Mukhalinga, Mukhaliṅga, Mukha-linga: 3 definitions


Mukhalinga means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Mukhaliṅga (मुखलिङ्ग) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the classes of mānuṣaliṅgas (liṅgas made by human hands), classified in the Śaivāgamas. All the mānuṣaliṅgas are made of three parts (brahmabhāga, or ‘lower part’, viṣṇubhāga, or ‘middle part’ and rudrabhāga, or ‘top-most part’). They are also carved with lines known as brahmasūtras. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

The mukhaliṅga (मुखलिङ्ग) is one of the varieties of mānuṣa-liṅgas and is distinguished from all other liṅgas in that it bears one or more human faces sculptured on it. Regarding the making of a mukhaliṅga all the Āgamas and Tantras have detailed descriptions. The substance of these is that a mukhaliṅga should be made on the pūjābhāga of the sarvasama-liṅga and that it might have one, two, three, four or five faces corresponding to the five aspects, Vāmadeva, Tatpuruṣa, Aghora, Sadyojāta and Īśāna, of Śiva.

1) If the central shrine has only one door-way in its front or the east side, there should be carved only one face and that on the front side of the liṅga facing the door-way;

2) if it has two door-ways one in front and the other at the back of the central shrine, that is, on the eastern and western sides, there should be two faces carved on the front and back of the liṅga;

3) there should be three faces on the liṅga, if there are three door-ways, that is, on all sides except the west;

4-5) if, lastly there are four doorways, there should be four faces or five; in the former case, the cases are turned in the four directions of the quarters; in the latter case, in addition to the four faces, there is to be one on the top of the liṅga and facing the east.

The Īśāna asepct of Śiva is represented by the face on the top of the (mukha-) liṅga; the Tatpuruṣa, by that facing the east, the Aghora, by that facing the south; the Sadyojāta, by that facing the west and the Vāmadeva, by that facing the north. In the case of the four faces carved on the four sides of the mukhaliṅga they should be attached to bodies which ought to be represented only as far as the chest (stana-sūtra). Each of these figures should have only one pair of arms and be fashioned in all other respects in conformity with the rules laid down for the making of images.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (shilpa)

Mukhaliṅga (मुखलिङ्ग) or Mukhaliṅgamūrti refers to one of the eighteen forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Kāraṇāgama (pratimālakṣaṇavidhi-paṭala): the fourth among the Siddhāntaśaivāgamas. The forms of Śiva (e.g., Mukha-liṅga) are established through a process known as Sādākhya, described as a five-fold process of creation.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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