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See also    Shaalgraam-Forms;   Shaalgraam-Quotes   Shaalgraam and Shankh;

Who is Shaalgraam? What is Shaalgraam? Read the story of Jalandhar to know its origin. (1) Shaal is a name of a tree and Graam means village. It is a Teerth place on the banks of Gandakee River in Nepaal. There grow Shaal trees in abundance that is that village is called Shaalgraam. It is often mentioned in context of doing Tap at that place. Sage Vishwaamitra Jee's son Shaalakayan had Bhagavaan's Darshan there that is why that place is called Shaalgraam on his name. There is a Vaalmeeki Nagar also on that River's banks.

(2) Vishnu's another form in the form of black stone. This stone comes from Shaalgraamee River.

Birth of Shaalgraam
How Shaalgraam Shilaa was born or came into existence is an interesting story. Read also the story of Shankhchood.
There was a Raakshas named Shankhchood. His wife Vrindaa was a Pativrataa woman and because her being Paativrat he could not be killed. So he started tormented the people. Devtaa went to Vishnu to request Him to kill him. Now how to break his wife's Paativrat so that he could be killed. Vishnu then took the help of Shiv. Shiv provoked him to fight with him and Vishnu went to his wife in the form of Shankhchood to break her Paativrat. First she did not know it, but as soon as she came to know that the man was not Shankhchood. she filled with rage and cursed the man to become a black stone. Vishnu accepted her curse and became the black stone, but He said - "I accept your curse, but since my Darshan does not go waste, I grant you a boon that you will be turned into a river (Gandakee River) and I will always stay in your heart. Since then Vrindaa turned into Gandakee River and these black stones, Shaalgraam, are found only there in the heat of that River.

Shaalgraam Shilaa
Shaalgraam regarded as Naaraayan Shilaa is worshipped as an Emblem of Vishnu. According to geologists, Shaalgraam are the outer shells of worms, which are now extinct. Thus they are the black fossils ammonite which are millions of years old. They are found all over the world at some pockets, including western countries. The worm which comes out of the shell makes different types of decorations mostly in the form of wheel, conch etc. They are available in plenty in Gandakee River near Muktinaath in Nepaal and in India. According to the Gautameeya Tantra, "a stone from any place other than the Gandakee River in Nepaal can never be a Shaalgraam Shilaa."

These naturally formed stones are used by devout Hindu to worship Lord Vishnu. It is not a stone-formation by nature. The Chakra on the stones are formed by the river worms called Vajra Keet. Its teeth and nails are said to be harder than granite stone. The Chakra formation is found not only on the outer surface of the Shaalgraam. There are Chakra inside Shaalgraam also. This can be seen through the hole or holes on the Shaalgraam with the aid of torch light. The holes are termed as Vadan (mouth). Chakra can be seen inside these holes. At the very face of this Chakra, one can confirm or suspect whether a particular Shaalgraam is original or duplicate. The Vajra Keet worms drill the stones, get inside and live there. During their stay inside the stones, they cause these Chakra. Similarly outside the stones also, these Chakra are caused by the worms only. Shaalgraam are used as living place by the worms not used as shells. The Pauraanik declaration is that the Lord Himself causes these Chakra in the guise of worms.

Thus He reveals His presence in Shaalgraam through the Chakra. He is already present there by his own choice; we do not perform any Pratishthaa or any ritual for Shaalgraam just as we do for other idols. There are also some normal size, small and very small size Shaalgraam with no hole and no Chakra. They look like mere black stones. But if you hold it against the lamp and look through the stone, you will be surprised to find that it is transparent. That is, the reddish light will be visible inside the stone. These Shaalgraam stones are called Ratn Garbh. They are very rare. In the Padm Puraan, Lord Shiv declares the greatness of Shaalgraam Shilaa as follows:--

Malling Kotibhi Drishti Yad Phalam Poojiti
Shaaligraam Shilaa Yamtu Ekasyam Iva Tad Bhavet
The merit obtained by seeing and worshipping hundreds of thousands of My Lingam, is equivalent to that obtained by worshipping one single Shaalgraam Shilaa. Shaalgraam Shilaa is considered as a holy stones which is Divine Symbol of Lord Vishnu.

Which Shaalgraam to Choose --
You can worship Shaalgraam at home if you can satisfy some basic requirements.

(1) Ascertain whether what you have is truly Shaalgraam itself. Many sell polished marble as Shaalgraam in the shape of Ling also. This is new market they had developed. People might sell it even for Indian Rupees 1000/- and are bought by an ignorant person.

(2) If you know for sure that it is truly Shaalgraam, then you have to find whether it is any form of Lord Narasinh or other forms of Mahaa Vishnu. This is because as far as Lord Narasinh is concerned there are 3 types of Shaalgraaam --
(a) That could be worshiped by all including Grihasth
(b) That should be worshiped only by Brahmchaaree
(c) That should be worshiped only by Yatee
The second and third variety is best not to keep at home.

(3) Then there are are Shaalgraam which require full Shodopachaar Poojaa daily. They mostly have multiple Chakras on it. Such Shaalgraam are difficult to be kept at home now-a-days and are best to be donated to someone who can do its proper Poojaa, like true priests who are supposed to do Poojaa at home or in temples. The blood-red colored Shaalgraam should never be kept at home.

(4) Remember, Shaalgraam are only for Mahaa Vishnu and are truly none for Shiv or Ganapati. Whoever says otherwise is due to his ignorance or sales gimmick.

How to Worship Shaaalgraam
If every thing is ok as stated above, then ----
--One needs to do its Abhishek, if possible with conch with a Tulasee Dal in it. After the Abhishek, place a Tulasee dal along with sandal paste with prayers on the Shaalgraam.
--Those who knows how to recite Purush Sookt correctly, with Swar, can recite it while doing the Abhishek. If you don't know Purush Sookt or Naarayan Sookt, just recite "Aum Namo Naaraayanaaya" and do the Abhishek. Those who can recite Vishnu Gaayatree can recite it while offering the sandal paste and offering Tulasee Dal after the Abhishek. After this you can offer Naivedya, and do Aaratee also or just do Aaratee, because remember that once you start offering Naivedya, you cannot and should not stop it. So decide what all you can do, and then should do it daily before venturing into it. This is only the simplest form of Poojaa anyone can do at home, be it a Braahman or from any other Varn.

Normally Shaalgraam do not require any preliminary rituals of purification and consecration. They naturally contain the Vibhooti of Vishnu (form of Vishnu) and may be worshipped right away. No initiation is required, no special hymns, or special procedure of worship, no special priest. Worship it any how and you will get benefited. There is no error of any kind. Of course if it is worshipped formally with full method, its benefits are boundless.

In the morning, after taking bath, arrange your worship vessels after cleaning them. Fill a pot of water mixing a few drops of Gangaa water or rose water, light oil lamp, incense stick, fresh flowers, and sandal paste, Put the Shilaa in a plate, do Abhishek with water chanting "Om Namo Naaraayanaaya". wipe it with a soft cloth, and place it on the seat. Apply sandal paste, offer flowers and a leaf of Tulasee, or encircle a Tulasee Maalaa around Him. Light the lamp and incense stick, and offer to Naaraayan one after the other. Offer a fruit or sweets to Him and chant the following Mantra --
Shaantaakaaram Bhujag Shayanam Padmanaabham Suresham
Vishwaadhaaram Gagan Sadrashyam Meghvarnam Shubhaangam
Lakshmeekaantam Kamal Nayanam Yog Bhir Dhyaan Gamyam
Vande Vishnum Bhav Bhaya Haaram Sarv Lokaik Naatham

I bow to you O Vishnu, the One Master of the Universe, who is ever peaceful, who ever reclines on the great serpent bed, from whose navel springs the lotus of the creative power, who is the Supreme being who supports the entire Universe, who is all-pervading as the sky, who is dark like the clouds and has beautiful form, Lord of Lakshmee, the lotus-eyed one, whom the Yogee are able to perceive through meditation. He who is the destroyer of the fear of Sansaar.

Thus the method of worship is easy to follow. In case you are unable to follow this simple worship, just offer obeisance before leaving for the work, His presence alone is guarding and protective of your home bringing happiness and prosperity. If you want to know about its detail Poojaa contact  -

Do's and Don'ts for Shaalgraam Worship
(1) Shaalgraam are normally placed in closed copper or Panch-Lohaa enclosures called "Samput".
(2) Shaalgraam should not be kept in even numbers at home (2, 4, 6, 8 etc) particularly in one enclosure.
(3) The question of marriage etc for Shaalgraam does not exist. The concept of Tulasee Dal (Tulasee leaf) is only worship of Shaalgraam, as Vishnu is fond of Tulasee and He does not accept any Naivedya without Tulasee. There is no need to attach anything else (though the importance of Tulasee is depicted as a story).
(4) The Shaalgraam should be kept in clean places where you should make sure that women folk during periods shall not go near the place or enter the room. They should not touch or clean the wares of Poojaa for a minimum of 4 days - 7 is the dictated number as far as Poojaa are concerned. This is particularly important if the Shaalgraam is anything other than Santaan Gopaal. Even here, if you are woshipping Santaan Gopaal Shaalgraam, one has to maintain some distance and cleanliness. Today, one shall argue that we bath everyday and are clean. This argument does not work good in case of religious rites and so one should be prepared to face the consequences. Place the Shaalgraam Shilaa on a throne or seat facing North. His presence will bring positive energy, protection, good health and abundance and righteous living to your all house holders in your home.
(5) If you cannot worship daily, just offer obeisance and start your work.

Are Shaalgraam Worthy of Worship?
Any Vibhooti of Bhagavaan is worthy of worship. At energy level Shaalgraam is supposed to be preferred than any other man-made object of worship. Secondly, the man-made ones have to be properly consecrated and energized (Sthaapanaa, Praan Pratishthaa - infusion of vital life force). Thirdly, the icon or statue should be programmed to incline favorably towards the worshipper (Sammukheekaran). Only then it can be used to its full potent to the worshipper. If these three steps are not performed systematically and ritually, then the power of god will refuse to be drawn into the icon. Shaalgraam stones are not required all these processes to be performed, but yes, if the prescribed rituals are performed then Shaalgraam are supposed to give better results.

The Puja Prakash quotes - "A Shaalgraam stone damaged in any way, chipped, broken, split or cracked will not become unfit for worship. It is always sacred and worthy to worship. It does not lose its auspicious nature even if it is damaged." This is also confirmed by Vishnu Tilak Sanhitaa. Brahm Vaivart Puraan says in its Prakriti Khand, as long as Mahaa Vishnu abides in the Shaaligraam, all the benevolent spirits live there, all gods and all the 14 worlds live there. Shaalgraam lose their power only when 10,000 years of Kali Yug have passed.

Fruits of Shaalgraam Worship
Worship Shaaligraam mainly for 6 things in your life - righteous living, wealth, protection, healthy living, pleasures and spiritual growth.
Shaalgraam can be worshipped by all people, men and women of all faiths, alike.
Just as Vishnu has many Avataar and worshipping of any one gives blessings of Vishnu, in the same way, Shaalgraam, although of many types will give the blessings of Vishnu.
Satyam Shivam Sundaram - means Truth is God and God is beautiful, in the same way all Shaalgraam are give their blessings alike.

--Bath with pure or Gangaa water to Shaalgraam gets Vishnu Yagya fruits.
--Offer different sweets or Parsaad to Shaalgraam daily, will removes all diseases - Om Namo Shaalgraam devaaya Namah
--Shaalgraam if kept with Tulasee leaves, Bel Patra, Chandan (Sandalwood), Shankh (conch shell), and Gomatee Chakra, if kept with these 5 things, all wish come true .
--If Shaalgraam is given daily bath by Panchaamrit (mixture of honey, sugar, yogurt, ghee and milk) gets fruits of telling or Shravan of Bhagvad Geetaa.
--If on the day of Vishnu Ekaadashee, one keeps 108 Tulasee leaves on Shaalgraam gets 1,000 Go Daan fruits (1,000 cow donation fruits).
--If daily keeping or offering with Vishnu Mantra "Om Namo Naaraayanaaya", lotus flower or pure and smelly flower on Shaalgram gets wealth.

Some Other Facts About Shaalgraam
--Although Shaalgraam is found mostly in black color but some other colors are also found in it. They are rare to find and just keeping them in the house brings good luck and prosperity.
--They are found only in Gandakee River, in Muktinaath, in Nepal.
--There are many kinds of symbols on Shaalgraam, but a Chakra (discus) is most common. It is found not only outside of the stone but also inside of the stone.
--These symbols are carved by a worm called Vajrakeet living in that river. Thus the nails and teeth of thhis worm are harder than the granite stone. Puraan declare that Vishnu Himself makes these symbols in form of worms. And since he does all that Himself, that is the stone does not any consecration.
--More Chakra does not increase the importance of any stone. many are as good as one Chakra.
--One can worship any size
--There is no limitation to worship the stone daily, but one must not be lazy to worship Him, so it is better at least to pay obeisance to him daily.
--According to Shaastra and Puraan, even broken etc stones can also be worshipped.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 04/10/13