Bana Tests
weigh the bana-linga against grains of rice, three, five or seven times. If the weight of the rice is not the same in all cases, then the bana-linga is acceptable as genuine. If the weight increases, and not decreases, when it is weighed seven times on a balance, then the supposed bana-linga is genuine; otherwise it is a mere stone.
Another method is to drop the bana-linga under examination into a flowing stream; if it can be picked up again, it is a genuine bana-linga, and its worship will secure happiness.

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Narmada Shiva Linga

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Grace your own home, healing room, meditation space or special place with the presence of a Narmada Lingam to maintain peace and harmony. They come in sizes from 3 inches to 10 inches. Prices vary according to size and weight of the lingam.


Bana Linga or

Narmada Linga

What Shaligram are to Vishnu, that the Bana-lingas or Narmada linga are to Shiva: sacred and self-manifest representations. If the Shaligram are stones found only in the Gandaki river, the bana-lingas are stones found only in the Narmada river, although, according to some texts (as for instance Kalottara, sited in Viramitrodaya), the bana-lingas are obtained not only from the river Narmada but also in the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and other holy streams. There is a story narrated in Aparajita-pariprchchha (205, 1-26) about the origin of the bana-lingas or Narmada linga and their association with the Narmada river. Siva wanted to destroy the ‘tri-pura’, which had been obtained as a boon by the arrogant demon Banasura, and he let go a fiery dart from his great bow ‘pinaka’. The dart broke the three ‘puras’ into tiny bits, which fell on three spots: 1, on the hills in Sri-kshetra (of unknown identity), 2, on the peaks of Amarakantaka in the Vindhya ranges, and 3, on the banks of the holy river Narmada. The bits that fell in these places soon multiplied into crores,. each bit becoming a linga. As they formed part of the possession of Banasura, they were called Bana-Lingas. Amarakantaka, the peak in Madhya Pradesh, is in close proximity to the source of the river Narmada, which according to the puranas, originated in the Vindhya mountains and flowed in the Kalinga country. Padma-purana says that there are along this river as many as sixty crore and sixty thousand holy ghats, all of which are associated with bana-lingas or Narmada linga and raudra-lingas. Even merely thinking about a bana-linga early in the morning is likely to bestow success in all enterprises. (Yoga-sara, chapter 5). A Bana Linga, carrying the marks of Indra when worshipped fulfills all the desires of the devotee and bestows upon him respect and wealth. The Agneya variety of the Bana Linga is warm to touch, and contains the marks of Shakti's weapon. The Yamya Linga has the forms of a cudgel or that of a tongue. The Nairutti Linga appears like a sword and carries stains on its body and bestows the benefits of gyana and yoga; however it should not be worshiped by a Grihasta (householder).

The Varuna Lingas are round in shape and can be distinguished by the marks of a noose (pasa) and it is worshipped to secure wealth and prosperity. Lingas that signify the energy of Vayu are black or ash gray in color and carry a flag post symbol on its head. The Kubera Linga also has the form of a mace (gada) or arrow (tuna) depicted by a hairline like line in the center. The Raudra Lingas are lustrous like a block of ice but bear the marks of a bone or spear. Vishnu's symbols could range from conch shell (samkhabha-mastaka), discus, mace, to the jewel on the chest (sri-vatsa and kaustubha) or foot print.

This brings to light an ancient form of worship initiated by Adi Shankaracharya. In the ancient days all cults, namely those of Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Devi and Surya were independent and fighting for supremacy till Adi Shankaracharya set the rules to unite all of them. The result was the performance of the Panchayatana puja, by the Smartas towards their Ishta Devata, that deity being placed as the central altar. Each deity was represented in that aniconic form. This was the worship of the 5 sacred altars. In this orthodox tradition initiated by Adi Shankaracharya, five stones each representing the respective deities are placed on 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.
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Bana Tests
According to Yajnavalkya-samhita, the bana-lingas obtained in the river Narmada are the very forms of Siva assumed by the God at the request of Banasura; they are therefore the holiest of objects. Worshipping one bana-linga gets the benefits that can be procured by worshipping a crore of other lingas. The bana-lingas in the Narmada River may be the shape of a ripe jambu-fruit, or of a swan’s egg. They may be honey-coloured, white, blue or emerald-hued (passage quoted earlier).


The Narmada River (also called the Rewa, from its leaping motion (from the root rev through its rocky bed) where the Banalinga stones are found, has been mentioned by Ptolemy and the author of the Periplus. The Ramayana, the Mahabharata and Puranas refer to it frequently. The Rewa Khand of Vayu Purana and the Rewa Khand of Skanda Purana are entirely devoted to the story of the birth and the importance of the Narmada River. It is said to have sprung from the body of Lord Shiva. It was created in the form of a lovely damsel who enamoured gods and hence named by the Lord as Narmada - delight giving. It is, therefore, often called Shankari (Parvati), i.e., daughter of Lord Shankar (Shiva).

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