A shivling is the representation of the divine union of the male and the female energy that leads to the creation of the world. The unique iconography of shivalinga fuses these two principles.
Classification of shivlinga
The lingas are classified into six varieties depending on how they came into existence
1. Daiva lingas are those installed and worshipped by the gods and other celestial beings and thus named after them they continue to exist in the preent day and on earth but their origin is traditionally ascribed to the gods.
2. Asura lingas are those installed by the class of the titans known as asuras and daityas but were pious and jealous devotees of shiva like ravana .
3. Arsha lingas were installed and worshipped by sages of yore like agastya .
4. Purana lingas are those which have been celebrated as installed at the very distinct past by mythical personages .
5. Manusha lingas are those that have been caused to be made by human patrons ( rulers , pious, saints etc ) in hiostorical times .
6. Svayambhu lingas are the forms which shiva assumed to manifest himself . The jyotirlingas and bana lingas belong to this variety .
There is also reckoning oftheir relative merits . The lingas of the divya , purana and svayambhu varities are considered best ( uttama ) , the lingas of the asura and arsha varities are of middling quality ( madhyama ) and the lingas of the manusha variety inferior ( adhama ) .
Another classification is based on how it is made
1. Krutima ( artificial , made by hands ) .
2. Akrutima ( natural bought about bu a natural course of events ) The banalingas belong to the latter group .
3. A further classification has the structural status in focus chala ( mobile ) or jangama and 2 achala ( stationery ) or sthavara .