Phallic pillar (linga) with one face of Shiva (ekamukhalinga) | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Phallic pillar (linga) with one face of Shiva (ekamukhalinga)

Phallic pillar (<i>linga</i>) with one face of Shiva (<i>ekamukhalinga</i>)

Phallic pillar (linga) with one face of Shiva (ekamukhalinga)

Red dappled sandstone

H: 28; Diam: 15 cm

Bequest of Wolf Ladejinsky, Washington, DC, through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation

Accession number:

B78.1293

Arts/Asian Art

The Lord Shiva appears as a linga, a phallic pillar representing him in his most abstract form. This symbol of the male sexual organ is worshiped as the generative force of the universe, one important aspect of Shiva. The linga is placed in the innermost hall of Hindu temples, away from any other decoration or object. It is the central and most sacred object of worship in temples dedicated to Shiva. This sculpture is an ekamukhalinga, a linga with a single face of Shiva; his hair is divided into separate strands, gathered in a topknot.