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Unmarried woman and Shiv Linga Worship - Lord Shiva

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According to legend, unmarried women are not allowed near the shivling. A shivling in general symbolizes the union of mind and soul. It also physically symbolizes the male and the female reproductive organs in a state of bliss. The upper part of the shivling represents the phallus or the male organ whereas the base or the lower part of the shivling represents the yoni or the vulva. It is this divine and cosmic union that leads to the creation of new lives. A Shivling means the combination of ‘Shav’ or the body which Lord Shiva gives and ‘Shakti’ or the power of the soul. There is no point in the body existing without a soul, and a soul needs a body to reside in. Thus, this combination would lead to a perfect mix of body and soul which leads to the perpetuation of life over generations. Since the shivling represents the male reproductive organ, it was considered a bad omen for unmarried women to touch it, worship it and offer jal (water) to the shivling.

Other stories that highlight the fact that unmarried women are not allowed near the Shivling revolve around the belief that Lord Shiva indulges in the most pure and ascetic form of meditation, devoid of any and all forms of spiritual or carnal distraction. Since the places for these meditations were thought to be very remote and sacred, nearly inaccessible to mortals, no man, let alone woman was expected to be around. Extreme care was taken even by Goddesses and Apsaras (heavenly courtesans at Lord Indra’s court) to not provoke Lord Shankara during his meditations, as even the most inadvertent disturbance could bring the wrath of the destroyer Hence, it became a legend that women should not be allowed near a shivling.

So does that mean that unmarried women cannot worship Lord Shiva at all? Not at all, they can worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati together. In fact many unmarried women observe the 16 somvar vrat or the Monday fasts for 16 consecutive Mondays. Monday is considered to be the day of Lord Shiva. As Lord Shiva is deemed to be the perfect husband, unmarried women fast and pray to Lord Shiva to bless them with a good husband just like him. Although these fasts can be kept on any Monday, keeping it in the shravan month of the Hindu calendar is said to yield the greatest benefit.Know more at theshivaexperience.com

Posted on: 06 Aug 2013 02:42 pm

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