Keeping A Shivling At Home: Rules To Be Observed
Among the most worshipped Hindu Gods, Lord Shiva is one of the most revered Gods. Along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, He forms the Triad that is the Divine Trinity. Devotees worship Lord Shiva, in temples and at home, in the abstract form of the Shivling, as it represents Lord Shiva and is His symbol. The Shivlinga is endowed with the power and energy of Lord Shiva and performing ‘Abhishekam’ is the way to worship the Shivlinga.
Installing the Shivlinga at home is common among Hindu devotees, as it has many benefits, besides bringing auspicious energies. Though there are contradictory opinions about installing Shivling at home, nevertheless, devotees worship the Shivlinga at home joyously. When the Shivlinga is worshipped, the positive energies get enhanced.
The Shivlinga that is worshipped in temples is called ‘Achala’, meaning, it is fixed and cannot be moved. At home, the Shivlinga that is worshipped is the ‘Chala’, which means movable.
Rules to be Observed for Keeping Shivlinga at Home
As is known, there are rules specified in the Vedas about the worship of the various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Similarly, there are some rules for keeping the powerful Shivlinga at home:
- The Shivlinga should be installed in the Puja Altar with the Yoni facing the North direction. The West face of the Lingam should be what you are looking at, with you facing the East direction.
- As per the rules, the Shivling for the home should not be big in size. There are different interpretations about the size of the Shivlinga for home because of what is written in the ancient texts. Some say, it should not be more than the size of the thumb, others believe it can be more, up to 12 inches tall, etc. So a medium size Shivlinga, more than an inch tall, would be the ideal size to be installed.
- Worshipping the Shivlinga daily is a must. The sanctified procedure to worship the Shivling is by performing the ritual of Abhishekam, which is the sacred bathing of the Shivlinga with a mixture of Water, Milk (fresh, not boiled), Curd (Yogurt), Ghee, and Honey, is very meritorious. Each of the ingredients of Abhishekham has a special meaning, like, Yoghurt is for prosperity and progeny. It is believed that Lord Shiva is easy to please, therefore even bathing the Shivling with water and offering Bilva leaves (Belpatra), which is Wood Apple tree leaves (three in one stalk) pleases Bholenath (one of Shiva’s name). Chanting Shiva Mantras, like Om Namah Shivaya or any of His other Mantras is part of the ritual of Abhishekam, and even otherwise chanting His Mantras calms the mind, besides the positive energy it builds. Worshipping should be done after taking a bath.
- Sitting on an Asana of Wool or Kusha is ideal for worshipping the Shivlinga.
- When bathing the Shivling or Doing Abishekham with Milk, ensure that it is not poured directly from the Milk packet. The ideal is fresh Milk. If packet Milk is being used then pour it in a metal pot (Copper, Silver, Steel) and then pour it on the Shivling.
- Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati idols should be kept near the Shivling, as Goddess Parvati is His consort and Lord Ganesha His beloved son.
- Tulsi leaves, Turmeric, Coconut water should not be offered or applied on Shivlinga. The whole Coconut can be offered. White flowers are favored by Lord Shiva, as is applying Sandalwood paste.
- Morning and evening invocation and worship of Shivlinga is prescribed by Vedas. Hand over the responsibility of the worship to another family member, in case you are going out of town or any such other situations.
- It is believed that a Shivlinga made of Marble should not be kept at home.
- The Shivlinga is said to generate tremendous energy. A ‘Jaladhara’ should always be placed above the Shivlinga so that a continuous dripping of Waterfalls on the Linga.
- If Fruit, Sweets, or any other Bhog is offered to the Shivlinga, then it should not be consumed by the worshipper. It should be distributed to people as Prasadam.
- A Flower or Bilva leaves should always be kept on top of the Shivlinga. Bilwa leaves should not be torn or eaten by insects, all the leaves should be whole.
Worshipping the Shivlinga has benefits which the devotees are blessed with. It brings positive, peaceful energies in the house, calms down the mind, creates harmonious relationships among family members/married couples, unity, increases focus and concentration, blesses with spiritual growth, fulfills desires, and leads to liberation.
Shillings at home are made of Sphatik (Quarz), Parad (Mercury), various Gemstones, Lead, Metals like Brass, etc.
I came across a huge collection of perfect Shivlingas at Rudra Centre where each Shivlinga is perfectly made for you to install at home.