By Swami Harshananda
Istaliñga literally means ‘liṅga dear to one’.
Even women can receive such dīkṣā and can perform its worship. For one who has received the liṅga there is no need to observe aśauca or ceremonial impurity. This liñga is called ‘iṣtaliṅga’. Mantradikṣā means imparting the famous mantra, namaś śivāya, and vedadīkṣā means infusing knowledge by the direct contact.
- Liṅga is the emblem of Śiva, usually of stone, but encased in a silver casket.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore