Shaivism - Concepts and symbols - Lingam and yoni
Type of Spiritual Experience
At its most basic level the lingam is the penis and the yoni is the vulva. For those of a simple mind, it is easy to explain that when penis enters vulva, life can be formed, it is an easy symbolic way of explaining the existence of creation. The universe is the baby of the union of Shiva and Shakti.
But Shakti is also the ‘Earth Mother’ – the cosmic egg with its software centre and hardware shell. The male creative force is thus in a symbolic way filling the cosmic egg [the Earth Mother’s womb] with life. Pumping up the cosmic egg! Shiva is Creator, Shakti is the Created.
A description of the experience
Linga Purana I,
The Linga is an outward sign, or symbol. ….. Simple people worship the external Linga and carry out rites and sacrifices. The purpose of the phallic image is to stir the faithful to knowledge. The intangible Linga is not perceived by those who only see external things; the subtle and eternal Linga is only perceptible to those who have attained knowledge.