11.05.2004

The lingam - Phallic symbol of Lord Shiva.

Shiva is one of the oldest dieties in the Indian pantheon of Gods. He was first depicted on Indus valley seals as Pashupata. The first depictions are of him in a yogic pose, with a horn crown over his head. He is surrounded by animals including a unicorn. Mukha lingas are found across the country. the Ekamukha linga, dvimukha linga chatura mukha linga, so on and so forth.



His later sculptures depictions his various exploits. He is depicted in his symbolic form, the phallus in most temples in the Garba Griha. His human form adorns the outer walls. This sculpture is from the early 5th cen AD, the place - cave 4, udayagiri, MP.
This is a single faced linga, The rock-cut caves at Udayagiri seem to have been the focus of a complex mixture of Shiva worship (interior), Vishnu worship (exterior), sun worship, and astronomical activity including the prediction of monsoons.

His jattas, long ear lobes(like buddha) and his third eye!!!

3 comments:

Neo said...

What basis do you have to say that Shiva lingam is a phallic symbol. Dont just propogate nonsense that you read in a book written by a westerner!

CR said...

In Sanskrit meanings of words change depending on the context of the sentence. Linga in male human body is the phallus. But that does not mean the Siva Linga is a phallus. It is a westerners shortsighted view in trying to understand Hindu culture. Here the word Linga means 'Indication'. Shiva means Auspicious. The ultimate Truth of Brahman revealed in the Upanishads describe the reality as Arupa, Adhrishta, etc., ie. without shape, cannot be seen etc. Here the Shiva Linga is an indication that Lord Shiva is That Brahman. Not that it is a phallus.

kavitha said...

Thank you CR for posting that! it was very enlightening. I think i have been going the wrong way myself.
I really do not know what to say about the possible representation as a phallic symbol but all i can say is there is nothing greater that Lord Shiva, and that HE is Brahman. It is very misleading indeed, but it is left to every individual to go looking for the depth of this reality.
Its a celebration of the miracle of creation, not a derogatory representation of what the phallus might be. The west does not have the capability to look into the depth of hinduism simply because they need to live it and cannot explain it with logic.

please feel free to comment, you will set a lot of our minds thinking..

Neo thanks for your comment. I hope to learn more myself.