Ancients Indian artists used the male body to represents mind. This is because the male genitalia, unlike female genitalia, shows dramatic visual transformation between state of non-arousal and arousal. A flaccid penis indicates an unstirred mind. An erected penis represents a stirred mind. The spurting of semen offers a very visual metaphor to show the submission of the mind to external stimulus. Eyes represent the senses. When the man’s eyes are shut and his penis is flaccid, it indicates a mind that refuses to submit to external stimulus.
When the man’s eyes are shut and his penis is erected, as in case of Lakulesh, it indicates a mind that is stirred by an internal stimulus. Lakulesh’s erection is not a product of sensations since he has blocked out all external stimuli. His bodily response is not dependent on a cause, it is causeless. That is why his aroused penis is considered self-created or self-stirred ‘swayambhu’, hence worthy of adoration.
Through imagination one can experience everything from zero to infinity. Lakulesh’s staff indicates the human ability to master the mind, stop it from responding the external stimuli, enabling it to cleanse the mind of all memories and prejudices. By doing this, the hermit outgrows dependence on things outside himself for happiness. Liberated from the confines of nature, he becomes master of his own contentment by discovering the infinite possibilities of imagination.
The self-stirred phallus of Lakulesh is physical expression of an idea known as ‘sat-chitta-ananda’,which means tranquility (ananda) that follows when the mind (chitta) discovers the truth of nature and of the human conditions (sat) by purging itself of all memories and prejudice.
Remark: According to a tradition stated in the Linga Purana, Lakulesh (or Lakulisha) is considered as the 28th and the last avatar of Shiva and the propounder of Yoga system.
Inspired by Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik – A Decoding of Hindu Mythology; 7 Secret of Shiva & other sources.
Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India – Lukulesh, how can be found in Varanasi.
ART OF TRAVEL: www.shaktitrails.com