Antique Shiva Lingam Casket, Silver Snake Chain, South India, 65 Grams
The Lingayats, a reformist Shaiva sect (also known as the Virashaivas), are thought to have been founded by the 12th century social reformer Basavanna. He rejected all the strictures of caste and ritual, emphasising instead an egalitarian society based on devotion to Shiva. His ideas are propunded in ‘vacanas’ or short verses written, not in Sanskrit, but in the local vernacular, Kannada. The Lingayats acknowledge no human icon of Shiva, but instead always carry with them a small linga in an amulet box which is hung around the neck.
This is a very fine Ovoid high grade Silver Lingam Casket (ayigalu or shivadhara) in the "flattened round pot" shape worn by Lingayat laypeople. Lingayats are easily distinguished from other Hindus because in most cases the lingam casket is visible on the body.
The flat bottom section is embellished with a chased design. The central sphere of the box is flanked by two projecting rectangular sides- these also are embellished with forms of Tilak, the forehead mark in Hindu religious sects.
There is a small jangama lingam stone in the Lingam Casket.
This is an old beautifully made, very fine 47 1/2" (121 cm) high grade silver Indian snake chain that has been strung through the two outer finials allowing the box to be suspended from the neck.
With the long length of the silver snake chain - the Lingam Casket hangs at waist level.
I can adjust the length of the silver snake chain to your required length - if this is too long.
The snake chain of this quality on its own has quite some value and there are no breaks in the silver wire work.
The Lingayats believe movable lingams to be the only true symbol of Shiva. All Lingayats carry their personal lingam with them at all times. After death they are buried in a sitting position with the lingam in the left hand.
Width: 6 cm (2 1/2")
Height: 4 cm (1 1/2")
Depth: 3.7 cm (1 1/4")
Chain: 121 cm (47 1/2")
Weight: 69.3 Grams (2.334 oz.)
Material: Tested High Grade Silver 92.5% plus.
Jangama Limgam Stonel: Length: 1.5cm (5/8")