Lakshmi Narayana Temple Pratishta

Jagannath Chatterjee jagchat01 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Sep 10 03:33:20 CDT 2002

Namaste Laksmiji,

Perhaps I can add slightly to this learned discussion.
In my view Shiva was worshipped as symbols in nature
(swayambhu lingas, ice lingas, mountains) prior to the
erection of temples.

In Bhubaneswar (Orissa), where I stay, the famous
Lingaraja Temple is around 1200 years old. The temple
encases a swayambhu linga which existed since times
immemorial resting under a mango tree.

Bhaskareshwar Temple in Bhubaneswar is very
interesting. It encases a truncated Buddhist pillar
originally installed by Ashoka and damaged by the
shaivites. It is now being worshipped as a double
storied Shiva Linga! The lion capital which was
chopped off is now housed at the Bhubaneswar Museum.

There are some 55 standing Shiva Temples in and around
Bhubaneswar. Many have inscriptions of Buddhist
deities; Lakulisa, Tara, Ugratara, Sapta Matrikas
among others. Buddha himself is inscribed in many.

There are places in Orissa where lingas are left in
natural surroundings washed by natural streams (at
Balasore), within caves (Koraput). Even a
comparatively recent (few centuries old) man made
linga, Kharakhiya Baidyanath, (meaning the sun beaten
Shiva) is left out in the open under a tree.

However Shiva is not a family deity anywhere in
Orissa. He is worshipped in temples/natural


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