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Thousand year old Hindu Shiva linga discovered in Thailand

A Hindu Shiva linga approximately 1000-1500 years old has been unearthed last week, on the western shore of Thailand’s province Nakhon Sithammarat, according to news published in Bangkok Post on 15th April 2016.

Phra Kru Supakittayaporn, the honorary abbot (priest) of Wat Nang tra (temples) in the Tha Sala district of the province said that this discovery came into light by accident during construction work in the temple. While digging the grounds, the workers discovered the Shiv linga along with an ancient jar and 20 pieces of Buddha coins.

The shiva linga measures 1 meter long and has a base diameter of 47 cm. It has flowers carved in Tawaravadee style. The sculpture is still in good shape. The temple authorities brought this to the attention of local fine department authorities.

As the news spread, devotees rushed to the temple to have a look at the Shiva linga and pay their reverences.

The Fine Arts Department director, Anat Bamrungwong believes that these artifacts date more than thousands years old. He stated that this discovery is no less than a treasure trove.

A ‘shiva linga’ with flowers carved in relief on its base was discovered at Wat Nang Tra in Thailand.  Courtesy: BangkokPost.com
A ‘shiva linga’ with flowers carved in relief on its base was discovered at Wat Nang Tra in Thailand. Courtesy: BangkokPost.com

What exactly is a Shiva Linga?

According to Acharya David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), “The linga is the symbol of the universal power, the cosmic masculine force or the Shiva principle. It has many forms in nature. In the Sanskrit language, the word linga refers to a ‘chief mark’ or ‘characteristic’ of something. Linga indicates what is outstanding and determinative.”

Many people worship Shiva linga as a mark of energy and fertility, the source of life. However, there is a deeper meaning associated to it as well.

The Linga is like an egg, and represents the ‘Brahmanda’ or the cosmic egg. The Linga shape resembles that of an ellipsoid and it is this shape that unmanifest energy takes at the time of creation and just before dissolution.

The lingas in the temples are often formed in three parts. The lowest part is the base square called the Brahmabhaga or Brahma-pitha, which represents the creator Brahma. The next part in the middle is the octagonal Vishnubhaga or Vishnu-pitha, which signifies Lord Vishnu the sustainer. Both of these parts form the pedestal. The top cylindrical portion is the Rudrabhaga or Shiva-pitha, which is also called the Pujabhaga since this is the worshipable part. The top portion is also meant to symbolize the projecting flame of fire.

Today, Thailand is predominantly a Buddhist country. Hindu Dharma was prevalent during 10th – 12th century in Thailand, particularly in Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces.

Source: This article was shared by Vishwa Hindu Parishad Association, Thailand

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