I serve daily in the Linga Bhairavi Temple at the Isha Yoga Center outside of Coimbatore India. I am often asked what is Linga Bhairavi~Devi? What does the large stone (Linga) represent or contain that makes it so special?
It is helpful to understand that a Linga(m) is an oval or ellipsoid-shaped stone or other material. It is the symbol of the Universe while the base represents the supreme power that holds the entire universe. The different materials used for the linga impact the energetic benefit of the linga. Most popular are soil, stone (a variety of different stones), crystal, or metal.
These linga’s, in their original form, are representations of Shiva, ‘The Auspicious One’, who is the ‘Destroyer’ in the act of creation and re-creation. Something must be destroyed or transformed in order for a new order to appear. Shiva is part of the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma (Creator) and Vishnu (Sustainer). Lingas may be brought into your home or prayer space as portals to the Divine; the transcendent and unchanging absolute TRUTH.
And then there are linga’s which hold a particular energy or attributes associated with a Deity; an enlivened or Divine state. This state is achieved through a Vedic process called Pranapratishtha. Prana means ‘life force’ and Pratistha means ‘installed or consecrated.’ In essence, life force is established in the linga. The process can take months or even years to accomplish through intensified effort and spiritual rituals. This state can only be achieved by individuals who have been established in certain energetic processes through intense sadhana (spiritual practice) and guidance through a lineage of wisdom teachings.
In the Linga Bhairavi Temple, Linga is Shiva-the masculine aspect and Bhairavi is Shiva’s consort or the Feminine aspect; therefore both the masculine and feminine aspects are contained in the linga and in the temple. The Linga Bhairavi Temple is experienced as more feminine, or Devi. Devi, known as Mahadev or ‘Great Goddess’ is the all-embracing Mother Goddess. The Linga Bhairavi Temple was established through Pranaprathistha (by Sadhguru in 2010) and strongly carries the life force of the Divine Feminine.
In order to sustain the life force of enlivened lingas, daily rituals, cleansing and chanting are required.
Daily, hundred-thousands of visitors come to the Linga Bhairavi Temple to make offerings and prayers and to receive Devi’s blessing. It is believed that just to be ‘seen’- to have her eyes light upon you- is a boon (blessing) in your life.There are daily volunteers as well as Devi Seveka’s (intense three week commitment to volunteer daily) who support a team of women, of which I am one, to maintain the many aspects of the temple. It is a privilege and honor to be in the temple in this fashion. The photograph above, of Devi, was taken during the first three days of Navrathri last fall. She is covered with Kumkum, a powder used for social and religious markings in India. Underneath she is fully black in color. Jai Mahadev.