Why ‘only half-parikrama of Shivlinga’ should be done?
In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is revered as one of the three chief ‘trimurti’ or the Holy Trinity, along with Brahma and Vishnu. He’s fondly addressed as Mahadev or Bholentath by his devotees, who acknowledge him as the curator of universe, the warden of death, and the master of ‘moksha’.
Shravan celebrations in India
Shiva is the entire knowledge of the living and dead. To his devotees, he is gracious, caring and an epitome of auspicious. He’s the only Indian deity who has an entire month, Shravan, dedicated towards him. The 30-day festivity, which sees his devotees serenading into his bhajans, observing fasts (Vrat) and abstaining from worldly affairs.
Symbolic depiction of Lord Shiva
The holy month of Shravan often witnesses a huge rush of Shiva devotees thronging the temples for Shivlinga Parikrama (Pradakshina). Usually, after offering milk, honey, bhasma, bilva leaves and bhang onto Shivlinga, the devotees take turns to circumambulate around the symbolic depiction of Lord Shiva.
You may have observed that while some people perform the full-circle Pradakshina (Circumambulation), others only carry out the half-parikrama. Especially during the holy month of Shravan, there are particular rules and rituals regarding the ‘Parikrama or Pradakshina’, which are mentioned in the following slides.
Half-parikrama around the Shivling
According to Shastras and Shivpuran, a Shiva devotee must only carry out half-parikrama around the Shivling. The reason explained behind this is that Shiva is both ‘Aadi’ & ‘Anant’ (he’s the start and end to everything known).
Shivling structure explained
The energy or Shakti out flowing from him is endless and is represented in the form of Nirmili (the outlet for milk and water designed in modern-day Shivlinga).
Shiva’s Shakti is so fierce that none could ever interfere or come in line of it. It is said that the Nirmili is a sacred part of the Shivling and must never be over-stepped.
Wrath of Lord Shiva
According to an old legend, once King Gandharva (shiva devotee) was performing the ‘abhishek’ on Shivlinga and during the Parikrama, he over-stepped the Nirmili, which resulted in him losing all his might, power and intellect.
Significance of Nirmili in Shivling
Sacred texts warn against disrespecting the Shivlinga or Lord Shiva’s Shakti by coming in touch with the Nirmili or over-stepping it, which is feared to result in receiving the wrath of Lord Shiva.
Purpose of Nirmili in Shivling
In ancient times, the Shivling was built in such a way that the Nirmili (the outlet for milk and water) was dug deep inside the earth surface (not visible to humans).
Rules for Shivling parikrama
But in present time, not only the Nirmili is built over and above the Earth surface, but during full-parikrama is often stepped over. Therefore, it is advised to only perform half-parikrama of Shivlinga.