Shaligram – There are different types of Shilas (Holy stones or idol of god) that are highly revered in Hinduism. First of all, of course, the Shaligram Shila, (also Shalagram, Salagram, Saligram), is an incarnation and direct symbol of Lord Vishnu himself (Protector of the universe).
Shaligram is Found in Kali Gandaki River, Muktinath, Damodarkunda, Nepal. It is a sacred place and has great importance.
Shaligram is worshipped in all Hindu houses and Temples to please Lord Vishnu. We Can find about Shaligram in most of the religious texts and Scripture like Padma Puran, Srimad Devi Bhagwat, Skanda Purana, etc. Mainly in Kaliyug(present time), we should worship Shaligram. It is said that Lord Hari (Lord Vishnu) is directly present in the form of Shaligram and protects, blesses, please easily with devotees who worship God Vishnu in the forms of Shaligram. Shaligram has a natural mark of lord Vishnu like chakra, shankha, padma, etc. Shaligram is millions of years old and Sri Shaligrams also has a long history.
We should establish and keep together Shaligram Shila, Tulsi plants(holy basil), Gomati chakra, and Shankha(Conch shell) in the house if we really want to please God Vishnu (Lord Narayana). There is the great importance of worshipping Shaligram by offering tulsi leaves in every Puran(scripture). It is said that by offering a single tulsi leaf to Lord Shaligram pleases Lord Vishnu.
The word Shaligram comes from a Sal Tree (Shorea robusta).
Those who worship Sri Shaligrams (Saligram Shila) should not see the door of hell. He/she is not touched by the attendant of hell god or god of death (Yama Duta). He/she is treated separately. He/She will get Mukti(salvation). So Shaligram is also known as Muktinath Shaligram. In Hinduism, Mukti means Salvation and Nath means God. God who provides Salvation(Mukti). Shaligram is also found in Muktinath itself.
Origin Story of Shaligram
There was a demon name Jalandhar. His wife name was Vrinda. They were talking each other. The demon describes the beauty of his wife. Vrinda says to her husband that my beauty is nothing if you see ‘Parvati’ wife of Shiva. What would you think?. The demon went to Kailash(home of lord shiva) with a bad intention and to capture mother Parvati. At that time Lord Shiva was not at home. Jalandhar turned himself in form of a shiva and went to meet mother Parvati.
Mother Parvati comes by taking water in her hand to wash duplicate shiva feet. Arghya(washing feet of husband and ascetics) is one of the cultures in Hinduism.
Demon Jalandhar faints on the ground when Jalandhar see mother Parvati face. Mother Parvati remembers Lord Vishnu for help. Just by remembering in a second lord Vishnu arrive in Kailash. Mother Parvati says to lord Vishnu “Shiva should not faint by seeing my face”. Lord Vishnu thinks for a while and says mother he is not lord shiva. He is the demon name ‘Jalandhar’. Mother Parvati becomes very afraid and requests help from Lord Vishnu to bring shiva.
Lord Shiva was swimming by being swan in “Mansarovar Lake”. Lord Vishnu finds Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu informs Lord Shiva about the arrival of the demon in Kailash and demon forms.
Shiva becomes very angry and plans to kill the demon. Lord Shiva fight with this demon for more than 1000 years but could not win him. God Shiva realizes the demon is saved from the power of his chaste wife. Lord Shiva orders Lord Vishnu to destroy the chaste of demon Jalandhar wife Vrinda.
Lord Vishnu went to the demon Jalandhar’s house in the form of Jalandhar and destroy the chaste of Vrinda. Vrinda realizes he is not my husband but Lord Vishnu when lord Vishnu shows his original form. Vrinda gives four curses to Lord Vishnu and surrenders herself to fire. Vrinda is also believed to be Lord Vishnu’s great devotee. The four curses Vrinda gave to Lord Vishnu are to be a stone (Shaligram), to be a plant (tulsi/holy basil), to be a grass (kush), and to be a tree (peepal tree /Ficus religiosa/ sacred fig).
Lord Shiva killed the demon Jalandhar from his Trishul (Trident).
Some holy books mention the same story but named Demon as Shankhachud. Most of the holy books mentioned as Jalandhar.
According to Devi Bhagwat, the demon gets salvation when he dies from shiva hand. Before Vrinda sacrifices to fire, Lord Vishnu says Vrinda the fact of Jalandhar and his final birth.
Vrinda is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hence, Lord Vishnu boon Vrinda that her body will be Gandaki river and hair as a tulsi plant. Everyone worship her and be famous and finally she attains Mukti(salvation). Tulsi plants have a residence of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Tulasi(Vrinda Devi). Lord Vishnu says – Every year in the month of Kartik Sukla Dwadashi (oct-nov) Shaligram Tulasi marriage ceremony will be celebrated. I will reside in the Gandaki river as Shaligram. The favorite place of Lord Krishna Vrindavan is named after Vrinda Devi. Meaning the Vrinda-tulsi and ban- the jungle. The jungle of Tulsi plant/tree(holy basil). Those who worship Lord Vishnu(God Vishnu) with tulsi leaves (holy basil) with them lord Vishnu becomes happy.
Lord Vishnu’s five wives are said to be Laxmi(main), Ganga, Saraswati, Tulsi, and Bhu Devi(mother earth). Goddess Saraswati is the wife of Lord Brahma. It is believed that Goddess Saraswati originally married to Lord Vishnu. Three god and goddesses are the Hindu trinity. Parvati(shiva), Laxmi(Vishnu), and Saraswati(Brahma). Goddess Parvati(goddess of power), God Shiva(destroyer of ignorance), God Vishnu(preserver of universe), Goddess Laxmi(goddess of wealth), God Brahma(creator of the universe), Goddess Saraswati(goddess of education).
Nature and Types of Shaligram
Saligram is found in round shape, flat, oval, with chakra(wheel mark), without chakra(plain), with many and fewer chakras, with holes. Mainly black color shaligram is found which is known as most auspicious. Whereas other unique saligram are blue color, red, yellow, golden shaligram, etc. Some devotees believed that From the black color shaligram kali gandaki river(Shaligram river) name is derived. Hindu word Kali means Black whereas kali is also the name of Hindu goddess ‘Kali’. The oldest name of the kaligandaki river is said to be krishna gandaki river. Lord Krishna is also known as a beautiful black color god and famous for his black beauty and said to be Krishna kale(god Shyam). He is also believed to be the 8th incarnation of lord vishnu and the 8th son of mother Devaki.
There are many types and names of Shaligram. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with more than 108 names. All names of Lord Vishnu is considered as name of God shaligram.
We can find importance of each shaligram with names.
Some of the names of saligram are Ram shaligram, Krishna shaligram, Matsya shaligram, kurma,varaha, buddha, Madhusudan, Govinda, Janardhan shaligram, shiva saligram, Gopal shaligram, Hayagriva shaligram, Laxmi Narayan shaligram, narasimha shaligram, laxmi narasimha shaligram, Aniruddha shaligram, Parashurama shaligram, vamana shaligram, sudarshan or sudarshan chakra saligram, Vasudev shaligram, etc. View More
Shaligram worship Process – Shaligram Puja Vidhi.
The simple Shaligram worship(Puja) can be done in the following ways. Shaligram is also worshipped with our own ways like our process of worship to different gods like God Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna, Ram, Goddess Durga, and any gods.
- First, be pure(bath or be fresh) and enter the worship room.
- In the morning, Bath(abhishek) Shaligram with pure water by Saying “Om Namo Narayanaye” while bathing God Shaligram.
- Tulsi leaves are very dear to Lord Vishnu. Offering single tulsi leaves (holy basil) to God Shaligram/god vishnu please lord Vishnu. There is no doubt upon it.
- Offer the flower and fruits. Or Any food items that are vegetarian(without onion, garlic, egg, and meat) and pure (which is not used by others).
- After it lamps a Diya (oil lamp).
- offer the incense.
- Sound the bell. After it do a namaste or namaskaram (respectful greeting by folding both hand 🙏). Remember and meditate Lord Vishnu, Krishna, Lord Shiva closing both eyes.
- If you wish to chant mantra through mala(garland) you can also do it. Specially mantra (hymn) is recited through Tulasi or rudraksha mala. These malas or rosaries have a total of 108 number of beads. 108 number is considered as very auspicious and chanted/recited 108 times. This process is also known as jap or japa which is done by remembering God. We have mentioned mantra for a specific god below. If you donot have mala do it with mouth or heart. The auspicious number is 108,54, 27, 10.
- At evening pooja(worship). GOD Shaligram is worshipped in a similar way like morning. The only difference is that we will not bath (abhishek) god shaligram in the evening. And we will not offer tulsi leaves to shaligram in evening. Other all same procedure is followed but does not remove Tulasi leaves which are offered in the morning if it is attached together with shaligram. Taking off tulsi leaves from plants in the evening or night time is prohibited. In the morning too we should only offer tulsi leaves which have fallen itself in the ground or pot by washing it is good.
- Some of the mantra(hymn) for reciting/chanting is as follows. 1) ‘om Krishnaye Namah’ for Lord Krishna, 2) ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ For Lord Shiva, 3) ‘om Namo Narayanaye’ For God Vishnu 4) om namo bhagvate vasudevaya for Lord Vishnu, etc.
Shaligram: Benefits/ Advantages – Shaligram Stones Facts
- Worship of shaligram Please Lord Vishnu(Narayan). The house where shaligram is worshipped there is residence of mother Laxmi (wife of lord vishnu and goddess of wealth). It is said that where there is lord Vishnu there is always the presence of goddess Laxmi.
- The shaligram worshippers free from all types of sin.
- Shaligram provide prosperity,long life,salvation(moksha). He will attain the home of Lord Vishnu (Vaikuntha or liberation).
- No ghost, evil, black magic can harm the houses where Shaligram Shila is worship.
- Keeping Tulsi leaves(holy basil), Belpatra leaves, Chandan(paste mark), Shankha(conch shell), and Gomati chakra together with shaligram fulfill all kinds of wish.
- Doing daily Ganga Snan(holy bath) to Shaligram attains the merits of Vishnu Yagya (big or great worship of god Vishnu). Shaligram bath can be done with Ganga Jal(sacred water of holy Ganges) or with pure water.
- Offering a single leaf or 108 tulsi leaves to Shaligram Lord Vishnu in Ekadashi day(11th lunar day/favorite day of lord Vishnu) attains the merits of giving 1000 cow charity.
- Drinking even one drop of Saligram bathwater is more than drinking and going to a great pilgrimage and sacred river. Devotees are served with Shaligram bathwater (saligramrit) even in a great temple-like Jaggarnath Puri, and many temples. So we should drink some drops of Shaligram bathwater in the house and temple. And also served to the family.
- Lord Vishnu directly resides in Shaligram so there is no need to do Pran pratistha(energize) to worship Salagrama(shaligram) Moorthy/idol. We can worship shaligram directly.
- Offering daily different types of Prasad(food items) to shaligram destroys all diseases.
- Bathing shaligram daily with panchamrit attains the merits of listening Srimad Bhagavad. Panchamrit is a mixture of five things. They are milk, ghee, sugar, curd, and honey. Besides it, We can also bath shaligram with pure water or ganga water to please lord Vishnu.
- The place where shaligram is found is known as “Shaligram//Gandaki river”, “Muktinath”, Damodarkunda, Nepal. In scripture like Yog Vasistha, tt is mentioned that at pilgrimage time God Ram also visited this divine place. God Ram also visited 64 shivalinga pilgrimage.
- Offering lotus flower(kamal puspa) to shaligram gets lots of Laxmi(money).
- Worship of shaligram provides dharma artha kama moksha (religious value, economic value, Pleasure love happiness, and Salvation).
Hence, Shaligram is an idol or visible statue of Lord Vishnu. We should worship shaligram to please lord vishnu and all vedic gods. For God Sun / God Surya, we consider him as lord Vishnu and worship as an observable god. So Surya dev(god sun) is known as Surya Narayan. Narayan is one of the name of Lord Vishnu. Similarly, Shaligram is also a visible god or form of lord Vishnu because we can find a chakra emblem in it (mark of a spinning wheel). We can can see chakra(sudarshan) in lord Vishnu’s hand. Sudarshan is also known as great devotee of lord Vishnu who is present with lord vishnu every time. Lord Vishnu gets Sudarshan chakra after worship to God Shiva with shiva shahasranam to destroy the demon.
Regarding the gandaki river, Once when all gods could not find not Lord vishnu. All god went to Lord shiva for help. And ask Lord shiva about lord vishnu. Lord Shiva agreed to take gods to god vishnu. Lord vishnu was meditating in shaligram place(gandaki river). Lord vishnu describe the importance of this place. There are diffferent kinds of sacred pond(kund), gods place and triveni sangam(meeting points of gandaki,saraswati and ganga river). Other important sangam is prayag raj where three holy rivers yamuna,saraswati and ganga meets, etc.
Things we do not know about Shaligram shila(shaligram) – Shaligram is also referred with different names in different places. Some of the names are Salagram, Salagrama, Saligrama, Saligram, Ammonite, fossil stone. Most used word is ‘Shaligram’. We can’t find Nepal like sacred, divine shaligram in other places.