Okay, okay. Let’s get it out of the way. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. Or rather, if it looks like a phallus, then it is a phallus. But it is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill penis. This is a lingam, which is a Sanskrit term for the images representing the genital organ of Shiva, the god of destruction in the Hindu tradition.There are thousands of lingams (not to be confused with the millions of penises going about their business) scattered across Nepal; they are all pervasive, popping up on street corners, back alleys, temples, and just about every village square. Hindu devotees worship these lingams for it is believed that in them resides the generative power of nature.
And how do you worship a phallus? A Holy phallus?
The same way you worship anything else. With pure devotion. You touch the base, kiss the head, caress its length, light candles, and offer rice, flowers, or fruit to it. Let the artist in you rub red ocher onto its surface. Or if you are all out, perform the abhishek--the bathing of the lingam with milk, or water, or yogurt, or ghee, or honey. The possibilities are endless.
And what does the Phallus worshiper get in return? Concentration of the mind; help to communicate with god Shiva; an uncanny ability to focus their attention, which is to say, to rise above body-consciousness.
But, what's Yin without Yang, right? Would it not be wrong to have a phallus all by itself without its beautiful counterpart? Of course!
That's why each lingam has its yoni--the feminine vessel, a representation of the feminine generative power, and symbol of the goddess Shakti.
So, there you have it. A god and a goddess. A lingam and a yoni. The masculine and the feminine generative powers of and in nature. And what a better place for a lingam to be than inside a yoni! Shiva's organ is depicted in communion with Shakti's sex; their union representing the eternal process of creation and regeneration.