In Agamas, we find the mention of three Jyotirlingas or Shiva lingas known by the names Itaralinga, BAnalinga and Swayambhu linga.

For example in KulArnava Tantram Lord Shiva says:

BAnetaraswayambhAkhylingatritayasamstitham| Tattvato Yo VijAnAthi Sa Guruh Kathithah Priye||


[Lord Shiva says to Devi] One who has the knowledge about the locations of BAnalinga, Itaralinga and Swayambhulinga is called a Guru.

Another reference from the same scripture :

Lingatrayavisheshagyah ShadAdhArvibhedakaha...


The devotee who has the knowledge of the three lingas can move upwards the kundalini shakti by piercing the shatchakras..

What are these three lingas being mentioned by Lord Shiva and where are they located?

2 Answers 2


First of all, its quite obvious that here Lord Shiva is talking about three internal lingas that is located inside our body.

But, as is well-known, as is our body so is the cosmos. So, these lingas have locations outside our body too.

For example, in Shiva Samhita Lord Shiva says:

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All the beings that exist in the three worlds are also to be found in the body; surrounding the Meru (or the vertebral column) they are engaged in their respective functions. (4)

But ordinary men do not know it. He who knows all this is a Yogi; there is no doubt in it. (5)

So, these three lingas have internal as well as external locations.

The three lingas are also mentioned in NityAshodasikArnava's Chapter 5, Verse 20 as follows:

Yatra VA Kutrachiddese Lingam Vai PaschimAmukham| Swayambhu BAnalingam VA ItarAdvAhapi Subrate......


At any places where Swayambhu, Bana or Itara linga are found being west-faced .... [Here Lord Shiva is talking about doing some japa in some particular places]

Those who don't know about it, NityAshodasikArnava is another important ShAkta Agama which is considered to be a part of the VAmakeswara Tantram.

My answer here is based on the commentaries given by the three Sri Vidya acharyas namely, Sivananda, VidyAnanda & BhAskararaya on NityAshodasikArnava's 5-20.

Internal Swayambhu linga:

In the MulAdhara chakra there is a four-petaled lotus. Inside that lotus rests a triangle named "Traipura". Inside that triangle exists the internal Swayambhu linga which has the glow of crores of suns. The chit-rupini Kundalini Shakti embraces that linga just like a snake embraces a tree.

External Swayambhu linga:

The external Swayambhu lingas are mostly small hills, hill-tops and small stones that erupted out of the grounds.

Internal BAnalinga:

Inside the AnAhata Chakra there resides a triangle in which is placed the internal BAnalinga. It shines like gold as if it is smeared with golden buds.

External BAnalinga:

The Shivalingas that are obtained from and naturally formed on the Narmada river bed are known as the external Banalingas.

Internal Itara linga:

In the AjnA Chakra there resides a two-petaled lotus, inside of which is found the Shakti Trikona or Yoni. In which, exists the Itara Shiva linga which shines with electrifying brilliance.

External Itara linga:

According to VidyAnanda external Itara lingas are Parvatalingas or Lingas which are of the form of hills. An example will be the sacred and well-known Arunachala Hill.

Likewise, there are the Shakti Pithas (Shakti Pitha means the bases on which Mahadevi or Parashakti rests, sits or stands) in our body as well as in the external world.

The Devi Bhagavata Purana mentions about 108 such pithas. Some Agamas mention about 51 of them. But ancient Tantra texts mention primarily about the 4 pithas as mentioned below:

According to YogasAra, In mulAdhara lies the KAmrupa Pitha, in AnAhata lies the Purnagiri Pitha, in Visuddha Chakra lies the JAlandhara Pitha, in AjnA lies the UdyAkhya or the UddiyAna Pitha. And in the SahsrAra lies the internal KailAsa Kshetra.


These lingas do not actually mean the physical swayambhu and bAna lingas. There is an esoteric meaning to this in the tantric tradition with respect to Kundalini.

The location of Swayambhu linga is at the muladhara chakra of the astral body.

bAna linga is believed to be located at the region of anAhata chakra.

Itara linga is located at the ajna chakra of the kundalini passage in the sushumna.

One may also link them with brahma, vishnu, and rudra granthis.


The Primal Power in Man: The Kundalini Shakti --By Swami Narayanananda

Secret Power of Tantric Breathing --By Swami Sivapriyananda

  • It was meant to be a Q and A. Anyways thanks for ur answer.
    – Rickross
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 8:34
  • then you should post both together na... Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 8:39
  • Yes its ok. Even for Q/A other answers are welcome.
    – Rickross
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 8:41

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