Showing posts with label Linga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linga. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is The Nilakanth Pitha?


(“blue-throated”) Shiva's epithet; also the name of a Shiva manifestation ensconced in the Nilakanth Mahadev temple west of Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh.

Shiva is represented at Nilakanth with a linga, a pillar-shaped item that symbolizes Shiva.

The legend behind this epithet (as well as the temple's foundation) is based on the story of Churning the Ocean of Milk.

The water is churned by gods and devils to generate amrta, the nectar of immortality regarded to be the ocean's best essence.

However, their actions generate not only the amrta, but also the halahala poison, which is the opposite of the amrta.

This is a potentially catastrophic occurrence; the poison is so potent that if left uncontrolled, it would kill the planet.

When this poison develops, the gods and demons are at a loss about how to deal with it.

Shiva neutralizes the poison by swallowing it, but the poison's potency is so strong that it turns his throat blue.

Also, see Tortoise avatar and Ocean Churning.

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Hinduism - What Is A Mukhalinga?

Mukhalinga is a variant of the linga, a pillar-shaped item that represents Shiva.

On the shaft of a mukhalinga, one or more faces (mukha) are carved.

The number of faces on the linga should not exceed the number of doorways in the temple, according to texts detailing the shape and construction of Hindu statues.

Thus, a temple with one entryway should have one mukhalinga, and so on, up to four mukhalingas.

These faces should likewise face the entrances, according to the guidelines.

T. A. Gopinatha Rao's Elements of Hindu Iconography, published in 1981, is a good source of knowledge.

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Hinduism - What Is A Linga? What Does Linga Mean In Sanskrit? How Does The Sacred Linga Symbolize Fertility And Creation In Hinduism?

 ("mark," "sign") Linga is the term for the pillar-shaped form of the deity Shiva, in addition to its literal meaning of any iconic sign.

The linga is frequently referred to as a "phallic" symbol because it represents Shiva as the power of generation itself, from which men and women draw their procreative energy.

The base (pitha) in which the shaft is put, which depicts the female reproductive organs, is an equally essential aspect of the linga's picture.

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Hinduism - Who Are The Lingayats?


Lingayats are a Kannada-speaking religious group who are devotees (bhakta) of the deity Shiva and dwell mostly in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

Lingayat origins may be traced back to the Nayanar poet-saints of Tamil Nadu, who migrated northward in the seventh century.

Basavanna, a poet saint, founded the group, together with Allama Prabhu and Mahadeviyakka.

The original members of the society were motivated by a desire to know God and were impatient with anything that went in the way, whether it was image worship, caste distinctions, or the obligations of family life.

Lingayat culture has been shaped by these early influences.

The Lingayats do not worship with pictures.

The linga of Shiva, which all Lingayats wear as a token of membership in the community, is their sole emblem.

The Lingayats have generally adhered to the egalitarian beliefs of their forefathers.

Although there are no caste divisions in the society, there are higher-status priestly families known as jangamas from whom the celibate monks known as viraktas are often chosen.

In fact, this egalitarian focus has turned the whole Lingayat community into a jati, one of the endogamous social groupings that make up broader Indian society; the difference being that the Lingayats are defined by their religious affiliation rather than their employment.

In contemporary Karnataka, the Lingayats are the most powerful group, both in terms of historic landholding patterns and political power.

A. K. Ramanujan's Speaking of Siva was published in 1973, and Sivalingayya Channabasavayya Nandimath's A Handbook of Virasaivism was published in 1979.

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Hinduism - Where Is Kedarnath In India?

Kedarnath is a Himalayan village/town and holy location (tirtha) in the headwaters of the Mandakini River, one of the Ganges' tributaries.

The settlement is called after its reigning deity, Lord of Kedar, who is the god Shiva in his human form.

At Kedarnath, Shiva is represented by a linga, a pillar-shaped figure.

The Kedarnath linga is considered one of the twelve jyotirlingas, a network of Shiva-related locations.

The holiness of Kedarnath is only matched by the difficulties of reaching there.

Because of its great elevation—close to 12,000 feet—it is only accessible between late April and October, as are the three other important Himalayan pilgrim destinations of Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Badrinath.

A visit to Kedarnath retains some of the difficulty that was formerly associated with Himalayan pilgrimage.

Pilgrims complete the last 10 kilometers on foot or on horseback, which includes a five-thousand-foot ascent.

Those brave enough to undertake the journey must struggle with the unpredictability of mountain weather, but they may be rewarded with breathtaking views.

The Kedarnath temple is surrounded by alpine meadows and is sheltered by snow-capped mountains all year.

The Kedarnath linga is a natural ridge of stone that is said to represent Shiva's self-manifestation (svayambhu) and is thought to be very powerful.

The form of this linga is linked to the legend of Kedarnath's charter.

The five Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Mahabharata, the latter of the two major Hindu epics, are linked to one version of this narrative.

The Pandavas go on their last expedition towards the Himalayas in quest of Shiva's vision.

They eventually see him from afar, but when they attempt to approach him, Shiva transforms into a bull and charges through the snow.

The bull digs his way through a snowdrift.

When the Pandavas arrive, they discover the bull's corpse in the snow.

The hump of this bull is said to symbolize the ridge of granite that creates the Kedarnath linga.

The bull's head continues its journey over the highlands, eventually ending in Nepal as Pashupatinath.

A separate charter myth is based on the ancient belief that Shiva lives high in the Himalayas.

This legend associates the Panchkedar (a network of five Shiva temples in the Garhwal area) with five sections of Shiva's body, thereby uniting the god with the land and sanctifying it.

Kedarnath is Shiva's back, Madmaheshvar is Shiva's navel, Tungnath is Shiva's arm, Rudranath is Shiva's face, and Kalpeshvar is Shiva's matted hair (jata). 

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Hinduism - What Is A Kshanika Linga?


Kshanika Linga ("ephemeral")  - A linga is a pillar-shaped item that represents the deity Shiva.

A kshanika linga is built using whatever materials are available, whether dirt, sand, grain, butch, or any other thing that may be piled and sculpted, for instant devotion.

Although God is everywhere, this utilization of contemporary pictures illustrates a fundamental component of Hindu religious life: many people operate better when they have a specific target for their religious attention.

As a result, God is willing to enter even the most insignificant things if they were made with him (or her) in mind.


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Hinduism - Who Are The Jangama Of The Lingayat Community?


"Jangama" means "moving". The Virashaiva or Lingayat community has a priestly subgroup whose members are mostly located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

The Virashaivas are a devotional community that emphasizes Shiva's worship as the sole true god; they are fundamentally monotheistic and reject all types of image worship save for Shiva's emblem, the linga.

The Virashaivas were formed by the poet-saint Basavanna, who developed the jangamas as a rival priesthood to care for his community's members, partially in revolt against the prevalent caste system.

The jangamas' primary job is to preside at lifecycle ceremonies for community members, such as birth, coming-of-age, marriage, and death.

Jangamas may marry and have children, but this Virashaiva subcommunity is also a primary source of recruits for the celibate Virashaiva monks (viraktas), who are the community's top religious leaders.

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Hinduism - Where Is Jambukeshvar In India?

Sacred location (tirtha) and southern Indian temple town in Tiruchirappalli in the state of Tamil Nadu, immediately across from Shrirangam's huge temple complex.

The temple in Jambukeshvar is dedicated to the deity Shiva as "Lord of the Rose-Apple (jambu) Tree," and Shiva's picture is put under one of these trees.

Jambukeshvar is also one of the five bhutalingas ("elemental lingas"), Shiva's holiest places in southern India.

Shiva is depicted as a linga, a pillar-shaped item that represents Shiva's symbolic form, in each of these locations, and the linga is said to be made from one of the five primordial elements (bhuta)—earth, wind, fire, water, and space (akasha).

The linga is placed in a pool produced by a natural spring in Jambukeshvar, where Shiva's image is connected with water.


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Hinduism - What Is A Gudimallam Linga?


A specific linga, or symbolic representation of the deity Shiva.

It is dated to the second century B.C.E.and is likely the earliest Hindu picture still in existence.

It is called after the hamlet of Gudimallam, which is located in the south-eastern part of the state of Andhra Pradesh, close to the Tamil Nadu border.

Despite its antiquity, the linga is still revered and worshipped in its original temple.

The linga itself is a five-foot polished stone pilar with a four-foot-high Shiva sculpture on the front side.

The sculptural piece is very intricate and has some unexpected characteristics.

Shiva's hair, rather of being matted, is weaved into a turban-like form.

Shiva has just two arms, as opposed to the several arms shown in subsequent paintings.

He is holding a ram rather than a deer, which is the only sculpture in which a ram occurs.

Finally, there is no holy thread (yajnopavit) on Shiva's form, which became popular later.

The linga is especially famous for the intricate craftsmanship at the pillar's top, which is designed to resemble the head of an erect penis.

This is also different from subsequent iconography, in which the linga's top is usually smoothed down.

The object's shape is unmistakably phallic, despite the fact that linga worship should be taken symbolically as a honor to the force underlying the world.


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