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What is behind Lord Shiva being represented as a 'Linga?' The popular belief is that the Shiva Linga or Lingam represents the phallus, the emblem of the generative power in nature. According to Swami Sivananda, this is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder.

In Sanskrit, Linga means a 'mark' or a symbol, which points to an inference. Thus the Shiva Linga is a symbol of Lord Shiva - a mark that reminds of the Omnipotent Lord, which is formless... Read more

Comments
March 2, 2011 at 7:52 am
(1) P.C.Madhuraj says:

It is not a popular beleif. It is a popular misbeleif. While there is nothing bad in taking phallus as symbol, i wish to say that it is the only way people with narrow understanding of the semitic nature can digest. What is phallus? It is a mark, a symbol, a charateristic identity that separates one set of creations from the whole of cration. It defines a subset. Limgam is a word which suggest a characteristc symbol that is needed to distinguish a ‘set’ from the ‘universal’. Leenam gamayate iti limgaH. The dissolved state goes…from nirgunabrahmam, which can not be represented by any feature because of the very limitting nature of ‘features’ brahmam (not brahmaa) didnot reveal to ordinary minds. So the Eeshwara feature of brahmam kindly allowed to manifest with a form. What can be that form..representing this primary concept of god? sages thought…Vaamadevarishi sugested that an elliptical form can be the very beginning of conveying to people that a shape exist when they failed to recognise the perfect circular shape. Lingam(symbol) representing shiva is an ellipsoid. When it is kept on a peetha which has a pit to accommodate the ellipsoid, more than half…that represents shiva.
But if someone wants to think that it is fallus, let them. Mostly this propaganda came from the missionaries, then innocent but ignorant Hindus, and then once it became a popular misnomer, learned people like you too say that it is a popular beleif.
Fine, even the worst criminal too can please Shiva by thapas, beause Shiva represents kaaruNyam, vaatsalyam of God.

March 2, 2011 at 7:53 am
(2) P.C.Madhuraj says:

It is not a popular beleif. It is a popular misbeleif. While there is nothing bad in taking phallus as symbol, i wish to say that it is the only way people with narrow understanding of the semitic nature can digest. What is phallus? It is a mark, a symbol, a charateristic identity that separates one set of creations from the whole of cration. It defines a subset. Limgam is a word which suggest a characteristc symbol that is needed to distinguish a ‘set’ from the ‘universal’. Leenam gamayate iti limgaH. The dissolved state goes…from nirgunabrahmam, which can not be represented by any feature because of the very limitting nature of ‘features’ brahmam (not brahmaa) didnot reveal to ordinary minds. So the Eeshwara feature of brahmam kindly allowed to manifest with a form. What can be that form..representing this primary concept of god? sages thought…Vaamadevarishi sugested that an elliptical form can be the very beginning of conveying to people that a shape exist when they failed to recognise the perfect circular shape. Lingam(symbol) representing shiva is an ellipsoid. When it is kept on a peetha which has a pit to accommodate the ellipsoid, more than half…that represents shiva.
But if someone wants to think that it is fallus, let them. Mostly this propaganda came from the missionaries, then innocent but ignorant Hindus, and then once it became a popular misnomer, learned people like you too say that it is a popular beleif.
Fine, even the worst criminal too can please Shiva by thapas, beause Shiva represents kaaruNyam, vaatsalyam of God.
(Continued)

March 2, 2011 at 7:54 am
(3) P.C.Madhuraj says:

Shiva gets angry only in the sight of Adharma. All over the world, shivalingam is worshipped with dhaara..meaning pouring of water on the linga.What is it? The manthram to be used for it is the “sree rudramanthram” which appears in Yajurveda. It sees shiva in the form of a forest dweller (kiraata) in the first stanza. He is angry at the sight of Adharma commited by people. So the sage prays to god to the effect that requests him to be please be kind enough. We will not commit any crime. We will lead dharmic life. Keep the arrow in its box. Untie the bow. Then it proceeds to visualise Shiva in viraadroopa..meaning god in all forms in the universe. The semitic idiots who blame Hindus of worshipping stone and tree should understand this, that the most exhalted form of “sagunaaraadhana” is realising God in every element of the world. In the eleven stanzas (anuvaaka) of sreerudra manthram, the sage goes to the extent of seeing Shiva in all livivng and non living creation, (even in theives and land grabbers!)
Eighth anuvaaka of sreerudra mantra features the most famous panchaaksharamanthra, namaH Shivaaya.
Those who are not blessed by saraswathi to understand their mothertongue, there is a fantastic English commentary available of Sreerudra manthra by Swamy Dayananda Saraswati. (there must be many)
So the jaladhaara, is to passify and please the god of unlimitted kindness.
Symbols are vehicles. Till we reach the desired point, we can/should travel in vehicles. Then come out of the vehicle and see where have we reached. Not before that.

March 3, 2011 at 6:07 am
(4) vt says:

Linga refers to Stambha(pillar). Shiva Lingam represents the beginningless and endless pillar (Stambha), symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. The Sanskrit term “Lingam” meanings, including a mark, sign or characteristic.
{Linga is the infinite pillar connecting Bhoo loka to Swarga loka)

There is a hymn in the Atharvaveda which praises a pillar (Skt: Stambha), and this is one possible origin of linga-worship.

In the Linga Purāna the same hymn is expanded in the shape of stories, meant to establish the glory of the great Stambha and the great nature of Mahādeva.
The Concept “Lingam as phallus and is often represented with the Yoni” is Wrong. This wrong concept appeared due to wrong interpretation of Sanskrit texts while translating to English by foreigners.
and this Linga-Yoni concept is not accepted by Rushis and many Spiritual leaders.

(God stood as pillar of flame)

March 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm
(5) A C SREE KUMAR says:

Why is it shaped like a phallus ? Other religions laugh at Hindus for worshiping the penis

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