By Swami Harshananda
Acalaliṅga literally means ‘the immovable liṅga’.
Etymologically the word ‘liṅga’ stands for that in which everything gets dissolved (llyate asmin iti liñgah). Liṅga also means an emblem. Hence the Śivaliṅga is an emblem of God Śiva into whom everything gets dissolved at the time of destruction of the universe.
Śivaliṅgas may be cala (movable) or acala (immovable). The acala-liñgas, also called sthāvara-liṅgas, are the stone liṅgas permanently fixed in the temples. There are several varieties of them classified under four or six or even nine groups. An acalaliṅga has three parts:
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore