The powerful Shiva Lingam
In India, so-called miracles commonly occur in temples and shrines due to the devotion of spiritual practitioners. These feats are rarely questioned, instead accepted as the physical manifestations of worship. India’s mystical aspect truly represents one of the country’s most exciting attractions, and those yearning for a touch of India’s magical journey, hoping to encounter something extraordinary and divine, perhaps.
One such incredible phenomenon may be found in the “Shivalingam,” a powerful stone icon representative of God, which has been forming in large numbers spontaneously throughout India for many years. Thousands of Shivalingams emerge in temples, on altars, and in pristine places of Nature, certainly embodying one of our planet’s most fascinating mysteries.
The “lingam” or “Shivalingam” is a conical, stone form that is an abstract representation of the divine. Appearing in different sizes and slight variations, the lingam nearly resembles an egg. If we were to assign form to the concept of God, that form would be a lingam – perfect, whole, and complete, without beginning or end.
Just as the sacred “Om” may be said to be God in sound vibration, the lingam embodies God in a visual form. Thus the lingam is a symbol of the divine energies that exist around us but invisible to the eye, showing the ultimate oneness in all of creation.
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When used for spiritual purposes, a lingam generally sits on a circular pedestal, symbolizing the union between male and female (the lingam representing male energy and the round receptacle defining female energy).
Some lingams are crafted by hand, but the most revered are those that form through worship or emerge spontaneously in the Himalayas’ sacred riverbeds. Some masters (such as Sri Sathya Sai Baba and others) who are adept at manifestation also produce the lingams out of thin air. Because the lingam represents God in form, there are specific rituals for working with the lingam.
Many yogis choose to incorporate this esoteric worship as part of daily meditation to connect more deeply with their divine natures. Owning and honoring a lingam is said to bring blessings and auspiciousness to the practitioner and the environment.
Stories surrounding the lingam are fascinating and deserve mention here, for they give the lingam meaning, transforming it from an unusual, even curious object into a practical, powerful tool for spiritual growth. The first legend says that Parvathi, wife of Lord Shiva, fashioned a lingam from a handful of sand, an act that represented the creative process and invoked the earth element. However, the most extraordinary story of the lingam concerns the Hindu trinity of Brahma (Energy of Creation), Vishnu (Energy of Sustenance), and Shiva (Energy of Destruction).
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Legend says that one day Brahma and Vishnu began arguing about who was more powerful in the universe – the energy that creates life or the energy that sustains life. Suddenly an immense column of fire appeared before them. Not knowing what to make of this fire, Brahma assumed the form of a swan and flew to the heavens to find its source, while Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and went into the earth to investigate.