5 Inspiring Religions That Worship Penises

Some articles demand a profound introduction. Others ... not so much. If we were a different website we might use this space to talk about how America is the biggest penis-worshiping-religion of them all. But we're not that website (in case yesterday's bowl of penises didn't tip you off). We assure you, this is no metaphor. You will find no pop psychology or vaguely phallic imagery in this article. These are religions that worship human penises. Learn from them.

#5. The Lingam

The Lingam is the symbol of a very special part of the Hindu god Shiva's body. (Hint: It's his cock.) Within the trinity of Hinduism, Shiva is the god of destruction and change. How much of that destruction is wrought with his four arms and how much comes from his manhood? We leave that to the reader to decide.

In Hindu mythology, when Shiva is killed, the goddess Kali squats over his body, rips out and eats his organs, and then mounts his still erect manrod to complete the cycle of creation. It's also worth noting that in most Hindu art and temples, his "linga" is usually depicted without the rest of him, the disembodied member being worshiped all by itself:

The object in the foreground is a "yoni" (literally: vagina) and they are most often shown together, in full penetration:

How Big Is It?

Huge. Out of a billion or so Hindus in the world, about 100 million belong to various sects that focus on Shiva, Kali and the giant Lingam.

On Your Knees:

Worshiping the linga is pretty straightforward. First, you have to make it wet, either by pouring water or milk over it. Then just say your prayers and meditate. Smaller, pocket-sized lingas should be held in the hand and rubbed while meditating, and you're well on your way to a religious experience.

#4. Mara Kannon Shrine, Tawarayama Japan

According to legend, about 450 years ago two local politicians in Tawarayama had such a hate-on for each other that eventually the feud came to death threats. In order to protect his family, a Mr. Oji disguised his son as a girl and hid him in the local shrine. Eventually the other guy, Mr. Sue, found the boy, cut off his head, and to prove his identity (a head isn't enough?) also severed the boy's penis.

Hearing about the killing, the locals immediately took to making wood and ceramic phalluses, to replace the boy's missing member (at this point, you have to wonder if the boy would have benefited more from a prosthetic head, but back to the story). Discovering the joy of making cocks, the locals just never stopped, eventually getting into a cock arms race with each other. Today, the woods surrounding the shrine are forested with as many stone boners as trees, all pointing gloriously up to the heavens above.

How Big Is It?

Quite respectable, thank you very much. The shrine sees thousands of visitors each year. Mostly tourists, they come from nearly every country to see the forest o' phalli, some of which stand five feet tall. The shrine is a popular destination for men suffering from erectile problems, and is even more popular with their wives.

On Your Knees:

In addition to the usual Shinto ceremony of bowing and praying, worshipers can buy smaller--and by smaller we mean life-sized--ceramic dongs to place in the shrine as an offering. After many years and thousands of visitors, the shrine is currently overflowing with them. Also, for best results, be sure to write your prayers and wishes on your cock.

Now, see if you can guess which country made our list twice.

Give up?

#3. Hounen Fertility Festival, Komaki, Japan

Most historians agree that fertility and phallus worship existed in prehistoric central and Eastern Asia, influencing the pre-Buddhist and pre-Shinto religions of the area. The Hounen Fertility Festival has been going for so long in Komaki that no one really remembers why they do it. But boy do they do it.

How Big Is It?

Try 9-feet-long and 620 pounds, baby.

Who's a bright shining superstar now, Diggler?

On Your Knees:

Get there early every March 15. The main event starts at 2PM, but they start giving away free booze at 10AM. That's right, they start tapping barrels full of sake even before lunch. Then at 2PM, the crowd staggers to the Shinmei Shrine where the mega dong is kept.

Shinto preists then give blessings to the wavering crowd, mount the thing on their shoulders, and everyone starts down the street. When they reach the Tagata Jinja shrine, they spin the giant cock around in circles over their heads, threatening all around with 360 degrees of mega penetration. At about 4PM they place the cock in its new home, and pray for a fruitful year. And while you're at the Tagata Jinja Shrine, don't forget to rub the sacred balls for good luck:

#2. Min, Egyptian God

Min was an ancient Egyptian god of fertility. In Egyptian art and statues, Min is always shown holding his cock with his left hand and a threshing flail in his raised right hand. A flail, in case you're wondering, is a kind of whip used to separate grain, or judging from the erection, to beat the shit out of some particularly adventurous woman who's been naughty and needs to be punished.

Min rose to prominence during the Middle Kingdom era, about 2050 BC, and by the New Kingdom era (1550 BC) he was the central figure in the Coronation Ceremony of every new Pharaoh. This involved a ritual in which the new Pharaoh would prove that he could ejaculate, and Min was there to make sure the King wasn't shooting blanks. We're not sure what the punishment was if the King couldn't fire one off, and we don't want to know.

How Big Is It?

You know, some things are more important than size. Centuries ago Egypt converted to Islam, with a few Christians and Jews thrown in, so no one really follows Min's cock anymore. But at one time Min was a principal deity of the entire Egyptian empire, with hundreds of thousands worshiping him. Today the modern city of Akhmim is built over the ruins of Min's temple, where excavation only just started in 1991, but ancient sources suggest that statues of him could be 55 feet tall or more, giving the old boy about eight feet of god rod.

On Your Knees:

At Min's temple, worshipers would rub the leaves of the Egyptian lettuce plant (Lactuca serriola), some varieties of which are tall, straight and round, and which would emit a milky white sap.

Yep, they masturbated lettuce.

The sap contained a chemical called lactucarium, which in large doses has an effect on the body similar to cocaine. At the harvest festival each year, naked, geeked-out Egyptians would play various games, the most important of which was climbing a giant pole, with special prizes for anyone who reached the top. We'd have thought the award would go to the person who could climb up and down the poll over and over again in a rhythmic motion, but we didn't write the rules.

#1. The Flaming Thunderbolt

Above is Drukpa Kunley, a 16th century Buddhist Monk who lived in what is now the country of Bhutan, or as he was more commonly known, The Divine Madman. Kunley spent his entire life, after becoming a monk in his late teens, traveling the countryside dispensing his wisdom and enlightenment to as many young ladies as he could get his hands on.

So where's the penis in all this? Well, he promised each of them a path to Nirvana through the use of his "Flaming Thunderbolt." In case you're still confused, here's a picture of it:

Kunley eventually earned such fame that women sought him out, or at least were very willing when he showed up. And in exchange for his spiritual illumination, all of the women were required to pay him in beer.

In between, and during, his deflowering sessions, Kunley would give advice on spiritual peace, how to balance one's karma, and how to attain Buddahood. Kunley preached that sexual ecstasy and drunkenness were the best ways to transcend the illusion of the material world and become one with oneself.

"The best wine lies at the bottom of the pail/And Happiness lies below the navel." A few inches below.

After riding nearly every wife, sister and daughter in the land, Kunley eventually rode into Buddhist mythology itself. He is said to do battle with all sorts of demons and evil spirits, most of them female. In one Bhutanese legend, he defeats a demoness by beating her in the face with his penis, and then gags her with it. After she is defeated, he transforms her into a good spirit "through divine sexual play."

How Big Is It?

It's not the size, it's how you use it. Over 80 percent of Bhutan's 700,000 people are Buddhist, and nearly all of them use images of the Flaming Thunderbolt as a good luck symbol. Images of it are everywhere, most notably painted on the outside of homes and buildings to ward off bad spirits and 'the evil eye.'

On Your Knees:

The best place to become one with your inner Flaming Thunderbolt is at Kunley's Chimi Lhakhang monastery, about a three-hour drive from the capital of Thimphu. There, Monks use a large wooden phallus, carved by Kunley himself, to hit devotees over the head and bless them with it's healing powers.

How this did not become the dominant religion on Earth is impossible to understand.

You can find more of Jeff's writing at Pen.iscentral.net.

If you liked that, you'll probably enjoy reading about a religion that has a less open relationship to penises in our rundown of 9 Islamic Fatwas We Can Get Behind. Or, if you like dick jokes in talking picture form, enjoy our award winning documentary about The Terrible Secret Behind the World's Greatest Card Trick. And be sure to get a first look at Oliver Stone's upcoming George W. Bush biopic.

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