The Hindu deities are represented with various icons and anicons, in paintings and sculptures called pratimas and murtis. One such representation of Lord Shiva is the Shivling used for worship in small shrines or small temples or at homes. The use of Shivling dates back to the Atharvaveda, where a Skambha is put in place of a Brahmin. The sacrificial flame and smoke of the yagya gave rise to the conceptions of the brightness of Lord Shiva’s body and his tawny matted hair. The Skambha gave place to the Shivling.
The Shivling is often placed beside a yoni, i.e. the symbol of goddess or of Shakti, the female creative energy. The Shivling is connected to the upward pointed triangle, which is also the symbol of fire. If a Shivling is placed, one should cleanse it with milk and water at least once a week. It would be beneficial if it’s done on a Monday.The Shivling can be made of many different materials like Blackstone, marble or any metal. A Shivling idol is often formed of three parts. The lowest part is the base square which represents the creator Brahma. The next part in the middle represents Lord Vishnu, the sustainer, and the top cylindrical part is the representation of Lord Shiva.
People have various beliefs about the way that the Shivling is worshipped and there are also quiet a many different mantras that are used to do the same. A few of them are:
The most popular and powerful of all the mantras. People chant this in order to please the Almighty. It is believed that the chanting of this mantra help one lead a peaceful and attain salvation.
Tayata om muni muni maha munaye soha:
This mantra is believed to help the worshipper gain control over his mind and awaken the mind.
Om namo bhagavate vasu devaya
This mantra shows that one gives up himself to the almighty to open up his mind of consciousness. The worshipper also promises to see the god in everyone and in everything.
Om Gum Ganapataye Namah:
This mantra is to ask the almighty to help one emerge from all the problems faced by one in their life and help them in the way of progress.
Om Namah Shivaya:
This mantra helps one achive all that one can have and also helps in spiritual unfoldment.Shiva Linga is a symbol of union of the duality of the Shiva and Shakti. This union is the source of all the creation around us. Shiva and Shakti can be considered as a symbol for union of the duality to represent the ultimate non-duality of creation of the universe. A Shivling is an inference of the form of that which is formless and omnipotent.