How to select auspicious Shaligrams for Worship.
Ammonite Fossils are found all over the world but only those from the River Kali Gandaki (Gandaki Region of Nepal-Mukti Kshetra/damodar Kunda) are worshipped as shaligrama which are considered as symbol of Maha Vishnu. The epic Mahabharata has praised River Kali Gandaki. Puranas, Gautamiya Tantra and other scriptures state that the worshipable stones are only found in the Gandaki River in Nepal.
In Brahma-vaivarta Purana Lord Maha Vishnu States - " I will become a stone and will always live on the banks of the Gandaki River. The millions of worms who live in that place will adorn those stones with the sign of my cakra "
The Gautamiya Tantra states that the worshipable stones known as shaligrama shilas are only found in the Gandaki River in Nepal. Brahma tells Narada that on auspicious moments Shaligrama Shilas are formed in the holy river Gandaki.
Shaligram shilas from Gandaki river at Mukti Kshetra are mostly black, blue black and may have some white marking on them with very good noticeable feature that are pleasing in appearance. It is very rare to find white, blue, green shilas of Mukti Kshetra.
Since hydroelectricity project has been started in Kali Gandaki and certain parts of the river have been made restricted also due to Maoists interference obtaining good Shaligrams from Kali Gahdaki river has become very difficult. So due to the increase in demand ammonites fossils from River Triveni which is located in India Nepal border as well as other places are passed on as Shaligrams. Like all ammonites they also have chakra marking and some features that are similar to Shaligram, but they are not pleasing in appearance, have multiple/many charkas, holes that face each other and uneven chakras. Most of the Triveni shilas are blackish brown and may have orange colour on them. Even brown, yellow, reddishbrown, honey colour, orange, grey, White, cream,green, blue and multicolored shilas are easily available.
Shaligram shilas of Gandaki river are unique, they are more heavier and stronger then shilas from river Triveni. The types of shilas found in river Triveni are not found in the Gandaki river and vice versa. Shilas like Lakshmi Shila, sudarshana shilas, narayana shilas that are there in my web site are exclusively found in Gandaki region only. They are never available in River Triveni. For example lets compare the Lakshmi Narasimha of gandaki region which is very rare and the most commonly available Triveni Lakshmi Narsimha shila.
Fake Shaligrams are stones carved and polished using machine tools to look like shaligrama, see sample on the right, more Triveni and fake shaligrams »
According to the Skanda Purana, worshiping a smooth shila brings mantra-siddhi. Black shilas bestow fame, yellow shilas give sons, whitish shilas destroy one's sins, blue shilas increase wealth, and blood-red shilas bring diseases. Rough shilas create anxiety, uneven shilas give poverty, and fat shilas decrease one's life span. Shilas devoid of markings yield no results. If one mistakenly adores a shilas with the following qualities he will certainly get suffering: tawny coloured, uneven, broken, with one cakra, too many cakras, large cakras, a circled cakra, a broken cakra, a cakra attached to another, with a large mouth, or with the mouth turned down.
The Agni Purana mentions several types of shilas whose worship brings unhappiness and never happiness. These include a shila with a mouth like that of a snake, a broken shila, one with cakras facing each other, with a circled cakra, a shila with a producting navel, a tawny-coloured shila known as Narasimha, a shila with many lines inside the circle, and a shila unidentifiable due to its confusing markings.
Generally the best shaligrama shila is the smooth blackish one, Red & grey shilas are the worst.
Re - Published -
With kind permission of Shri.C.Samarth all Text and Pictures.