Shaligram(शालिग्राम) – Shaligram Shilas
Shaligram is a divine,sacred Stones found in Kali Gandaki River,Muktinath,Damodarkunda Nepal. The oldest name of Kali gandaki is said to be Krishna gandaki river. Shaligram is direct symbol of Lord vishnu. Shaligram is worshipped in all Hindu House and Temples. Worshipping shaligram please lord vishnu easily,hence mainly in this kaliyuga(present time) we should worship shaligram. It is said that in kaliyuga lord vishnu is present in form of shaligram. And blesses his devotees easily.
Shaligram is also known as shaligram shila (sacred idol of lord). We should establish Shaligram,Tulsi plants(holy basil) and Shankha(conch) in house if we really want to please god vishnu (lord narayana). There is importance of worshipping shaligram with tulsi leaves in scripture like Puran.
There is also story about the meaning of name shaligram,the word ‘Shaligram’ come from Sal Tree (shorea robusta).
Those who worship shaligram should not see door of hell. He/she is not touched by attendant of hell god or god of death (yama duta). He/she is treated seperately. He/She will get Mukti(salvation). So shaligram is also known as Muktinath shaligram(mukti-salvation,nath-god). Those who offer single leaves of tulsi (holy basil) to shaligram with him/her lord vishnu is pleased. Worshipping shaligram with 108 tulsi leaves benefits cannot be defined. We get more benefits or double when we offer tulsi leaves to lord shaligram in special Tithi(days) like Ekadashi (11th lunar day).
Origin Story of Shaligram
– There was demon whose name was Jalandhar. His wife name was Vrinda. They were talking each other. Demon describe the beauty of his wife. Vrinda says to his husband that my beauty is nothing if you see Parvati,wife of Shiva. What would you think?. Demon went to kailash(home of lord shiva) with bad intention. At that time,lord shiva was not at his home. Jalandhar turned himself in shiva form and went to meet mother parvati(shiva wife).
Mother parvati comes by taking water in her hand to wash duplicate shiva feet.It is one of the culture in our hinduism to pay respect to husband.
Jalandhar fended in ground after seeing mother parvati face. Mother parvati remember lord vishnu for help. Just by remembering in second lord vishnu arrive in kailash. Mother parvati says to lord vishnu everything and also said “Shiva should not fend by seeing my face”. Lord vishnu think for while and says mother he is not lord shiva,he is demon name ‘jalandhar’. After it mother parvati became very afraid and request lord vishnu to bring shiva as soon as possible. Lord vishnu says mother i will search lord shiva and tell God Shiva about arrival of demon in shiva duplicate form in Kailash. Lord vishnu closes his eyes and search shiva. Shiva was swiming by being swan in “mansarovar lake”. Vishnu went there and meet shiva. Lord vishnu says to god shiva about arrival of demon in kailash(shiva home). Lord vishnu also disclosed demon duplicate form.
Shiva became very angry and plan to kill demon. Lord shiva fought with this demon for many years but could not win him. Shiva realize that demon is saved from power of his chaste wife. So shiva order lord vishnu to destroy chaste of vrinda(demon jalandhar wife).
Lord vishnu went to jalandhar demon house in form of jalandhar and destroy chaste of vrinda. Vrinda realize he is not my husband but lord vishnu when lord vishnu show his original form.Vrinda gave four curse to lord vishnu and surrender herself to fire. Vrinda is also believed to be lord vishnu great devotees.The four curse she gave to lord vishnu is to be stone (shaligram), to be plants(tulsi/holy-basil), to be grass (kush) and to be trees (peepal tree /Ficus religiosa or sacred fig).
Lord shiva kill demon jalandhar with his trishul (trident) when vrinda chaste is broken by lord vishnu.
Some holy book mention same story but named Demon as shankhachud. Many holy book mention as jalandhar.
According to Devi bhagwat,demon was fraction of lord vishnu who get salvation when lord shiva killed him. It was his final birth. And about Vrinda before her sacrifice in to the fire. Lord vishnu said to vrinda fact about jalandhar and his final birth. Vrinda was also attendant of lord vishnu. With some reason she was also in earth. Lord vishnu boon that her body will be Gandaki river and hair as tulsi plants. Tulsi plants have residence of lord vishnu and goddess tulasi (vrinda devi). Lord vishnu said that every year in month of Kartik sukla dwadashi (oct-nov) shaligram tulasi shaligram marriage ceremony will be celebrated. I will reside in gandaki river as shaligram.
Lord vishnu four wife is said to be Laxmi(main), Ganga,Saraswati,Tulsi. But goddess sarswati is also said to be wife of Lord brahma who was originally married to Vishnu, the preserver of universe, before he passed her off to Brahma. Three goddess are hindu trinity Parvati(shiva),Vishnu(laxmi) and Saraswati(brahma). Goddess parvati(goddess of power),God Shiva(destroyer of ignorance and god of welfare), God vishnu(preserver of universe),Goddess Laxmi(goddess of wealth),God brahma(creator of universe), Goddess saraswati(goddess of education).
Natures and Types of Shaligram
– Saligram are found in round shape,flat,oval,with chakra(wheel mark),without chakra,with many and less chakra,with holes. Mostly black shaligram is found which is known as very auspicious. Where as other rare and blessed saligram are blue color,red,yellow,golden shaligram etc.
There are many types and name of shaligram. Lord vishnu is worshipped with more than 108 names(Also with his incarnation in different form in different period of time). All this form of vishnu is worshipped as saligram. Some of the name of shaligram 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,parshuram shaligram,vamana shaligram,sudarshan or sudarshan chakra saligram,vasudev shaligram etc.
Process of Worship shaligram – Lord vishnu shaligram puja
The simple Shaligram worship can be done by following ways. Though shaligram can be worshipped with our own ways.
- At morning bath shaligram with pure water (toyam/jal or jalam). Say “om namo bhagvate vasudevaya”, “om namo narayanaye”, “Om krishnaye namah”,”Om govindaye namah”, “om achyutaye namah” while bathing.
- Tulsi leaves is very favourite to lord vishnu. Offering single tulsi leaves (holy basil) to shaligram pleases lord vishnu. There is no doubt on it.
- Offer the flower and fruits. Or any food items which is pure veg and pure.
- After it lamp a diya (oil lamp).
- offer the incense.
- Sound the bell. After it do namaskaram(respectful greeting with folding both hand) and remember lord vishnu,krishna,shiva. If you wish to chant mantra through malas for lord vishnu,krishna recite it. Specially mantra (hymn) is recited through tulasi and rudraksha mala. This malas or rossaries have total 108 number of beads. 108 number is considered as very auspicious,chanting/reciting or doing japa one hundred eight time is very good.
- At evening pooja(worship) every thing is done same as morning worship. Only difference is that we will not bath shaligram in evening. And we will not offer tulsi leaves to shaligram in evening. Other all same procedure is followed but donot remove tulasi leaves which is offered in morning if it is attach with shaligram. some of the mantra(hymn) for reciting 108 time are mention here. If you donot have string of holy beads like rudraksha,tulsi chant or recite through hand or continue recitals with mouth or heart. Some of the Mantras(hymn) are . 1) om krishnaye namah 2) om nama shivaya 3) om vishnave namah 4) om namo narayanaye 5) om namo bhagvate vasudevaya. Go for mala
Benefits – Advantages – Some Facts
- Worship of shaligram Please lord vishnu(narayan). The house where shaligram is worshipped,there is residence of mother laxmi (wife of lord vishnu who is also goddess of wealth). It is said that where there is lord vishnu,there is always presence of goddess laxmi.
- The worshipper of shaligram will be free from sin.
- Shaligram provide prosperity,long life,salvation(moksha). He will attain home of lord vishnu known as ‘vaikuntha’.
- No ghost,evil,black magic can affect the houses where shaligram shila is worship.
- Drinking even one drop of Saligram bath water is more than drinking and going great piligrim and sacred river. Devotees is served with shaligram bath water (saligramrit) in great temple like jaggarnath puri,odisha.
- Lord Vishnu directly reside in Shaligram so there is no need of pran pratistha(energization) to worship salagrama moorthy. We can worship directly.
- The place where shaligram is found is known as “saligram” or “Muktinath” or Damodarkunda Nepal. According to scripture like yog vasistha. It is said that even God Ram visited this sacred place. Nepal is also birthplace of goddess sita,wife of lord Rama (god Ram). God Ram also visited 64 shivalinga yatras of Nepal.
- Worship of shaligram provide dharma artha kama moksha (religious value,economy,love-pleasure and Salvation).
Things you donot know about Shaligram – Shaligram is also referred with different name in different place. Some of the name are salagram,salagrama,Saligrama,Saligram.Widely spoken name is Shaligram shila. Many foreigner say it million years old “Ammonite or fossils”. We hindu,Mainly Just say ‘shaligram’. Om namo bhagvate vasudevaya.