Shivling or ling or shivalingam

 Ramya Shankar
Shivling or ling or shivalingam

The Lingam or Shivaling is considered to be a form of Lord Shiva in the Hindu Mythology. It has special powers and many people pray and perform rituals on the shivling for good health, peace and prosperity.

There are particular methods to be followed in keeping shivaling at home to get the maximum benefits. For example, shivling should always be kept in a bowl filled with water. One should also ensure that the water never dries. Same way, the pure water which is used for ‘abhishekam’ or offering should flow in the north direction.

There are lot of ancient Sanskrit texts like the Upanishads and epic literature which prove the existence of God in the form of shivalingam. It has been widely found in many places of India. The symbol represents two perfections of Lord Shiva – the upper part represents Parashiva and the lower part represents Parashakti.

Shivaling is widely worshipped in Hindu temples. The 12 Jyotirlingas in India represent the supreme god Shiva in different forms or manifestations. Jyoti means brightness and lingam is the symbol of Shiva. The radiance of Lord Shiva thus represents Jyotirlingam. For details of where each of these Jyotirlingas are found, read this Wikipedia page, the most famous being Kedarnath, which is near Mount Kailash (The Himalayas), considered to be the holy abode of Lord Shiva.

The Amarnath cave which has an ice lingam is another popular pilgrimage and a powerful place which is one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, the highly powerful temples of India. The cave is fully surrounded by snowy mountains and reaching there is an achievement in itself.