The Narmadeshvara Shiva Lingam
Men have collected stones since the beginning of time and
have assumed that certain ones were containers of life force with all its
mystery. The Narmadeshvara Lingam is such a stone. It has been highly
venerated and used extensively throughout history for both worship and
It is said that these Lingams were created millions of years ago when a
meteorite collided with the earth at what is now the source of the Narmada
River in Madhya Pradesh, a mountainous province some 300 miles northeast
of Bombay, India.
The tremendous heat of the collision caused a fusion of the ambient rock and
the meteoric material. Over the ages a river began to flow through this area
and the combination of these factors produced the unique condition in which
pieces of the fused matter, revolving in the river bed over thousands of
years took on the distinct ovoid form. The oval form is markedly different
from the flatter, thinner rocks normally appearing in the river bed.
Once a year, after a long dry season and just before the beginning of the
monsoon, when the river is at its lowest, the villagers, working with oxen
and rope, go out onto the river bed and pull the stones from the water. The
stones are then hand polished, a large one taking several months to
complete. About twenty to thirty large pieces are taken from the river each
These pillar or egg shaped stones are called LINGAMS (literally "sign" or "characteristic"
in Sanskrit language). To certain groups of the Hindu Religion, the
stones are considered to symbolize or even represent directly, the
Transcendental Being, the Living God, Divine Existence, Divine Consciousness
and Divine Bliss (Satchitananda). According to the Skanda Purana, and
ancient Hindu scripture, the Lingam represents the all-pervading space in
which the whole universe is in the process of creation and dissolution.
Other groups consider the Lingam, with its phallic form to be symbolic of
the generative force of life itself.
Lingams are carved or styled from a wide variety of materials such as stone,
wood, gold, silver, mercury, crystal etc., but there is one type of Lingam
which is revered and sought after above all others - this is the naturally
formed stone Narmadeshvara (Lord of the Narmada).
The density of the Narmadeshvara Lingam is close to emerald. The red
markings you see on the stones are the meteorite material and are considered
spiritually auspicious. The red markings also represent the energizing
female energy which arouses the masculine urge to create. The markings vary
from what appears to be a pair of parted lips to wide strong brush marks
extending around the entire perimeter of the Lingam. No two stones are alike.
The actual physical properties of the stone (both in shape and material)
are said to give the Narmadeshvara Lingam a supreme ability to hold
vibrational force and power. We have noticed that nearly everyone who comes
in contact with these stones finds them attractive and extremely
Traditionally the stones are set in an upright position with most of the
markings being on the upper half.
The strong, graceful lines of the Lingams are an expression of an ageless
and universal beauty and the lingam's natural and religious history gives
them the mystery of an object that will be appreciated forever.
(The Narmadeshvara Lingam appeared on the cover of House and Garden magazine
in June 1984 and on the cover of Architectural Digest in May 1985.)