A shivling is basically the divine union of the male and the female energy that leads to the creation of the world. Physically it is the combination of the male and the female reproductive organs. There are two basic kinds of shivlings – a natural shivling or an artificial/ manmade shivling.
Natural shivlings are made in natural settings and can be of ice, mud or stone. The perfect example would be the shivling that is formed in the Amarnath cave year after year. The shivling is formed when drops of water, falling from the roof hit the ground and a stalagmite structure is formed. The other natural shivling is at the Sidheshwarnath temple in Arunanchal Pradesh.
The artificial shivlings can be made of materials like, stone, metal, clay and even wood of a fine quality. Various materials signify various things. A shivling made of musk and sandalwood is said to bring grace, the one that is made up of gold signifies prosperity, the one made up of silver brings money and the one made up of camphor signifies devotion and nirvana.
Many of us get a shivling to our homes but not many of us know that only the parad or the narmedeshwar shivling should be worshipped at home. No other form of Shiva linga should be worshipped at home. A narmedeshwar shivling is formed by the stones of the Narmada River. It is believed that the stones of this river are blessed by Lord Shiva and only these stones can be used a shivling. The stones of this river that are used as a shivling are the only ones that do not require pran parishta. Pran Parishta literally means that the devotees get the soul of the god to reside in the shivling. Once pran parishta is done, then the shivling cannot be moved from the place of sthapana. Experts say that all other forms of shivlings except the narmedeshwar shivling should be immersed in a river or any other water body after worshipping them.
It is important for devotees to realize that getting a shivling at home is a highly auspicious event and great care should be taken to conduct one’s affairs in the right order. With true devotion and dedication all hurdles can be overcome.
Om Namah Shivaya!!!