Linga Purana

Linga Purana

Linga Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, a Hindu religious text, is divided into two parts. These parts contain the description regarding the origin of universe, origin of the linga, and emergence of Brahma and Vishnu, and all the Vedas from the Linga. In this Purana, Shiva directly tells sometimes the importance of worship of Linga and the correct rituals to be followed during the puja of the linga.


*First part of this Purana describes the origin of the Linga, and details the process of its worship. It has also sections on the creation of the cosmos; immolation of Kama; marriage of Shiva; description of Surya and Soma; and description of Varaha and Narshimha avatars of Vishnu.
*Next part describes the prominence of Lord Vishnu, and the emergence of Brahma as the creator of the cosmos. It has several other accounts, including various aspects of Shiva
*Part three of the Linga Purana contains the description of the seven islands, Mount Meru and other prominent mountains. It also has an account of Brahma assigning divinities to various deities, including the radiance of the Surya.
*The next part has several accounts, including the account of Dhruva as the supreme devotee; origin of different deities; details of dynasties of Aaditya and Yadu; Andhak’s ascendancy to the position the lord of Ganas; annihilation of the demon Jalandhar; and the origin of Ganesh.
*The contents of the last part include the story of Upamanyu; significance of certain mantras; importance of gurus; different types of yoga; and procedure for installation of linga.

"The distinctive sign through which it is possible to recognize the nature ofsomeone is called a linga." (Shiva Purana)

"Shiva is signless (sexless), without color, taste or smell, beyond wordand touch, without quality, changeless, motionless." (Linga Purana)

This unmanifest being can be perceived only through his creation, which ishis sign or linga. The existence of the unqualified substratum is known andworshiped only through this sign. The linga, the giver of lifeis one of the shapes which represents the nature of the shapeless.

"Shiva as the undivided causal principle is worshiped in the linga. His moremanifest aspects are represented in anthropomorphic images. All otherdeities are part of a multiplicity and are thus worshiped as images."(Karapatri, "Shri Shiva Tattva", Siddhanta).

"The symbol of the Supreme Man (purusha), the formless, the changeless,the all-seeing eye, the linga. Thesymbol of the power that is Nature, generatrix of all that exists is theyoni." (Karapatri, "Lingopasana-rahasya", Siddhanta)

"Because she is the source of development, Nature (prakriti) is comparedto a womb. The womb is Nature, basis of all. He isthe giver of enjoyment. There is no other giver." (Shiva Purana)

The linga is the universal fecundator and as such is fundamentally one.But for each form of existence there is a different womb to be fecundated.Thus the different species are spoken of as yonis. The Puranas speak of8,400,000 different kinds of beings or yonis.

There can be no creation without the relationship of the opposites. Therecould be no creation from Shiva alone, or from Nature alone. The union ofa perceiver and a perceived, an enjoyer and the enjoyed, of a passive andactive principle, is essential for creation to take place.

Transcendent manhood is the immanent cause of creation; transcendentwomanhood is the efficient cause. There cannot be procreation without such unionand there cannot be divine manifestation without their cosmic equivalent.It is only through understanding the symbolism of the linga and yoni thatwe can begin to apprehend the mysteries of creation.

Further reading

*Mani, Vettam. "Puranic Encyclopedia". 1st English ed. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975.


*Sources: Linga Purana by Motilal Banarasidass

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