Lord Shiva has 3 forms- Nirguna, Saguna and Nirguna-Saguna.
- Nirgun(In this state he is formless and the whole universe and creation lie in the pervasiveness of Shiva)
- Saguna(In the Saguna state Shiva is the entire universe and his “ansh” is present in the tree, the insect, the, animal, male, female and the whole creation. In this state though all forms arise out of him yet no form can describe him. He remains the causeless cause of all causes)
- Nirgun-Sagun(In this state through the intellect, knowledge, senses that are made of gunas we try to explain Shiva in terms of gunas and material forms yet our explanation can not do justice to him as he is beyond thought, intellect and senses)
Yajur Veda says ‘Na Tasya Pratima Asti’ which means ‘There is no image of Lord Shiva’. He is Nirguna, the formless. It was a rumour spread by some Muslims that the lingam is Shiva’s genital. The word Shivaling has been derived from sanskrit roots Shiva (the God) + Lingam (Chinha/Symbol). Hence, Shivalingam is the symbol of Lord within it’s creation. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Shiva Linga in its Nirguna-Saguna state. It is not possible for one to imagine how Lord Shiva must have actually looked like. The image that we usually see on posters and TV is not absolutely accurate as these are just assumptions.
Everything in this universe arises from a pind (dome) eg: a child is born from an embryo, a tree grows from a seed, the minutest of cells are round and even the Earth is round. Everything being round is a mark of Lord Shiva. Since he cannot be comprehended in a particular form, we worship his symbol in the form of Shiv ling. The three horizontal lines on the Shivling symbolizes the three ‘gunas’- Rajas, Satva and Tamas. These 3 gunas are present in all human beings. Lord Shiva is ‘Nirguna’ i.e he is unaffected by any of the above gunas. He is the most balanced and auspicious one.
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