Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Shiva Linga


To give tangible shape to the idea of Shiva is not easy. He is after all, Maheshvara, the greatest embodiment of godhead, the cosmic spirit. Most people prefer to worship a symbol, one that fills the mind with awe and gives shape in the unconscious to the fabulous idea behind the image.

Shiva’s symbol, the linga, is perhaps the simplest conceivable. According to the Matsya Purana, Shiva’s linga is the divine phallus, the source of the soul-seed which contains within it, the essence of the entire cosmos.

The linga itself is an ordinary stone that rises from the fertile earth, reaching out to touch the radiant sky. The serpent represents the coiled energy of Kundalini, the power that enables seeds to germinate and animals to conceive. The serpent is also said to be Ananta Sesha, the great serpent of eternity, on whose coils rests the universe.

In this image, Shiva dances inside his Linga. More authentic Indian Art can be found at Exotic India.

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