Shiva Lingam, a holy symbol of lord Shiva, literally means the body of Shiva. It is considered as more sacred and holistic by Shiva devotees in and around India.
Lingam is often seen as a symbol of the energy and potential of God, Shiva himself. The word “Lingam” has two parts – Lim (the end) and Gam (the recreation).
It represents the manifesting power of God and some interpret the Lingam as the symbol of Truth, knowledge and Infinity.
The Puranas, Tantra, The early tribes of Indus valley civilization, modern Shiva theology scholars, and Hindu devotees interpret different meanings for Shiva lingam.
The Shiva lingam is often worshiped attached to Yoni, a symbol of goddess Shakthi. It represents the oneness of male (Shiva) energy and Female (Shakthi) energy a source of creative energy – the Universe
Early tribes of Indus valley civilization believed the togetherness of lingam and Yoni in Shiva lingam as the point of entire cosmos energy, creation, and enlightenment.
Apart from these varied interpretations and believes the Lingam declares the truth that God does not have any definite form, thus makesworship simple. Lingam is not a form but it is an Arupa Rupam.
Shiva Lingam could be divided into three parts consisting of lowest, the middle and the upper moat.The lowest portion symbolizes ‘Brahma-Pitha’ (the creator), the middle portion symbolizes ‘Vishnu-Pitha’ (Preserver), and the uppermost represents Shiva pitha (Samhara).
There are 32 types of Shiva Lingams made of out of different materials from metals to seed paste.This because of Lord Shiva is believed to be beyond all qualities of Forms and Formless.
The oldest example of Lingam is in Parasurameswara Temple at Gudimallam, a small village, located in Srikalahasti Mandal of the Chittoor district of Andra Pradesh.
The 5 Pancha-bhuta Lingas are: Kalahastishwar, Jambukeshwar, Arunachaleshwar, Ekambareshwar of Kanjivaram, and Nataraja of Chidambaram.