Puranic Evidence:
During the creation a debate took place between the creator Brahma and the preserver Vishnu that who Shiva is. Just then this “Column of light” appeared in front of them on the Hindu month of Margasheersha and Hindu date Poornima or Pratipada. When both the Gods failed to know the real origin and end of this column, Shiva appeared in his visible form. He preached both of them the real meaning of Shiva Lingam.
He said, ” I have two form, Sakala(with form) and Nishkala(without form). This column of light is my real form. Brahman is my Nishkala form and Maheshwara is my Sakala form.
When I come with sixteen kalas, I become Sakala and when I present in the crude energy, I am called Brahman. Brahman means the most enormous (Brihat) and the creator of all. Lingam depicts my formless Brahman power.

This is my Lingam(symbol). Lingam (Braman) and Lingee (Atman) are same, therefore the great souls should also worship me. One who has established Shiva Lingam somewhere in his life, he gets Sayujya Moksha (eternal company of Shiva).

From Vedanta:- A subtle representative of God that is present in our body. Kundalini is coiled with it in three and half coils. This is what Shiva Lingam and snake coiled round depict in our temples. It shows Paramatman in the form of Atman and Shakti in the form of Kundalini.

From Sankya:- The Mool Prakriti that absorbs all the Vikriti came from it finally.

From Nyay Shastra:- A source that can help us to know exactly about a matter or event. So formless Lingam represents the formless power of this universe that is the origin of all the matter and the events of this universe.

Simple Meaning:- Symbol that help us to know, recognize any event or matter as stated above. It has been a common myth that Shiva Lingam represents male genital organs. This is not only false, misleading but also base less. Such misinterpretations are done in recent times and popularized to make it common, when Indian literatures actually came into hands of foreign scholars; Britishers and Muslims. They relied on extracting simple meanings of major Vedic terms used in daily life without addressing rightful context. It was difficult to interpret the language, a word may have different meaning depending on the mis-contrued understanding. Some of the easy interpretation may be misleading. And such misinterpretation may actually be welcome by skeptics, if you want to find the defects in somebody else’s faith. Lingam means formless, Shiva Lingam is state of God just before manifestation of Universe.

This misunderstanding is one of the most glaring examples of such a situation. Misinterpretations of actual Sanskrit literature led to this false belief. Shiva Lingam is a differentiating mark; it is certainly not a s*x mark. While the actual meaning of male genital is “shishna” in Sanskrit.

Let us know what Lingam means as per The Lingam Purana:

प्रधानं प्रकृतिर यदाहुर्लिगंउत्तम ।
गंध–वर्ण–रसहिंनं शब्द–स्पर्शादिवर्जितं ॥

Meaning:
The foremost Lingam which is devoid of colour, taste, hearing, touch etc is spoken of as Prakriti or nature.

The nature itself is a Lingam (or symbol) of Shiva. When we see nature, we infer the presence of its creator – Shiva. Shiva Lingam is the mark of Shiva the creator, Shiva the sustainer and Shiva the destructor. It also dispels another myth in which Shiva is considered only as a destructor.
Another authentic reference comes from Skanda Purana where lingam is clearly indicated as the supreme Shiva from where the whole universe is created and where it finally submerge.

आकाशं लिंगमित्याहु: पृथ्वी तस्य पीठिका।
आलय: सर्व देवानां लयनार्लिंगमुच्यते ॥
(स्कन्द पुराण)

Meaning:
The endless sky (that great void which contains the entire universe) is the Linga, the Earth is its base. At the end of time the entire universe and all the Gods finally emerge in the Linga itself.

Hence, it is clear that Shiva Linga is not a male genital rather it is Lord Shiva in its complete ‘Nirguna-saguna’ form and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

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