In Hinduism, a representation of the female sexual organ and feminine generative power, the symbol of the goddess Shakti (see shakti). The yoni is often associated with the phallic linga, the symbol of the god Shiva. The linga is depicted in art as resting in the yoni, their union representing the eternal process of creation and regeneration.
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The word yoni (Sanskrit योिन yoni) is the Sanskrit word for "divine passage", "place of birth", "womb" in the sense of 'source of life' rather than a human organ, or "sacred temple" (cf. lila). The word also has a wider meaning in both profane and spiritual contexts, covering a range of meanings of "place of birth, source, origin, spring, fountain, place of rest, repository, receptacle, seat, abode, home, lair, nest, stable" (Monier-Williams). The yoni is also considered to be symbolic of Shakti or other goddesses of a similar nature.
In classical texts such as Kama Sutra, yoni refers to vagina.
Possible Lingam-Yonis have been recovered from the archeological sites at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, part of the Indus Valley Civilization. There is strong evidence to support cultural continuation from the Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan; Indus-Sarasvati) to Vedic and modern Hindu practises (see: Proto-Vedic_Continuity and refer to the book by famed archaeologist, B.B. Lal entitled, The Sarasvati flows on: The continuity of Indian culture, Aryan Books International (2002), ISBN 8173052026).
Joseph Campbell associates Yoni with Kali, "the dark one" who is the "blood-consuming consort" of Shiva (Campbell, Joseph, Oriental Mythology: The Masks of God, pgs.170-171).