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I have been wondering for quite a long time now about the symbol for 'OM' and it's association with 'Shiva'. My questions are:

  1. Are Om symbol ॐ & Shiva correlated, if yes then how exactly? (the question duplicate of this does not throw any light on why OM symbol is usually used with Shiva while the answer associates it with all 3 Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh + it says more about A,U,M rather than the symbol itself. For instance why & how did this symbol first appear?)
  2. Is there any association between 'Linga' and Om symbol ॐ ? (the duplicate question doesn't throw any light on this part as well)
  3. Who the first one to use Om symbol ॐ, are there any scriptures that point out to this fact? (answer to this part is there and acceptable)

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