9 June 2006

Bhuta Lingams

Decorated Lingam at Arunachaleswarar Temple,

In India there exists five famous Lingams based on the elements (bhutas): Fire, Earth, Wind, Water and Ether (Sky). The Bhuta Lingams are said to be places where Shiva manifested himself as the natural elements. Each of the five Lingams are situated in celebrated Temple Towns, and are as follows:

Tiruvannamalai: Fire Lingam
Kanchipuram: Earth Lingam
Kalahasti: Wind Lingam
Chidambaram: Sky Lingam
Tiruvanaikka/Jambunath: Water Lingam

The Shivalingam denotes the primeval energy of the Creator. It is believed that at the end of all creation, during the great deluge, all of the different aspects of God find a resting place in the Lingam; Brahman is absorbed into the right, Vishnu to the left and Gayatri into the heart. The Shivalingam is also a representation of the infinite Cosmic Column of fire, whose origins, Vishnu and Bhrama were unable to trace.

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