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Disclaimer.: My intetion is not to hurt the sentiments of any sampradaya or infact anyone. As every Pouranik story has an inner symbolic meaning behind it. Hope u will understand.

Note.: I am reposting a deleted question of mine (For those who can see deleted posts). It was deleted due to lack of proper answer after an year.

The story of origin of Bel Fruit is associated with Goddess Lakshmi. The link.

While in skanda Purana it is said that the bilva tree appeared from maa parvati's sweat and she resides in it.

The Importance of Bilva Fruit in Worship of Shiva Symbolically, Shiva is like the bell fruit – hard outside but soft inside. A story mentioned in the Brihad Dharma Purana states that.:

Maa Lakshmi used to offer 1000 lotuses to Lord Shiva on every puja. Once, two lotuses went missing from those thousand ones. At the time of worship when Lakshmi became extremely worried then Lord Vishnu said that Lakshmi's two breasts are as pious and auspicious as lotus and that she can offer those to Shiva.Then she cut off her breasts and offered them to Shiva. Shiva was pleased by her devotion and blessed her that, from now onwards her breasts will be there on the Bilva tree as its fruits and will be called as shree phal.

Acc to Sri Bilva Shtakam, bel tree grew from the breast of Maa Lakshmi.

"Lakshmyaascha stana utpannam Mahaadeva sadaa priyam, Bilva vriksham prayachchhaami eka bilvam Shivaarpanam. Darshanam bilva vrikshasya sparshanam paapanaashanam, Aghorapaapasamhaaram eka bilvam shivarpanam." ~

"Born from the breasts/heart of Goddess Lakshmi, the Bilva tree is ever dear to Mahadeva. So I ask this tree to offer a Bilva leaf to Lord Shiva. To have darshan of the Bilva tree, and to touch it, frees one from sin. The most terrible karma is destroyed when a Bilva leaf is offered to Lord Shiva. The pale green leaves are aromatic. There are sadhus who sustain themselves on Bilva leaves alone. Every part of the bilva tree is useful, the root, bark, leaf, flowers and fruit –all have great medicinal value.!"

Shree Sooktam, praises goddess Mahalakshmi as.

“aadityavarNE tapasOdhijaatO Vanaspatistava vrukshOtha bilvaha

Tasya phalani tapasaa nudantu maayaanta raayaashcha baahyaa alakshmeehi”

"Oh Lakshmi, who is as bright as the sun, that noble tree, Bilva was brought forth by your devout austerities (tapas). May the fruits of the tree drive away my misfortunes and poverty both internal and external."

In “mahALakshmi ashTotara shatanaama stotram” we find Goddess Lakshmi described as “bilva nilayaM” the one who dwells in the Bilva Tree. -”Bilva nilayAm varArOhAm yashasvinIm”.

So my question is why breast why not any other body parts like lord vishnu who gave his Lotus eye to lord shiva because she is also called as kamal nayani means the one with the lotus eyes.?

Is it because breasts are considered as a symbol of nourishment (philosophically) n as a Shiva lingam is considered as the nirguna form of parambramha which symbolises the whole universe (as the universe is a combination of purusha and prakriti only) and maa Lakshmi as the wife or shakti of lord vishnu (whose duty is to nourish or preserve the universe) is also a nourisher n it was her duty and also lord shankar consider her (in form of maa Sita) as a mother just like lord vishnu consider maa Tripura sundari (a form of maa parvati) as a mother.? Can it be the reason.?

As for why i am reposting it.? Well, i guess, after around 2 years i think i can answer this question properly without hurting anyone's sentiment.

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Let's first understand What a Shiva Lingam is.:

Significance of a Shiva-Lingam.:

According to Skambha (Cosmic Pillar/Agni Lingam) Shuktam of Atharva Veda.:

“hiraṇyagarbhám paramám anatyudyáṃ jánā viduḥ | skambhás tád ágre prā́siñcad dhíraṇyaṃ loké antarā́ |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:28).

“Men know Hiranyagarbha as supreme and inexpressible: In the beginning, in the midst of the world, Skambha poured (gave birth to) that gold (universe)".

“yásmin bhū́mir antárikṣaṃ dyáur yásminn ádhy ā́hitā | yátrāgníś candrámāḥ sū́ryo vā́tas tiṣṭhanty ā́rpitāḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:12).

“Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha On whom as their foundation earth and firmament and sky are set; In whom as their appointed place rest Fire and Moon and Sun and Wind?”

So, Skhambha (Linga) contains all worlds within it since it contains Hiranyagarbha but Skhambha extends beyond the Hiranyagarbha also because Hiranyagarbha is just a portion fo the Skhambha.

“yát paramám avamám yác ca madhyamáṃ prajā́patiḥ sasr̥jé viśvárūpam | kíyatā skambháḥ prá viveśa tátra yán ná prā́viśat kíyat tád babhūva |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:8).

“That universe which Prajāpati created, wearing all forms, the highest, midmost, lowest, How far did Skambha penetrate within it? What portion did he leave unpenetrated?”

“br̥hánto nā́ma té devā́ yé 'sataḥ pári jajñiré | ékaṃ tád áṅgaṃ skambhásyā́sad āhuḥ paró jánāḥ |” (Atharva Veda 10:7:25).

“Great, verily, are those Gods who sprang from non-existence into life. Further, men say that that one part of Skambha is nonentity”.

So, Skambha Represents Linga/Purusha and Hiranyagarbha represents the known Universe or Brahmāmda/Prakritik Womb or Prakriti/Pitha/Yoni.

Skanda Purana calls Mata Tripura Sundari as “brahmanda garbhini” in 774th name, which means “She who keeps the universe in her womb”.

Same is depicted in below verses from Sri Vishnu Purana.:

"purushAdHishtHitatvAshcha pradhAnAnugrahENa cha | mahadAdyA vishEshAntA hyAndamutpAdayanti te | tatkramENa vivrudhhaM sajjalabudbudavatsamam | bhUtEbhyONdam mahAbuddhE mahatdudakEshayaM | prAkrutam brahmarUpasya vishNoh sthAnamanuttamam | tatrAvyaktaswarUpOsou vyaktarUpO jagatpatih | vishNubrahmaswarUpENa swayamEva vyavastitah | mErurulbamabhUtasya jarAyushcha mahIdharAh | garbhOdakam samudrAshcha tasyAsansumahAtmanah | sAdridweepasamudrAscha sajyOtirlOkasangrahah | tasminnaNdEbhavidvipra sadEvAsuramAnushah |" (Vishnu Purana 1:2:44-48).

“With the assistance of prakriti, from mahat to vishesha all these elements of prakriti when pervaded by purusha it formed a universal egg (brahmanda). O you of great intelligence listen! Then it started increasing its size like a water bubble and became a huge oval-shaped entity. This which is called as Hiranyagarbha (golden womb) is an awesome form of Vishnu. Inside that golden womb (hiranyagarbha), that unmanifest lord of the universe viz. Vishnu manifested himself as Brahma. That Hiranyagarbha [which is the golden womb] consisted of Sumeru and other mountains were the jarayu (the skin which covers the embryo), and the oceans were the fluids of the womb. O learned sage Maitreya! within that womb (hiranyagarbha) all the mountains, all the islands, planets, all celestial abodes, all deities, all demons, humans and all other cratures got manifested".

“Kesava (Krishna) is that devoted worshipper of Rudra who has sprung from Rudra himself. Kesava always worships the Lord Siva, regarding his Linga emblem to be the origin of the universe. The God having the bull for his mark cherisheth greater regard for Kesava”. (MBH 7:172:89-90).

Rudra Hridayo Upanishad (1:20).:

“rudro li~Ngamumaa piiTha.n tasmai tasyai namo namaH |”,

“Rudra is Linga. Uma is Pitha, prostrations to Him and Her”.

Now,

Significance of Milk in Scriptures.:

Atharva Veda glorifies cow as follows. Cow is heaven and earth and she is Vishnu. In below verses note that the sAdhyas (enlightened spirits) who have drunk her milk, pay adorations to her milk, note that here MILK is called SOMA. Note another point that the merit of giving a cow to that high-souled person who understands the real meaning of these verses, goes to the third region of the sky (viz. Sahasrara).

“vaśā́ dyáur vaśā́ pr̥thivī́ vaśā́ víṣṇuḥ prajā́patiḥ | vaśā́yā dugdhám apibant sādhyā́ vásavaś ca ye | vaśā́yā dugdháṃ pītvā́ sādhyā́ vásavaś ca ye | té vái bradhnásya viṣṭápi páyo asyā úpāsate | sómam enām éke duhre ghr̥tám éka úpāsate | yá eváṃ vidúṣe vaśā́ṃ dadús te gatā́s tridiváṃ diváḥ |” (Atharva Veda X:10:30-32).

“The Cow is Heaven, the Cow is Earth, the Cow is Vishnu, Lord of Life. The Sādhyas and the Vasus have drunk the out-pourings of the Cow. When these, Sādhyas and Vasus, have drunk the out-pourings of the Cow, They in the Bright One's dwelling-place pay adoration to her milk. For Soma some have milked her: some worship the fatness she hath poured. They who have given a cow to him who hath this knowledge have gone up to the THIRD region of the sky”.

Aditi (Uma), is the cow who downpours her milk.

Satapatha Brahmana (14:2:1:7).:

“gauraditirhi”

“the cow is Aditi”.

Also, Rig Veda supports it as follows.:

“pīpāya dhenuraditirṛtāya janāya mitrāvaruṇā havirde |“ (Rig Veda 1:153:3).

“O Mitra-Varuṇa, Aditi the Milch-cow streams (milk) for the rite, for folk who bring oblation”,

Aditi is the earth, heaven and atmosphere.

“aditirdyauraditirantarikṣam|” (Rig Veda 1:89:10).

“Aditi is the heaven, Aditi is mid-air”.

“aditir asyAm eva pratisHThAyAnu paHyati |” (Yajur Veda VI:1:5:3).

“Aditi indeed is this earth; verily taking his stand on it he sees”.

Comparing these Vedic verses with the aforementioned verse on cow we know that Aditi (Uma) is the heaven & earth and it is she who is the cow whose MILK is SOMA and she is also ‘Vishnu’ as I have already mentioned in this answer of mine.

This has been clearly stated in Adi Shankara’s Soundarya Lahari hymn as follows.:

“Twa stanyam manye dharanidhara kanye hridhayatha | Paya paraabhaara parivahathi saaraswathamiva | Dhayavathya dhattham dravida sisu raaswadhya thava yat | Kaveenam proudana majani kamaniya kavayitha |” (Soundarya Lahari, stanza 75).

“Oh daughter of the king of mountains, I feel in my mind,That the milk that flows from your breast, Is really the goddess of learning, Sarswathi,In the form of a tidal wave of nectar.For , milk given by you ,who is full of mercy,Made the child of Dravida, The king among those great poets,Whose works stole one’s mind”.

So, milk here is Soma. Soma is generally considered as some intoxicating drink but it is not any ordinary milk, it is in fact the milk of ‘Brahma jnanam (Brahman knowledge)’. Which gives one Moksha.

Therefore, Uma/Vishnu gives knowledge of Brahman (Brahma Jnanam) to yogis.

Kena Upanishad.:

स तस्मिन् एव आकाशे स्त्रियम् आजगाम बहुशोभमानाम् उमाम् हैमवतीम् ताम् ह उवाच किम् एतत् यक्षम् इति ॥१२॥

3.12. In that space itself (where the Yaksha had disappeared) Indra approached an exceedingly charming woman. To that Uma decked in gold (or to the daughter of the Himalayas), he said: "Who is this Yaksha?"

सा ब्रह्म इति ह उवाच । बृह्मणो वा एतत् विजये महीयध्वम् इति, ततो ह एव विदाञ्चकार बृह्म इति ॥१॥

4.1. She said: "It was Brahman. In the victory that was Brahman's you were reveling in joy". Then alone did Indra know for certain that It was Brahman.

Amritanada Upanishad.:

ओङ्कारं रथमारुह्य विष्णुं कृत्वाथ सारथिम् । ब्रह्मलोकपदान्वेषी रुद्राराधनतत्परः॥ तावद्रथेन गन्तव्यं यावद्रथपथि स्थितः । स्थित्वा रथपथस्थानं रथमुत्सृज्य गच्छति॥२-३॥

Mounted on the chariot in the form of Omkara and making Lord Vishnu as his charioteer (guru), the wise man, thinking of the supreme position of Brahmaloka (City of Brahman), one should always remain engrossed in the worship of Lord Rudra, the God of gods and should go by that chariot in the form of Pranava until the path that can be traversed by the chariot is completed. When that path (goal) is completed, then leaving that chariot man automatically reaches the place of the owner of the chariot (Brahman). ॥ 2-3॥

Conclusion.: So yes, Milk is Soma/Amrita which gives the knowledge of Brahman and Nourishment to the Universe which is in the form of Shiva-Lingam.

।। ॐ तत् सत् ।।

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