Originally Posted by peteyzen
This is a very interesting debate and too highly pitched for me. The way I understand it - simply, everything is god, there is no separation. Looked at in this way, there is no difference between Shiva and Vishnu, they are the same thing. Some on here have said I use Shiva for this and Krishna for that, or I worship Shiva but had to switch to Krishna because he doesn`t meditate, or when I worshipped him I stopped meditating because that`s not his way. This is putting limits on God, and its not true, Krishna taught meditation you can have a profound relationship with him through meditation. These are human concepts not divine ones, EVERYTHING is one, worship the aspect of the divine that makes your heart sing the most, because they are all the same thing.
See, the Vedas are the supreme authority in Hinduism, not the epics and puranas. The Vedas state that the Shivalinga is a cosmic pillar of light and there it rests.
In fact one can see even in the Puranic scriptures and epics, Rama, Krishna and Vishnu worshipping the Shivalingam.The deity associated with destruction, armed with a trident and cobra, is called Shankar, and he too is a worshipper of Shivalingam, which he places before him in meditation.
As stated earlier, the Vedas state that the Shivalinga is a cosmic pillar of light. With passage of time, the epics and puranas came up and the tantriks started proclaiming that the Shivalingam actually symbolizes the phallus, in order to support their philosophy of the left handed path of tantra. Shankar is associated with tantra as well.
The later age puranas too started absorbing this myth due to tantric influence. There were even interpolations. The mahabharata for instance, had originally only 25000 verses, but now it has 125000 verses, and slowly a corrupted meaning of the Shivalingam came into some Hindus. This is probably due to the corrupting influence of the Kali Yuga where truth and dharma is reduced to a fraction.
Other prejudices and superstitious practices also crept up, such as sati or widow burning, casteism, untouchability, thuggism or human sacrifice, social and religious subjugation of women which had no basis in the Vedas.
The monotheistic Arya Samaj and Brahmo Samaj, Hindu sects which view only the Vedas as authority, were instrumental in abolishing sati, casteism, untouchability and other vices which had crept up in Hinduism. Similarly Swami Vivekananda in recent times, had emphatically revealed the true nature of the Shivalinga.
Swami Vivekananda on the basis of the Vedas, teaches that the Shivalinga stands for a cosmic pillar of light.
The Prajapita Brahmakumaris
too teach that the Shivalinga stands for incorporeal light
. The Brahmakumaris is the only spiritual organisation in the world led, administered and taught by women. This is also a far cry from the male dominated nature of Hinduism at present, whereas in the ancient past, female rishis such as Gargeyi and Maitreya were extolled for their enlightenment and wisdom.