shiva. It is very popular in Hinduism and many temples have Shivalingam installed in the premises. It is said that Lord Shiva represents the false ego. When Shivalingam is washed or offered abhishekam the false ego of the person is washed away.
On the day of Shivaratri Shiva lingam is worshipped elaborately. Shivaratri is the day of appearance of Shiva linga. On this day the devotees of Lord Shiva fast whole day and offer great ablution ceremonies. They sing glories of Shiva lingam in the form of