By Swami Harshananda
Dārujaliṅga literally means ‘Śivaliṅga made out of wood’.
Unlike the other deities, Śiva is invariably worshiped in the form of a liṅga. A liṅga is an icon, cylindrical in shape with a spherical top.
God is beyond name and form. Since we cannot conceive an abstract principle like him without the aid of concrete symbols, a spherical surface or emblem is perhaps the nearest approach to him. ‘Dāru’ means wood. Liṅgas carved out of wood are called ‘dārujaliṅgas’. They are of the sthāvara or stationary type. The minimum and maximum heights prescribed for such liṅgas are 16 and 144 aṅgulas.
The dārujaliṅgas are classified from 9 to 33 varieties. It depends upon the height of liṅgas. For instance, if the makara-liṅga is 16 aṅgulas in height (the minimum height permitted), the daṇḍaliṅga is 80 aṅgulas and the phalodbhava liṅga is 144 aṅgulas (the maximum permissible height).
Twenty different varieties are recommended from the type of wood out of which it is carved. Some of them are:
- Śamī - Prosopsis spieigera
- Devadāru - Cedrus deodara
- Candana - Sandalwood
- Bilva - Aegle marmelos
- Aśvattha - Peepul tree
- Aśoka - Saraca asoca
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore