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Word Count: 949
It is a common place We have seen it in temples on calendars on matchbox labels the blue body smeared with ash the third eye the tiger-skin Locked in the lotus posture he mediates in the mist and snow of Kailash the moon rests on his hair and the Ganga spills from his tangled locks Shiva is the ascetic whose meditation sustains the universe He reposes at the centre and contemplates the world concentrating its energies into himself Or perhaps the movement is centrifugal energy radiates from him and he does not so much consider the world as create it all its immensity and richness being but thoughts in his mind As a yogi Shiva is the master of his senses His self-discipline grants him control over the world How shall we reconcile Shivas celibacy with the lewd forms he takes For he is commonly worshipped as an erect phallus or linga In the linga it is not Shivas sexuality that is celebrated but his potency The linga ever erect and never expended is symbolic of the spiritual energies of the God an eternally renewed promise Procreation is also metaphor for all forms of creativity Traditionally Brahma is the Creator Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer but within the cult of each the one God is believed to be omnipotent While Vishnu has the power to destroy evil Shiva the destroyer can create The linga then is not a mere concentration of energy the universe issued from it at the time of Creation There are some lingas meal or stone with Shivas image carven on them They are called the lingodhava of arising out-of-the-linga images Itt is as tthough some alchemy within linga has moulded a being that swells and presses outward striving for release like a child brushing out of the womb The creator creates himself the God is born out of his own ogan the whole begotten by a part
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