Posted by : Unknown Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We have all heard about the conical stone Lingam for Lord Shiva (well hopefully you have), but what about a stone for Shri Vishnu? Is there a stone that represents and symbolizes Narayana?

Yes, yes there is! 

The Shaligram Shila (Shaligram being one of the 108 names of Vishnu, and shila simply means stone) is a dark rock that can be found lingering along the banks of the Gandaki river in Nepal.

Its a holy fossil that has natural imprints of Vishnu's symbols, such as a conch shell or His loyal snake Anatana. Sometimes there are even forms of Narasimha and Varaha (the earlier Divine incarnations of Vishnu) on the shila.

These divine black rocks are used to worship Vishnu but the best part is that they are natural and not handcrafted! And according to the puranas they are not only symbols of God, but rather manifestations of God Himself.

The Lord resides in many places in which he may be worshipped, but of all the places Salagrama is the best - from the Garuda Purana

Any person who has seen Salagram Shila, paid obeisances to Him, bathed and worshipped Him, has achieved the results of performing ten million sacrifices and giving ten million cows in charity- from the Skanda Purana

Many devotees who are lucky enough to have worshiped this sacred form of Vishnu, usually pray with Tulsi leaves, which are known to be His favourite. And although Vishnu can be worshiped through many symbols and statues, it is important to always keep in mind that Brahman (God) is not bound to any form. He is Formless and infinite. However because we are humans, having a stone or statue for worshiping just makes it a lot easier for us.

So what is the history behind the Shaligram Shila?

 Once there was a very devoteed sage who went by the name of Shalankayana. He would often pray near the Gandaki river with bhakti flowing through his heart and soul. As a result, Vishnu was very pleased. In fact he was so pleased that he decided to directly visit the sage down on Earth.

The sage was filled with joy and ecstasy as God appeared before him. All his years of prayers and offerings were fulfilled as he got a glipse of God. But Vishnu was far more pleased than the sage could imagine. Vishnu decided to grant all wishes and stay on Earth for him, and he he decided to stay in form of a mountain area! A mountain right by the Gandaki right. Thus the stones from this area are manifestations of Vishnu Himself!

For this reason the Shaligram shilas which are the rare rocks amidst all the other rocks around Gandaki river, are worshiped as Vishnu and are highly potent.
So by this time, you probably want a Shaligram shila for yourself to worship and cherish. So how can you get one?

Well you can't.

The Shaligram Shila is not meant to be sold or bought. Never have been, never will be! Which makes perfect sense, because there is no physical matter that even measure up to the infinite value and power of Shri Vishnu, the Supreme Soul. However the stone is usually passed down from generation to generation within family linages or temples. This helps us to maintain bhakti and keep the Hindu tradition alive!

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  1. Nice and Very Informative Post it is… I Like this Post…. Thanks for Sharing this Post with us….

    Shaligram Shilas

    1. Thank you for visiting us and reading our articles patiently.... We are glad to share this type of information to all our esteemed visitors.


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