The ancient remains of Yoni-Lingam in Sindh
By: Aziz Kingrani
The paper deals with the ancient remains of Yoni-Lingam in Sehwan Sharif city and its neighborhood. In Hinduism, Yoni and Lingam are religious symbolic representations of Shivaism cult, referred to Shiva. Before Islam, Sindh had remained the core of Hinduism, especially Shivaism together with Buddhism. The ancient remains of both the religions have been explored in Sindh at a large scale. The earliest names of Sehwan have been mentioned in Chach Nama and other historical sources are: Sevistan, Sivwahan & etc. The earlier names of Sehwan indicate to its relativity with Shivaism. The mentioned names in historical sources are certainly compound words of Sindhi Language. These names are derived from Siva +Astan and Siva+Wahan. Both, Astan or Wahan mean place or village. Thus, compound names denote the meaning of hamlet of Siva or Shiva. Consequently, in very old times Sehwan had remained main place of Shiva’s worshipers. Meanwhile, Yoni-Lingam is linked with Shiva whose ancient evidences have been explored from Sehwan city and in rock art of Sindh, in the surrounding area of Sehwan. The historical background of Yoni-Lingam and discovered ancient remains of Yoni-Lingam are discussed in this article.
In ancient times, from Sehwan to Mohen-Jo-Daro and beyond up to Sivi (Now Sibi of Balochistan province of Pakistan), many archaeological and historical proofs of Shivaism have been discovered. In the light of such proofs, the mentioned area of Sindh had remained hub of Shivaism in different periods. In this article the attempts have been made to describe the historical background of Shivaism cult. The description and location of explored symbols of Yoni-Lingam are also included. The remains of Yoni-Lingam have been explained where the symbols of Yoni-Lingam have been discovered. It has been endeavored to uncover the remains of Yoni-Lingam which have been folded now in other traditions. Moreover, the newly explored remains have been brought under discussion which have not been pointed out and discussed before this paper.
Yoni-Lingam and its historical background
Yoni is symbolized term. In Shamanism, Yoni is the symbol of the goddess Shakti, the feminine generative power and, as a goddess, the consort of Shiva. In Shaivism, the branch of Hinduism devoted to worship of the god Shiva, the yoni is often associated with the lingam, which is Shiva’s symbol. The two symbols together represent the eternal process of creation and regeneration, the union of the male and female principles, and the totality of all existence (Britannica.com). Yoni represents goddess and Lingam represents Shiva. The lingam is usually embedded in yoni. This kind of ritual represents of Shiva and Shakti (Saran Prem: 2012: 173). The evidences of symbol of Yoni-Lingam have been found from Mohen-Jo-Daro (Srinivasan: 1984:77, 89). Some scholars are of the opinion that It may well be that the origin of worship of Phallus stone has to be sought in pre Vedic times but earliest Lingams are of second century BC (Schilder, Callewaert: 2000: 84). Some believe that Shaivism as a distinct cult probably arose around the same time as the Vishnu cult, in the second half of the first millennium BCE (Eraly: 2011: 830).
Accordingly, the symbolic religious tradition of Yoni-Lingam might have been prevalent in Neolithic and Chalcolithic societies when settlements established and agriculture got arise. Later, it continued in Hinduism from Bronze Age to up till now. It is believed that Yoni and lingam represents the concept of fertility of lands as well. In ancient times, the symbolic notion of symbols of Yoni and Lingam might have been represented the productiveness of lands. Later, it converted into religious and mythical tradition relating to Shiva. However, Yoni-Lingam is worshiped by majority of Shiva’s worshipers.
Remains of Yoni-Lingam
The remains of religious symbol of Yoni-Lingam have been observed near Yak-Thanbhi (having one pillar), at the top of hill towards south-west of Sehwan city. Now Lingam is considered as bread (meal) baker and Yoni as place (Tanoore) for baking bread (meal) by the devotees of Qalander Shahbaz. Some evidences of Phallus stones have been observed in Kai Valley, Naig Valley and Kachho region. The symbols of Yoni-Lingam have also been explored in rock art of Sindh, in neighborhood of Sehwan including Johi (Dadu) in Khirthar Mountain Range. The symbols of Yoni-Lingam are engraved on rock panels at numerous sites of rock art of Sindh. In rock art of Sindh, the symbol of serpent Yoni-Lingam is too depicted on rocks in Khirthar Mountain Range. At the rock art sites of “Nighawal” near Naig Sharif of Taluka Sehwan, District Jamshoro including “Bhoora Dara”, “Kalri Dhoro” and “Pahi Dhoro” close to Wahi Pandhi of Johi Taluka, District Dadu, the symbols of Yoni-Lingam are represented on rocks. Most probably, inscribed symbols of Yoni Lingam were open air temples in mountainous area. The figures are included with this piece of writing.
The remains of symbols of Yoni-Lingam located in proximity of Sehwan Sharif prove that Sehwan was main city of Shamanism in ancient time. The explored and observed remains of symbol of Yoni-Lingam must be documented and preserved in its original religious perspective.
Books and references
- Srinivasan Doris, 1984, Unhinging Śiva from the Indus Civilization , JSTOR The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland
- Saran Prem, 2012, Yoga, Bhoga and Ardhanariswara, Publishers Routledge, ISBN: 1136516484, 9781136516481
- Robert t Schilder, Callewaer Winand M, 2000, Hemkunt Press, ISBN: 8170103029, 9788170103028
- Eraly Abraham, 2011, The First Spring, Penguin Books India, ISBN: 0670084786, 9780670084784