A number of explanations are given about their possible origin. Some even traced it to Burma and Tibet. However, it looks like many missed the possible connection between the linga and yoni symbolism of Hinduism and the yin and yang principles of the Chinese culture. It appears that most likely, the yin and yang concepts are of indian origin and the words were derived from the Sanskrit words, yoni and linga respectively. Their respective meanings are also very similar. The linga and yoni motifs are at least 6000 years old in india. They have a prominent place in Hinduism and hindu tantra. Their meaning is as stated below.
- The linga represents the male principle, purusha, the male sexual organ, shiva, consciousness, and the source of creation.
- The yoni represents the female principle, nature or prakriti, Shakti or the universal energy, female reproductive organ, universal womb, universal mother, mother goddess, and parvati.
Together they represent the totality of the whole creation, and the union of the opposites and dualities. In Hinduism we understand them as shiva and Shakti shivalinga and ardhanariswara. They represent the coming together of the fundamental polarities that are present in existence as the soul and the body consciousness and matter male and female positive and negative and light and darkness. Since ancient times they have been the most popular symbols of Hinduism and an integral part of hindu temple art, iconography spirituality and ritual worship. Considering their relative popularity in both countries the antiquity and popularity of shivalinga and the ancient connection and cultural exchanges between india and china we have a strong reason to believe that the Chinese yang seems to be a corrupt form of the indian word ling or linga and the yin is a corrupt version of the indian word yoni the female reproductive organ and a symbol of Shakti. There are many similarities between hindu and Buddhist tantras. In fact many practices of Mahayana Buddhism and Buddhist tantra are derived from Hinduism only. Both traditions have many identical themes practices concepts and names of deities. Therefore it is very likely that the concept of linga and yoni found its way into china as yin and yang in the early part of their civilization or alternatively the Chinese scholars adapted or incorporated the meaning of their Sanskrit counterparts during the spread of Buddhist tantra in Tibet and china.