It really has not been that long, when I came to know, we Hindu worship a Shiva’s Linga (Shiva Lingam); Lord Shiva in the form of a phallus (penis). But, this knowledge made my skin crawl shiver in sheer disgust.
One of my friends, who is devoted to Shiva, tried to make me understand her side of story, a good side to that story. But I was so disgusted; my mind refused to understand the good-good things she was telling me. My mind simply rejected to hear her version of the worship culture. I am a Hindu by birth but, I have lost the respect for the religion due to absurd things like worshiping the Shiva Linga. Going temple every morning to worship somebody’s phallus (who cares even if belongs to a god) is just too much in the name of Dharma. Give me a break. I am not that type.
I don’t care what you do in your bedroom. You are free to explore your wild side but, do me one favor and don’t tell me all about that.
I am not a temple visitor, as it requires me to walk around the temple area on bare feet and temples are not that clean do to so. But, it’s been decades since I have visited a temple.
Wait a minute; do I need to enter temples?
Most of the time it’s on the roadside to see how clean the area is! Some says Pashupati is cleaner than before. But, I don’t wants to know. After knowing what exactly in the temple, I am not sure about others but, I am least interested to visit it.
One of my good friends once said about ‘Unmatta Bhairav’ that, it’s image boosted his mood occasionally; and time and again he used to go to see the image just to recharge him.
I am wondering: What does worshiping Shiva Linga teach us? What should we be learning from this worship? Why do thousands of people visit Pashupati Naths’ temple every morning? What’s in their mind ? Why is it so important to visit that place that houses Shiva Linga?
In the Shiva Puran, a book written about lord Shiva, says, ‘The linga of Shiva, cursed by the sages, fell on the earth and burnt everything before it like fire. Parvati took the form of a yoni and calmed it by holding the linga in her yoni’. The shiva linga seen in the first photo is the symbolic sculpture of that procedure. The religious pundits believe it to be the symbol of creation.
It is not only Pashupati Nath Temple that houses Shiva’s Linga. There are many other sexual sculptures in our temples. In fact, the sexual representation in our religious destinations are more than such books we can buy from the Nepali market (Ok, let me admit one thing here, this kind of book is some thing I don’t go for hunting and blue movies do not appeal to me either). There are few explanations on why such erotic images of gods and goddess in the temple like -to ward off the bad intentions in people; don’t make sense.
I wonder, what kind of bad intention people might get while visiting temples? Or, is it an advertisement – so that people visit temples more often?
I wonder, what image comes in those people’s mind when they really cry and need to reach out for the God and pray ‘Oh God’!
Just wondering !
– Sunita Giri
(In the photo above, a women stares at a realistic Shiva Linga for sale on the streets near Pashupanti Nath temple during Teej festival. Photo credits – izahorsky, from Flickr)