The worship of Lord Shiva, represented in the form of a Lingam, is the Shiva Linga Puja.
Each year, based on the lunar calendar, the Mahashivaratri is observed by millions – yogis and householders alike – throughout India. Mahashivaratri is a sacred vortex of time that easily confers enlightenment and grace to evolve in ease with observation of yogic disciplines. With the upcoming Mahashivaratri of this year on March 10th, the Shiva Lingam Puja holds a key to an inner journey.
The Shiva Lingam Puja is the most personal and intimate time for a yogi – a moment of absorption into the Divine, full awareness of and intense union with Source through breath, and breathless joys. The yogic discipline of doing the Shiva Lingam Puja is considered the most potent of all yogic practices in being able to push a yogi through states of consciousness and as grace, evolve to be the object of worship, and to be Lord Shiva – as in the journey into One to be Oneness.
In the yogic traditions of mystical India, each precious moment as a human being is for the purpose of enhancing more of consciousness and getting closer to Source. This journey beyond consciousness is enhanced each day with deeper and even more empowerment in the awakened inner wisdom. After having woken up to be the Spirit, the yogi then starts enhancing this experience through intensifying the bliss state for the mind to be in at all times. In this journey through consciousness guided by bliss, the yogi understands effort and progress as a yogi through the push factor of own effort and divine grace as the pull factor.
What is a Puja?
A Puja is not meditation; it requires a highly alert and involving state of mind. A Puja is when Source/object of worship is celebrated in the physical form with offerings of flowers, milk, water, etc. along with mantras. It is a concentrated enhanced form of worship and can be called the mother of all meditations – a Puja leads to a mind that is meditative, the natural state of the mind that is be defined as meditation. By doing a Shiva Linga Puja, the yogi aligns in the receiving end of grace by invoking the power of the infinite Source in human realities for themselves and for the entire world.
Utilizing the Lingam as representation of the infinite, with the mind in super-aware state bridging the Divine invoked and the object of focus through offerings of the heart, a Shiva Linga Puja is done.
So, what is the meaning of the Lingam?
To yogis, the Lingam is the most apt form representing the Infinite. The Lingam is the infinite form referred in Sanskrit as stambha – beginning-less and endless pillar. The traditional description of the Lingam representing the phallus is not the entire meaning behind the Lingam. Yes, the Lingam is the representation of the ‘Wand of Light’ as the experience of our own inner Light rushing above through the spine.
When a yogi does the Lingam Puja, he is invoking the infinite Spirit from within and the Infinite God Almighty of formlessness to be the dweller in the form of the Lingam, which serves to house, represent and radiate the energies of Infinity.
Later, through history, by way of Western historians and through ways of convenience in hypothesis, a Lingam began to be pegged with the meaning of phallus owing to its shape.
How is a Shiva Linga Puja done?
1. Attain or purchase a small Shiva Lingam. You will need a few utensils that will help contain the water, milk and other offerings you may pour over the Lingam.
2. Attain, receive or learn simple mantras, preferably for Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. Your Shiva Linga Puja is an inner journey through mantras, journey of uniting your external realities and infinite inner realities through the Puja, using the mind in focus and surrendering of all thoughts through the fire of bhakti, devotional love.
3. Once a day, once a week or whenever convenient, commit to doing a Shiva Linga Puja.
4. Prepare yourself for the Shiva Linga Puja as a very personal journey between you and Source. Having a shower or washing your face helps to refresh your mind and body. Set aside atleast 45 minutes of uninterrupted time. Create a sacred space for yourself, preferably an altar space that can hold and carry forward positive energies of a Shiva Linga Puja. Pick up offerings of flowers, water, milk or anything else you may feel like offering to the Lingam.
5. Abishekam: There is no right or wrong way in a pure heart’s ritual. Begin with reciting the mantra invoking Lord Shiva. Connect your breath to the mantra resonance and feel the invoked Presence through your chanting. Now begin pouring water over the Lingam slowly, invoking the Divine Infinite in it. You may pour milk over it and collect the milk for later use as Prasad, Divine sanctified offerings. After the final slow pouring the water to bathe and cleanse the Lingam, it is ready for the Puja.
6. Puja: Have many flowers – if that is not feasible, have many petals of flowers – to offer the Lingam with every mantra recited invoking Lord Shiva. Ideally, when Lord Shiva is invoked, it is perfect wisdom to invoke the Divine Goddess to complete the wholeness within the Divine. We end this Puja invoking the awakened mind state, the God of sustenance and abundance, Lord Vishnu.
7. Invoke Blessings: A Shiva Lingam Puja is powerful as it helps invoke the power of Infinity in our realities. As we bring the Shiva Lingam Puja to closure, from the depth of depths, invoke peace through reciting “Shanti” by expanding to the infinite vastness we are and bringing forth this blessing into our own human form and realities. Create an intention in Peace. i.e. “May this Peace be for all living beings”, or “May this Peace be for my own health and the health of all of humanity.” Blessed are the messengers and custodians of Peace.
8. After a Shiva Lingam Puja, store the Lingam at an altar space as to keep the divine energies and blessings vibrant in our physical and spiritual realities.
Benefits of a Shiva Linga Puja:
1. Grace to be a Yogi: When we surrender our total focus of mind to Source, through the Puja, the mind develops the ability to rejoice in the dance of stillness. This dance of stillness is the Mother of all meditative practices.
2. Evolve and Be God: As we invoke the presence of Source through our mantras holding the focus, we get closer to the object of worship, eventually attaining all the attributes we invoke, i.e. we slowly evolve to be angelic, invoking the presence of God/Source.
3. Awaken our innate genius: We awaken to the deeper dimensions of consciousness within ourselves that triggers our innate special powers, the Siddhis. The Siddhis are unique abilities awakened in each of us, such as musical genius, the ability to see the future, the awakening of various extra sensory perceptions (ESP), etc. Yogis tend to disregard this awakening of various facets of the mind as it distracts us from the power of worship that grows in potency through humility.
4. Soul Empowerment: We wake up to the joys and bliss of experiencing Source/God, Ananda. This joy, ebbing from the bottom of the heart through our Lingam Puja, is a higher conscious vibratory state. To be in this bliss form state is to be God – with Lord Shiva described as Satchidananda, the bliss form. Slowly but surely, our realities too begin to vibrate with the higher frequencies of this divine bliss.
5. Deepen our yoga practice: When we do our daily yoga practice through the various sequences, we understand the deeper journey within after having done the Shiva Lingam puja. In fact, it is advisable to do the Shiva Lingam Puja after doing hatha yoga practice to seat the enormous energies of Source within us through the awakened ‘nerve centers’, the nadis. Hatha yoga and Shiva Lingam Puja are naturally compatible and enhancing to each other.
6. Live the Magic of Now: To experience being God/Source, worship the Infinite Almighty through mind and breath, and attain grace of inner wisdom as a journey through consciousness. Slowly but surely, we not only awaken to the vastness we each truly are, but are also guided, protected and gifted with the most valuable gift of this human birth – to be able to completely celebrate ‘Now’.
7. Multiply Potency of Consciousness: Worshipping the Lingam is multiplying consciousness. As we invoke ourselves to be Spirit, we celebrate the Almighty Source of Infinite in Form, empowering this Form to be Formlessness ever more.
8. Be Blessed: Lord Shiva, the nameless Infinite Being invoked, represents blessings of well-being, wisdom and highest purpose as a Yogi.
Tapasyogi Kalathi Adiyen Aadi Nandhi. Through a karmic death initiation of awakening his inner journey began over two decades ago. Nandhi undertook intense tapas traveling into the wilderness of South India, caves and sacred shrines with his Siddhar Gurus to realize the wholeness of being and the purpose of his existence. Nandhi represents the wisdom of the liberated. He is a visionary, yogi and a transformational guide who is from the mystical path of the Siddhars of South India. The Siddhar teachings, Tantiram, represent the roots of yoga, tantra and mantra. Learn more about Nandhi on his personal website. His music – Music to Awaken the Inner Fire: Turiya Nada. As Visionary: Vision of Compassion in Action. Vision for humanity. Vision for Yoga: World Yoga Day.
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