Principles, masculine and feminine

In the hindu spiritual symbology and practice

June 15th 2013
In many Indian temples, you see the lingam, the symbol of Shiva, represented – a raised stem on a horizontal base. Those who give commentaries on the symbol often stop at the raised stem, which represents the phallus, the generative organ, the masculine principle. In fact, you should also take into account the horizontal base, which represents the feminine principle. The masculine principle is the spirit, working on the feminine principle, matter. The whole of creation is simply the result of these two principles working together. And so they should not be thought of as separate in spiritual practice either. In India you still come across men and women with a red dot painted between their eyebrows. That is where the ajna chakra, the centre of clairvoyance, of spiritual vision, is situated. But if you concentrate on this chakra, which is receptive, feminine, you should also concentrate on the sahasrara chakra, situated at the top of the skull, which is emissive, masculine. When the two principles are brought together, they become a living lingam.