Lingodbhava is a form of Lord Shiva, and we can see him in this form in some Shiva temples. The idol represents the emergence of Lord Shiva from the Shiva Linga, and he is popularly worshipped by the devotees in this form. Lingodbhava was praised by the Nayanmar saints, and they have mentioned about this form in their holy works also.

As per ancient legend, once, when Lord Vishnu and Brahma decided to test their powers, Lord Shiva had appeared before them in the form of fire flames, and asked them to find out his top and bottom. Lord Brahma had become a swan, and began to fly on the top of the flame, and Lord Vishnu took the form of boar Varaha, and tried to find out the bottom. Though they tried for a long time, to find the top and bottom of Lord Shiva, but both of them could not find the true form of Lord Shiva and due to that, Lord Vishnu had accepted his defeat, while Lord Brahma doesn’t want to disclose his defeat, and hence he had lied, by saying that he has seen the top of Lord Shiva. On hearing this, Lord Shiva become very angry, and he took the avatar of Kala Bhairava and removed one of the heads of Lord Brahma and also cursed Brahma, that he would not have any temples for worship. We can see the pictures of boar and swan also in the Lingodbhava image.

The Lingodbhava form represents the original form of Shiva, and, it can be considered as the Viswaroopa form of Lord Shiva. Those who worship this form of Shiva would get good knowledge and wisdom, and all of their bad habits like ego, jealously, selfishness, lust and anger would be removed from their mind.

The great almighty is taking various avatars and forms in order to express his identity to us. In order to cultivate the bhakti in the minds of the devotees, they are exhibiting their true forms, and also to bring confidence and faith to the devotees. Even we can worship god in the form of flames or in an invisible form. It all depends on the sincerity shown by us to the almighty. Even if we worship a stone, by considering it as Lord Shiva, he would accept our prayers, and would give all kinds of prosperity in our life.