I often wondered about the black stone in Mecca and the Sivalingam (rock that is worshipped in Hiduism) so I found the Hindu explanation of the word and wondered what the definition of the black rock in Mecca is all about…Anyone know? It seems to be the only 2 faiths I noticed that do stuff with rocks.
The word “linga” in Sanskrit means “sign” or “mark.” It also means “phallus” or “penis.” The Shivalingam at its most literal level represents the union of the male symbol, i.e., the phallus, with the female symbol, i.e., the yoni or vagina. The union of Male and Female may be viewed as a symbol of creation.
However, biological gender in Tantra is used as a metaphor for one being in two aspects. Men and women are human beings. In this aspect they are one. But the gender difference makes them also different, two different aspects of one humanity.
In a similar way Consciousness is one, but it has two aspects, a dynamic aspect and a static, witnessing aspect. The dynamic aspect in Hindu Tantra is represented by the Feminine, Mahadevi. She creates the world from her own being and plays in the world as all the forms we see, humans, animals, and plants, and all inanimate objects, also. The Witness aspect is represented by the Male aspect, Mahadeva, or Shiva. He merely watches the Mother’s play. So at its most abstract level the lingam represents Consciousness (cit) in its two aspects.
There is another purpose for the symbol. The goal of spiritual life is to realize directly the one Consciousness that has become everything, i.e., to see God everywhere. By representing the Deity in the form of sex organs, we are invited to see the Divine in sex as well as in other phenomena in this world. It is an affirmation of non-dual Truth. This applies also to the violent and horrific imagery we see in some tantric art. There is nothing in this world that is outside the Divine Being.
So, you see how rich is the symbolism of the Shivalingam that represents the Divine from its grossest to subtlest aspects.