Shivalinga – Shiva Purana
According to Vayu Purana, in the Holocaust, all creation which gets absorbed and which appears in the reincarnation period is called Linga. For this reason, worship of Shivalinga is a symbol. Shiva Purana is another authoritative Hindu text which explains the various aspects of Shivalinga.
Shivalinga is not just sacred in Bharat. Harappa-Mohenjo-Daro’s archaeological findings also show its importance even in 3,000 BCE from the prehistoric Indus culture. Romans referred to Lingam as ‘Prayapas’. Romans introduced the worshipping of Shivalinga to European countries. Babylon, an ancient city in Mesopotamia is said to have found statues of Shivalinga during their archaeological findings.
Some compare it to the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang. Etymologically and semantically, Yin is said to depict feminine-- the half-unity of consciousness. Yang, on the other hand, symbolises the other half-- the masculine. Jointly they embody the alliance of consciousness in the creation.
The various aspects of Shivalinga as explained in Vidhyeshwara Samhita of Shiva Purana are elaborated hereunder.
Forms of Shivalinga:
The tripundraka (the three parallel lines of ash marks on the forehead) is the essence of trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra (Chapter 18 Shlokas 73) He who has the tripundraka made of ashes with water and performs worship derives the entire benefits of the same. (Chapter 18 Shlokas 80)
Importance of Propitiation of Shivalinga:
The propitiation of the earthen phallic image is sanctifying, bestower of bliss, longevity, satiety, nourishment and fortune. A devotee endowed with unflinching faith shall worship the earthen phallic image with such modes of service as easily available. It accords achievement of all desired objects. He who worships the earthen phallic image in the three junctures of the threshold division of the day everyday gains the bliss for twenty-one future births. He is honoured in Rudraloka with this body alone. He who worships the earthen phallic emblem of Shiva everyday stays in Shivaloka for so many years. (Chapter 19 Shlokas 17-24)
Deities, asuras, persons, Gandharvas, serpents, Raksasas and many others have attained greatness after worshipping earthly phallic image of Shiva. The phallic emblem of shiva made of precious gems is considered best in Satya yuga; of pure gold in the Dwapera; of mercury in Trata and of earth in Kali yuga. (Chapter 19 Shlokas 4-7)
The devotees should worship the phallic emblem with sixteen forms of service and homage to acquire the benefits of prakriti and purusha through means of inherent or extraneous. The worship performed on Sundays with Om wards off birth. Abhishek done with five cow products (milk, curd, ghee, cow’s urine & dung (chapter 16 shlokas 109-111)
Pranav recited nine crore times, purify persons. With each nine-crore repetition of Pranav, the person wins over the five elements successively. The egotism is win over with repetition of another nine crore of times. By repeating it daily one thousand times, the devotee becomes perpetually pure. A devotee who completes one hundred eight crores of Japa of Pranav is fully enlightened and shall master suddha yoga. One who has mastered suddha yoga becomes certainly liberated person. The devotee who practices Japa of Pranava with due ritualistic placing of fingers on the body parts (Nyasa) become sage. (Chapter 17 Shlokas 16-26)
Reference: Vidhyeshwara Samhita of Shiva Purana