By Swami Harshananda
Śivaliṅgas may be cala or acala. The cala-liṅgas may be kept in the shrine of one’s own home for worship or prepared temporarily with materials like clay or dough etc., for worship and dispensed with after the worship or worn on the body as iṣṭaliṅga as the Vīraśaivas do. The acala liṅgas are those installed in temples. They are usually made of stone and have three parts. They are:
- The lowest part which is square, is called Brahmabhāga and represents Brahmā the creator.
- The middle part which is octagonal, is called Viṣṇubhāga and represents Viṣṇu, the sustainer. These two parts are embedded inside the pedestal.
- The Rudrabhāga which is cylindrical and projects outside the pedestal is the one to which worship is offered. Hence it is called pujābhāga.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore