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About Shaligram

    According to the religious text of Devi Bhagwate (and other scriptures) to kill demonJalandhar Lord Vishnu have to destroy Sati Brindha's sati dharma. When he did that Sati Brindha gave four seeming desecrations to Lord Vishnu to become stone, grass, tree, plant. To wash away this reaction Lord Vishnu took four avatars (incarnations). He became stone (Sri Saligram) grass (Kush) tree (Pipal) and plant (Tulsi). from this time onwardse the Saligrams are considered to be most auspicious to behold and to worship. As per Skanda Purana there can never be a price put on any Shaligram as there is not enough gold, jewels or any precious thing exist in the world to equal even a single Shaligram. We accept a small donation to cover the cost of the wages, lodging, boarding and potter / transportation charges paid to the poor villagers who collect and bring them to us. These villagers risk their life in search of rare Shaligrams under very difficult and trying climatic conditions that exist in and around Kali Gandaki river at Muktinath (Himalayas Nepal) to bring these auspicious Shaligrams to all of us.
    As per Skanda Purana, Padma Purana and other epics, the worshipper of Shree Shaligram knows nofear and is blessed to attain all desirable things, worldly comforts, good wife, good sons, good health, immense wealth, peaceful environment prevails in his surroundings and he gets immense protection against all evil forces. His all anxieties, mental tension goes off and all ambitions are fulfilled Even the water that has just touched the Shaligram Shila becomes “Amrit” and by drinking it "man" is relived of all diseases. Worshipping of Shaligram helps in meditation and attainment of spiritual liberation.
    The Shaligrams are specifically described as fossil-stones which have taken shape in the Gandaki-river, and as characterized by the presence of discus marks . The legend, related at length tells us that Gandaki, the lady-devotee, performed penances for longyears, and that she got a boon from Vishnu, which made Vishnu reside in her womb (in her depths) as her own offspring; the Shaligram-stones are thus the forms of Vishnu. Like the worship of Siva in the form of a lingam, the worship of Vishnu in the shape of a Shaligram is an iconic in character. Shaligrams are always naturally found in the river Gandaki. The region where Shaligrams are found is also called Shalgrams. The Shaligrams region is in Mustang and River Gandaki basin. These also include the famous Kali-Gandaki river, Muktinath, Damodar Himal, Damodar Kunda, Devghat, etc.
    Besides the accounts found in several puranas (like Brahma-vaivarta, Agni, Padma, Garuda, Nrsimha, Skanda, Brahma and Brahmanda) there are works like Shalagram-mahatmya included in Gautamiya-tantra, Shalagram-pariksha in Magh-mahatmya section of the Padma purana, Puja-prayog, Haribhaktivilas of Gopal Bhatta, Shalagramarchana-chandrika, Puja-pankaja-bhaskara, Shalagram-mimamsa of Somanatha-vyasa, Shalagram-lakshana-panjika, Shalagram-parikshaa of Anup-simha, Shalagram-mula-lakshana-paddhati, Shalagram-sila-parikshana-paddhati and an entire section in the Vaishnavaidhi chapter of Sri-tattva-nidhi of Maharaj Krishnaraj Wodeyar III of Mysore.
     Most puranas advocates that the worship of Salagramas as capable of producing material benefits like wealth, progeny, success, long life, cattle, celebrity, health and so on (“aputro labhate putram salagrama-pujanat”). This makes the worship a “kamya” ones; optional, or conditional to the desires and expectations one has. One who has no desires then need not worship.
   Skanda-purana tells us that a smooth and shining salagrama is to be worshipped by one who wishes to accomplish a mantra (mantra-siddhi), a black one by one who wants celebrity (yasas), a pale coloured stone by one who desires freedom from sins (papa-hara), a yellow stone by one who desires progeny (santana), and a stone which is blue in colour by one who aspires for worldly prosperity (abhyudaya).Narasimha-purana indicates that a stone shaped like an umbrella will, when worshipped, cause sovereignty, a circular stone will bring great wealth. 
     The spots where salagrama-stones are found within the Nepal territory. Actually there are four spots in the river within Nepal jurisdiction, where the sacred stones are picked up. Until recent times, the spots were leased out to private enterprises, and the palace of the Maharaja reserved the right to appropriate what it considered as the most precious and valuable stones; other stones were given over to the lease-holders. While the texts prohibit the sale of these stones, they were indeed sold for extraordinarily high amounts, some of the stones costing more than five lakhs of Nepali Rupees.
    Because of great demand for these sacred stones, and high prices they fetch, there has been a steady practice of making fake salagramas. Many monadic mendicants (bairagis - vairaghis) pick up round black pebbles, which are found in many rivers, but which do not contain the chakra-emblems, and make them in imitation holes (vadana), and tracing artificial chakra-marks in slate stone, they paste them up on these pebbles. This deceit is so skillfully perpetrated that it would be impossible to recognize the fake-salagrama straight away. Over years, however, the daily washing of these pebbles will wear away the tracery, when the deceit is detected.

The salagrama-stones are classified into three groups:
i) jalaja (water-born) The stones of this group, owing to their contact with water and mountain, will be very smooth, and possess lustre. They are regarded as of superior merit.
ii) Sthalaja (land-born) The stones of this group are in contact with only mountain, and therefore are rough, and lack lustre. They are of average merit.
iii) Matha (cell-born) These stones are fossilized ammonites which are said to be ‘eaten out by insects’, (kitaka). These are of inferior value.
They are gain in two subgroups:
a) matha-proper, when the stones are eaten out hastily by insects, and without relish; these stones said to be devoid of juices. The Salagramas of this type have chakras, which are very rough.
b) kesara, when stones are eaten out gently and slowly by the insects, which also enjoy the juices which are present in the stone. The chakras which are produced by the insects will be distinguished by numerous filaments (kesara).
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