Spotlight – Shiva Linga Shaligram

The last “Spotlight” post in our current series of three “non-Vishnu” Shaligrams, this post will focus on the Shiva Linga Shaligram. Given that Shaligrams are generally assumed to be direct manifestations of Vishnu, it occasionally comes as a surprise to many people that Shiva Linga Shaligrams have some measure of Vedic precedent, particularly in the Harihara category of śīlas (Praanatoshani Tantra pg. 348, Skanda Purana, Nagarekhanda, 244: 3-9). Harihara is the fused representation of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara). Also known as Shankaranarayana (“Shankara” is Shiva, and “Narayana” is Vishnu), Harihara is thus revered by both Vaishnavas and Shaivas as a form of the Supreme God.

Harihara is also sometimes used as a philosophical term to denote the unity of Vishnu and Shiva as different aspects of the same Ultimate Reality which is called Brahman. This concept of equivalence of various gods as one principle and “oneness of all existence” is discussed as Harihara in the texts of the Advaita Vedanta school in Hindu philosophy. Additionally, some of the earliest sculptures of Harihara, with one half of the image as Shiva and other half as Vishnu, are found in the surviving cave temples of India, such as in the cave 1 and cave 3 of the 6th-century Badami cave temples.

(See also: David Leeming (2001), A Dictionary of Asian Mythology, Oxford University Press, page 67 and TA Gopinatha Rao (1993), Elements of Hindu iconography, Vol 2, Motilal Banarsidass, pages 334-335)

Description:

The Shiva Linga Shaligram is one of the most distinctive Shaligrams and typically appears as a round, smooth śīla containing a central conical spiral, which can be black, gold, or with white markings (see photo 1).

The variant of this Shaligram also appears as a columnar formation of black shale with a slightly segmented conical shape emerging wholly or partially from the top of the śīla (see photo 2).

This Shaligram is primarily associated with Shiva Linga worship and is therefore mainly sought after by Shaiva devotees. However, many Vaishnavas (such as Smartas) include the Shiva Linga Shaligram in their home practices in order to bestow blessings for meditation, protection, strength, and for normalizing a troubled family life.

Vedic References: Shivling Shaligrams are part of many local and regional Shaligram practices. While they are not mentioned by name in the Vedas, many devotees consider Shivling Shaligrams to be a part of the Harihara category of Shaligrams.

Vedic Description: Because this Shaligram represents Lord Shiva (The One who is Eternally Pure) the life of the devotee is considered free from contaminations of Rajas and Tamas; where the non-apprehension of Reality is Tamas and the misapprehension of Reality is Rajas. However, in Reality Itself there can be neither of them. In the Upanishads, for example, Brahman and Shiva are declared as part of the Absolute Oneness, which is Vishnu.

Golden Shiva Linga Shaligram

Golden Shiva Linga Shaligram

 

Shiva Linga Shaligram

Shiva Linga Shaligram

2 thoughts on “Spotlight – Shiva Linga Shaligram

  1. Maha Visnu is a combination of Siva and Parvati. Wich is the non relative and the
    relative (Parvati). If both together are called MahaVisnu you can say simple say. the Siva Lingam cultus is part of MahaVisnu cultus. The devotees of Siva adore a part of Maha Visnu. To devide them as 2 different Devas is not correct completely. A Siva Lingam shaligram is a concentration of the Siva Maha Visnu power in a shaligram. Every shali has its speciality. So the speciality of make alive the non relative power in us by the help of the sivalingam shaligram
    . Because of that its a more entlightment giving Shaligram. Thats is its
    speciality. To become more aware of what is inside you of the trancedental thing. What is beyond the mind and body awareness with wich all non entlighted person are aware of. Normally all shalis give entlightment, but the siva lingam shali a bit more than other shalis. Because Siva is peace, (what is boyond the relative is always peae giving and so it takes care about almost everthing).
    You are with this shali less touched by suffering wich is comming because we are most aware of only the relative wich is Parvati or Maha Shakti, or Maha Devi, also ccalled Gangamma in south India. The nature of Siva is boon giving, so it can give you suprising events or things. Like health, money, food, hapiness and much more needs. It looks to me a miracle causing shali.

    Hielke

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