From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Istaliñga literally means ‘liṅga dear to one’.

Vīraśaivism, one of the several aspects of Śaivism, has prescribed a special mode of dīkṣā or initiation. The guru gives triple dīkṣā to the disciple. These three types are:

  1. Kriyādīkṣā
  2. Mantradikṣā
  3. Vedadīkṣā

In kriyādīkṣā the guru gives the disciple a liṅga[1] after worshiping it. The disciple has to wear it like a necklace. He has to worship it thrice daily in the morning, at noon and in the evening.

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.


  1. 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