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Significance of half pradakshina around Shivlinga

Significance of half pradakshina around ShivlingaEvery Hindu temple is strategically designed and is built where positive energy is available in abundance. The place where the idol of the deity is enthroned is known as the “Garbhagriha” or “Moolasthanam”. The Garbhagriha is located in the center of the temple where maximum magnetic waves of the earth are present. The Deity Idols are placed in the center of the temple. One of the most significant rituals of Hindu religion is Circumambulation popularly known as Pradakshina.

The Origin of Pradakshina :

According to a legend, Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati were given a divine fruit by the Gods. This fruit was said to be so divine that, the one consuming it was sure to gain supreme knowledge and immortality. Both, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya wanted to eat that fruit and started arguing over the same. In order to end the argument between the brothers, Lord Shiva asked them to do a task. The task was to circle the world three times. The one who circles the world three times and comes back first would get to consume the divine fruit. Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesh agreed to this task. Being a God of war, Lord Kartikeya immediately started off the journey without wasting anytime. Lord Ganesh knew that he won’t be able to compete with the mighty Lord Kartikeya and hence he applied his wit and started circling his parents. Lord Shiva asked Lord Ganesh, “what are you doing?” to which Lord Ganesh said “You both are my parents and within you lays the whole world”. Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati got impressed by Lord Ganesh and declared him the winner. Thus, the ritual of pradakshina came into existence.

Significance of half Pradakshina of Shiva Linga :

According to Shastras and Shivpurana, only half-parikrama must be carried out by the devotees around the Shiva Linga. This practice is justified by explaining that, Shiva is both ‘Aadi’ & ‘Anant’. Aadi meaning first or beginning and Anant means everlasting. Thus, the divine and endless energy (Shakti) flowing from him is represented in the form of Nirmili which is the narrow outlet from where the milk and water flows. It is a sacred part of the Shivling and should never be over-stepped. According to an old legend, there was a king named Gandharva who was a devotee of Shiva. Once, after performing the ‘abhishek’ on Shiva Linga, he started doing Pradakshina and by mistake over-stepped the Nirmili and in no time the king lost all his powers, might and intelligence. Because of overstepping the Nirmili, the king had to face the wrath of Lord Shiva. Hence, the ancient scriptures mention about the procedure of half Pradakshina for Lord Shiva.

एका चण्डा रवेः सप्त तिर्स्त्रः कार्या विनायके |
हरेश्चतस्त्रः कर्तव्याः शिवस्यार्धप्रदक्षिणा ||
Eka Chandaya Raveh Sapta Tirstra Karya Vinayake |
Hareschatarstrah Kartabyah Shivasya ardha Pradkshina ||

A devotee should perform one pradakshina for Durga (Chandi), seven or Lord Surya, three for Lord Ganesha or Vinayaka, four for Lord Vishnu and for Lord Shiva, one should perform one and half pradakshina’

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In the ancient times, the Nirmili of the Shiv Linga was built in such a way that no one could see it as it was dug deep inside the earth surface. Therefore, there was no fear of over stepping it. But, in present times, the Nirmili is built above the earth’s surface. Hence it is advised, that one should only perform half Pradakshina of Shiva Linga.

How To Keep Shivlinga at Home: Direction of Placement of Shiva Linga

As per Agama Shastra, there are two acceptable orientations of the Shiva Linga.
1. The Yoni base facing the North and the devotee facing the East (towards the West face of the Lingam).
2. The Yoni base facing the East and the devotee facing the North (towards the South face of the Lingam). The Yoni base here shall mean the point from where the Abhishek liquid (Water or Panchamrit) flows out of Shiva Ling.

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