Shivling meaning as per scriptures: Shivling story & the reason for celebrating Shivratri
The story that explains the Shivling meaning is recited in Shiv Purana and explains a very deep truth. Shivling – also known as Shiva Linga, Shiv ling, Sanskrit लिङ्गं liṅgaṃ.
Ignorant minds will always distort its significance and interpret Shivling meaning incorrectly. Lack of knolwedge leads to people relating Shivling meaning to a tamasic interpretation. It is important for people to understand the profound meaning in the Shivling story that explains the truth that the ever compassionate Lord Shiva offers, by being worshipped in the form of Shivling.
The stories told in the scriptures are told to make the human mind interpret the truth better. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are parts of the same consciousness. A lot of information distorting Shivling meaning is present over the media and internet. The best place to understand Shivling meaning is to refer to the Shiva Purana.
The story that explains Shivling meaning:
The story in the Shiv Purana that explains Shivling meaning is as follows and the significance of worshipping Shivling is explained at the end of the story.
Once the noble souls Brahma and Vishnu had an argument about who was more supreme. The argument escalated and both of them got ready for battle. The fight began and all the Gods were eclipsed by fear. Vishnu in great fury discharged the Mahesvara weapon over Brahma. Brahma retaliated and aimed the Pasupata weapon at the chest of Vishnu. The weapons rose high and created a brilliance similar to that of ten thousand suns, while a violent gust of wind disoriented the Gods. The two weapons of Brahma and Vishnu faced each other, ready for a clash. At that moment, Vishnu and Brahma were agitated and the Gods were frantic in a state of panic, feeling helpless. The Gods immediately sought the refuge of Shiva.
The three-pointed-trident- bearing deity is Shiva and he is the cause of creation, maintenance, annihilation, concealment and blessing. Shiva them appeared in the battlefield. The two weapons of Brahma and Vishnu faced each other, their flames enough to cause the untimely dissolution of the world.
Shiva then took the form of a huge column of fire and placed himself in between the two weapons hurled by Brahma and Vishnu. The Mahesvara and the Pasupata weapons fell into the huge column of fire and dissolved immediately. A silence prevailed in the battlefield.
Both Brahma and Vishu were distracted by this wonderful pillar like column of fire, that extended vertically without any end in sight.
They forgot about their fight and Brahma asked Vishnu, “What is this wonderful form? What is this column of fire that has risen up?”
Vishnu replied, “This column of fire is beyond the senses. We have to find its top and bottom. Nothing will turn up if we travel together.”
Jointly deciding to inquire into the nature of this mysterious column of fire, the two noble souls decided to split up. Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and went in search of the root. Brahma took the form of a swan and went up in search of the top. Vishnu pierced the earth and the netherworld, and still went further below, but he could not find the bottom. Brahma soared through the sky and atmosphere and still went further up, but he could not find the top. Both Brahma and Vishnu, after getting utterly exhausted, returned to the battlefield.
Then the column of fire split and from between it appeared Shiva. Seeing the visible form of Shiva that was known to them, both Vishnu and Brahma revered him and offered their obeisance. Once they had understood the nature of the infinite column of fire, they remembered their true nature and stood there humbly, embarrassed at their agitation that had almost brought the world to an end.
Both Brahma and Vishnu adored Shiva, and gratified at their devotion, Shiva spoke, “Henceforth this day will be famous as “Sivaratri”, the holiest of holy days pleasing to me. Devotees who are keen on acquiring me can worship me either as the ShivLing which will be represent the infinite form of the column of fire, or worship my idol in the embodied form of Shiva. I will bless them both.”
In Hinduism, the supreme consiousnness of Brahaman is the supreme diety and all gods emerge from him. In that consciousness, Shiva is that supreme God, who has two forms: manifest(visible as idol/shivling) and unmanifest (beyond forms representing the pillar of consiousness).
Shiva is ever compassionate and takes these forms to appease to both the kind of devotees: the pleasure seeker and the salvation seeker. No other God has two forms.
Hence Shiva’s form is both manifest and unmanifest in view of him being the pure consciousness and also the embodied form that will bestow blessings for getting desires fulfilled.
When you worship Shivling you are worshipping the nameless and formless column of fire that appeared between Vishnu and Brahma to preserve the equilibrium between all the three worlds. The Shivling is a small form that represents the huge column of fire that appeared.
When you worship Shivling, you worship Shiva who is indivisible, all-pervading, eternal, auspicious, ever-pure, immortal essence of this vast universe, who is the undying soul seated in the chambers of one’s heart, also known as the Self or Atman.
When you worship Shivling, you are worshipping that pure form of consciousness that is the cause of creation of all.
Significance of Worshipping Shivling
The scriptures explain the secret in the story. The wise know that Brahma represents the mind, and Vishnu represents the Prana or life force that sustains you. Whenever the mind and life-force are agitated, the individual feels helpless and the senses lose hope or get out of control. In such a case, Shiva represents that wisdom that is beyond mental construct (brought about by ego) and beyond breath control (brought about by yoga and meditation) which can restore equilibrium between the mind and the prana, thus taking you in state of peace, happiness and bliss.