(picture Copyright ©2005 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
International, on the web at http://www.krishna.com. Used with permission.)
Articles Regarding this form of Deity Worship
...last update and latest addition 7th October 2016


Articles Regarding this form of Deity Worship
Articles by Acharyas - Shastra - Shastrakaras
NEW entries - items - articles
Articles on How to see the Deity Pilgrimage Tours to the Kali Gandaki
Calendar - Panjika - Almanac 
Planning a pilgrimage? Useful Info'
Collecting - Who's collecting who? Prasadams - Remnants - Charanamrita - Tirtha
Famous Shilas Puja - Pooja - Aradhanam - Seva
Puja Paraphernalia
HELP  - taking photos etc
SEARCH 4 Devotees
How many is too many - how many to have? Upacharas - 1 - 5 - 10 - 12 - 16 - 64
INFO - FAQ - Q&A
Suggestions
Kinds of Pooja
Kinds of Shilas - Salagram - Saligram
- Govardhan
- Dwarka
- Tadiya
Tulasi Devi - Story of Tulasi 
- Appearance of Salagram
- Tulasi - Salagram Vivaha
- Tulasi Handbook
Who's a Vaishnava?

What kinds of Vaishnavas are there?
Vaishnava Diksha
Temple Goers Guide
Manasa puja - intensified puja Who Can Worship the Salagram????
Where to purchase quality Puja Paraphernalia on-line?
 

Now you can purchase many nice quality puja paraphernalias,
South Indian Dhoti/vesti, altars, all kinds of puja items.
Contact Krishnachandra dasan <yajur_veda_australasia@yahoo.com.au>

Yajurveda Australia Ashram shop - online shopping
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.107831282564692.14858.100000134617332

Visit their shop
http://www.yajurvedaustralasia.org

Visit him on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/YajurVedaAustralasia#!/YajurVedaAustralasia?v=info

































Also visit our Glossary page
 

Acharyas - Shastra - Shastrakaras

Srila Sac-cid Ananda Bhaktivinod Thakur - Sri Murti Worship vs. Idolatry - 3rd Feb 2002
Srila Sac-cid Ananda Bhaktivinod Thakur - Establishing God's Eternal Form by Bhaktivinoda Thakura - 13th Sept 2007

"When seeing a Srimurti, do not even see the image itself, but see the spiritual model of the image and you are a pure theist. Idolatry and Srimurti worship are two different things!" Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura

    other writings of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur - Mayic World 1896. - Reason & Love - Non-Sectarian Vaishnava-Dharma and more

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupad - Idolatry vs worship of Sri Murti explained
 

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Eyes to see God
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Must maintain our love for Krishna........
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - We should be very much careful to see Krishna...........
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Some facts about brahminical initiation and Deity worship
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - ...talks on developing deep attachment for the Deity
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Every citation from Prabhupada's books on Salagrams
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - God must be a Person, and we must serve Him
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Deity Worship -- Not Idol Worship

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Whose service is the best? (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal)
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - The importance of Deity worship
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - "A Most Moving 'Statue'"

Sri Padma Nabha Gosai's wonderful book on Shalagram Shilas:
Salagram sila book - by Padma Nabha Goswami - purchase on-line

Identifying Shaligrams (23rd December 2013)
Different forms of Lord and identification (23rd December 2013) 
Deity Dressing by Jayananda dasa of North American Deity Worship Ministry
Saligrama Mahimai - Sacred Facts about Saligrama by Ven. Murali Battar - 28th Nov 2012

The Worship of Sri-Murti and Idolatry - by Haridasa Babaji Maharaja - 21st Feb 2011
Krishna Deities and Their Miracles - How the Images of Lord Krishna Interact with Their Devotees
By Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa ACBSP) - 20th Oct 2011

What Is The Essence Of Deity Worship? - Pankajanghri prabhu ACBSP - 3rd July 2011
Lord Kåñëa’s Instructions on the Process of Deity Worship - 27 Nov 2001
Garuda Purana Ch 45 - Characterisitcs of Salagram - 21st Feb 2002
Lord Chaitanya eats the brahmin's offerings.......
Shakshi Gopal story:
Sripada Gopal Bhatta Goswami's Sri Sri Radha Raman Shaligram:
Salagram kosha - Chapter 4 - Details of Shaalagraama - page 107 - 136 - 23rd Feb 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 5 - Identification of Shalagramas pages 137 - 174 - 2nd March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 1 - What are Salagrams page 1 - 26 - 8th March
Salagram kosha chapter 2 - Legends About Salagrama - pages 27 - 42 - 22nd May 2003

Salagram kosha - Chapter Three -  Bana-lingas from the Narmada river - Page 119-141. - 2nd June 2002
Shree Vishotara Purane Shree Saligram Sila-stotram - 19th Feb 2005
Shaligram mahima - 19th Feb 2005
Sri Tattwa Nidhi kosha - Identification of Salagramas - 5th January 2005
Mathematical Proof for God's existence  - 28th October 2002
"The Divine Form" by Sripad Sadagopan Iyengar of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya: - 26th Jan 2003
Vigrahas - from the Puranic Encyclopedia CDRom - 5th February 2003
Archanam - the Science of Deity Worship: 10th February 2003
When Invaders Destroy the Deity - 1st November 2003
Archanam - the Science of Deity Worship: - 10th February 2003
Whose service is the best? (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal) 27th June 2003
Kinds of Deities and Kinds of Deity Worship - 28th November 2011

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada and Raganuga Bhakti  (22nd Dec 2003)

Archana Paddhati - What Srila Prabhupada wanted in Iskcon's Arcana Paddhati - Gaura Keshava dasa

Salagram Sila Puja by Gaura Keshava dasa
HG Jananivas prabhu speaks about deity worship
Iskcon's Official Deity worship site:

Understanding "Thine-ness" and "mine-ness" by Suhotra swami

Srivaishnava perspective on Salagrams
Traditional Shaligramas – Sight to behold   (23rd December 2013)
Rare Shaligramas  (23rd December 2013)
Carvings on Shaligrams - some amazing things here ..........(23rd December 2013)

Hindupad - Significane of Idol Worship (Vigraharadhana) - Any Form of God fit for worship, Puja.

Identifying Offences and Overcoming Them

The Natural History Museum page on the Folklaw of Fossils worldwide
Similar looking fossils   (23rd December 2013)
Restrictions and availability   (23rd December 2013)
Shaligrama vs Sudarshana and fakes  (23rd December 2013)


 
 


How to see the Deity

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Eyes to see God
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - We should be very much careful to see Krishna....
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - ...talks on developing deep attachment for the Deity
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - God must be a Person, and we must serve Him
...more on how to see God - discussion with HDG Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad

The omnipresence of God - even in stone:
The Potency of the Deity
Show Me God !!! - by Subala dasa - March 2002
Seeing God in Stone by Parama Seva dasa:
Why do you worship idols?
Worshipping God - Salagrama-sila by Swami B.G. Narasingha
(Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Gaudiya Math - Mysore)
Swami B. G. Narasingha - http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/nmj_articles/salagrama-sila/salagrama.html

The Worship of Sri-Murti and Idolatry - by Haridasa Babaji Maharaja - 21st Feb 2011
Self Manifest Deities - by Swami B. G. Narasingha - 21st Feb 2011

Interesting Q & A regarding Silas with Tripurari swami
The Kaaba - Black stone of Islam (Deity worship and Iconoclasm in Islam) - 16th Feb 2002
Ammonites in Paleontology - Shalagrams intrinicly different from fossils:  - 3Nov 2001
Not A Fossil: How About Lucky Stone? ny Brahma dasa VNN  - 30th April 2002
Similar looking fossils   (23rd December 2013)

Moqui stones for Shamans - Shalagrams for Brahmanas - 8th May 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 4 - Details of Shaalagraama - page 107 - 136   - 23rd Feb 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 5 - Identification of Shalagramas pages 137 - 174 - 2nd March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 1 - What are Salagrams page 1 - 26 - 8th March
Worshipping False Idols - Different perspectives on the meaning of...... - 8th March 2002
Salagram kosha chapter 2 - Legends About Salagrama - pages 27 - 42  22nd May 2003
Sri Tattwa Nidhi kosha - Identification of Salagramas - 5th January 2005
The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002
Salagram kosha Vol 2 - Chapter Three -  Bana-lingas from the Narmada river - Page 119-141. - 2nd June 2002

A Saga in Stone - by Sadagopan Swami of the Sri Sampradaya - 29th July 2002

Q & A Deity Worship from Iskcon devotees in Sweden:
Mathematical Proof for God's existence  - 28th October 2002
"The Divine Form" by Sripad Sadagopan Iyengar of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya:- 26th Jan 2003
Vigrahas - from the Puranic Encyclopedia CDRom - 5th February 2003
Archanam - the Science of Deity Worship: - 10th February 2003
Whose service is the best? (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal)  27th June 2003

Spirit From Stone--The Story of the Krishna-Balarama Deities of Vrndavana

The Natural History Museum page on the Folklaw of Fossils worldwide

Goloka Nitya Lila: Avatari & Avatara by Hrishikeshananda dasa - November 2006

Duplicitous Worship

Deity Dressing Seminar @ Sridham Mayapur during the Gaura Purnima Festival 2007
Aindra Prabhu - deity dressing seminar 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVdVBe6rL8M&feature=relmfu

Aindra prabhu - deity dressing seminar 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMBw73slxSs&feature=relmfu

Aindra prabhu - deity dressing seminar 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8g_ku2XTbM&feature=relmfu

Aindra prabhu - deity dressing seminar 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF6qRsoq0bQ&feature=relmfu

Aindra Prabhu - deity dressing seminar 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4u3_a3VJmA&feature=relmfu

Aindra prabhu - deity dressing seminar 8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4rY4HUSpcE&feature=relmfu

Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami speaks about Deity worship and Vedic Culture in ISKCON Boston Temple. August 9, 2008

Deity Worship Seminar by Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami - Part 1 of 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ1pqBmYkIs&feature=related

Deity Worship Seminar by Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami. Part 2 of 4.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKMeHj9LP0w&feature=relmfu

Deity Worship Seminar - 08/09/2008 - Part 3 of 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-KF_wW2ktU&feature=relmfu

Deity Worship Seminar - 08/09/2008 - Part 4 of 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUp11PBR4pI&feature=relmfu

Pankajangri Prabhu - Deity Worship and Stories
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY3jFpYSrkU&feature=related


 
 

Who Can Worship The Shila Form of the Lord?
Pre-requisit to beginning the puja
Who can worship the Shalagram Shila??? - 17th Dec 2001
Shakshi Gopal story:
Lord Chaitanya eats the brahmin's offerings.......

Brahamana - Brahmin - Vaishnava Brahmin - Samashrayanam - Panch samskara
Gotras - great family traditions coming down through the ages

Agamas of South Indian Vaishnavism and Vaikhanasa - Smarta
The Lineage & Nature of Brahmanas

Different kinds of Vaishnava(s)
Worshipping False Idols - Different perspectives on the meaning of...... - 8th March 2002
The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002

A Saga in Stone - by Sadagopan Swami of the Sri Sampradaya - 29th July 2002
Nitya Kriya - the daily activities of the Vaishnava - 21st Dec 2002
Temple Goer's Guide - 21st Dec 2002
Initiation  - Panch samskaras - samashrayanam - 21st Dec 2002
The Four Regulative Principles of Freedom - 10th February 2003
Whose service is the best? (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal) 27th June 2003

Asaucham - Ritual impurity - at time of death, birth, menstration - see information here
Restrictions and availability   (23rd December 2013)


 
 
 

Kinds of Shilas
Salagram - Shalagram or Shaligram?

The Story of Shaligram Shilas:
Nectar about Shaligrams from Hari Bhakti Vilas - Dik-darshini-tika:
Different Kinds of Shaligrams - from Vaishnavism Through the ages:
Details from Salagram kosha - dictionary of Salagrams ( ch 4 pages -107 - 136)
Salagram kosha - Chapter 5 - Identification of Shalagramas pages 137 - 174 - 2nd March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 1 - What are Salagrams page 1 - 26 - 8th March
Garuda Purana Ch 45 - Characterisitcs of Salagram - 21st Feb 2002
Shree Vishotara Purane Shree Saligram Sila-stotram - 19th Feb 2005
Shaligram mahima - 19th Feb 2005
Sri Tattwa Nidhi kosha - Identification of Salagramas - 5th January 2005
Ammonites in Paleontology - Shalagrams intrinicly different from fossils:  - 3Nov 2001
Not A Fossil: How About Lucky Stone? ny Brahma dasa VNN  - 30th April 2002
Who Should I Worship - Render Service to??? - The Answer Is HERE !!!  -  20 Dec 2001
Moqui stones for Shamans - Shalagrams for Brahmanas - 8th May 2002

Interesting Q & A regarding Silas with Tripurari swami
Govardhan shilas
Dwarka shilas
Tadiya shilas and Tadiya general
Pushpa samadhis - by JTCd - 23rd March 2002

Other kinds of shilas (Narmada, Gomati, Lingas etc)
Salagram kosha  Vol 2 - Chapter Three -  Bana-lingas from the Narmada river - Page 119-141.- 2nd June 2002

The Sri Vaishnava Perspective on Salagram shilas:
Srivaishnava perspective on Salagrams http://www.sadagopan.org/

Early History of The Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal - excerpt from HBV - 25th Jan 2002

The Hindu perspective on Shalagram shilas - 25th Jan 2002.
Worshipping False Idols - Different perspectives on the meaning of......- 8th March 2002
The Kaaba - Black stone of Islam (Deity worship and Iconoclasm in Islam) - 16th Feb 2002
Ammonites in Paleontology - Shalagrams intrinicly different from fossils: - 3Nov 2001
Pet Rocks - the perverted reflection of Shaligram seva puja - 12th April 2002
Not A Fossil: How About Lucky Stone? ny Brahma dasa VNN - 30th April 2002
Moqui stones for Shamans - Shalagrams for Brahmanas - 8th May 2002
The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002

Fake Silas - Triveni Silas flooding the market place in Katmandu - How To Tell- October 2005


 
 

How Many to Worship
How Many Shalagrams to Worship?
How many Silas do you have? - article by Parama Seva dasa - 20th Nov 2001

More information regarding Shaligrams - Questions and Answers too:
Meditation and Austerity in Deity Worship:- 27 Nov 2001
Lord Kåñëa’s Instructions on the Process of Deity Worship - 27 Nov 2001
Salagram kosha - Chapter 4 - Details of Shaalagraama - page 107 - 136 - 23rd Feb 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 5 - Identification of Shalagramas pages 137 - 174 - 2nd March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 1 - What are Salagrams page 1 - 26 - 8th March

The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002
 


 

Sizes of Shilas and the expected result
Salagram kosha - Chapter 4 - Details of Shaalagraama - page 107 - 136 - 23rd Feb 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 5 - Identification of Shalagramas pages 137 - 174 - 2nd March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 1 - What are Salagrams page 1 - 26 - 8th March
Salagram kosha chapter 2 - Legends About Salagrama - pages 27 - 42  22nd May 2003

The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002
Sri Tattwa Nidhi kosha - Identification of Salagramas - 5th January 2005
 


 
 

Kinds of Puja:
Japanga
One Example of Deity Worship According to Japangam Vidhi - Deity Worship in a temple:
Q & A Deity Worship from Iskcon devotees in Sweden:
Salagram Sila Puja by Gaura Keshava dasa

Bhaktyanga
Bhaktyanga seva pujan - Personal seva of receiving and serving the Deity as a guest:

Manasa

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada and Raganuga Bhakti  (22nd Dec 2003)

The upacharas
Panch upachara - 5 - five articles
Dasa upachara - 10 - ten articles
Dvadasa upachara - 12 twelve articles
Sodasa upachara - 16 - sixteen articles
64 upacharas - sixty four articles
1 upachara - Bhakti is the sole article

Mystic pooja by Amaraprabhu dasa

Simple Shaligram puja by Hrishikeshananda dasa ACBSP

Offences to be avoided - how to over come offenses etc

Styles of pooja in the Vaishnava sampradayas - pictures only for now: (pretty nice though)
Sri Vaishnavite Thiruaradhanam - seva puja Sri Vaishnava style - 7th November 2002
Sri Purusha Shukta Mantra Bhagavat Puja Vidhi - Gaudiya Math Archana Paddhati 1935

Authorized Standards of puja accepted in the Vaishnava sampradayas
Sri Vaishnava style and prayog
Laghu Aradhanam by Sundar Kidambi of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya - translated by Gaura Keshava prabhu ACBSP
The Sri Vaishnava Perspective on Salagram shilas:

In case of emergency or no pujari to do the seva

Styles of seva pujan - a few examples:

Suhotra dasa Tapa Vanacharin on Puja procedure, fire yajna, mudras etc

The role of Shilas in the community of devotees during daily worship, and festivals etc.(coming soon)
Pushpa samadhis - by JTCd - 23rd March 2002

Swarup siddhi - article - purport excerpt - AC. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Who can worship the Shalagram Shila??? - 17th Dec 2001
Early History of The Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal - excerpt from HBV - 25th Jan 2002

The Hindu perspective on Shalagram shilas - 25th Jan 2002.
Worshipping False Idols - Different perspectives on the meaning of...... - 8th March 2002
The Kaaba - Black stone of Islam (Deity worship and Iconoclasm in Islam) - 16th Feb 2002
Ammonites in Paleontology - Shalagrams intrinicly different from fossils:- 3Nov 2001
Pet Rocks - the perverted reflection of Shaligram seva puja - 12th April 2002
Not A Fossil: How About Lucky Stone? ny Brahma dasa VNN- 30th April 2002
Moqui stones for Shamans - Shalagrams for Brahmanas - 8th May 2002
Pooja article and Hindu Temple (Devalayam) articles by Dr MG Prasad - 26th July 2002
Archanam - the Science of Deity Worship: - 10th February 2003

A Saga in Stone - by Sadagopan Swami of the Sri Sampradaya - 29th July 2002
"The Divine Form" by Sripad Sadagopan Iyengar of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya:- 26th Jan 2003
Whose service is the best? (overcoming put-downs by others) (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal)  27th June 2003

Where to purchase quality Puja Paraphernalia on-line?

All about yantras - 25th December 2002

Where to order yantras from?

Wearable locket yantras:
http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/

3 inch and 6 inch copper or Silver plate yantras:
http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/


 
 

Miscellaneous Articles
Where to purchase quality Puja Paraphernalia on-line?
Pushpa samadhis - by JTCd - 23rd March 2002
Excerpt from Hand Book of South Indian Images - Introduction (1954): - 18th Jan 2002
Narasimha Salagram shilas - different kinds:
Hrisikeshananada prabhu ACBSP's page - Thailand - a rare Lord Vaman deva:
Discussion between Nancy C. M. Ross and Manamohan Mahapatra re Salagrams:

The Story of Shaligram Shilas:

An article printed about Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa's Shaligram Shilas - Auckland FOLK News:
Pictures of my (JTCd's) Isthadevas, at home in Katikati:

Worshipping False Idols - Different perspectives on the meaning of...... - 8th March 2002
The Kaaba - Black stone of Islam (Deity worship and Iconoclasm in Islam) - 16th Feb 2002
Ammonites in Paleontology - Shalagrams intrinicly different from fossils: - 3Nov 2001
Pet Rocks - the perverted reflection of Shaligram seva puja - 12th April 2002
Not A Fossil: How About Lucky Stone? ny Brahma dasa VNN - 30th April 2002
Moqui stones for Shamans - Shalagrams for Brahmanas - 8th May 2002
Show Me God !!! - by Subala dasa - March 2002

Salagram kosha chapter 2 - Legends About Salagrama - pages 27 - 42
Salagram kosha Vol 2 - Chapter Three -  Bana-lingas from the Narmada river - Page 119-141. - 2nd June 2002
Sri Tattwa Nidhi kosha - Identification of Salagramas - 5th January 2005

The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002
MULTI-FACETED VEDIC HINDUISM by Dr MG Prasad - 26th July 2002
Pooja article and Hindu Temple (Devalayam) articles by Dr MG Prasad - 26th July 2002
A Saga in Stone - by Sadagopan Swami of the Sri Sampradaya - 29th July 2002
Mathematical Proof for God's existence  - 28th October 2002

Nitya Kriya - the daily activities of the Vaishnava - 21st Dec 2002
Temple Goer's Guide - 21st Dec 2002
Initiation  - Panch samskaras - samashrayanam - 21st Dec 2002
Archanam - the Science of Deity Worship: - 10th February 2003
Salagram kosha chapter 2 - Legends About Salagrama - pages 27 - 42  22nd May 2003
Whose service is the best? (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal)  27th June 2003

Asaucham - Ritual impurity - at time of death, birth, menstration - see information here

Pada sevanam - Deity worship

Suhotra dasa Tapa Vanacharin on Puja procedure, fire yajna, mudras etc

The Natural History Museum page on the Folklaw of Fossils worldwide
 
 


 
 

Pilrimages - Tours to the Kali Gandaki:

India, Nepal set to sign landmark tourism dealRead full article HERE  22nd February 2014

A very informative diary by HH Bhaktisiddhanta Swami after 2002 visit - good pictures too - 22nd May 2002

HH Suhotra Swami's pilgrimage to Muktinath - 13th May 2004 - from his journal - 16th May 2004
HH Suhotra Swami's pilgrimage to Muktinath - 14th May 2004 - from his journal - 16th May 2004
HH Suhotra Swami's pilgrimage to Muktinath - 15th May 2004 - from his journal - 16th May 2004

Picture Gallery in and around, en-route to, Shaligram Tirtha (the Annapurna region):
HH Vipramukhya Swami's pilrimage diary to the sacred Kali-gandaki - March 2001

Many more LINKS on visiting the region:
Our ill conceived trip in 1986.
More about visiting the area  - Visiting Salagram Tirtha
Adventures in Calcutta - Path Bari - by Parama Seva dasa - 19th January 2002
Maps showing Salagram Tirtha - some old some new: - 29th July 2002

Going "Salagraming" - some perspectives.......

108 Divya deshams of which Tiru-Shalagram is listed as number 102:

Planning a pilgrimage ? - read these:
India, Nepal set to sign landmark tourism dealRead full article HERE  22nd February 2014

Take a trip to the Kali Gandaki with us:
Iskcon Nepal
Take another tour with Vipramukhya Swami - March 2001
More about visiting the area
ATTENTION ALL DEVOTEES PLANNING TO VISIT NEPAL:
Why not plan a visit to Sri Salagram Tirtha, the highest of the 108 Divya Desham in elevation

Pilgrimage to the "Top of the World"  - 30th May 2003
Muktinathsalagramam yatra - Sri Vaishnavas visit Muktinath and collect Salagrams - nice pictures
Simhachalam farm Germany
Take a Transcendental Pilgrimage here to many sacred places
Pictures of Salagrams from South India
Sacred places in India

The concept of Dham - 27th October 2006


 
 
 

Prasadam
Srila Prabhupada on some considerations of Prasadam
Honouring the Lord's Prasadam - from Archana Paddhati
Prasada Sevaya prayers - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur:
All about "taking meals" from Nitya-kriya:

What is Prasadam
Nitya Kriya - the daily activities of the Vaishnava - ACCEPTING & Offering Prasadam - 21st Dec 2002
Some Nice things from our old Newsletter all about prasadam

More on prasadam by Swami B.G. Narasingha
WHO CAN OFFER BHOGA TO KRSNA? - by Bv Narayan maharaj

Onions and Garlic in relation to Vaishnavism - December 2005

Serving and honouring prasadam - 9th August 2005

Accepting Prasadam (coming soon)
Sharing Prasadam - Upadeshamrita of Rupa Goswami (coming soon)
Serving Prasadam - Foodstuffs - by Bhakti Caru Swami (coming soon)
Charan-amrita - drinking of the bathing waters:
Wearing Prasadam - Tadiya (coming soon)

World Vegetarian Day & World Vegetarian Awareness Month newsletter #137 - October 2004
World Vegetarian Day & World Vegetarian Awareness Month newsletter #162 - October 2005
Shaligram Tirtha Pradarshini Newsletter #009 - The Glories of Krishna Prasadam - October 2005

Asaucham - rules for ritual impurity (sutakam - mritakam)
Asaucham Psychology - from shock to acceptance - 23rd March 2002
The role of Shilas in the community of devotees during daily worship, and festivals etc.(coming soon)
Pushpa samadhis - by JTCd - 23rd March 2002
The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002
Whose service is the best? (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal)  27th June 2003


 
 

In Association to Tulasi Devi
Our new Tulasi devi page - November 2005

The Story of Tulasi:
Tulasi & Shaligram Jala Dana:
The Benefits of rendering service to Tulasi:
Blessings of the Shaligram from the story of Tulasi:
Salagram and Tulasi - Vaisnava Iconography in the Tamal Country  (R Champakalakshmi 1981.)

Offerings must have Tulasi - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur - Gaudiya Bhasya
Caring for Tulasi Devi
Download the Tulasi Handbook HERE FREE:
Read the Tulasi Handbook HERE
Sacred Trees
Some have been experiencing difficulties in downloading from here, if that's the case with you 

Quotes regarding Tulasi Devi

Please Don't Put Tulasi Outside by Bhaktine Angela

Tulasi Shaligram Vivaha
Tulasi Shaligram Vivaha:(two optional pujas so far)

Salagram kosha chapter 2 - Legends About Salagrama - pages 27 - 42 22nd May 2003

15 Benefits of the Holy Basil (Tulsi)


 
 

Govardhan Shilas
Govardhan Puja pages:
The pastime of Sri Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill
Pictures of Govardhan Hill
Related topics
Many many good links to Giriraj topics..........

Govardhan hill

Different kinds of Govardhan shilas - Radha, Krishna and Balaram - Shri Vriti Chintamani of Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur.
Worshipping Govardhan by B.G. Narasingha Maharaja - Giriraj as Krishna

The Glories of Giriraj Govardhan by B.V. Narayan Maharaj - Hari-dasa-varya

discussion about Worship of Govardhan Hill
http://www.gosai.com/krishna-talk/worship-of-govardhan-46.html
Garga Samhita - Giriraj seva puja vidhi etc - 19th Feb 2005

Govardhan Puja and offering lamps for Karttik in Mayapur 2006
http://mayapur.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=10369

Gunja-mala - beads, seeds, shells or all of the above

Dwarka Shilas
Dvaraka Shilas - Different kinds, the benefits of worshipping Them etc:
Salagram kosha - Chapter 4 - Details of Shaalagraama - Info on Dvarati Chakras - 23rd Feb 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 5 - Identification of Shalagramas pages 137 - 174 - 2nd March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 1 - What are Salagrams page 1 - 26 - 8th March 2002
 

Salagram kosha Vol 2 - Chapter Three -  Bana-lingas from the Narmada river - Page 119-141. - 2nd June 2002
 

Watch Inspirational Video Clips on-line with Broadband

Radha Raman darshan in Vrindavan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2v6LMCWsJQ&feature=related

Kanchi Sri Varadaraja Swami Tirumanjanam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHYGZ1G3V_c

A short clip on the Melkote Cheluva Narayana Vairamudi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-GOMegXons

Panduranga (Original Deity - Vithal) Abhisheka - Pandarpur
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPOCzFlzN9A&feature=related

Radha Govindaji darshan in Jaipur
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HplfSFo-x4k&feature=related

Janamastmi - Abhishek of Govinddevji in Jaipur
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbtPNAzS0BY&feature=related

Srirangapura Vihara
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-TkkTjQdc8&feature=related

Sri Suktham and 108 Divyadesams Virtual Tour
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_45NP1BR3mA&feature=related

......and many more to be added  HERE
 
 
 

All about Laxmi Conches - Valampuri shank

Further Reading:
Garuda Purana Ch 45 - Characterisitcs of Salagram - 21st Feb 2002
Sripada Gopal Bhatta Goswami's Sri Sri Radha Raman Shaligram:
One Example of Deity Worship According to Japangam Vidhi - Deity Worship in a temple:
Agamas in South Indian Vaishnavism
The Sri Vaishnava Perspective on Salagram shilas:
Early History of The Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal - excerpt from HBV - 25th Jan 2002

The Hindu perspective on Shalagram shilas - 25th Jan 2002.
Show Me God !!! - by Subala dasa - March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 4 - Details of Shaalagraama - page 107 - 136 - 23rd Feb 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 5 - Identification of Shalagramas pages 137 - 174 - 2nd March 2002
Salagram kosha - Chapter 1 - What are Salagrams page 1 - 26 - 8th March 2002
Sri Tattwa Nidhi kosha - Identification of Salagramas - 5th January 2005
Worshipping False Idols - Different perspectives on the meaning of...... - 8th March 2002
The Kaaba - Black stone of Islam (Deity worship and Iconoclasm in Islam) - 16th Feb 2002
Ammonites in Paleontology - Shalagrams intrinicly different from fossils:- 3Nov 2001
Pet Rocks - the perverted reflection of Shaligram seva puja - 12th April 2002
Not A Fossil: How About Lucky Stone? ny Brahma dasa VNN- 30th April 2002
Moqui stones for Shamans - Shalagrams for Brahmanas - 8th May 2002
The Acquisition of the Absolute by Param Seva dasa - 22nd May 2002
MULTI-FACETED VEDIC HINDUISM by Dr MG Prasad - 26th July 2002
Pooja article and Hindu Temple (Devalayam) articles by Dr MG Prasad - 26th July 2002
A Saga in Stone - by Sadagopan Swami of the Sri Sampradaya - 29th July 2002
Mathematical Proof for God's existence  - 28th October 2002
Sri Vaishnavite Thiruaradhanam - seva puja Sri Vaishnava style - 7th November 2002
Vigrahas - from the Puranic Encyclopedia CDRom - 5th February 2003
Archanam - the Science of Deity Worship: - 10th February 2003
Salagram kosha chapter 2 - Legends About Salagrama - pages 27 - 42 22nd May 2003
Whose service is the best? (letter to Satswarup Gos - all service is equal)  27th June 2003

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada and Raganuga Bhakti (22nd Dec 2003)

Archana Paddhati - What Srila Prabhupada wanted in Iskcon's Arcana Paddhati - Gaura Keshava dasa

Iskcon's Official Deity worship site:

Asaucham - Ritual impurity - at time of death, birth, menstration - see information here

Follwers of Madhwacharya observing Taptah Mudra Dharanam in the US 2005
http://members15.clubphoto.com/janardhan618351/3581932/guest.phtml

His Holiness Sri Puttige Swamiji, doing Chaturmaasya, perform Tapta Mudraa DharaNa. Pictures from the occasion is in the album located at:
 http://tinyurl.com/daanq

Vandanam - Various Prayers for Reading and Reciting
Various prayers for reading or reciting:
Names of...... (1000 names Vishnu, 108 Krishna, 108 Narasimha etc etc)

Sri Sri Radha-Krishna Ganoddesh Dipika


 
 

Seeing God in Everyone: A Practical Application
 


 

Puja Paraphernalia on-line:

Agarbhatti - Finest world class incense on-line

Eyes - Tilaks - mouths etc hand painted for Silas and other Deities - November 2005

Nepali style puja paraphernalia - chamaras - conches - Deities - Salagram rings and pendents

Puja paraphernalia on-line - Yantras - Achaman cups - patras - lamps - yajna kundas etc

Rudraksha-ratna - Srimati Neeta Sharma Mataji
http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/
http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/shaligrams.htm

Nepa Rudraksha - Sriman Mukunda Khatiwadi
http://www.nepalirudraksha.com/

Saligram Organization - mukhuts, asanas, hara, vihara
http://www.saligram.org/

Incense and Oils for puja - SRI NILACHAL EXPORTS
http://www.salagram.net/sstp-puja-para2.html

mailto:srinilachal@hotmail.com

Exotic India - for everything Indian - Music - Art - all kinds of gifts and jewelry - books and much more

Organize, print and share your digital photos - Click here to get the software for FREE
http://www.kodak.com/go/easysharerd

South Indian Costume Jewellery for dressing Deities
http://www.shubhanu.com/costume-jewelry.htm

Pure Silk Dhotis in South Indian style
http://www.chennaibazaar.com/cbz/product.asp?ctgintid=11

Balarampuram Sarees & Dhotis from Kerala
http://www.sarisafari.com/Merchant2/shop/sarishop.html

South Indian puja paraphernalia - based in Singapore
http://www.aabarna.biz/

Yajurveda Australia Ashram shop - online shopping
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.107831282564692.14858.100000134617332

...other related links:
Where to purchase quality Puja Paraphernalia on-line?

Daivi-Varnashram Dharma page
Some useful quotes on Brahmanas - the priestly class.
Asaucham - Ritual impurity - at time of death, birth, menstration - see information here
Asaucham Psychology - from shock to acceptance - 23rd March 2002
Sri Vaishnavism.com

Why not plan a visit to Sri Salagram Tirtha, the highest of the 108 Divya Desham in elevation

How to blow the Conch Shell

Return to main index for darshan
 
 



(printed in the Auckland F.O.L.K. News 1991)

THE NEW ADDITION TO THE AUCKLAND TEMPLES' ALTAR

Since Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa has come to reside at New Varshana, so have his worshipful Deities.  Previously in Australia They had Their own room in Jaya Tirtha Prabhu's house, but now, for the intrigue of everyone coming to see Sri Radha Giridhari, there situated at Their lotus feet are a whole menagerie of smiling faces peering out from Their srngasana (throne).  Already, you are intrigued Who, and what are They?

So to get these questions answered, let's ask Jaya Tirtha Charan Prabhu something about his Deities.

First, who or rather what are They?

It's a little like that isn't it.  Most people look at Them all sitting there and just go "Wow!, but who are They?"  My usual reply is "God" just to blow them out, but let us clarify this statement.  We, as devotees, accept that Krsna, the Supreme Lord, appears in a multitude of forms simply for His own pleasure.  He is the source of the spiritual and material worlds -  everything emanates from Him.  (These statements are all found in Bhagavad-gita as it is.)

One may then ask, why am I worshiping Krsna in this form which appears just like so many rocks?  However, it should be known from the very start that these are not just any old rocks.  Even, it is not that they have been fashioned into a particular authorised form, acceptable by the scriptures and understood by all to be the Deity form (arca-vigrahah), being properly installed and requested to stay there and accept the service of Their loving devotees.  No, these particular Deities are not even in this category.  Intrigued?  I mean really intrigued?  OK, then we can begin.

There are some interesting stories that briefly can be looked at before we get to the Who's Who stage.

In the Brahmavaivartta Purana (Prakrti Khanda Chapter 21) there is a story in connection with the origin of one particular kind of sacred stone that we are worshipping, called the Shaligram Shila.  As we are all quite aware of, in the spiritual world the supreme pleasure potency personified, Srimati Radharani, organises for the infinite pastimes of Lord Krsna.  Srimati Radharani's service, being the most intimate and confidential servitor of Krsna, is to arrange for the service of Krsna, like the supreme head pujari or priest.  Anyway, on one occasion one gopi (Vrnda) had gone to Krsna without Srimati Radharani's sanction and was engaged in amorous pastimes with Him.  When Radharani found out, She cursed Vrnda to take her birth as a human in the tract of land known as Brajabhumi where Krsna and His devotees were enacting His pastimes in the material world at that time.

Vrnda grew up and was married to a demon of the name Shankacuda (the one who holds a conch upon his head).  This demon had received a boon from Lord Brahma that he can remain living in that body for as long as his wife was faithful to him.  Thus, having the most chaste and faithful wife Vrnda, he thought, as most demons do, that he was immortal.  However, Krsna had other plans.  Once Krsna assumed the form of Shankacuda, and remembering His previous loving affairs with Vrnda, took the place of her husband and lovingly embraced her.  Suddenly news came to the gopi Vrnda that her husband had mysteriously died.  You can imagine the elderly gopis' reactions.  "Oh, Shankacuda had a boon from Brahma .... now he is dead ... that girl must have been up to no good ... what will become of her ... etc., etc."  When Vrnda heard this she was furious and insisted her good name be cleared.  Then the transcendental trouble stirrer, Narada Muni, came on the scene and revealed to Vrnda that Krsna had caused this by assuming the form of her husband.  Now, full of Krsna conscious rage, Vrnda sought out Krsna.  Krsna, to excite her more said, "You look lovely when you're angry." and Vrnda hit the roof. She cursed Krsna, “You are stone hearted, so you should become a stone”.  In a transcendental loving exchange, Krsna laughingly said, "Alright, then you become a tree."  Krsna continued, "Before these curses take effect, do you have anything to say?"  Vrnda, now somewhat sobered but feeling her love for Krsna, asked one boon that Krsna take His appearance from her womb. "Alright", Krsna said laughingly, "…let your body be known as the sacred Kali Gandaki River and I will appear there as the Shalagram (or Gandaki) Shila or stone, and I will be worshipped by locks of your hair, so let your hair become the sacred Tulasi tree."

So this is one kind of stone that we have.  Why are those stones called Shaligram or Shalagram?  That is due to the story of the Varaha Purana 144-145, which says that once there was a sage of the name Shalankayana, who was performing austerities and devotional meditation in many holy places with the view to gain a great devotee of Lord Visnu as his son.  He visited the sacred tirtha (holy place) of Muktinatha in present day Northern Nepal, high in the Himalayas, and took his bath in the icy waters of the Kali Gandaki at the back of Annapurna mountain. Extremely tired from his climb up and down in the high altitude, he finally took rest under a sala tree.

Fast asleep on the eastern side of the tree, he didn't notice that the Lord had come and stood before him.  Then by the Lord's mercy the sage awoke and saw his Lord standing there and immediately propitiated him with melodious Vedic mantras.  The Lord then fulfilled the desire of the sage and gave him a son on the spot, and being pleased with his devotional attitude, gave another boon.  Krsna said, "As from this day (the dwadasi in the sukla paksa of the month of Vaisaka) he would eternally stay on the area of that mountain in the form of the Shalagram stone.  Actually there was no sala tree there at that time - it was a special self-manifesting mercy incarnation of the Lord appearing for His devotee.  So in the same way, the Lord continued to tell the sage that in the self-manifesting form of the Shalagrama Shila He will reside there, and the devotees can take Him in this form and worship Him, and He will reciprocate their love in that way.  This is confirmed in the Mahabharata (Vana Parva Ch 84, 123-125), where it is said the name Shalagram is given to Lord Visnu who resides in the Shalagram at the Shalagram Tirtha.

As regards the various shapes of the Shalagram Shila, it is a mystery how they come about.  The Varaha Purana (145.28-29) says that a certain kind of brahmanas who are very dear to the Lord take their births in the Kali Gandaki as insects and carve the insignias - the cakra, conch, lotus, club and many other linear marks found naturally on the Shalagram.  Material science has no answers.  All they say is that it is miraculous that these stones appear in various shapes marked to resemble ancient mythological tales (quoting a Nepali guide book of the Himalayas).  Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (10.10): "To those who worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."  With initial faith that what Srila Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of the Lord has said in the Puranas to be fact and by practical demonstration by following the above mentioned verse, we can see with actual true faith that this is what has happened.

If not, well, you may as well put this article down now and go to a mundane novel.  Still there is more to come.

These kind of worshipful self-manifesting Deities we have fourteen of on the altar, each one completely different and attracting the mind of different devotees.  Though they are all equally wonderful, my favourite of all these is Sri Caitanya Nrsimha.  He was the first who came, He was given to me in Vrndavan in 1983 by one very nice man and his mother.  At that time I was the treasurer at our Vrindavan Krsna-Balarama Mandir, and was living at the Goshala.  There were many mothers there at that time with small children and also my wife was pregnant with our first child.  So with all this, someone volunteered for me (if you know what I mean) that I could look after a little temple at the goshala and everyone who couldn't make it to Mangala-arati at the Krsna-Balarama Mandir could come there.  Also apparently Srila Prabhupada wanted a small temple be there within the goshala, so the workers could also come and pay their obeisances before starting the early morning milking, etc.

At that time, one pujari extraordinare, Gaura Keshava Prabhu, was also living at the goshala, so after arranging the Mangalarati and chanting some rounds, I would go and watch him worship his Shalagramas.  The whole thing was amazing, and in Vrndavan, too.

Around this time one boy in Australia had asked me to have some traditional Sita-Rama-Laksman and Hanuman Deities made for him.  As usual, the Vrindavan mood was surcharged with thoughts of Krsna to the point where walking down back lanes or walking on the parikrama path, one was expecting to see Krsna and Balarama step around the corner at anytime,  sometimes I would look at the footprints in the soft parikrama sand checking to see if the foot markings were that of Krsna.  The nights of resting were no different - it was so satisfying just to be there.

Once, for a whole week, I had this dream coming to me of a Sudarshana Cakra Shalagram with beautiful golden spokes, and as it shone before me, excited, I would wake up.  Anyway, the next morning after one of these dreams, I had to pick up the finished Deities of Sita-Rama-Laksmana and Hanuman from my friend in the bazaar, on our meeting he asked me how everything was going.  The first thing I could think of was this dream, so I told him.  Immediately he responded, "Oh, I can give you a Shalagram if you want."  I said, "It's nice and I would like to, but it's a lifetime commitment, and once you start you can't stop, and besides, if I had a choice in the matter, I would only really like to worship Lord Nrsimhadeva."  Such was my mood in those days.  The conversation changed and he continued working on the final details around Lord Rama's eyes and Hanumana's mouth.  After an hour or so, he packed them in a box and we both started to walk down stairs from his roof-top.  As he took two or three steps down from the roof he stopped and turned to me on the stairs.  "Would you like a Shalagram?"  He prompted me.  "Yes", I replied, smiling and humbly nodding.  "Then come."  He took me to the altar.  There were about thirty or forty Shalagrams all in a line with Tulasi on and around Them.  "So which one would you like, anyone attract you?"  I answered, "This one here seems to stand out - my eyes keep returning to Him."

He then called his elderly mother, a widow in a clean white sari and Vaisnava tilak on her forehead.  She immediately purified her hands and then, picking Him up, plonked Him in my nervously eager right palm.  "Mathaji, do you have ...." "...some box? Yes." and out came a small square red box with a bed of cotton wool for the Lord to lay on. The man told me then that this Shalagram had been worshipped in their family of Gaudiya Vaisnavas for more than 250 years in Vrindavan, but now the Lord wanted to go and preach in the west.  (so He would have been there at the time of Srila Visvanatha Cakravati and Baladeva Vidyabhusana's time in Vrindavan).

Going back on the rickshaw, carefully holding my small red box, I immediately went to Gaura Keshava Prabhu, and asked him what he thought.  "Ah, Sudarshana".  Far-out I thought, the dreams and all, but I felt a little lacking.

That afternoon I was down in the bazaar and purchased all the necessary puja paraphernalia and began the puja the very next morning.  A couple of days, rather nights later, I was in my sleep when suddenly I felt threatened and fearful like I was being attacked by a ghost.  Then to my surprise I heard this deep stuti mantra:

tava kara kamalavare nakham adbhuta srngam......etc, and then coming toward me this strange sight.  It vaguely resembled my Shalagram, but He was different to how I saw him at my friend's house and how I had continued to worship Him.  He looked like a small cat's face with conch eyes, smiling face and tall crown.  Then He faded away.

The next morning I had a discussion with some older devotees who suggested to turn Him around and have a look at the Shalagram I had closer to see what He reveals.  So I tried to turn Him this way and that, and then - wow - it was Him, identical to the dream.  In ecstasy that morning I performed His seva puja and placed Him as He had appeared, with natural holes for eyes, a small mouth and slightly protruding nose, surrounded by transcendental whiskers leading to His wedge like ears.  So that's how we see Him by His mercy today.  I have given him the name Sri Caitanya Nrsimha, for He revealed himself within.

From His mercy, the others wandered in one by one.  Lord Varaha-nrsimha, He was here at New Varshana some ten years ago, being worshipped by Vrsa Prabhu, who was given Him and Lord Vamanadeva and Lord Nivita Buddha by Gaura Keshava Prabhu, and Vrsa Prabhu gave them to my care.  Lord Varaha-nrsimha is unmistakable by His appearance, complete with cakra near the end of His nose where the form of the earth sits.  Lord Vamanadeva is small and round, girdled by the mekhala belt and sacred thread marked on His body. Also on the top of His body is a small wooden-like stick marking, representing the rod of the brahmacari.  Sri Nivita Buddha in the book Pranatosani-tantra is described to be black, small and in the shape of a pear drop, with pointed top and small hole at the base.

Sri Anantasana Parasuram is next, and quite a character.  He travelled about 12 times around the world with one devotee before taking His place on the pitha/altar.  He is recognised by the mark of the hand grasping His axe on the right side and His quiver of arrows resting on His bow-shaped back.  Why Anantasana?  Because there is one Deity of Lord Parasurama in Udupi, South India that is almost identical to Him, Who appears resembling a Siva linga.  There is one story whereby Lord Parasurama, upon receiving His parasu (axe) from Lord Siva, said He would honour him by being worshipped in the form of a Siva Linga who appeared in a previous yuga to await the appearance of Udupi Krsna of Madhvacarya.  The Vaisnava philosophy on this always states that Krsna, Visnu, Narayana and Their expansions are supreme, and just like milk They can change themselves into another functionary expansion, as in this case, Lord Siva who for this analogy can be compared to yogurt.  However yogurt cannot become milk.  This is the supreme independent role of Visnu Tattva only.

Also on the pitha we have four small Sudarsana Cakras in a silver tray - the weapon of the Lord.   Also there is Krsna (Krishna-kanai).  He is described in Brahmavaivarta Purana as being round in shape with a smooth flat upper side with a rod for herding cows.  Lord Madhava is also there - oval in shape, the colour of rich honey with the marking of a club, conch and a cow's hoof print.

SriDustaarama (unconquerable Rama) is quite unique.  He was given to me just recently.  He has a large round body with a quiver for his arrows and an indentation of an archer's bent knee and is dotted with the footprints of cows.

SriAdhoksaja is resting in a golden ring.  Indentifying this Shalagram as Adhoksaja is the small red dot seated amidst His sharp dark chakra.  We brought this one and the next one (Lord Anantasesa) back from Nepal in 1986.  Lord Anantasesa appears just like a little snake all curled up.

This deals with the Gandaki Shilas.  We also have two Dwaraka Shilas - Lord Anantadeva, who has 64 chakras and a beautiful smooth glazed creamy white body, said by some to be the best of Dwaraka shilas.  Unforgettable and unmistakeable, we also have LordMatsya from Dwaraka, with large body shaped like a fish, and fish-like mouth covered in well defined chakras.  He was given to me about a year ago in Vrndavan by one devotee returning from Dwaraka where he found Him when he was swimming in the sea – he told me he went under the water and saw this fish-like face staring back at him.  According to both the Padma Purana and Prantosanitantra, certain kinds of coral found in the sea at Dwaraka are as worshipable as the Gandaka Shilas.  Not only this, but it is recommended that one worship the Dwaraka Shila along with the Gandaki Shilas.

Last but definitely not least, we have the Govardhana Shilas.  Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is quoted to have said to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami upon Lord Caitanya's presenting Raghunatha dasa with His own Govardhana Sila, "This stone is the transcendental form of Lord Krsna.  Worship this stone with great eagerness."  Caitanya Caritamrta (Antya Lila 2.6.292).  In the purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada elaborates further saying that, "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed that the Govardhana Shila, the stone taken from Govardhana Hill is non-different from the body of Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead."  For further details on what is Govardhana Hill and the Lord's amazing pastime there, one can read the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 10, Chapter 24, wherein Krsna Himself declared to everyone that He is the Govardhana mountain.  (SB 10.24.35)

krsna tv anyatamam rupam
  gopa-visrambhanam gatah
sailo 'smiti bruvan bhuri
  balim adad brhad vapuh

In the centre of the simhasana one will see one blackish sila and one whitish sila.  These are the forms ofKrsna and Balarama, Krsna's elder brother.  Just next to Lord Balarama's plough one can see a miniature form of Govardhana hill, the shape of the underside is like that of a snake and on topological view like that of a peacock. The shape is identical to the hill at Govardhana and sports the deep reddish colour from where He came, by the blessings of the Brijbasis at Govinda Kunda on the side of Govardhana Hill.

Since writting this article by the Lord's causeless mercy two more Shaligrams have come to me. One is the amazing form of Lord Nrsimhadev, laughing, who was given to me by H.H. Indradyumna Swami. I have called Him Pavana-Nrisimha, He has the most amazing shaped head, with a wide open mouth but without any natural ferocous teeth, but creases around the edge of the mouth like dimples. He now wears some nice silver teeth to enhance His natural features. He also has natural high pointed eye-brows and almost pointed, but rounded head. The other one is a quite unique form of Lord Kurma, there is a funny story in this connection. In the morning of the day when He arrived I was doing the puja for all the others in the Deity room, and just glancing over all the Shilas that were there I realized that I was missing a Kurma. In 1986 when one devotee in Australia and I went to Nepal we brought back one Kurma Sila and as a good will gesture I gave Him to the Melbourne temple. From Him I was feeling some separation, and thought of my chances of getting back to Nepal ever again, and I became a little spiritually despondant. Anyway re-concentrating my attention to the puja for Their Lorships who were right before me now I forgot the subject.

So then I finished and came outside. Then one devotee from Wellington, Ramacandra prabhu came up to me and asked if I am Jaya Tirtha Charan das, I said yes, and he asked me if I could tell him if what he was given in Nepal by some Tibetans was a Shalagram or not. HH Prabhavishnu maharaj had seen Him sitting on Ramachandra’s desk in Wellington, and asked him to check Him out with me – he had been given Him on a trekking trip to Nepal before he joined and felt there was something special about “The Rock” so he always kept It in a special place.
 He went to his car and came back  with a small Harinam cadar and began to unfold it before my eyes. Its amazing practically as soon as I saw Him I could see how this was Lord Kurma, even He had Mandana mountain seated on His back. This was in an interesting turtle shape which lifted off revealing two beautifully defined Chakras. I said to Ramacandra prabhu that I would check Him out more carefully for him if he wanted with one book that I have. Then to my amazement Ramacandra prabhu asked me if I would like to worship Him, I asked if he was sure. I said thanks and put him away in the paraphernalia room for safety.

That evening after coming back from sankirtan, and getting sucih I got Him out for closer inspection. I remembered the colour of some of mine when we first got them without being cleaned. I took one special hard wild boars’ hair brush that I keep for this purpose and placed the Lord in a snan patra with a little water, then I began to scrub His back, it was amazing the satisfaction that suddenly I was feeling I have never felt before. Then under the caked on Kali Gandaki mud, the form of Lord Kurma seemed more and more prominent. One could see His face protuding from Mandana mountain, by now an hour or so of scrubing had revealed His lusterous black form.

I hope you all like the little introduction to Their Lordships.

Here at the temple Their Lordships have developed a bit of a cult following, every morning after the worship has been performed a group of nectar hunters assemble to honour the Mahaprasadam that the Shilas all partook of. It is very nice to be allowed to do this service and I pray at their Lotus Feet that I may continue for many years to come.         Thank you JTCd



Since the time of writing this article, and it's appearance in the New Varshan F.O.L.K. news for the congregational members another Shaligram Who is quite special has come into my possession.
 This Shaligram was given to my by HH Indradyumna Swami during a visit to New Zealand in 1992. He was staying in the guest quarters annex to Vaikuntha Gardens and worshipping his Shaligrams there too. On his arrival I got an invitation to bring mine up there so that we could worship together but I was reluctant to do so. So then kindly Maharaj said to me that he'd like me to come up anyway as he has Someone that he'd like to give to me. This intrigued me, and I accepted his invitation to go up to the house after I'd finished my Shaligram puja to see him do his and see what he had for me.
 After siting and watching the pujas which were very devotionally performed, we all partook of a little Maha-prasad. After this most of the other devotees left and this just a left a couple of us in the room. Maharaj called me to the end near the windows and said wait there. He then got Alalanath to usher the others into the hall where they were all leaving from anyway, before he produced a little bag from his puja box and began to tell Alalanath and me the following story.
 Just recently Maharaj was visiting through Melbourne when out of the blue Nirmala mathaji arrived. She sadly told a story of how her husband Omkara prabhu had just passed away after leaving falling into poor association and contracting AIDS. She then presented Omkara's collection of Shaligrams into Indradyumna Swami's care and asked him to find good homes for them. Maharaj had been travelling for a couple of months before he came to New Zealand and so many of them had been distributed to devotees who keenly worshipped the Lord in this form.
 "I saved this special one for you because I thought that you'd appreciate Him!!!" Maharaj told me. I began to get a little excited. He then began to tell me how when Srila Prabhupad was down in South India some Sri Vaishnavas had come to see and honour him with elaborate pujas, at theend of which one, the leader, Sampat Kumar Bhattacarya gave Srila Prabhupad two fine Shaligrams. Srila Prabhupad kept them with him for some time before entrusting them to Pradyumna prabhu, his secretary and Pandit. Prabhupad showed Pradyumna how to worhip Them and Pradyumna did so along with his wife for some time. Due to pressures and volume of service Pradyumna gave over Their care to two devotees. One (Karuna Sindhu) was given to Jayatirtha dasa a prominent pujari, and GBC member, the other (Varaha) to Omkara prabhu in Vrindavan. Omkara however worshipped the Shaligram in the mood of Vrindavan and called Him Gopinath, and there He stayed for some fifteen years.
 Maharaj then reached into the bag and produced this most beautiful Shaligram, perfect in shape, not too big, or small, and with a beautiful lustre. He has a mark on one side at the top which resembles a boars snout, and thus His Varaha form is there.
 Maharaj said ".....but like Omkara, you can worship Him as you like, 'cos I know you already have a realy nice Varaha....!"
 After gaining back my composure from the ecstasy, and wiping tears from my eyes. I though about it for a moment, and said I think I'll stick with the Gopinath mood, as these eyes the He has are so nice.
             So there we have Him, Sri Gopinath ki jaya.

The story of Them being given to Srila Prabhupad is in Hari Sauri prabhu’s Transcendental Diary Vol 4.

And if you can believe this last amendment. Since that time LordGopal Krishna has come round like a ball with a mouth that is filled with a ladhuka sweet (Ladhu Gopal).

...have a closer look

It’s getting wonderfully ridiculous: And just recently in 1995 when HH Indradyumna Swami took an expedition of devotees (Alalanath, Bimalaprasad prabhus) to Muktinath they brought back a really exceptionally unique form ofVanamali Krishna for me. He was identified by the olde (late) Puri maharaj who was then 97 years old. Vanamali Krishna is so called because instead of having a round cakra he has a different kind of marking that resembles that of many garlands hanging around someone’s neck. So Puri maharaj gave him that name, and HH Indradyumna maharaj gave Him over to my care the next time he visited New Zealand in 1996. And Alalanath prabhu gave me LordDhanvantari, a beautiful Shaligram who he didn’t have a name for when he gave Him to me. But on that day I had a rare but very strong head-ache. It was in the summer and I was hot too. But this Shaligram was ice-cold. His shape resembled an ice-pack too, oval in shape and flat on the bottom and shaped like a hillock rising. Half way up was a deep impression almost half as deep as His entire body and at the bottom of it was is a finely defined chakra making like a deep sided kumbha with the chakra in the bottom and it actually holds water when He is bathed, so remembering the form of Lord Dhanvantari for somereason I placed Him upon my head. And to even my surprise within minites my head ache was gone. Lord Dhanvantari ki jaya.

You wouldn’t believe this, but since that time now we have been graced by the appearance of Sri Hiranyagarbha a small black egg shaped Shaligram. He is perfect in shape, beautiful to look at, and about the size of my index finger nail in size. A Shaligram of this size is regarded as being very powerful, and I’m very grateful that He came. He was given as a gift by a friend who had recently visited India.

Two Govardhan Silas were recently given by HH Indradyumna Swami, but one is already in transit to Trivikram prabhu's new house. Also Sri Krishna-kanaya, who was with me from 1987 has gone to reside in Napier with Ameyatma prabhu (March 2000). By the grace of the Lord no others will get itchy feet to wander, least we will try our best to stop Them.

Since the picture below was taken, and by the mercy of the Lord, HH Bhaktisiddhanta Swami came back from India with a gift in the form of Sri Sri Laxmi-Hayagriva (March 2001).

Since that time Lord Matsya has come to grace us with His association (May 2001)

Sri Chaitanya Nrisimha Bhagavan ki jaya
Sri Varaha Nrisimha Swami ki jaya
Sri Vamandev ki jaya
Sri Nivita Buddha ki jaya
Sri Anantasan Parasuram ki jaya
Sri Sudharshan chakra ki jaya
Sri Vanamali Krishna ki jaya
Sri Madhav ki jaya
Sri Dustara-ram ki jaya
Sri Pavana Nrisimha
Sri Kurma rupa ki jaya
Sri Gopal Krishna ki jaya
Sri Hiranyagarbha ki jaya
Sri Adhoksaja ki jaya
Sri Dhanvantari ki jaya
Sri Anantadev Dwaraka Shila ki jaya
Sri Matsyavatar Dwarka Shila ki jaya
Sri Sri Krishna Balaram ki jaya (2)
Sri Giri Govardhan ki jaya (3)
Sri Gopinath ki jaya
Sri Laxmi-Hayagriva ki jaya
Sri Matsya avatar ki jaya

Sri Sriyuts Swayam Vyakta Shaligram Shilas ki jaya. (25 at present - July 2000)

This is where we can go to the new page for some details on all the new additions that arrived in 2001.



Here is a recent photo showing Them all on their pith, at home (July 2000)

Now the pith is three levels instead of the two pictured above, just to give Everyone a little room (Sept 2001). (I shouldn't have said that, because now, after making that extra room another batch of wonderful Shilas appeared at the door Dec 2001)

New photo showing new additions and Their new pith, and new altar (garbha griha and base)(Feb 2003).

Latest pictures from 2005 with the present count at 150