Why Lord Siva is worshiped as Linga? What is the meaning of Linga?
Actual Question from a girl devotee:
“Hi anna. just a small question. we pray krishna’s beautiful form. why shiva ji not prayed as his ruph. what does linga indicate?”
Though there are many versions of explanations and stories on why Lord Siva is worshiped as Linga and the meaning of Linga, there is a logical explanation based on the scriptures.
The scriptures describe the God as a Pillar (Skambha) of light that supports all goodness.
(I am going away from other gods after worshiping Krishna. I feel guilty. What to do? READ HERE!)
That is why, you can see prime pillar in every temple.
The pillar of light denotes all the creations. The entire creations lie in the form of pillar. This pillar is represented as Siva.
Every pillar needs a base from which it can originate. That base is seen below the linga form.
Since SAKTHI is the internal and inseparable energy part of Lord Siva, it is given as a base.
(SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT LORD SIVA IN SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM! READ HERE!)
In our culture, we always see the CREATOR as male and his SAKTHI as a female.
Even in Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, Krishna is the Purusha and His internal energy (Shakthi) is Srimati Radharani (ie, the female form).
That is why, the male representation is given to Lord Siva and female representation is given to Sakthi (Uma).
Those who see the Shiva Linga in materialistic angle see the linga as male reproductive organ and the base as the female reproductive organ. This kind of approach can be avoided.
(Are Siva and Brahma subject to karma and death like us? READ HERE!)
Just because a base looks like female organ and the pillar looks like male organ, we should not consider it so. This will not help us in advancing in devotional mindset.
Though you see them as male and female organs, still, it denotes that the entire creations are based on the union of the creator and the creations as male and female.
Just consider the base as CREATIONS and the LINGA as the CREATOR.
Thus, the entire form of Siva Linga can be considered as denoting entire creations with the source, ie the CREATOR.
Therefore, to remind the entire creations and its source, Siva is worshiped In the Linga form.
Let us not confuse with so many explanations for this. We worship salagrama sila as Krishna. Then what is the problem for us to worship Lord Siva as Linga?
(ROLE OF LORD SIVA AND PARVATI IN RAMAYANA! READ HERE!)