Shaligram / Shaligram Shilas – Nepal Rudraksha
(Salagram/Shaligram English : शालग्राम/शालिग्राम Sanskrit/Nepali/Hindi)
Shaligram, a very important holy stone of Hindu mythology is a kind of sacred natural stone used to worship Lord Vishnu(protector of the universe). Shaligram is a direct symbol of Lord Vishnu. Divine Shaligram Stones is found in Kali Gandaki River, Muktinath, Damodarkunda, Nepal.
Shaligram is worshipped in all Hindu houses and Temples. Worshipping Shaligram please Lord Vishnu. We Can find about Shaligram in many 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 in kaliyug Lord Vishnu is present in the form of Shaligram and protects, blesses, pleases easily with devotees who worship God Vishnu in the forms of Shaligram.
Shaligram is also known as Shaligram Shila. Shila/Shilas mean Sacred stones of god, idol or statue, Shaligram idol, or a Shaligram Shilas. We should establish 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 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 famous as Muktinath Shaligram. In Hinduism, Mukti means Salvation and Nath means God. God who provides Salvation. Shaligram is found in Muktinath itself.
Origin Story of Shaligram
There was a demon name Jalandhar. His wife name is Vrinda. They were talking each other. Demon describe 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 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 culture in Hinduism.
Demon Jalandhar fends in 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 lord Vishnu “Shiva should not fend 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 Lord Vishnu to bring shiva.
Lord Vishnu search Shiva and find him. Lord Shiva was swimming by being swan in “Mansarovar lake”. Lord Vishnu informs Shiva about the arrival of the demon in Kailash.
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. Shiva orders 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 gave four curses to Lord Vishnu and surrender herself to fire. Vrinda is also believed to be Lord Vishnu great devotee. The four curses Vrinda gave to Lord Vishnu are to be stone (shaligram), to be plant (tulsi/holy-basil), to be grass (kush), and to be a tree (peepal tree /Ficus religiosa/ sacred fig).
Lord Shiva kill 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. Lord Vishnu says Vrinda the fact of Jalandhar and his final birth.
Hence, Vrinda was a devotee of lord vishnu, Lord Vishnu boon Vrinda that her body will be Gandaki river and hair as tulsi plant. 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 favourite place of Lord Krishna Vrindavan is named after vrinda devi. Meaning the Vrinda-tulsi and ban- jungle. The jungle of Tulsi plant/tree(holy basil).
Lord Vishnu 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 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 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, 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. Due to black color shaligram kali gandaki river name is derived. Kali-Black. The shaligram river. Oldesh name of kaligandaki river is said to be krishna gandaki river. Lord krishna is black color god and Krishna kale,He is also believed to be an incarnation of lord vishnu. Kali is also name of Goddess Kalratri or kali (wife of shiva ‘parvati/durga/kali’). We can find only Gandaki river(name and incarnation of goddess tulsi) in scripture.
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 Krishna shaligram, Ram 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 Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna, ram, Durga, and any gods.
- First, be pure(bath) and enter the worship room.
- At the morning bath(abhishek) Shaligram with pure water. Say “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 pure and which is vegetarian.
- 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, Shiva closing both eyes.
- If you wish to chant mantra through mala(garland) you can do it. Specially mantra (hymn) is recited through Tulasi and 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 want to do just remember and pray god for few minutes.
- At evening pooja(worship). GOD Shaligram is worshipped in a similar way like morning. The only difference is that we will not bath (abhishek) to shaligram in the evening. And we will not offer tulsi leaves to shaligram in evening. Other all same procedure is followed but do not remove Tulasi leaves which are offered in the morning if it is attached together with shaligram. Taking off tulsi leaves from plants in evening and night is prohibited. In morning also we should only offer tulsi leaves which has fallen itself in ground or pot.
- Some of the mantra(hymn) for reciting/chanting are as follows. If you do not have a string of holy beads like rudraksha, tulsi mala/garland you can chant or recite through hand or recitals can be done with mouth or heart. Mantras(hymn) are. 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(holy paste), 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 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/favourite 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 Jagannath puri, Odisha, and many temples. So we should drink some drops of Shaligram bathwater in house and temple. If possible 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. We can also bath shaligram with pure water or ganga water to please lord vishnu.
- The place where shaligram is found is known as “saligram/gandaki river”, “Muktinath”, Damodarkunda, Nepal. In scripture like Yog Vasistha. It is mentioned that even God Ram also visited this sacred place. God Ram also visited and pilgrimage to 64 shivalinga of Nepal.
- Offering daily lotus flower(kamal puspa) to shaligram gets lots of Laxmi(money).
- Worship of shaligram provides dharma artha kama moksha (religious value, economic value, Love pleasure 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 wheel or spine). We can also find chakra in lord Vishnu hand.
Shaligram is very good to keep in puja(worship) at home and temples. Lord Vishnu rare idol ‘Shaligram’ is only found in Nepal. Shaligram is Not only worshipped by Vaishnav but worshipped by all Hindu and all can worship Sri Shaligram (God Vishnu). In kaliyug(present time) Lord Vishnu is directly present in Shaligram. So if we wish to please lord Vishnu we have to establish shaligram in the home. Worshipping Shaligram daily destroys all kinds of sins and worshippers please All Vedic Gods especially God Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi easily.
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. Many foreigner say shaligram million years old “Ammonite or fossils stones(scientific name)”. We Hindu Mainly Just say or most used word is ‘Shaligram’. We can’t find Nepal like best, sacred shaligram, religiously important in other places. Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya.