Sages of the New Covenant
Ancient religion of India had commonality to the religion of the Israelite. In 326 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent as far as the Hyphasis River, and established satrapies and founded several settlements, including Bucephala. The Indo-Greeks continued to rule a territory in the eastern Punjab, until the kingdom of the last Indo-Greek king Strato was taken over by the Indo-Scythian ruler Rajuvula around 10 AD. Though Greeks have left India politically by the 10th AD, the Greek influence can be seen still in the Religions and the manner of worship in India. In this message, I have tried draw the origin of Lingas and the transformation Linga’s took with the influence of the Greek culture in India.
The image that you see is the “Bana Linga” (a stone found in nature, in the bed of the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh state, India).
Can this marbles be termed as "Suyambu Lingam, as they are formed through a natural process? No.
The Black Stone of the Ka’aba has been described as somewhere around 2 ft. in length. It is broken into roughly seven pieces, which are held together in a silver frame. The surface is certainly a blackish color, but there is some speculation that the color derives from all of the hands and mouths that have touched it, as well as the oils with which it is anointed.
The story is that Abraham built an altar with his oldest son. The building is said to be the likeness of God’s home in heaven. Muslims believe that the prophet Mohammad kissed the Black Stone and so, they kiss the Black Stone, if it is possible, during their obligatory, at least once a lifetime, trip to Ka’aba.
Ka'aba of Mecca has a story connected with the first man - Adam; hence Ka'aba could be called the 'Suyambu Lingam", as God Himself helped Abraham to sacrifice the lamb instead of his eldest son.
Abraham's granson, Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran. He came to the place and stayed there that nigh. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it [or "beside him"] and said, "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants; and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you." Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I did not know it." And he was afraid, and said, "This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." Afterwards, Jacob names the place, "Bethel" (literally, "House of God") and set up the stone at his head, as a monument to commemorate the revelation he had received from God; and poured oil upon the top, to consecrate it as a memorial of the mercy that had been shown him there. Exodus 30:26.)
Though the mythology gives a story to each and every festival of India, I always think that these stories are basically used to drive home an important message in a subtle manner. Hence my understanding of 'Karthigai Deepam Festival' is: Karthigai Deepam is the commemoration of the "Failed-attempt to find out the Depth and Height of Divine Love (Shiva)". Can anyone measure the Divine Love? Certainly NOT !!!
Karthigai Deepam light on top of the Mount of Arunachala:
The Full-noon day of the Thamizh month of Karthigai, marks the starting of the week long temple function. A big brass vessel especially designed in the form of a lamp is lifted to the peak of the hill; it is filled with tins and tins of ghee (nearly 2,000 litres is consumed) and pots and pots of butter; and an enormously thick wick made of loosely twisted woven fibres (clothes) is immersed into the vessel and one end of the wick is drawn out to the apex and is ignited with burning camphor and the thick wick fully soaked in ghee acting by capillary attraction conveys the ghee the main illuminant to the flame. The luminous glow of the lamp atop the hill opens the eyes of millions of people to something divine and auspicious and ardent devotees and others see in the burning light as the one, who is 'Light of the world'.
We have reasons to believe that Karthigai festival is celebrated in remembrence of the day, when God gave Moses the tablets of stone with the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and "the sight of the glory of the Lord was like consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the Israel". - Ex. 24: 12-17
During the "Giri Valam" (mountian circuitus )of the Mount Arunachal, you come across Eight Lingas. What you find in the picture is the "Agni (fire) Linga (Pillar).
If you analyze with an open mind, you could agree that this 'Agni Linga' is nothing but the God, who lead the Israelite in the Night appearing Himself as the ''Pillar of Fire', during the period of Moses (Exodus 13:21). One could see the Golden Serpent (according to Numbers 21:9 , Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole and anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.) along with the "Agni Linga".
It is believed that worshiping the "Agni Linga" will free them from the evil designs of the enemy and prolonged illness. Agni, has 7 hands and 7 tongues and Seven is number to denote Completeness among the Jews and in the Old Testament of the Bible as well.
Varuna Linga is situated on the 'Giri Valam' path 1 km before the village of Adi Annamalai.
The Bible says: “ … the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way … He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” (Exodus 13: 21&22).
From this one could conclude that Varuna Linga denotes nothing; but the God, who appeared before the Israelites in the form a 'pillar of cloud' to give shade to the them.
The Abrahamic Linga (Pillar) with the influence of the Greek Rulers of India, between 4th Century B.C. to 10th Century AD took a different connotation, representing the phallus, because of the following Greek mythology:
If you critically analyze the above picture, you will understand what you see as a rostrum for the phallus is not the yoni (female genital), rather a design adopted by the designer of sculpture to permit the abisheka (anointing) water / oil to flow outside. If it has to indicate an act of sexual intercourse, the ‘glans penis’ should be upside down. The following is the picture of the stone structure one could see at “Arappalli” (Royal Church) built by St Thomas at Thiruvithangcode near Thackalay in the Indian state of Thamizh Nadu.
This stone structure is the place people wash their legs before entering the church, more particularly on the 'Asanam day' (Maundy Thursday) , when the priest would wash the legs of the congregation, as a mark of remembrance to adopt the servant leadership style adopted by Jesus Christ. This stone structure is the proof that to disapprove the following:
What people call as Yoni in temples is not the female genetalia; but the drainage out-let.
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Sages of the New Covenant