Shivalingam with Four Faces

Shivalingam with Four Faces
Place Made:
India: Uttar Pradesh
c. 900
22-1/2 x 17 x 17 in. (57.2 x 43.2 x 43.2 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

The Sanskrit word "linga" means "sign," and the Hindu god Shiva is commonly worshiped in this form. This elaborate lingam is carved with four heads, which face in the four cardinal directions. A fifth head is implicit in the smooth dome of the lingam and symbolizes the ultimate and abstract form of the supreme being. Shiva's cosmogonic aspects are both male and female, angry and benign.

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