In the book, “Inhabitants of Bharata Varsha”, Sri G. Obert has mentioned about Saligrama as,
“As this stone possesses besides considerable magnetic force, one need not be surprised that divine or supernatural powers are ascribed to it, and that it is regarded as manifestation of the deity.”
Let us look at the naturally formed sacred stones which are beyond description.
The History of Saligrama’s
Until the period where Nepal was ruled by the King, all the Saligrama’s belonged to the Palace only. If any Brahmin wished to take Saligramas, they would get the same from Kandaki River(Gandagi River). There is a beautiful and informative note from an Englishman, Hutson, about what he has witnessed about Saligrama. The Saligrama’s are considered sacred as Lord Vishnu is manifested in it. A rare and divine Saligrama floats in the water. In fact, some of Saligrama’s also swim in the water. Such type of Saligrama’s are very rare to find. It is also considered that a person who possesses such type of rare Saligrama are considered to be of good soul from the past births. We will also come across Saligrama’s which are filled with water. These type of Saligrama’s will be of deep black in colour and have more shine. These will be cool when handled. These are divine and priceless. The houses and Temple where such Saligrama are housed is considered to be Divine. It is a belief that Kandaki Devatha is residing in these Saligrama. VajraKeedam is also residing in it. Such Saligrama is also called as “Jalaja”. Most of the Saligrama we worship have inscriptions and forms of Lord Vishnu. These are called as Sthalaja. The Sathalaja Saligramas are classified into two:
•Mattha – Where the Saligrams is condensed, hard, and is little low in polish. The Saligrama looks green in colour and will have Lakshana (Divine Forms).
•Kesara – The Kesara is clustered with many formations of thread like carvings and is less in weight. The Kesara will literally float in water and is highly adorable. Superior Saligrama, which are more pure and divine, if kept in rice bowl or milk for certain period, will gain weight.
An Act of Love
Bhagavan Sriman Narayanan with great benevolence and kind heart, has taken the simplest form inside Salagrama. He has made the Salagrama as his place of abode, to bless those who do not possess knowledge.
The beauty in worshipping a Salagrama is there is no need for high expenses or a wide space for worshipping Salagrama. Little water with lots of love is enough for Thirumanjanam. One should not worship with 2 Salagrama’s. 1, 3 or more than that is allowed. A home which is housed with 12 or more Salagrama’s is equivalent to a Divyadesam. Salagrama’s are significant and important in Swayam Vyakta Khestras (DivyaDesams which are formed of its own). These Salagrama’s in fact sustain the divinity of the Temple in those Kshetras. Even if the Divya Mangala (Idol) worship got any stoppages, it won’t harm, due to the presence of these Salagrama’s. Hence, we should have at least one Salagrama’s in all the Vishnu temple.
The Different Kinds of Salagrama’s
A Salagrama which is as small as an amla fruit is considered to be precious. It is also easy to perform pooja and worship.
We get 3 kinds of Salagrama’s:
•Hiranya Grabha Salagrama – The Hiranya Grabha Salagrama’s do not have any inscriptions or sculptures on them. Coloured in black, these Salagrama’s look like pebbles and are glossy in nature. Though these type of Salagrama’s can be worshiped, they are not considered to be much precious.
•The Half Split Chakra Salagrama – The Salagrama’s which are seen as split into two halves and inscribed with Chakra symbol.
•Precious Salagramas – Salagrama which are seen with holes and also formed in the shapes of weapons of Lord Vishnu. These are precious to be worship. Some of the Salagrama’s are available in different colours too. It is advisable not to have Salagrama’s which have more holes, pores and also which have a wider hole. As per Dharmic sastras, we should not purchase Salagrama against money. It is even considered that donating a Salagrama is equal to donating a land.
Laskhanas (Forms of Salagrama’s)
Let us also explore some of the Laskhanas, i.e., the different forms of Salagrama’s:
•Vasudevan Salagrama – The Vasudevan Salagrama is a rich blackish in colour Salagrama, which has two chakars inscriptions in the open.
•Sankarshanan Salagrama – The red coloured, Sankarshanan Salagrama, will have two chakras inscriptions in the open.
•Pradhyumnan Salagrama – The blue coloured, Pradhyumnan Salagrama has more pores/holes on its body and has minute or delicate inscriptions of the Chakra. It is not to be bothered on the greater number of holes present for this form of Salagrama.
•Anirudhan Salagrama – The yellow coloured, Anirudhan Salagrama has Padhma (Lotus) inscriptions.
•Narayanan Salagrama – The round shaped and black in colour, Narayanan Salagrama will have a big and wide opening.
•Pramesti Salagrama – The Pramesti Salagrama will have lotus, chakra inscriptions along with one Bindhu (Dots). This has one hole on the backside.
•Vishnu Salagrama – The Vishnu Salagrama will have big Chakra and linings (Rekhas) in the middle.
•Narasimha Salagrama – As described in Agni Purana, the black coloured, Narasimha Salagrama will have bigger Chakra inscriptions, along with five Bindhus (Dots). Also, Garuda Purana describes that Narasimha Salagrama will be in golden colour or Kapila colour and centre part in elevated manner with three to five Bindhus.
•Varaha Salagrama – According to the Agni Purana, the triangular shaped Varaha Salagrama will have two rings on the left side and has two uneven chakras. The Salagrama will have long facet, ringed with flowers and will have Chakra inscriptions in the hole.