July 16, 2010

Lingam - NOTE


The Lingam (also, Linga, Shiva linga, meaning "mark" or "sign") is an aniconic representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples.[1] Although most Hindu sculpted images (murtis) are anthropomorphic, the aniconic Shiva Linga is an important exception.[2] The Lingam is often represented with the Yoni, the aniconic symbol of the goddess. The union represents the "indivisible two-in-oneness of male and female, the passive space and active time from which all life originates".

The origins and interpretations of the Lingam are a subject of intense debate. According to one tradition, the Lingam represents the beginning-less and end-less Stambha pillar, suggesting the superiority and power of Shiva.[4][5] Another theory suggests that the Lingam is a phallic symbol, though this explanation is disputed and most Hindus do not relate the Lingam to the phallus.