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Why is Shiva Worshiped in his Phallic Form?

There are different stories narrating why lord Shiva is always worshipped in his phallic or ‘lingam’ form.

The dispute
Once there was a heated argument between Brahma and Vishnu about the supremacy of their status and power. Brahma, the creator god, ascertained that he is the most revered god; while Vishnu, the preserver god, argued that he has supreme sovereignty.

The Lingam
While the dispute was going on, an enormous flame-draped ‘lingam’ (Jyotirlinga) started coming up from the ground reaching beyond heavens before them. It was increasing its size instantaneously. Both Vishnu and Brahma were enthralled by the sight and decided to determine its magnitude.

Vishnu transformed himself into a boar and went underground to reach its depth, while Brahma took the shape of a swan and flew to the skies to find its height. Both of them could not find the end of the lingam or flaming pillar. Then Shiva appeared from the column and declared that he was the forerunner of both of them. Both Brahma and Vishnu accepted Shiva’s great power and ascertained him as the third ruler of the universe.

As Shiva made his phenomenal appearance from the phallic form, he is worshipped also in his phallic form.

Various types of Shiva Lingams

Please find below 32 types of shiva lingams. It is believed each one has different powers… ranging from better education, achieving fame and wealth to curing acute diseases.

  1. Ashtaloha Lingam
  2. Vaidurya Lingam
  3. Spatika Lingam
  4. Padara Lingam
  5. Trapu Lingam
  6. Ahasa Lingam
  7. Seesa Lingam
  8. shtadhtu Lingam
  9. Navaneetha Lingam
  10. Durvakadaja Lingam or Garika Lingam
  11. Karpura Lingam
  12. Ayaskanta Lingam
  13. Mouktika Lingam
  14. Suvarna Lingam
  15. Rajita Lingam
  16. Pittala Lingam or Kamsya Lingam
  17. Bhamsa Lingam
  18. Guda Lingam or Sita Lingam
  19. Vamsankura Lingam
  20. Pishta Lingam
  21. Dahdhidhughda Lingam
  22. Dhanya Lingam
  23. Phala Lingam
  24. Dhatri Lingam
  25. Gandha Lingam
  26. Pushpa Lingam
  27. Gosakru Lingam
  28. Valuka Lingam
  29. Yavagodhumasali Lingam
  30. Sitakhanda Lingam
  31. Lavana Lingam
  32. Tilapista Lingam


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