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About SAlagrama

Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com
Date: Mon Dec 07 1998 - 07:47:34 PST

Dear BhaghavathottamAs:

Here is some interesting information on Salagrama.  This was compiled by
Shobha Srinivasan of Corning NY.  They are great devotees of Lord Hari and
their family is known for their hospitality.

Vijayaraghavan



1. Is Saligrama in the form of black stone only ?

Yes. Mostly black stone only. Reddish black are also there, but they are
very rare. Red Saligrama are not worshipped in houses.

2. Is it available at gandaki river in nepal only or else where also ?

In gandaki river only.

3. Does it have the symbol of sudarshana chakra or other holy weapons of
lord vishnu?

Chakra symbol only. No other symbols.

4. Is it a naturall formation or impression of any river worm or insect due
to passage on the black stone or it used as a shell by the insect ?

It is not a stone-formation by nature. The chakras on the stones are formed
by the river worms called Vajra-keeta. Its teeth/nails are said to be
harder than
granite stone. The chakra formation is found not only on the outer surface
of the Saligrama.

There are chakras inside Saligrama also. This can be seen through the hole
or holes on the Saligrama with the aid of torch light. The holes are termed
as
vadana (mouth). Chakras can be seen inside these holes. At the very face of
this chakra one can confirm or suspect whether a particular Saligrama is
original or duplicate.

The Vajra keeta worms drill the stones, get inside and live there. During
their stay inside the stones, they cause these chakras. Similarly outside
Chakras
also are caused by the worms only. Saligrama are used as living place by
the worms not used as shells.

The puranic declaration is that the Lord Himself causes these chakras in
the guise of worms. He reveals His presence in Saligrama through the
Chakras.
Because He is already present there by his own choice, We do not perform
any pratishta-ritual for Saligrama just as we do for other idols.

There are also some normal size, small and very small size Saligramas with
no hole and ni chakra. They look like mere black stones. But if you hold it
against the lamp and look through the stone, you will be surpraised to find
it is transparent. That is, the reddish light will be visible insid the
stone. These
Saligramas are called Ratna Garbha. They are very rare.

5. Is it a fact that more number of chakras in a Saligrama represnet its
significance ?

No such significance. A Saligrama with one or two chakras is as powerful as
the one with a dozen chakras. A Saligrama with 7 holes and 14 chakras is
known as Ananta Padmanabha Murthy. 2 holes and 4 chakras is Narayana Murthy
and so on. All the Murthys are of the same power.

6. Is it a coincidence of the availability at river Gandaki is not the
abode of Shiva.

7. Any other mythological background to substantiate the prevalence of such
stones deserve worship as the manifestation of Lord Vishnu ?

Of the 18 Puranas, a good number of them, under different contexts,
proclaim the mahima of Saligrama as Vishnu pooja. They also proclaim that
the
White stones ashore at Dwaraka is as powerful as Saligrama. These white
stones are called : "CHAKRANIKA". This is to be kept in pooja along with
Saligrama, proclaims the Purana.

                                            SALIGRAM SHILA YATRA, YATRA
DHVARAVATHI SHILA |

                                         UBAYO SANKHMO YATRA, YATRA
MUKTHRNASAMSHAYAHA ||

8. Is any size prescribed for the worship in the daily puja by Madhwas? It
is learnt that abnormal sizes should be kept in the Temples/Mutts etc.

Yes. The size recommended for the puja in the house is the smaller ones
which can be accommodated in the closed fist. Abnormal ones are to be kept
in the
Temples/Mutts etc.

9. Is it true that Saligrama should not be kept in the house without daily
Abusheka ?

The emphasis is only to stress the point that you should not be lazy and
miss Saligrama Puja for too long a period on False excuses. It is not to
ask you do
away with Saligrama on grounds of imaginary problems.

10. Are Saligramas worshipped exclusively by Madhwas or by others also ?

Iyengars do Saligrama Puja as also some of the Vadama Iyers who wear
Gopichandana.