Once upon a time, there dwelled a group of pious and devout hermits hidden deeply in the forests of the mountainous north. They lived together with their wives in chastity, spending their time praising and worshipping God. Their pride grew as their meditation became deeper and their vows more resolute. Then one day, a handsome, naked youth appeared among the pines, dancing ecstatically, holding his stiff member in his hands and making suggestive movements. It was Shiva. He had come to make his pious devotees laugh, to make them merry and happy. However, they were not only shocked but also thoroughly repulsed by such a lewd display.
The love-starved wives of the penitents could not help being fascinated by the beautiful ithyphallic man. Secretly their hearts beat double time at the thought of being ravished by him. Their husbands noticed this, and it poured the oil of jealousy into the fire of antipathy. Their outraged swelled to a terrible curse. "Your vile actions are unheard of! You violate the commandments of the Holy Vedas! May your phallus drop off!"
The curse of those who have practiced long and arduous austerities never fails its mark! Immediately Shiva's lingam fell from his body, catching on fire as it fell. It fell through all three worlds, heaven, earth, and underworld, wreaking flaming havoc. The entire creation threatened to conflagrate. Terrified gods and rishis hastened to Brahma, the wise Creator, to ask what could be done.
As always, the grandfather of all creation knew the right advice. "Shiva's penis must be quieted! Go to Parvati, the beautiful daughter of the mountain. Sing to this goddess the songs that old custom prescribes. Draw water from a sacred ford at the river. Then place the water jug, along with some kusha grass and barleycorns, into a magic circle (mandala) decorated with eight kinds of flower petals. Chant spells (mantras) over the water jar. Sing on, without stopping, until the goddess appears in the form of a vulva. The roaming fire-penis will find cooling relief in the vulva's moist embrace. Once it has come to rest, sprinkle it with more cool water and bind it faster with more spells. Honor the lingam with flowers, with the smoke of sandalwood, perfume, and sweet spices. Praise the Lord with songs and musical instruments, with bows and prostations. Finally, to conclude the rite, call to the Lord, "Hail Thee, Lord of Gods, who bringeth peace and happiness to the world. Thou, Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, have mercy. Rest Thou here, who are beyond the OM, who art the core of all. Be at peace, Great God, protect all the worlds."
- From the Sanskrit Puranas.