Thousand year old Hindu Shiv linga discovered in Thailand

Thailand is a Buddhist country, but Hinduism was prevalent during 10-12th century

Image source: Shiv linga, sculpture, fine arts, India, Thailand

A Hindu Shiva linga of approximately 1000-1500 years old had been unearthed last week, on the western shore of Thailand province Nakhon Sithammarat, according to a news published in Bangkok Post.

Phra Kru Supakittayaporn, the honorary abbot (priest) of Wat Nang tra (temples) in the Tha Sala district of the province said that this discovery came into light by accident during a construction work in the temple.  While digging down the grounds, the workers discovered the Hindu phallus symbol along with an ancient jar and 20 pieces of Buddha coins.

The shiva linga measures 1 meter long and has a base diameter of 47 cm. It has flowers carved in Tawaravadee style. The sculpture is still in good shape.

The temple authorities brought this to the attention of local fine department authorities.

As the news spread, devotees rushed to the temple to have a look at the Shiva linga and pay their reverences.

The Fine Arts Department director, Anat Bamrungwong believes that these  artifacts date more than thousands years old. He stated that this discovery is no less than a treasure trove.

Shivalinga at Char Bangla Temple, Azimganj Jiaganj, Murshidabad. Wikimedia Commons

Shiva linga is revered by Hindus as a mark of energy and fertility. What exactly is a Shiva Linga?

According to Acharya David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) of USA, the Shiva linga is often portrayed in an upright conical form much like the male sexual organ, but there are many other types of lingas as well. The linga is the symbol of the universal power, the cosmic masculine force or the Shiva principle. It has many forms in nature.

Dr. Frawley adds that: “In the Sanskrit language, the word linga refers to a ‘chief mark’ or ‘characteristic’ of something. As a term, it is not per se a synonym for the male sexual organ, as some would believe. Linga indicates what is outstanding and determinative. In this regard, the male sexual organ can be said to be the distinguishing characteristic or linga of a man at a physical level, but linga in other contexts can have quite a different meaning.”

Today, Thailand is predominantly a Buddhist country. Hinduism was prevalent during 10th – 12th century in Thailand, particularly, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces.