Volume 10 - Issue 02
February 2012
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Posted on : Feb 20, 2012


Special Discourse Quiz on Lingodbhavam


Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point




Manaeva karanam manushyanam bandha mokhshayoho declare the scriptures. It means, the mind holds the key for man's bondage as well as his liberation. Thus every spiritual endeavour is a process of controlling, disciplining or sublimating it. The ancients always believed that there was a subtle connection between the mind and the moon, and its changing faces. The days when the moon is thinnest, it was said, that the mind's illusory powers are at the weakest; and this makes it the best time to try to lead the mind to higher thoughts. Thus the fourteenth day of the waning phase of the moon when it appears the thinnest is celebrated as a Shivarathri (a night to worship the auspicious One, Shiva) so that on this day man can divert his thoughts godward. The Shivarathri that falls during the hindu month of Maagha (Feb-Mar) every year is celebrated as the Maha Shivarathri - considered even more auspicious for spiritual endeavours.

This special day in the Indian calendar was transformed from being auspicious to heavenly, by Bhagawan. For Baba used this celebration to re-instill in mankind some very pertinent but forgotten messages. Reference to Maha Shivarathri in Prasanthi Nilayam is incomplete without the mention of Lingodbhavam. What is a Lingam and what is Lingodbhavam? Baba in His many discourses delivered during Shivarathri, answered these questions and in the process drew our minds to that changeless principle that God is. Thus every Shivarathri in His presence, was utilised in the way it was ordained to be, in reflection, contemplation and introspection.

In the quiz below we have compiled some of those most profound explanations given by Bhagawan on the various aspects of Shiva, and the celebration of this holy night. So let us relive these important discourses and redirect ourselves to that source within, who has manifested in our midst as our beloved Sai Shiva.


1. During a Divine Discourse given on Maha Shivarathri day in 1969, Swami explains what the lingam symbolises: “This is a day dedicated to the Shiva that is in each of you. From the Himalayan ranges down to Cape Kanyaakumari, the entire land is resounding today to the authentic Declaration ‘Shivoham’ and to the adoration, ‘Om Nama Shivaaya.’ Since thousands pray here, and elsewhere in lakhs and crores, the linga is emanating from Me, so that you may derive the bliss that pervades the world through lingodhbhava (emergence of the linga).

“The manifestation of the linga is a part of My Nature. These pandits (scholars) explain it as reminiscent of an epochal event in the past when Shiva challenged Brahma and Vishnu to gauge the height and depth of the linga Form He assumed. They failed and had to accept defeat. But, the linga emerges, as a result of prayer and grace. You have to recognise in this event a glimpse of Divinity, a sign of infinite grace.”

Swami then says: “Just as Om is the sound symbol of God, the linga is the ___________ symbol of God.”

2. During a Divine Discourse given in 1999 on Maha Shivarathri day, Swami explains the meaning of the Principal of Shiva: “That which remains changeless is referred to as Sath (Being). This Sath is within you. Love is its sweetness. We have to turn this love towards Visweswara (God), but not towards vishayas (sensual pleasures). Sath can be compared to sugar, and chith (chaithanya) to water. When sugar is added to water, it becomes syrup. Likewise, when Sath and Chith come together, what results is ananda (bliss).”

Swami then explains: “Sath is associated with the Atma and Chith with the body. The Atma is Purusha (Brahman) and the body is Prakriti (feminine principle). The unity of Purusha and Prakriti is _____________.”

3. During a Divine Discourse given in 1971, on Maha Shivaratri day, Swami reveals the mystery behind His lingam manifestations: “People ask, ‘Why does Swami produce the lingam from within Himself on this day?’ But, let Me tell you, it is impossible for you to understand the attributes of the Divine and to measure its potentialities, or to gauge the significance of the manifestation of Divinity. It is agamya (unreachable) and agochara (un-understandable and mysterious).

“Therefore, in order to bear witness to the fact that the ___________it becomes necessary to express this attribute.”

4. During a Divine Discourse given in 1968 on Maha Shivarathri day, Swami affirms His Divinity: “Do not attempt to justify your own prejudices and preferences by specious arguments; that will lead to self-deception, not self-knowledge. That will heighten egoism, not lower it. God resides in every one as lingam, in the subtle form.

Linga is made up of two syllables - Lin and ga, Lin means "that into which everything merges (leeyathe)," and ga means "that into which everything goes (gamyathe)." The linga is a symbol of the universal into which all particulars merge, from which all particulars emerge. The linga is the Swa-Swaruupa (the real form of the Reality).”

Swami then asserts: “The Lingodhbhava (materialisation of linga) is an announcement of the advent of the Avatar as ____________”

5. During a Divine Discourse given in 1964 on Maha Shivarathri day, Swami made us realize the purpose of the lingam: “Just as every drop of the ocean has the salty taste, the composition and the name of the ocean, so too every single being has the Divine taste and composition, and the Name of the Lord. Only you do not realise it so clearly. The River Godavari realises itself by reaching the sea; man realises himself by merging in the Absolute. That which merges with the goal is lingam - Leeyathe gamyam ithi lingam.

“In a short time, you will be witnessing the emergence of the linga that is formed within. The auspicious time for the emergence for the linga is approaching; you see it and receive the blessings. But there will be some among you who will doubt and deny it. That is the karma of such; what else can they do?”

(Now Baba stopped the discourse. The movements started, first in the region of the abdomen, then the chest and the throat; Baba swayed from the side. He then leaned on the table, drank water, and finally, after about twenty minutes, an egg-shaped pink linga emerged from His mouth. Holding it between the thumb and forefinger of His right hand, Baba discoursed further about it).

Swami then exclaimed proudly: “Ah! This is the Brahmaanda linga! Symbol of the Universe.” What was inside this linga?



6. During a Divine Discourse given in 1999 on Maha Shivarathri day, Swami explains why He had discontinued the emergence of lingams for a while: “As pointed out by the Vice Chancellor in his speech, I used to bring out Atma lingams from this body on the occasion of Shivarathri in the earlier years. Lingodbhava (emergence of linga) used to take place on every Shivarathri. To witness this sacred event, lakhs would gather in a small hall. Consequently, there used to be stampede resulting in injuries to devotees. Due to this, I discontinued Lingodbhava in public.

“There is a specific time for this. It may take place at any moment between 8 and 10 in the night. It takes place at the right time irrespective of the place I am in. It is bound to take place. It is natural on Shivarathri night. Those who are fortunate to witness this sacred Lingodbhava are freed from all sins. One must see how it emerges. But some people may not be able to see this even if they are sitting close by.”

According to Swami, what is the most important and most fortunate aspect of the ritual of Lingodbhava?

7. During a Divine Discourse given in 1961 on Maha Shivarathri day, Swami elaborates on the symbolisms of different kinds of lingams: “The lingam is just a sign: a sign of endeavour and success. For example, the Anda Pinda lingam signifies the egg-shaped universe, which is how it is, even according to experts in science. The outer cover is the anda and the inner rasa or matter is the pinda. They are both dependent, one on the other. You are all basically the Anda Pinda, with the outer shell of materialism and the inner core of Divinity.

“Besides the Anda Pinda lingam, Swami has also revealed the symbolism of three other kinds of lingams: Jnaana lingam, Atma lingam and Sadaaa Shiva lingam. According to Swami, which one of these is not negated by Time

8. During a Divine Discourse given in 1999, on Maha Shivarathri day, Swami materialized the Hiranyagarbha lingam and elaborated on its symbolism: “Man cannot exist without love. This principle of Love is Hiranyagarbha. This Hiranyagarbha is situated on the right side of the human body, while the physical heart is on the left. The physical heart has to be left one day or the other, in some circumstance or the other. Hiranyagarbha, located on the right side of the human body is always right. It is immortal, divine, eternal, and all-encompassing. It is present not only in human beings but also in birds, beasts, and all other living beings.

“The Vedas declare: ‘Eswara Sarvabhoothanam' (God is present in all living beings), and ‘Isavasyam Idam Jagat' (God pervades the entire cosmos). Love is the reflection of Hiranyagarbha and originates from it. The three principles of reaction, resound, and reflection have also originated from Hiranyagarbha. Divine love originates from Hiranyagarbha. This selfless divine love lives by giving and forgiving, whereas selfish love lives by getting and forgetting. Such divine love is essential for man.

“Understand the true meaning and inner significance of Shivarathri. Hiranyagarbha lingam is present in everybody’s hridaya (spiritual heart) and is on the right side of the body.” In which part of Swami’s Body is the Hiranyagarbha?



9. During a Divine Discourse given in 1974 on Maha Shivarathri day, Swami manifested a very unique lingam and revealed the blessings He conferred on all those who witnessed its emergence: “You are indeed blessed, since from among the billions of people on this earth, you alone were able to come into this congregation on this occasion.

“Having had the unique good fortune of witnessing the emergence of the time-space-embodiment in the linga-Form, I assure you that you are released from the bondage of birth and death. Recollect (and live in the recollection of) that moment of emergence and meditate on the significance of the linga-Form. This is the chance that is seldom gained through the performance of yajnas or yaagas or other elaborate rituals; or as a result of years of arduous saadhana. When you are asked what happened at Prashaanthi Nilayam, tell them that your life's mission has been fulfilled, that you were able to witness the Lingodhbhava, see the linga which emerged during the auspicious hour.”

Swami then revealed: “The linga as you can see, is dhasha angulam - ten inches in circumference. It has within it, shining with native light the Trishul (three-pronged spear) of Shiva, symbolising the three phases of Time - past, present and future - and the three dimensions of space - earth, sky and the nether regions.”

What colour did this unique three-pronged spear lingam have?



10. During a Divine Discourse given in 2002, Swami revealed how a linga is formed within Him: “What is the significance of lingodbhava? God is known as Hiranyagarbha (one having a golden womb). The golden rasa (essence) present in His womb undergoes a vigorous churning process and assumes the shape of a linga.”

Showing the golden linga that He created in the beginning of His discourse, Bhagawan said: “As you can see, it has no distinctive features like eyes, face, etc. It has neither feet nor head. It can be placed in any manner. It symbolises the formless divinity.

“The golden rasa after assuming the shape of a linga emerges out. You need fire in order to melt gold. Similarly, the fire within melts the gold and moulds it in the shape of a linga. Hence, the difficulty at the time of its emergence. It has to assume the form of a linga and come out. You feel Swami is put to a lot of badha (suffering) at the time of Lingodbhava. It is not really a badha (suffering) but a __________ for you.”


Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.


- Heart2Heart Team

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