I remember the first time i learnt Shiva linga meant Shiva’s member was actually after being enlightened by a country bumpkin. Till then i had no idea except that it was a symbol for Lord Shiva. So did all Hindus need to be pointed out to that fact at some stage? Or they all knew all along? Which brings me to the second question. Why does a fact that billions of people follow need to be pointed out? I think that Shiva linga means Shiva’s member is a recent phenomenon. This false information has been propagated by the western media and so called intellectuals who had too much education or lack of it. Inspired by Behoove’s story, i did a bit of googling in this. I would like to share what i found.
1)The Sanskrit word for phallus is Shishna not linga.
2) http:// www. cracked.com/article_16103_5-inspiring-religions-that-worship-p-nises.html
This website shows other religions which also worship the male member. You can see clearly how the organ has been graphically depicted in the other religions that leaves nothing to the imagination. Whereas in Hinduism, you really need to stretch your imagination as only the shape looks loosely familiar but same can be said of our fingers, a banana and an aeroplane’s body.
3) People in many parts of India add linga, lingam to their name. E.g. Ramaswamylinga, lingamramaswamy, etc. It does not have any sexual connotations.
4) Lord Rama prayed to a linga before he went to attact lanka. That linga is still present and is called ramalinga. There is also a temple in Sri Lanka. Now it is obvious linga does not refer to member otherwise it would mean Ram’s member and he is praying to his own member. It actually means “Sign”.
5) Nowhere in Hinduism does Shiva mention to pray to his member.
6) Hinduism has enough female goddess like Saraswati (goddess of learning) and Lakshmi (goddess of wealth). A religion that was trying to suppress womanhood would not include such goddesses whom both male and female pray to.
7) Males also pray to Shiva linga so that defeats the whole notion of trying to subjugate women only.
Conclusion: The reason why many Hindus did not know or do not know about Shiva Linga supposed meaning is because it was not the meaning at all. There was no purpose, no intention as such. The people who make noise are perhaps the same people whose hormones go on overdrive when they see a female holding a banana (the fruit) in her hand.
PS: I like to defend what is right. 🙂 Feedback is welcome.