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To the followers of Shiva, the penis plays a special role. Shiva Is said to have kept his seed while performing Tapas (heat inducing austerities). In India temples of Shiva will always have a Lingam, is not only a representation of the gods penis but also a symbol of his energy and potential. In yogic circles it is considered a gateway to the divine and Shiva himself. Many cultures around the world have had at one time or another a special reverence for the penis and the power it represents. For example equivalents of Lingams have been found in Britain and Ireland.
Sadhus are celibate following the fourth and final life path of Sannyasa, the renunciation of worldly material desires and attachments. Brachayama, the first of the four Hindu life paths, is practised by the Kushti Wrestlers of which celibacy plays a part. Both wrestlers and Sadhu know the power of semen retention and that chastity brings fourth tremendous spiritual, physical and moral strength. Semen is said to contain “Shakti “(power). The patron god of wrestlers, Hanuman is celibate and Shiva was known for his ability to retain his seed to help empower his abilities. Both wrestlers seek to embody the characteristics of their God as such the deities represent not only a way of life but also and ideal to live up to and embody.
In India, Sadhus dedicated to Shiva practice austerities as part of their beliefs and to cultivate psychic and spiritual power. Yogic practices are common and many are capable of great feats of physical contortionism. Some ascetics will perform strange disciplines, such as keeping one arm raised for years at a time, walking on one leg, never sitting, being adorned in a heavy weight of beads, self mutilation, fasting and the famous bed of nails. These are not performed for the sake of it but to help expand wisdom and gain a divine response. These austerities show their unfailing devotion to their god and their beliefs.
In India and other countries, the sexual organs are considered a power house of energy and sex hormones are created in the sexual centre. It is where the essence of life is stored. In this capacity a single ejaculation from a man has enough sperm to repopulate the whole of north america. This goes to show the creation energy stored and produced by the sex organs.
Lingasana is a genital weightlifting austerity performed by attaching a heavy weight to the genitals and lifting it form the ground.
This austerity is used to demonstrate the Sadhus control over their sexual energies and they use them to redirect this kundalini energy up to the crown chakra. These exercises generate a tremendous amount of heat or Agni (fire). From a physical point of view Agni aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients whilst helping to burn off waste products. From the yogic point of view this heat rises from the root chakra, through the sacral chakra or reproductive organs to the Cross Center ( solar plexus chakra) to be directed to the crown chakra to be used for clarity, imagination and meditation.
To summarise the use of genital weight training from the yogic point of view helps to empower and enrich the practitioners life force. Whilst viewed as a masochistic egocentric exercise by some, they are important for not only physical well-being but also of spiritual significance.