By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Ramalinga, RAmalinga, Raamalinga
Rāmaliṅga literally means ‘the Śivaliñga established by Rāma’.
Significance of Rāmaliṅga
First Belief of it's Establishment
When Rāma was building the bridge on the sea, Rāvaṇa used to come every night and demolish it. To prevent this, Rāma built a Śiva temple and established the Śivaliṅga at the entrance to the bridge. Since Rāvaṇa was a staunch devotee of Śiva, he could no longer destroy the bridge.
Second Belief of it's Establishment
According to second story, Rāma decided to build a temple for Śiva to atone for the killing of Rāvaṇa who was a brāhmaṇa. When he was returning from Laṅkā in the Puṣpakavimāna, he alighted at the place now known as Rāmeśvara and expressed this desire to his divine spouse Sītā. She then prepared a liñga out of sea-sand which was duly consecrated by Rāma.
Third Belief of it's Establishment
As per another version, Hanumān had been sent to Vārāṇasī, to bring a liṅga. Since he was late in returning and since the auspicious moment was coming to an end, Sītā prepared the liṅga and Rāma consecrated it. The liṅga brought later by Hanumān was also established in another place nearby, now known as Viśvaliṅga. To pacify him Rāma made it a rule that pilgrims should worship that liṅga first and then only visit the main shrine.
- Puṣpakavimāna is the divine aeroplane.
- Vārāṇasī means Kāśī.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore