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RE: Saligaram

From: Anand K Karalapakkam (
Date: Sun Aug 02 1998 - 18:35:57 PDT

Srimate Sri  Lakshmi Nrusimha ParaBrahmane Namaha

Dear  Sri  Sanjay  & other  bhAgavathAs ,
namo  nArAyanA . kindly  accept adiyens  pranAmams .

I have one doubt which I request the members of this list to clarify.

How many times should one offer Naivedhiam to the Saligarm Sila. Should 
it be done twice-once in the morning and once in the evening or is once 
enough. Also for people like me who go to work, what should one do, for 
what ever reason one is not able to offer Naivedhiam for Saligarm

adiyen  requests  Sri sanjay  to take  the  posting   in  a proper  spirit .please  forgive  adiyen if this offends you . adiyen is writing the straightforward  answer to your question .  

Usually  ArAdhanam to  sALagrAma perumAL  twice  a  day  is  a  good  kainkaryam.  But , before  performing  ArAdhanam to  sALagrAma  perumAL , samAsrayanam  must have  been  undergone by  the  devotee . Without  undergoing  "Yaj~na samskArA"  ( one of the samskArAs  among the pancha (5)  samskArAs  performed during samAsrayanam )   one is not fit to perform  ArAdhanA  to  sALagrAma perumAL .  Upadesam  on  the  method of performing ArAdhanam as per the Agama  sAstrAs  ( distilled  in  "Nitya"  granthA of Bhagavad  RAmAnujA )  has  to  be  undergone  before  performing  ArAdhanam .  

   Also , one  must  take  proper snAnam ( head bath )  , wear  DwAdasa Oordhva pundrams , perform SandhyAvandanam  & the like  before  performing PerumAL  ArAdhanam . MAnasIka ArAdhanam  is performed  mentally .  Bahya  ArAdhanam  is the ArAdhanam to sALagrAma PerumAL which in  gist  consists of  mantrAsanam , snAnAsanam , alankArAsanam -mantra pushpam /archanA , bhOjyAsanam  (  naivediyam)  & paryankAsanam - ofcourse sAtrumurai  is also there . 

The question  posed concerns only with  "naivedhiyam "  ie. Offering of food to perumAL . As adiyen  understands ,  Sri  Sanjay  hasn't  undergone  samAsrayanam  yet ; still  wants  to  perform  Naivedhiyam  to  sALagrAma  perumAL .  In general , only those who have undergone pancha samskAram (samAsrayanam )  can cook for nArAyanA  &  for  bhAgavathAs .  Without  AchArya sambandhA , neither nArAyanA nor the  bhAgavathAs  accept  intimate  services .    

    Sri karunAkaran swAmy  in one of his upanyAsams  mentioned  the  following  pastime  of  Sri nadAdUr ammAL .  AmmAL  was  once at tirupathi  &  was  very  hungry  in  the  sweltering  afternoon  heat ,  How can   our  most  merciful  ThiruvengadamudayAn  keep  quiet ?  Lord  took  the  form of   a  BrAhmanA   &  kindly  gave  Dhodyonam  ( Curd rice )   to ammAL . 
Even  with  so  much  hunger , ammAL  immedietly  asked  the  question  :

 ammAL :  "  Have  you had   pancha samskAram ? " 

Thiruvengadam udayAn :   "yes  swAmin " 

ammAL :  "To  whose  thiruvadi (lotus feet)  do you belong ? " ( ie. Who is your AchAryA ? ) 

Thiruvengadam udayAn :  AnanthAzhvAn  !!!!

Then  only  ammAL  accepted  the prasAdam .  
    Cooking for PerumAL  can't be done with shirts & pants  etc .  Naivedhiyam in the evening can be done if  one is preparing   fresh  food  for perumAL  in the  evening also  ( after  taking bath , sandhyAvandanam etc )  ie.  Food  that has  already  been  offered  to perumAL  can't  be  offered  again . 

If one has undergone samAsrayanam , has sALagrAma perumAL &   doesn't have  time  to  perform  ArAdhanam  to perumAL , adiyen  doesn't know how to comment on this .  If   one  has  to  leave  for office by  7 AM ,  he has to get up by say 4 AM   &  the like .  One shouldn't give the excuse that  "time is not there "  for   Bhagavad ArAdhanam .  If one  is  on time for office , why can't he be on-time for   kainkaryam  to sALagrAma perumAL ?  Is perumAL  worse than a office  manager ?  

Ideally one would love to be on time for Bhagavad ArAdhanam . Suppose that  somehow ( Leela VibhUti !!! )  once  one is not able to  perform the full ArAdhanam . In that  case ,  one can do just  Naivedhiyam  ( through  ashtAksharam  )  & prostrate  before Lord & beg  for  forgiving the apAchArams  ( more than  usual  ! ) .  If done  with  sAthvIka thyAgam ie.  Selfless love , nArAyanA  would  be  very  happy  to  even  accept that  food  .  But our svaroopam is not  to just   perform  naivedhiyam  .

If one is not performing even naivedhiyam to   perumAL ,  it is a serious  bhagavad apachAram only .  Probably ,  that devotee  should  give the sAlagrAma  perumAL  to  other  Sri VaishnavA who can take care of the  Lord  .  When  nArAyanA  has  come  down  so  low  in His  most  merciful  archA  avatAram ,  one  shouldn't  neglect it .  Other option is to give to some temple ( say Sri RanganAthA Temple ) .

   Once  a devotee gets  samAsrayanam  performed &  can  properly do ArAdhanam  ie. Has time for it ,  then  he  can get the sALagrAmam  back  from  the  Sri VaishnavA /Temple . 

    The other  way  is  to do  "prema poojA"   ie.  Out  of  love , you can  offer  food  to photos  of  perumAL  ( any Divya Desam  ) . Though   we  can't  worship the  picture  akin  to sALagrAmA ,   nArAyanA   is  merciful  enough  to  understand  the  situation.  Prema  poojA  has  no  restrictions .  But ,  this will lead  to  getting  AchArya  sambandhA  &  then  sALagrAma perumAL  will be happy  with your service  once you start performing .   

anantha padmanAbha  dAsan
sarvam sri krishnArpanamastu