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Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category
During a seminar, a woman asked,” How do I know if I am with the right person?” The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?” In all seriousness, she answered “How do you know?” Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind replied the author. Here’s the answer. Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love. People in love sometimes say, “I was swept of my feet.”Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU. Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage. At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown. The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found. People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this): The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found. SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws Of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable. Love is therefore a “decision”. Not just a feeling. Remember this always: God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO..
Taken from facebook 🙂
I hope when you read the article, yo noticed the lines “The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found.”. In my humble opinion, that’s the reason behind the success of the arranged marriages. 🙂
Ever since I started using Hydrogen Peroxide to get rid of armpit stains, to clean cookie sheets, as a miracle cleaner in my kitchen and bathroom, and to make my own “oxi clean”…I ALWAYS have at least one bottle of the stuff under my kitchen sink, under my bathroom sink, AND in the laundry room. This stuff is amazingly versatile!
But it wasn’t until recently, after doing some IN DEPTH research on the subject, that I came to realize what a “miracle substance” hydrogen peroxide really is! It’s safe, it’s readily available, it’s cheap, and best of all, it WORKS! It works for a LOT of stuff!
Hydrogen peroxide should really be called oxygen water, since it is basically the same chemical make up as water but with an extra oxygen atom (H2O2). Because of this it breaks down quickly and harmlessly into oxygen and water.
Some other interesting facts about hydrogen peroxide:
It is found in all living material.
Your white blood cells naturally produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to fight bacteria and infections.
Fruit and vegetables naturally produce hydrogen peroxide. This is one of the reasons why it is so healthy to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
It is found in massive dosages in the mother’s first milk, called colostrum, and is transferred to the baby to boost their immune system.
It is found in rain water because some of the H20 in the atmosphere receives an additional oxygen atom from the ozone (O3) and this H2O2 makes plants grow faster.
Next to Apple Cider Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide ranks up there as one of the best household remedies.
Besides the obvious (cleansing wounds), did you know that it is probably the best remedy to dissolve ear wax? Brighten dingy floors? Add natural highlights to your hair? Improve your plants root systems? The list goes on and on!
There are SO many uses for this stuff that I’ve started replacing the cap on the hydrogen peroxide bottle with a sprayer because it’s easier and faster to use that way.
I have compiled a rather impressive list of uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide that I hope will have you as thrilled and bewildered as I was!
Wash vegetables and fruits with hydrogen peroxide to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of H2O2 to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.
In the dishwasher, add 2 oz. to your regular detergent for a sanitizing boost. Also, beef up your regular dish soap by adding roughly 2 ounces of 3% H2O2 to the bottle.
Use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash to freshen breath. It kills the bacteria that causes halitosis. Use a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.
Use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste for brushing teeth. Helps with early stages of gingivitis as it kills bacteria. Mixed with salt and baking soda, hydrogen peroxide works as a whitening toothpaste.
Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide between uses to keep it clean and prevent the transfer of germs. This is particularly helpful when you or someone in your family has a cold or the flu.
Clean your cutting board and countertop. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean. (I’ve been using it for this a LOT lately!)
Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, it’s great for cleaning places that store food and dishes.
Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.
Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.
Whiten bathtub grout. First dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times.
Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.
Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.
Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.
Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis.
Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants.
Add natural highlights to your hair. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide so the solution is 50% peroxide and 50% water. Spray the solution on wet hair to create subtle, natural highlights.
According to alternative therapy practitioners, adding half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to a warm bath can help detoxify the body. Some are skeptical of this claim, but a bath is always a nice way to relax and the addition of hydrogen peroxide will leave you – and the tub – squeaky clean!
Spray a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide on leftover salad, drain, cover and refrigerate. This will prevent wilting and better preserve your salad.
Sanitize your kids’ lunch boxes/bags.
Dab hydrogen peroxide on pimples or acne to help clear skin.
Hydrogen peroxide helps to sprout seeds for new plantings. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution once a day and spritz the seed every time you re-moisten. You can also use a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water to improve your plants’ root system.
Remove yellowing from lace curtains or tablecloths. Fill a sink with cold water and a 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Soak for at least an hour, rinse in cold water and air dry.
Use it to remove ear wax. Use a solution of 3% with olive or almond oil. Add a couple drops of oil first then H2O2. After a few minutes, tilt head to remove solution and wax.
Helps with foot fungus. Spray a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry. Or try soaking your feet in a peroxide solution to help soften calluses and corns, and disinfect minor cuts.
Spray down the shower with hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and viruses.
Use 1 pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water to clean humidifiers and steamers.
Wash shower curtains with hydrogen peroxide to remove mildew and soap scum. Place curtains in machine with a bath towel and your regular detergent. Add 1 cup full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.
Use for towels that have become musty smelling. 1/2 cup Peroxide and 1/2 cup vinegar let stand for 15 minutes wash as normal. Gets rid of the smell.
Use hydrogen peroxide to control fungi present in aquariums. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your fish. Use sparingly for this purpose.
De-skunking solution. Combine 1 quart 3% H2O2, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent, 2 quarts warm water.
How many of us have a bucket list of places to go and things to do there but never get around to actually going there or doing them. Yahoo! India reader Thennarasu wrote to us with an invitation to his home state, Tamil Nadu, with this list of 50 things to do while you’re there.
1. Eat a meal on a banana leaf — there’s a belief that it might cure Parkinson ‘s disease
2. Visit the Great Living Chola Temples, the UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 10th century
3. Go to Ooty on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway — it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a legacy of remarkable British engineering
Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment Photo by Pawan Koppa/IRFCATue 10 Jul, 2012 3:30 PM ISTOn a cold morning, a crowd of people rush to board the 662SR Mettupalayam-Udhagamandalam (Nilagiri) Passenger.
PAWAN KOPPA is an IT professional who is a full-time techie on weekdays while transforming… more
4. Get blessed by an elephant — how often can you get one?
5. Visit the Cholamandalam Artists’ Village, the pride of modern Tamil Art
6. Take an auto ride in Chennai. Chennai auto-drivers even have their own websites. Plus, it is the luxury of the middle-class.
7. Taste idli and dosa and wonder how many types of chutneys exist in Tamil Nadu. We are really a bunch of choosy pickers when it comes to idli and dosa!
8. Watch a Rajanikanth film in a movie theatre, if possible on the first day to understand the definition of hero worship!
9. Participate in Jallikattu — bull taming — in Madurai. Or, if you’re chicken, just watch!
10. Find and listen to your favourite Ilayaraja or A R Rahman song — everybody’s got to have one!
11. Men, sport a moustache. And women, plait your hair and decorate it with a garland of fragrant jasmine flowers!
12. Decorate the front of your house with kolam — a more decorative and artistic rendition of rangoli — and hang bunches of harvested paddy outside your home for the birds to feed on. (We have our own homegrown Kolam Picassos, and the patterns they come out with are astonishing!)
13. Drink strong filter coffee In a Tamil-style cup and saucer known as davarah and tumbler
14. Visit the shore temples of Mahabalipuram (another UNESCO World Heritage Site of the 7th century) and admire the art of sculpting in this little town
15. Wander around to wonder at the Indo-Saracenic and Gothic style buildings of Chennai, some of which are over a hundred years old
16. Visit Pondicherry to marvel at the French Architecture (and our own French Connection)
17. Beat the heat by eating all your summer fruit glazed with a layer of salt-and-chilli-powder mixture! Cucumber, unripe mango, gooseberry, guava and pineapple taste best like this. And drink tender coconut or buttermilk or sugarcane juice to quench your thirst. And if you like it aerated, there’s Bovonto, our very own answer to Coca Cola!
18. Shop for beautiful silk sarees at Kancheepuram (the Chinese may have invented silk, but Tamils perfected it)
19. Celebrate Pongal by cooking sweet rice outdoors in clay pots or join the annual celebration of Elephant Pongal at Top Slip
20. Buy Horlicks for someone sick
21. Feed crows on special occasions
22. Whistle for Chennai Super Kings at M A Chidambaram stadium!
23. Attend Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival
24. Visit Pichavaram, the world’s second largest mangrove forests, for the Dawn Fest or Vidiyal Vizha
25. Sanctify your new dresses with turmeric
The imposing Matri Mandir at Auroville26. Visit Auroville, the international commune near Pondicherry
27. Visit the Toda tribal village in the Nilgiris (also learn about the other tribes — Badaga, Irula, Kota and Kurumba)
28. Go to Natyanjali Dance Festival celebrated at the 1,000-year-old Chidambaram temple near Cuddalore. The dance hall is adorned with pillars exhibiting the classic 108 poses of Lord Nataraja.
29. Go on a parisal (coracle) ride in Hogenakkal
30. Watch the magical kurinji flower bloom in Kodaikanal. It blooms every 12 years and the next bloom is in 2018
31. Widen your understanding of Tamil culture and architecture at Dakshina Chitra, Muttukadu
32. Go to Sittanavasal in Pudukkottai district to see some of the oldest Jain paintings
33. Visit the iconic Madurai Meenakshi temple
34. Ride into the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve on an elephant
35. Explore corals and other marine life in a glass-bottomed boat in the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
36. Visit Karaikudi to experience the vibrant Chettinad culture, architecture and food
37. Watch Theerthavari in Mahamaham Tank, Kumbakonam, held once in 12 years. A dip in the tank is believed to offer the combined benefits of a bath in all the sacred rivers. The next Mahamaham is in 2016.
38. Taste some regional speciality dishes and snacks — Dindigul biryani, Manaparai muruku, Thirunelveli halwa, Madurai jigar thanda and Kumbakonam coffee
39. Visit the Birla Science Planetarium in Chennai
40. Spot endangered wildlife in Meghamalai in Theni district. Meghamalai is also known for its spice tourism with a variety of plantations including tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom and cinnamon.
41. Throw rice on the bride and groom at a Tamil wedding. Rice signifies prosperity and fertility
42. Buy a pair of Kuthu Vilakku — brass lamps — from Nachiyar Kovil in Kumbakonam. Every public event and home celebration begins only after these brass lamps are lit.
43. Witness the making of bronze statues using the traditional Lost-Wax process at Swamimalai near Kumbakonam
44. Join the Students’ Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN) volunteers on a night walk along the beaches of Chennai to conserve and create awareness about the endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtle.
45. Enjoy the panoramic view of Tiruchi and Srirangam from Tiruchi Malai Kotai Rock Fort
46. Get your picture on a street poster or a billboard for some reason (marriage, birthday, welcoming a political leader, coming-of-age ritual, ear-piercing ritual, or just to wish your favourite actor or sports star!)
47. Go birdwatching in any of the birding hotspots — Vedanthangal , Pulicat Lake, Kunthakulam or Point Calimere
48. Taste the Mukkani — three supreme and heavenly fruits — mango, jackfruit and banana
49. Try to know your future from Nadi Jothidam – these are palm manuscript horoscopes written hundreds of years ago for every individual on earth. Or try parrot astrology or palmistry.
50. Walk amidst lush green paddy fields
Thennarasu is a BPO employee who works in Chennai. Originally from Kumbakonam, his interests include travel, photography, meeting new people, bird-watching and cooking.
Every passing day erodes my confidence
Every passing moment takes away my hope
Every passing person shoots the same question
It is hard to put up a fake smile & move around
It is hard to pretend as if everything is alright
It is hard to believe when there is no hope
How could I not let out my frustration?
How could I stop feeling depressed?
How could I end hurting others?
I know this is not gonna last forever
I know everything is gonna be alright
But how long and how many to lose
Sometimes, Life comes as a surprise
Sometimes, it comes as a blessing
And other times it comes really hard at u…
Throwing you in the deepest and darkest pit ever
Making you wander around lonely and secluded
Can I find a light of hope in this darkness??
(Again, she doesn’t know it is here)
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
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How right were they in their branding Indian Itihaasa as mythological? In the last decade or so, the scientific advancements that have taken place, have helped scientific historians revisit the text for historical proofs.
Bharath Gyan has researched information on Rama from a rational, scientific and logical perspective to try and understand if Rama has in reality been a historical person.
In the Ramayana text the family tree of Rama starts tracing his lineage right from Kashyapa Aditi to his times and after his times down to the times of Mahabaratha. This means at least 50 generations on either sides of Rama have been named and their achievements mentioned.
These names and their achievements have been cross verified in other literary texts of other periods of time when those kings who were the ancestors or successors to Rama lived. Such detailed lineage on either side along with their correlation in other texts would be possible if the persons mentioned therein are historical.
In the Tamil text Aga na nooru which belong to the Sangam literature period Rama is mentioned by name in the 70th song of Neithal Thinai. This indicates that he was not only popular in his region but was discussed by the pre-historic tamil scholars also.
During the Mughal times Begum Hamida Banu, wife of Humayun and the mother of Akbar prepared the Persian version of the Ramayana as it was a historical text of her land. Akbar prepared one more Ramayana during his times as Emperor. These texts are richly painted and are today in various museums of the world. These were not prepared as religious text but as historical texts of the land they ruled.
Ramayana as a text is geographically very correct. Every site on Rama’s route is still identifiable and has continuing traditions in the form of temples to commemorate Rama’s visit.
In those remote days no author had the travel facility to concoct a geographically credible story and building it into local folklore.
The concept of describing dates astronomically has been a practice in India since days bygone and thus lot of Indian literature are embedded with such astronomical data.
This is a technique of charting the future or past sky using a scientific tool. This tool helps to arrive at planetary positions given a date in future or past and vice-versa i.e. given a set of planetary configurations, arrive at the date either in future or in the past.
Such tools are collectively called Planetarium software. There are probably over 50 such different software available. Each software can be used specifically for a particular application, like, plotting the current night sky chart, predicting eclispes and the likes. When spacecrafts are launched to visit far-off planets like Jupiter and Saturn, it would take a travel time of well over 12 years for the spacecraft to reach these planets. This software helps determine orbital positions of the planets when the spacecraft reaches their orbits. For this, a high level of precision is required in the software.
Unlike any other civilization so far, the literature of the Indian civilization is characterised for being embedded with night sky observations. Feeding the observations of the planetary configurations into the Planetarium software gives us the English calender dates when these configurations could have occured in the past. When these dates are logically arranged along with the events, it helps us to scientifically assign dates to events mentioned in Indian legends and historical texts, and validate them.
Thus the astronomical remains left behind in our literature can be analysed scientifically to arrive at historic dates for various events. This approach is parallel to archaeology where physical remains are analysed to arrive at historic dates and hence gives rise to a new branch of scientific dating which may be called Archaeo-astronomy. Various modern day researchers have made use of this software to arrive at such historic dates for various events described in the Indian literature.
They have collated the outputs of such credible work which are worthy of standing up to cross validation. In the context of the Historicity of Rama, the works of Shri. Pushkar Bhatnagar, as brought out in the book “Dating the Era of Lord Ram” form the basis of what is presented here to understand the dates of the events in Rama’s lifetime .
This particular text, Ramayana, when analysed from a scientific perspective using such Archeo-Astronomy techniques, shows tremendous internal consistency between the events described astronomically and the storyline based elapse time between those events. This method puts forth the below mentioned dates for the events that occur in the Ramanaya legend.
Sri Rama Navami – Birth day 10th January 5114 BCE
Birth of Bharatha 11th January 5114 BCE
Pre coronation eve 4th January 5089 BCE Khar
Dushan episode 7th October 5077 BCE
Vali Vadham 3rd April 5076 BCE
Hanuman’s Visit to Lanka 12th September 5076 BCE
Hanuman’s Return from Lanka 14th September 5076 BCE
Army March to Lanka 12th September 5076 BCE
It is indeed noteworthy to observe that these dates are internally consistent
While the purpose of this software was different, it has now thrown open a potential for a new branch of science which can be named Archeo Astronomy as just like archeology it can help date events as described in literature. This software has now become declassified and is available for public use. This modern method of – Archeo Astronomy is still not accepted or practiced by traditional historians as it requires knowledge of traditional astronomy, mathematics as well modern day sky chart reading techniques all of which go into the realm of science.
This branch of archeology requires and will create a new breed of archeologists and has the potential to date more events from our vast store of literature than traditional archeology can.
We have seen a lot many people lately, educated and unlike, find worshipping the Shivalinga a little….”embarassing”. This is simply because most of the times, the don’t know everything about it. Let’s have a look at the design first.
❒ Structure :
To understand the whole concept, we need to know that as per Sanatan Dharma, the whole frame of universal/cosmic reality compromises of three fundamental states :
• Evolution (Shrishthi)===========> Brahma (Creator)
These three states operate in a cyclic process, in that order, throughout infinity. Each state is controlled by a God; thus Brahma the creator controls evolution, Vishnu the preserver controls existence and Shiva the destroyer controls involution.
The Shivlinga, is nothing but the symbolic representation of the unity of these three states of the universe/cosmos. It consists of three parts :
• The Square Base : It is made up of three layers at the bottom showing the three mythical realms (lokas) :
It symbolizes evolution, and thus, the place of Brahma.
• The Octagonal Round : It is present in the middle and shows the eight directions (Ashta-dikpala) [Astha=Eight, Dik=Direction, Pala=Guardian] :
It symbolizes existence or perseverance, and thus, the place of Vishnu.
• The Cylinder : It is at the top with a spherical end, symbolizing involution or completion of the cosmic cycle, and thus, the place of Shiva.
Naturally, people ask, why the “linga”? Why the phallus? Let’s get to it.
First and foremost, as per Sanskrit, “linga” means symbol/sign. In the “Shvetasvatara Upanishad” it is said that Lord Shiva, the Supreme Being, has no linga (i.e. sign or symbol). What it means is that it is impossible to define Brahman (the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe) or that is alinga.
So how does one pray to this Brahman who is beyond any definable/comprehensible characteristic? The answer to that is simple. In Sanatana Dharma, each individual has the freedom to define the Supreme Being/Spirit or Brahman in the most convenient way he/she is comfortable.
Now think back. What is the most astonishing miracle that living beings experience? The answer is simple…it’s the creation of a new life from two lives. It is only natural that the male reproductive organ appeared to people as the ideal symbol of expression of Supreme Being/Spirit as it represented strength and regenerative power. When a Linga is installed on a Yoni, it represents the union of Shiva and Shakti, and thus, the beginning of creation.
What is also represent is the harmony of energies in the cosmos. The balance of the male and female energies, the Ying and the Yang from China, the day and the night, the sun and the moon, the white and the black, the Devas and the Asuras and so on. Besides, phalluses and menhirs were worshipped in many ancient societies. Google will help you with that.
The Mahabharata itself states that Shiva’s linga was worshipped by many!
• Chapter 7, section 20, verse 22 : Know everything, which is male, to be Ishana, and all that is female to be Uma; for this whole world, animate and inanimate, is pervaded by these two bodies. Shiva’s divine Linga is worshipped by the Gods, seers, Gandharvas and Apsaras.
• Chapter 13, section 19, verses 78 : The greatness of this form of Shiva is based on the fact that the children bear neither the lotus symbol of Brahma nor of Vishnu’s discus; but one marked with the male and female organs, the linga and yoni, originated from Mahadeva and Devi.
In the Puranas, it is said : The Supreme Being appeared before Lord Brahma and Vishnu in the form of a ‘pillar of fire’, which had no end and beginning.
The incarnations of Lord Vishnu, viz, Lord Ram, Parshuram and Lord Krishna, are all known to have worshipped the Shiv Linga.
It is now that the society has come to revile sex and hence everything to do with it. Why, is a different matter for another post. 😉
Later on, due to influences of the society, people have become more comfortable with worshipping Shiva in his human complete form alongside Parvati. Xenophanes had even said that is horses or lions had hands, they would have created images of God akin to their own kind who were horselike or lionlike. So it’s all but natural for humans to resculpt gods in human images.
It doesn’t matter though. Like previously said, in Sanatana Dharma, each individual has the freedom to define the Supreme Being/Spirit or Brahman in the most convenient way he/she is comfortable. When one worships the Shiva-Linga, one is worshipping the trinity of Gods, the complete universal fundamental states and thus, the very existence of the Supreme Being. After all, everything is Brahman.