All the pebbles rolling on its bed are said to take the shape of shivalingam with the saying, "Narmada Ke Kanker utte Sankar" (a popular saying in the Hindi belt of India), which means that ‘pebble stones of Narmada gets a personified form of Shiva’. These lingam shaped stones (cryptocrytalline quartz), called Banalinga also called (Banashivalingas) are much sought after for daily worship by the Hindus. The Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, constructed by Rajaraja Chola, has one of the biggest Banalingas. Adi Shankara met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of river Narmada.
BaaNa Lingam, and Sphatika Lingam are two frms of Shivalingam, kept for worship in homes, respectively of brownish black and white colours. They are not made but natural formations
What is Bana Lingas ?
Many Vedic Scriptures propound that the natural Narmada Banalingas are self-manifest respresentations of Lord Shiva. What Salagramas are to Lord Maha Vishnu that Narmada Bana Lingas are to Lord Shiva.
The Bana Lingam is a most Sacred Symbol and Divine Energy Tool, both in the ancient and in this modern world and it comes with the loftiest frequency of vibrations (compared to any stone on Earth) and appears from only one place on the entire Planet of Earth - in the cradles of Holy River Narmada. The Bana Lingas are Swayambhu Shiva Lingas that have taken shape in the Sacred Narmada River, in the Central Western part of India. This is why the Bana Lingams are also known as the Narmada Banalingas or Narmadeshwar Shiva Lingas.
The Narmadha Bana Lingas became very famous throughout the world, after the film “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was screened : this is the very same Sacred Stone that they were searching for !
The Shiva Lingas that are formed in the Narmada river contain Crypto Crystalline Quartz (masses made up of either fibrous or granular aggregates of tiny, microscopic Quartz Crystals) and a Gemstone material called Chalcedony (with an iron oxide and geothite inclusion) alongwith Basalt and Agate. This unique composition coupled with elliptical shape has a precise resonance in alignment with our Energy Centers or Chakras and are used for thousands of years as Divine Energy Generators for Cleansing, Healing and for Meditation. The Narmada Bana Lingas are quite strong and the hardness is a 7 on the Moe’s Scale.
The Narmada Bana Lingam’s upright egg shape represents the Pure Consciousness of Lord Shiva and the Holy Markings on the Sacred Stone represents the interactive aspect of Goddess Shakti, the Divine Seed which is fertilized to manifest the Creative Power in the Dance of the Cosmos. Together, they represent the Union of the Supreme Male and Supreme Female Energies - Shiva and Shakti. It should also be understood that the Narmada Shiva Lingam represents the Divine Blending of Knowledge (Shiva) and Wisdom (Shakthi).
the sacred altar for the Panchayatana worship.
Sun God Surya is represented by a crystal found in Vallam in Tamil Nadu. Mother Goddess Shakti is represented by the Swarnamukhi stone found in Swarnamukhi River in Andhra Pradesh. Vishnu is represented through Salagramas found only in the Ghantaki River in the Himalayas. Ganesha is represented by the red Shonabhadra stone found in the river bed of the Sone River flowing into the Ganges. Shiva is represented by the Bana Lingas found in the Narmada river bed near the island of Mandhata.
Vedic Legends about Origin of Narmada Bana Lingas :
The Asura Raja (Demon King) Bana was the eldest of the one hundred sons of Bali - Bali was the son of King Virochana, the grandson of Prahaladha (the famous devotee of Lord Maha Vishnu’s incarnation, Lord Narasimha) and the great grandson of King Hiranyakasipu. King Banasura himself was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and to seek the Divine Blessings of Lord Shiva, he performed severe penances for a long time, in the Holy Himalayas, invoking Lord Shiva’s favour. Finally Lord Shiva appeared in answer to his austerities and agreed to grant him a boon. Banasura wished for himself One Thousand Arms carrying a multitude of weapons to destroy his enemies and desired that Goddess Parvathi consider him as her own son - he was bestowed with what he asked. Drunk with power and arrogance, the Demon King started torturing all the three worlds. Honouring the requests of the Devas and Lord Indra, Lord Krishna (an incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu) severed all the one thousand arms and the weapons they were holding, with his Sri Sudharsana Chakra, the Divine Discus. However, Lord Shiva honoured the Demon King (who was, inspite of being an Asura, was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva) by giving him his own representation in the form of Swayambu (natural, self-manifest) Shiva Linga, hence the name Bana Linga.
What are the different types of Narmada Bana Lingas ?
It is said that mainly there are nine types of Banalingas -
(a) Swayambhu - honey coloured with two dark rings
(b) Mrityunjaya - variegated colours with marks resembling spear and colis of matted hair
(c) Nilakantha - elongated and white coloured with a black spot
(d) Trilochana - white coloured with eye-like marks
(e) Kalagni Rudhra - lustrous and dark, stout with matted-hair like marks
(f) Tripurari - honey coloured with white marks resembling the sacrificial chord across and with lotus at the base
(g) Isana - clear crystal with the top twany brown and marks of a trident
(h) Ardhanariswara - white coloured on one side and red coloured on the other side
(i) Maha Kala - slightly red in hue, shining, stout and longish in shape
Do Bana Lingas require Strict Worship and Elaborate Rituals ?
Rigorous worship of any Sacred Object like the Narmada Bana Linga is always meritorious, but it is neither indispensable nor obligatory. The mere presence of a Narmadeshwar Shiva Lingam is said to grace its environment with harmony, mental peace, prosperity and protection. Regular worship of the Lingam with the Sacred Mantras, Vedic Suktams and Stotrams cause many intense and invisible effects. It is said that the sacred and powerful sounds from such mantras cause a powerful internal reverberation which is absorbed by the Bana Lingam. With consistent worship, this energy is slowly released and emitted to the surrounding environments, and is specially known to have the capacity to negate the accumulated karmic burdens of its worshipper - in other words, the Bana Lingam dissolves the negative karmic baggage (Praarabdha Karma) carried by the individual.
What are the benefits of having Bana Lingas ?
Bana Lingam, gives us protection, then He, Lord Shiva, takes unto Him those souls in whichever manner He wants. Showing a light through the Bana Lingam is taking the souls through the Jala Tattva. Till now the principle of Agni bothered the planet, now water will cause havoc.
Regular worship of the Narmada Bana Lingam with the sacred mantras cause many intense and invisible effects. It is said that the sacred and powerful sounds from such mantras cause a powerful internal reverberation, which is absorbed by the Bana Lingam. With consistent worship, this energy is slowly released and emitted to the surrounding environments, and is specially known to have the capacity to negate the accumulated karmic burdens of its worshipper; in other words, the Bana Lingam dissolves the negative karmic baggage (negative karma) carried by the individual.
The Sacred Narmada Shivalinga Stones can be used to remove negativity and harness and transmit harmonious vibrations throughout a home and office. A Mini Narmada Bana Linga can be carried by a person or worn around the neck as a Pendant to protect the person and also gain divine blessings.