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Identification of Shaligram

However, the stone having an opening in the one-third part is to be rejected. (However, Brahmanda-purana has a different prescription: There are different effects in terms of locations of operators. If the aperture is downward, it is terrible; the aperture on top will be useful only in magical rites of driving away the enemy; The apertures being even are especially meritorious, while the aperture on the sides will take away fortune. If the aperture is crooked, it causes disease; if long-mouthed it devours everything (viz. Makes one impoverished). One should carefully examine the stone before ascertaining the deity-specification.
   The names of the ten incarnatory forms of Vishnu:
The forms of Vishnu are: Matsya, Kurma, Narasimha, Rama (son of Jamadagni; viz. Parasu-rama), Rama (viz. Bala-rama), Rama (son of Dasaratha), Buddha and Kalki.
   The characteristics of the salagrama-stones, which are deity specific: The Matsya-murti-salagrama has the form like the head of the fish; a chakra is seen on the face; there are also marks of sri-vatsa, dots and scratches resembling vanamala (garland of wild-flowers). The Maha-kurma-murti-salagrama is round, shaped like a tortoise, and has marks of vanamala, lotus and discus; its colour is green (viz. Of tree Butea ftrondosa); and it has golden spots. The Varaha-murti-salagrama is long-mouthed, is blue-black in colour, has an encircling mark of earth, and is distinguished by a shining chakra at the opening.
   The Buddha-murti-salagrama has two apertures, and two chakras in the interior. The chakras are upward-inclined at the head, or they are at the sides. The stone may be multi-coloured. The Narasimha-salagrama has an elongated mouth, tawny-hued, a longish chakra and a big belly (viz. Middle portion). This stone is suitable for worship by ascetics.
   The Lakshmi-Narasimha-salagrama has a chakra on its left side, is black in colour and has spots (viz. Dots). Its worship makes for worldly prosperity as well as emancipation. The Vamana-murti-salagrama is shining blue in hue; it is small in size and perfectly round in shape; it has marks of vana-mala and lotus. The Parasu-rama-murti-salagrama is distinguished by the line-scratches resembling an axe; it is dark blue-green like the blade of the durva-grass; it is high in stature and is adorned with a chakra at its navel.
   The Sri-rama-murti-salagrama is large, elongated and has spots on its body; there are also line-markings resembling bow and arrow; there is a chakra at the navel, and dark stone has many fissures. The Bala-rama-murti-salagrama has marks of the plough-share, and of the pestle-like weapon on it; it is whitish in colour, and has line-scratches of vana-mala; there are also dots like honey drops. This is the abode of Samkarshana. The Srighana-murti-salagrama is white in colour and exceedingly smooth to touch. It has a thousand (viz. Many) spots on the surface, and also a chakra. The Kalki-murti-salagrama is recognized by the line-markings resembling a horse, and the weapon called Kunta (lance). It is white in colour, and has a long mouth. The Sri-krishna-murti-salagrama has markings of the five weapons (conch called Panchajanya, discus called Sudarsana, mace called Kaumodaki, bow called Sarnga, and sword called Nandaka), vana-mala and lotus; is has a minute chakra. The Sri-gopala-murti-salagrama has the markings of the five holy weapons (mentioned above); it has no apertures; it is either round in shape or elongated; a vana-mala mark is seen on it. This salagrama can have identification marks of a single deity or of a combination. It may be longish in shape, and is characterized by a big belly (viz. Middle portion being big); it has scratches resembling flute-openings.
   The Dadhi-vamana-murti-salagrama has a downward chakra at the top which are spots like honey drops, the stone has a bluish tinge as well as reddish hue. The Dadhi-gopala-vamana-salagrama has a chakra on top, with spots like honey-drops at its upper end. The Santana-gopala-murti-salagrama has marks of cudgel and horn (which cowherds carry) on its sides, and at the head position can be seen the mark of a flute. The worship of this stone ensures progeny. This stone is blue in colour and elongated in shape; it has an aperture which resembles the elephant-goad, a chakra. The Pradyumna-murti-salagrama is of the colour of a hibiscus flower (viz. Red) and is marked by lines and scratches resembling vana-mala, bow, arrow and lotus. Its worship bestows whatever one longs for. The Aniruddha-murti-salagrama has the same characteristics as the above (viz. Pradyumna murti), but is recognized be an aperture with a minute chakra, and by marks of golden and silver lines.
   The Hayagriva-murti-salagrama has the form of a ripe jambu-fruit (rose apple, Eugenia Jambolana), with a face in the shape of an elephant god; it has also longish spots on its body. The Sridhari-murti-salagrama shines like fresh green grass, has uneven chakras and there are marks on it resembling vana-mala. The Lakshmi-narayana-murti-salagrama has a low or depressed look, and is perfectly round, and cold to touch; it has a chakra on its head; there are two apertures and there are four chakras either to the left or to the right. The Padmanabha-murti-salagrama has a lotus-like chakra at its navel, and is of the colour of a rose apple (Eugenia Jambolana). The Govinda-murti-salagrama is dark blue like the blade of a fresh durva grass; it has ten apertures and twenty chakras; and there are scratches on its body which look like vana-mala. The worship of this stone secures the fulfillment of all desires. The Visvarupa-murti-salagrama is known by its twelve apertures and twenty four chakras. Its worship will bring about worldly prosperity as well as final beatitude.
   The Ananta-murti-salagrama is always cold to touch, but shines like a blaze of fire; it has an even number of minute chakras, with marks of the classical five weapons of Vishnu (conch, discus, mace, bow and sword), and also of Sri-vatsa-mark on the chest. The Lakshmi-narayana-murti-salagrama is hard to obtain, and its worship quickly fulfills ones desires. At the entrance to the aperture are lines which resemble the flying bird Garuda (the vehicle of Vishnu). The Narayana-murti-salagrama is recognized by the shape of the serpent’s hood that seems to surround it. Its worship secures the fulfillment of whatever one seeks for. The Damodara-murti-salagrama is longish in shape, and brilliant in appearance; there are marks on its body of conch, discus, mace and vana-mala. The Trivikrama-murti-salagrama is longish in shape, and brilliant in appearance; there are marks on its body of conch, discus, mace and vanamala. The Janardana-murti-salagrama is characterized by its blue colour and marks of conch, discus and lotus; it is cold like ice; and has a shape like a spear. The Vasudeva-murti-salagrama has the appearance of tranquillity, and shines like moon-light; it bears the marks of the five weapons of Vishnu (conch, discus, mace, bow and sword), and has a chakra at its navel. The Vishnu-murti-salagrama has the dark colour of the Vishnu-kranta flower (Clitoria Ternatea or Evolvulus Alsinoides), the marks of the five weapons of Vishnu (mentioned above), and also of vanamala and lotus.
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