Shiva Linga

Shiva Linga
By: Subhamoy Das
Hinduism Expert

Aum namah Shivaya Mantra

What is behind Lord Shiva being represented as a ‘Linga?’ The popular belief is that the Shiva Linga or Lingam represents the phallus, the emblem of the generative power in nature. According to Swami Sivananda, this is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder.

Shiva Linga: The Symbol for Shiva

In Sanskrit, Linga means a ‘mark’ or a symbol, which points to an inference. Thus the Shiva Linga is a symbol of Lord Shiva – a mark that reminds of the Omnipotent Lord, which is formless.

Shiva Linga speaks to the devotee in the unmistakable language of silence, and it is only the outward symbol of the formless being, Lord Shiva, who is the undying soul seated in the chambers of your heart, who is your in-dweller, your innermost self or ‘Atman,’ and who is identical with the supreme ‘Brahman.’

The Linga as a Symbol of Creation

The ancient scripture Linga Purana says that the foremost Linga is devoid of smell, colour, taste, etc., and is spoken of as ‘Prakriti’ or Nature itself. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of Lord Shiva.

The Linga is like an egg, and represents the ‘Brahmanda’ or the cosmic egg. Linga signifies that the creation is effected by the union of ‘Prakriti’ and ‘Purusha,’ the male and the female powers of Nature. Linga also signifies ‘Satya,’ ‘Jnana’ and ‘Ananta’ – Truth, knowledge and Infinity.

The 3 Parts of a Shiva Linga

A Shiva Linga consists of three parts, the lowest of which is called the ‘Brahma-Pitha,’ the middle one, the ‘Vishnu-Pitha’ and the uppermost one, the ‘Shiva-Pitha.’

The Holiest Shiva Lingas of India

There are 12 ‘Jyotir-lingas’ and 5 ‘Pancha-bhuta Lingas’ inIndia. The dozen Jyotir-lingas are: Kedarnath, Kashi Vishwanath, Somnath, Baijnath, Rameswar, Ghrusneswar, Bhimshankar, Mahakal, Mallikarjun, Amaleshwar, Nageshwar and Tryambakeshwar. The 5 Pancha-bhuta Lingas are: Kalahastishwar, Jambukeshwar, Arunachaleshwar, Ekambareshwar of Kanjivaram and Nataraja of Chidambaram. ThetempleofLord Mahalingaat Tiruvidaimarudur known also as Madhyarjuna is regarded as the great ShivatempleofSouth India.

The Quartz Shiva Linga

The ‘Sphatika-linga’ is made up of quartz. It is prescribed for the deepest kind of worship of Lord Shiva. It has no color of its own, but takes on the color of the substance which comes in contact with it. It represents the ‘Nirguna Brahman’ or the attribute-less Supreme Self or the formless Shiva.

What the Linga Means to Devotees

There is a mysterious or indescribable power or ‘Shakti’ in the Linga, to induce concentration of the mind, and helps focus one’s attention. That is why the ancient sages and seers ofIndiaprescribed Linga to be installed in the temples of Lord Shiva.

For a sincere devotee, the Linga is not merely a block of stone. It is all-radiant – talks to him, raises him above body-consciousness, and helps to communicate with the Lord. Lord Rama worshiped the Shiva Linga at Rameshwaram. Ravana, the learned scholar, worshiped the golden Linga for its mystical powers.

Thanks to: Subhamoy Das, About.com

This blog is maintained by: Miracle Yantra

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Mantras That Will Transform Your Life!

Ganapathi Manatra

5 Ancient Mantras That Will Transform Your Life

By: Mandy Burstein 

Mantras are like medicine for the soul.

When we select a word or series of words to repeat in the form of a mantra, we are affirming it to ourselves and allowing its meaning to seep below the surface, into our subconscious, helping to shift our negative habits and patterns into positive ones.

In my own practice, I have often benefited from the power of mantra. By far, my favorite mantra memory is a powerful transcendence that happened during a workshop with Nicholas Giacomini (aka: MC Yogi) and his wife, Amanda.

They had us think of a challenge we were currently facing and hold it steady in our minds. Over the next hour, they led us through 108 rounds of chanting Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah, a prayer to Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. By the end, the entire room was fired up. A renewed sense of purpose and resolve was sparked in us that day, which comes alive in me again every time I hear this mantra.

As yogis, we have access to Sanskrit, an ancient, highly mathematical, and sacred language….so why not use it?

Sanskrit is considered by some linguists to be the “perfect language,” as its correct pronunciation evokes a unique vibration in the Universe, placing into motion whatever you are trying to manifest through your mantra.

Here are my 5 favorite Sanskrit mantras, with their ancient meanings and how we can adopt them into our modern lives:

1) Mantra:

OM

Translation: The sound of the universe. It’s the first, original vibration, representing the birth, death and re-birth process.

Modern adaptation: Chanting the soundOM brings us into harmonic resonance with the universe – this is a scientific fact!OM is said to vibrate at 432 Hertz, which is the natural musical pitch of the Universe, as opposed to 440 Hertz, which is the frequency of most modern music.

Decreasing your frequency to coincide with that of the Universe stills the fluctuations of the mind, allowing you to practice yoga through sound.OMis an idyllic way to begin and end a yoga or mediation practice, and also comes in handy when you just need to chill out.

2) Mantra:

Om Namah Shivaya

Translation: I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.

Modern adaptation: In the book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is given this mantra by her Guru, which she lovingly refers to as the “Amazing Grace of Sanskrit.” Her interpretation is, “I honor the divinity within myself.” This is a great mantra to help build self-confidence, reminding us that we are all made up of divine energy and should treat ourselves accordingly.

3) Mantra:

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Translation: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all

Modern adaptation: Most commonly associated with theJivamuktiYogaSchool, this mantra is a powerful way to dedicate yourself to living a life of non-harming and being of service to the greater good. This mantra encourages cooperation, compassion and living in harmony with the environment, animals and our fellow human beings.

4) Mantra:

Shanti Mantra 

Om Saha Naavavatu
Saha Nau Bhunaktu
Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
Tejasvi Aavadheetamastu Maa Vidvishaavahai Om

Translation: May the Lord protect and bless us. May he nourish us, giving us strength to work together for the good of humanity. May our learning be brilliant and purposeful. May we never turn against one another.

Modern adaptation: A perfect mantra to start a yoga class, a new day, or even a new business with. It unites the participants and sets a tone of non-competitiveness, unity, and working together towards a common goal.

5) Mantra:

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah

Translation: I bow to the elephant-faced deity [Ganesh] who is capable of removing all obstacles. I pray for blessings and protection.”

Modern adaptation:  In Hindu teachings, Ganesh is known as the god of wisdom and success and the destroyer of obstacles. This is my favorite mantra, which I always draw on when I’m facing a big challenge in life and especially when I’m traveling.

With THANKS to:   MindBodyGreenCom

This Blog is maintained by: Miracle Yantra