The Sri Vaishnava Perspective on Salagrams from the SriRangaSri list
updated 15th August 2005

Brief Intro'
About Sri Salagram

Articles translated from Tamil by HH Paravakottai Swami,  Prakrutam Aandavan of Poundarikapuram Ashramam, SriRangam

More nectar........

The process of Bhagavad Tiruvaradanam (seva pooja) as done by Sri Vaishnavas

Click here to see similar articles explaining details about Salagrams

PeraruLALan pathrikai articles

Various authorised standards accepted by Sri Vaishnavas:

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

In case of emergency or no pujari to do the seva

.....chari Vaishnava sampradaya ki jaya =>:-[))    These articles have been used with permission and thanks

SrImathe Gopaladesika mahadesikaya namah:

Dearest Srivaishnavas,

I am too small for writing anything on SaaLigraamam. However, dog licking the Ganges river does not belittle or pollute the purity of the river:-)

It is adiyEn’s bhagyam to write few words on SaaLigraamam.

This is from Sri Madhuranthakam Swamy centenary malar.

SaaLigraamam is one among the eight swayam vyaktha kshEthrams. Among the swayam vyaktha sthalams, SaaLigraamam is said to be the most important. This place is in Nepal, 60 miles of west of KaatmaNdu on the bank of the river Gandaki. This is on the way to mukthi Narayana kshEthram which is 100 miles off.

The saaLigraamams are found in this river Gandaki, one of the main tributaries of the Sacred Ganges. There are many types of saaLigraamams. There exist saaLigraamams with or without holes, and house matsya, kUrma or other avtaars of Lord Sriman Narayanan.

Agamas and saasthrAs have said that the Lord VishNu on His own, dwells in these SaaLigraamams and no AvAhanam is required for the same. There is also a SaaLigAmam sthOthra manthram. Shri Bhagawan is the rishi of Shri SaaLigrAmam sthOthra manthra; Narayana is the deity; Gayathri is the chandhas;

Given below is an extract from English translation of SaaLigraamam sloka mantra (appeared in Centenary malar of Sri MadhurAnthakam Swamy) written by Dr. T.D Muralidharan, Assistant editor of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.

Yuthishtira said:

Oh PurushOtthama, God of Gods, I want to hear it all a to what is the best of worship of Gods. Please tell me.

Shri Bhagawaan said:

The land, as extensive as ten yOjanAs (100 miles) lies extended as the Northern bank of Gandaki river and at the south of the Lord of mountains. It is a great land.

One who desires expiation of the sins perpetrated since birth, he should remove (completely) the water of SaaLigraamam. Salutations to you (who removes the water from saaLigrAmam after bathing).

One should hold the water (thus obtained from washing the Feet of Lord VishNu) in his palm and drink. It drives away untimely death. It destroys all illnesses. The water sprinkled on human beings burns away even the sin of killing a brahmin.

One obtains the same benefits of performance of 1000 (agnishtOma) yaagams with agni and 100 vajapeya sacrifices, if one consumes the food offered to saaLigraamam (i.e. Lord VishNu)

If one bathes Saaligraamam (Lord VishNu’s Feet) with water and offers thuLasi leaves at His Feet, he would obtain the merit equivalent to crores of puNyams.

Even if a saaLigraamam is broken or cracked, or burnt in fire, there is no harm; He is Blemishless; Faultless; There is no demerit in Him.

Worshipping saaLigraamam qucikly destroys any sin arising out of brahmahayta, or any sin arising out of body, mind and speech. It will confer all benefits on you, when you worship saaLigraamam.

The saaLigrAmam is arisen out of Sriman Narayanan. It has developed a wheel within it by its own action. It has the capacity to grant boons.

One should always take the water from the Feet of Lord VishNu (saaLigraamam); the flowers and thuLasi leaves bedecked on Him should be placed on one’s head; food offered to Him should be consumed along with a thuLasi leaf.

A little portion of saaLigraamam will absolve you from even the killing of one crore jIvAs. (*doesn't mean you go ahead killing:-) *)

One should always meditate on saaLigramam and worship Him. Best of the brahmin should repeat this everyday.

Such a person will go the ultimate place where Sriman Narayanan resides; He will be absolved from all sins and reach Sri VishNulOkam.

One who performs the worship of Lord VishNu through saaLigraama shila, he will obtain the desired empire. He will see all ten avtaars of Lord VishNu.

All sins performed in crores of one’s lives are destroyed by sipping water from the Feet of Lord VishNu (i.e. saaLigraamam). No water should be dropped.

I have not covered the translation fully and I have mentioned only few points from the above article to drive home the point that SAALIGRAAMAM WORSHIP IS THE BEST AND ONE NEEDS TO DO AT ANY COST.

PLEASE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT what harm it would bring as you do not know the type and nature of SaaLigraamam. No harm would happen to you. How can there be harm by doing a good holy deed? Also we perform with SathvIka tyAgam and for Bhagawath preethi.

[One who has undergone Samasrayanam, is required to perform ThiruvArAdhanam everyday. Due to unforeseen circumstances, should one go out of station (on business trips), then his spouse or other faimly member can just open the
KoilAzhwAr (the Box where PerumAL is placed) and offer food...
Alternatively, Saaligraamam can be kept in a container of rice.. ]

One should learn from AchArya (or from a srivaishnava scholar) as to how to perform SaaLigrAma ArAdhanam and then start.
Acharyan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam


Narayana Narayana
NarayaNa dAsan madhavakkannan

Please visit  with their kind permission and thanks we have mirroered this valuable site HERE

Dear  BhakthAs :

I am glad to know that there is auch a strong interst in knowing about SaaLagramams and their AarAdhanam .

Number of you have written to me and have asked for more information.

I am so happy to forward you the following four  attachments from HH Poundarilapuram SrImath Andavan on SaaLagrAmams with appropriate references to source granthams.

We are all grateful to SrI narasimhan dampathis for their help in translating the articles from the originals in Tamil.

If some one volunteers , we can create a web site for SaaLagramam Worship. I will be ahppy to translate and post there addiitonal material including Kaliyan's paasurams on this dhivya dEsam in Nepal.

NamO NaarAyaNAya ,

Attachment from SrIman Narasimhan Swamy

Shri : Shrimathe Gopaala Desika mahadesikay nama:

gnyaanam nadeem ye punyodaam sprushanti sootarangineem
Tae garbha bhaajo naivasyuhu api paapakruto naraha

Those who take bath in the river Gandaki, who dances with her beautiful waves and who is the origin of Saaligraamams, will be relieved completely of all their sins; they will not be reborn on earth; they will surely attain moksha. Skaanda Puranam talks of the correct way to identify genuine Saaligraamams.

kshirova thandulovaapi saalagraamam niveshayeth
drushtavaadikyam thathhaa kinchith gruhaniyaath budhdhimaan nara:

After being placed in pure cow's milk or rice for a night, if the rice or milk gains weight; then the Saaligraamam is a genuine one, says Skaanda puranam.

saalagraamam tulasim shankam chaikadhha yae cha
yo rakshati mahaa gnaanii sabhavaeth shriharipriyaha

One who prays to valampuri white conch, Saaligraamam and tulasi leaf together in a plate or in a mandap (Kovil azhvar), will be a great seer(gnani) and will obtain the loving grace of Lord Sriman Narayana.

Vrutams (vows), Daanams (donations), Shraardham (ceremonies), Daevata Pratishtai (consecration of Archa murthies) when performed in the presence of Saaligraamam will bear unlimited fruits.

Saalagraama shilathoyam mrutyu kaalae: cha  yo labhaeth
sarvapaapa vinir mukto vishnu lokam cha gachchati

Lord Sriman Narayna's ever presence (nitya sannidhyam) exists in the Saaligramam. Hence, when one is on the throes of death, on partaking the thirumanjanam theertam (water) of the Saaligraamma, one is relieved of all his sins and attains Shri Vaikuntam.

As a praayashchittam, one may perform donations, shantrayana vrutam or upavasam or better still if one partakes one spoonful of saaligraama theertam; that will suffice.

Saligrama thirumanjana theertam has the capacity to dispel all sins.

saalagraamaha samaaha poojyaaha samaeshu dvithayam na hi
asamaaha naiva pujyanthae ekaha pujyatamomataha

Even number of saalagraamams have to be worshipped, exception being two saalagraamams.
Odd number of saalagraamams should not be worshipped, exception being one saalagraamam.

shilaadwadasha yo nityam bhaktya sampujyeth naraha
dinae dinae dharma vrudhdhihi paapa naashaha cha jaayathe

12 saligramams are called a kshetram.
Those who perform aaradhanam to a kshetram everyday with devotion, will accumulate punyam everyday and dispel sins everyday.

Saaligraama should not be bought or sold for money. It has to be given away or taken as a gift or a donation. Those who buy or sell saaligraamam will attain narakaa or hell.

badhara kaashtae stitho vanhihi mathanae cha prakaashathae
yatha tatha harihi vyaapi saalagraame prakaashathe

saalagraama shila bhhagnaa pujaniya sachakraka
khhanditha sputithaavaapi saalagraama shila shubha

na tatra dosho manthavyaha

Just as fire sparks are created out of wood like aranikattai, Lord narayana who is omnipresent,  shines as a saaligraamam.
Shila with a chakra , even if  broken or cracked,  can be used for aaradhanam.

We pray to Lord Narayana for the prosperity of those who perform araadhanam to saaligraamams in their homes.

Narayana Narayana Narayana

The above is a translation of the article in Tamil by HH Paravakottai Swami,  Prakrutam Aandavan of Poundarikapuram Ashramam, SriRangam

  Sri: Shrimathe Gopala Desika mahaadesikaya nama:

Pancha thrimshaadikai: pancha shathai: pancha sahasrakai: saaligraama:

Saaligraama murthies are of various kinds. There are totally 5535 types of saaligraamams. Amongst these 513 are the best ones - so says the Prameya ratnaakaram. Though we often say "saalagraamam", "saaligraamam" is the right term, as told in the Paaraananda sutram, the tantric book. The connotation of the word Saaligraama is as follows :-

Shaalaya: ishwara: thaeshaam shaaliinam graama bhhoothoyam
prasthara: tasmaath saaligraama:
athavaa saalaya: sushaa: ganaa: theshaam graama: tasmath saaligraama:

Saalaya: denotes
One who is capable of doing everything i.e. the avataaras of MahaVishnu in the form of vyuha, vibhava, antaryami, archa and the archa rupas in the divya deshas
graama: denotes a group of these

Saaligraama together connotes a group of all the above mentioned forms of Mahavishnu. This is a small stone found in the Gandaki river.

Saaligraama is a place where all the forms of the Lord take sannidhyam (are found together) as one and benedict the worshipper.

Saaligraama can also be understood as a collection of thousands of small stones which are endowed with divinity.

nityam sannidhi: yetaasu parasya paramaatmana:
na pratishta vidhhaathavyaa na chaiva aavaahanaadhaya:

na aavaahanam na pratishta na shaanthi: na eva nishkriti:
dugdhena snaapayaeth bramhan sparshaadhyai: dooshithaa yadhi

The Lord Purushottama takes nitya sannidhaanam in the saaligraamam. Unlike, vigraha murthies this shila does not require Prashitaapana or consecration.

One need not perform the aavahana of  Swarupas like Rama, Krishna in this murthy. Shaanthi and rituals for correction of doshas need not to be performed. If any ashudhdham – transgression of code of conduct towards the saaligraama murthy occurs, it suffices to perform thirumanjanam to the saaligraamam with cow's milk - these are told in Paadma Samhita and Vishnu tilak samhita.

Mantra upachaara vidhhibhi: heenamapi asya poojanam
muktim dadhaathi saaroopyam dashapoorvai: dashaaparai:
yaa kaapi murthi: sampoojya gandakii sambhava shila

There is no rule that only certain vishnu murthies amongst the saaligraamas have to be worshipped. Whatever may be the murthy, if it has been taken out of  the river Gantaki, then it is fit for aaradhanam. However, if it has a chakra mark on it, it is special.

Chaandilya smriti says that Saaligraama Aaradhanam assures moksha to the performer and all the people who belong to generations preceding and anteceding the performer upto a maximum of ten generations, above and below that of the performer; this holds good even if the saaligrama aaraadhanam is performed with some blemishes like omitting an act or mantra or a prayoga.

Generally, Lord in the Archa murthy has a lot of saulabhyam; especially so in saaligraama murthies, in which saulabhyam is maximum. Hence, we pray to Naaraayana that more and more people perform saaligraama aaradhana everyday without fail.

Narayana narayana narayana

The above is a translation of the article in Tamil by HH Paravakottai Swami of Prakrutam Aandavan of Poundarikapuram Ashramam, SriRangam

Shri: Shriimathe gopaala desika mahaadesikaaya nama:

Saalagraamodhbhavaha deva: ya:
ya: deva: dwaarakodhbhava:
ubhayo: sangamo yetra mukti:
tatra na samshaya:

Saalagraama shila yetra yetra dwaaravathii shila
mruthae vishnupuram yaathi
kruthaartham yojanathrayam

dwaaravathyath bhavam chakram shilaavai gandakii bhava
pumsaam kshanaath haranthyeva paapam janma shathaarjitham

Mokha is assured for one who performs aaradhanam to the Lord who resides as Krishna in the dwaaraka shila and Naaraayana who resides in the saaligraamam, together (at the same place and same time). Those who breathe their last in a residence where dwaaraka shila and saaligrama are present, will be assured a place in Sri Vaikuntam. Moreover, those who reside within a radius of three yojanas from the residence of the saaligraama will be assured of these benefits. The shilaas found in the dwaaravathi river and the chakra marked shilaas of the Gandaki river, can destroy the sins gathered by a person across a hundred births.
Balaraama and Krishna created the Dwaarakaa city where the dwaaravathii river meets the ocean; at this junction the dwaaravathii shilaa can be obtained.

Saaligramae harae: murthi: jagannaatha: cha dwaarakam
kale: dasha sahasraantey yayou tyakthvaa hare: padam

Narayana sannidhyam in the saaligraamam and Lord janardhana's sannidhyam in the dwaaraka shila is only for a specific period of time - viz. for ten thousand years in kali yuga only. Currently, with vikrama year, 5101 years have lapsed, 4899 years of saannidhyam is left. This is said in the Bramhavaivrutam.

Only, Saaligram aaradhanam is very amenable for us. Since, we are not sure if we would get another birth as a human, it is wise to make the best use of this birth and perform saaligrama aaradhanam

sakruth archita: vishnu: saaligraama shilaa sthithha:
dadaathi viphulaam muktim sarva sanga vivarjithaam
saalagraama shila chakram payodadhi kruthaadhikai:
ya: snaapayathi nunam sa: kalpakhoham vayeth divi
drushta pranamathaayen snaapitha pujitha thathhaa
sa dhanya: purusho lokae saphalam tasya jivitham
snaanae chaachamanae chaiva bhojanadhou dhanaathava
dhanathava bhojanaanthae cha saaligraama jalam pibheth

By praying to saligramam even once, bad company is destroyed. Thirumanjanam or abhishekam with milk, curds and ghee is very special. By seeing the saaligramaa or by performing namaskaaram to the saaligramam or by performing thirumanjanam, ones life becomes fruitful. The theertam of thirumanjanam when partaken during bath, during aachamanam, during food and at the end of meals would give rise to goodness. Hence, we pray to Lord Naarayana that more and more adopt this way ( of saaligraama aaradhanam) .

Narayana narayana narayana

The above is a translation of the article in Tamil by HH Paravakottai Swami of Prakrutam Aandavan of Poundarikapuram Ashramam, SriRangam

Shri: Shrimathe Gopala Desika Mahadesikaaya nama:

Gandakyaah cha  uttarae theerae giriraajasya dakshinae
kshetram tu vishnu sannidhdhyaath sarvakshetroththamoththamam

In the south of Himalayas, on the north side of Gantaki river, nitya sannidhaanam - permanent presence - of Vishnu exists. This is the holiest of all holy places. Many holy rivers flow here.
    This place is vast, spread over 12 yojanas. The Chakra river flows thru here. This river was created by Brahma. In the northern part of this river, there exists a mountain whose rocks exhibit the symbols of Vishnu. People who visit the southern side of this river are very fortunate, since only there, the Matsya and Kurma saaligraama murthies are found. These murthies have been sculpted with different chakras caused by the drawings of the worm vajrakeetam.  These murthies confer on us the four purushartas viz, dharma-artha-kaama-moksha. The murthies are of two types : jalajangal (borne out of water) and stalajangal (borne out of earth).

murthyah dvividhaah gneyaah jalajaah stalajaah thathaa
jalasthham komalam snigdham thatasthham parusham smrutam

Those got in water are soft and beautiful. Those borne out of earth are rough and hard. These murthies can be blue, black, yellow, white, red and very red and of honey colour and multi-coloured. Those with the chakra in the middle or left, or with the fully formed chakra or which are round-faced or those with the lines of lotus and vanamaala are fit for thiruvaaraadhanam.
    Amongst these the blue ones give all benefits, the black fame, white moksha and yellow money and multi-faceted happiness, and the red, kingdom.
    Those with the chakra on the mid and left benedict good progeny - putra and poutras - and fame, those with vanamaala benedict a good spouse -  patni-soubhagyam, round-faced ones benedict enjoyment of objects and vak-vilasam or clarity in  speech, those with padma chakra bring material prosperity - soubhagyam, dhaanyam and cattle.

Generally, the saaligraamam that are be too big or too small or too broken or very black or very rough are not preferred.
Those of  the size of elandai fruit or gooseberry and having two small tiny chakras or the preferred ones.

tasyaameva sadaa kaalam shriyaa saha vasaamyaham

I stay in these murthies along with Mahalakshmi - says the Lord.
Amongst the saaligraamams, the smaller ones are the better ones.

vylakshanyam visheshena gnyatum shakyam na vai kalou
varna rupadhyavayavai: pramanabila laanchnai:
vipraanaam murthayah sarvapujaniya prayathnathaha

In the kali yuga, it is the difficult to choose a saaligraamam based on its characteristics like the color, shape, holes. So, the bramhins perform aaradhanam to all murthies with devotion.

Odd number of murthies should not be kept. One murthy can be kept as an exception. Hence, 3, 5 etc. number of murthies are not to be kept together. They have to be placed in different boxes and aaradhanam performed separately.

Amongst even numbers of murthies, 2 should not be kept. If any numbers other than 4, 6, 8 murthies are present.

There are 81 types of murthies for which pooja can be performed. Their general classification is as follows :-
Dashavatarams - 10 types
keshavaadhi.... 12 types
vaasudevaadhi.... - 4 types

Even if murthies have dosham, it is perfectly all right to have a darshan of them. This gives us all benefits. Only when one prays for a specific benefit, the color, shape of the murthy matters. Those who pray for no specific benefits, the shila-lakshanam does not matter; both material benefits and moksha are bound to be begotten.

saaligrama shila yatra, yatra dwaaravathi shila, shankam tu tulasi patram, tatra sannihitho hari:
saaligramodhbhavaha devo devo dwaaravathee bhavaha
ubhayaha sangamo yatra brahma hatyaam vyapohati
vishnu padodakam nityam shirasa dharayeth pibeth
agnishtoma sahasrasya vaajapeya shathasya cha
yath punyam labhathe nityam vishnoh naivedhya bhakshanaath

Narayana is always present where the saaligraamam, dwaraka murthies, tulasi and white conch lie. In a house where the dwaraka shila and saaligraama shila lie together, even bramha-hatti dosha – the sin of killing a bramhin will not affect the residents. Those who perform aaradhanam of saaligrama and have performed the gayaa snaanam, will be freed from all sins and a lakh bramha-hatti sins. Those who bear the aaradhana theertam on the head or drink it will get moksha for sure. One who eats the food which has been offered to the saaligraamam, is like one who has performed a 1000 agnishtoma and 100 vajapeya yagnas. Japa, dhyaana, and homas performed in front of the saaligraama shila, will yield benefits 1000 fold.

narayana, narayana, narayana

The above is a translation of the article in Tamil by HH Paravakottai Swami of Prakrutam Aandavan of Poundarikapuram Ashramam, SriRangam

Dear Swamin

I've read the below mentioned article in and found it very interesting.  I believe it may help you also.

Om Sri Kalyana Venkata Ramana Swaminey Namaha.

Types of Salagramam

Salagramam means one kind of stone, that should not be treated as an ordinary stones like pebble or marbles etc. It is more precious and valued than any other stones, which are said to be Hamsam of Sri Vishnu and has lots of Power in it.

It is said that by doing poojas for the Salagramam in a proper way, we can attain good level in our life but at the same time, not doing poojas can also lead us to bad way. So, if we have Salagramam, we should be clean and poojas should be done for it.

These Salagramams are found in various shapes and structures. Depending upon the holes and the shapes, they are classified as given below:

1. Sri Lakshmi Varaha Murthi Salagramam:
Big and long hole and shining appearance. Two chakkarams will be found inside the hole and lots of lines will be found.

Another kind of this salagramam are also found which will be somewhat black and yellow colour mixed and two sides, Chakkaram will be found and both the holes will be of same sizes.

2. Varaha Murthi:
This Salagramam will be of Indra blue colour and 3 big lines will be found.
This Salagramam is rare to be found and has very great power.

Another kind of the same category is found with a long faced which will be covered by flower like structure and chakkaram will be found in the hole.

3. Matsya Murthi::
This kind of Salagramam will be long, looks like a Lotus and on its mouth, lines will be found. The shape will be like a Fish and will be smooth with dots on it. On the mouth, 2 holes and Chakkaram will be found.

4. Koorma Murthi::
This Salagramam will be in Indira Blue with 3 lines and its end will be slightly raised upwards and has "Avartha Regai" (lines).

Likewise, lots of Salagramam are found namely

Suvetha Varaha Murthi
Poo Varaha Murthi
Sudharsana Murthi
Maha Koorma Murthi
Koorma Varaha Murthi
Achyutha Murthi
Sri Seetha Rama Murthi
Lakshmi Gopala Murthi
Santhana Gopala Murthi
Shatsakra Murthi
Dhuvadha Sathma Madhavar

Generally, Salagramam represents about a particular Murthi (Perumal) and they have the shapes corresponding to that particular Perumal.

This is referred to as "Vajjra Kreetam". Inside these Salagramam, the Perumal and Lakshmi Piratti are said to be found and by doing proper poojas to these Salagramam will give us lots of credit and the Final Stage, the Mukthi.

Taking care of these precious Salagramams in a proper way may lead us towards the final destiny, the divine feet of Sriman Narayanan and at the same time we should follow the proper method of doing pooja to these Salagramams. So, if you have Salagramam in the house, by doing proper poojas and by dedicating daily food, pure water and expressing the proper Mantra to it can lead us to attain the Paramathma, Sriman Narayanan.

PeraruLALan pathrikai articles

Dear  BhakthAs:

I am grateful to SrIman Narasimhan Ananatha rangachar Dampathys of Bangalore for their most valuable  kaimkaryams in transalting the PeraruLALan pathrikai articles int to English and sending them to me for archiving in the Moorthy LakshaNam section of the Home pages for SaaLigrAmam under development .

These authoritative  articles are from HH PoundarIkapuram Andavan to whom we are indebted .

Daasan, V.Sadagopan

Respected Sriman Sadagopan Swamin:
I am sending here (as text file attachment) the second and last part of articles on Saligramam by HH Srimad Paravakkottai Andavan Swamy. The articles which came in Perarulalan magazine issues of July, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec 2001 and Jan 2002 are in this file (have been marked too).

I have not done much of prrof-reading etc and kindly excuse us for any mistakes which might be there and they are ours and ours alone. We would be glad to make any corrections pointed out by readers.

These articles have been translated from Tamil to english by my wife, Usha.

Hope readers enjoy the information.

I had some difficulty posting files on the group and hence am sending it to you and am requesting you to kindly post it to the respective groups.

Thanks and Regards,

Shrimathe gopaala desika mahadesikaaya namaha

July 2001

Saalagraamams can be of the following colors :-

White , yellow ,red black, ash color, kapila (light red), black and red color mixed as in smoke or multi colored.

Murthies and their Colors, in general :-
Vaasudeva kshetram     white
Hiranya garbhan                yellow
pradyumnan             red
vishnu                 black
shriman narayanan      green / yellow
narasimhan             kapila
vaamanan               kayam flower color (light blue)

Colors and their benefits :-
Blue                   aiswaryam
black                  strength and progress
red                    kingdom
white                  moksham, charity and wealth
multi colored          shri / sampath

Murthies unworthy of worship
Very dark colors, those whose colors are difficult to ascertain, dark red and those colors not mentioned in the list given above have to be

Murthy and its vadanam(opening)
When the length of the vadanam of the saalagraamam is one eighth the perimeter of the murthy, then it is a superior murthy, if it is one fourth it is tolerable ; but if the length of the vadanam is more than one fourth the perimeter, the murthy is not worthy of worship. If the vadanam is on the bottom surface, the murthy is not worthy of worship; vadanam on the upper surface keeps enemies away; those with vadanam on the mid portion are superior and worthy of worship.
If the vadanam lies on one portion of the murthy, the murthy is not acceptable.
Elongated and very lengthy murthies are not worthy ones.
All Shri vaishnavites must possesss saalagramaam murthies in their homes.
Murthies of Black and jamun fruit color are commonly found in homes.

We perform narayanan smaranams for bestowing all mangalam on those who worship murthies of the right color, having correct no. of vadanams.

Narayana Narayana

Aug 2001
Characteristics of some saalagraama murthies
Matsya murthy

Has a shape of that of a fish and a mouth too.
Chakras are found in the mouth.On the tail, there could be chakras or shrivatsa marks.
If the murthy has dots or lines on the surface,these signify Vanamaala and are very auspicious signs.


Circular in shape, of the form of a tortoise, this murthy could also have lines that signify the Vanamaala or lotus or chakra. Green or golden colored dots may also be seen. This is a very rare murthy and difficult to obtain. Murthies that are big, heavy, rough and jet black in color may also be called kurma murthies. These huge murthies may have chakras and also exhibit other colors like red and so on.

Varaaha murthy

A long mouth with chakras on the inner surface of the open mouth, signs of bearing the Earth - these are the lakshanas of the varaaha murthy. It could be blue or black in color.

Swaetha varaahan

Of a long nose and one molar tooth, white in color and with lines of Vanamaala - these are the lakshanas of the swaetha varaaha murthy.

Bhoo Varaaha

Sporting a well groomed body with chakras on the rear end, face of the shape of a spear - ankusha- and having a pronounced canine tooth; this nurthy is a bestower of all good things.
The Varaaha murthy of Indra-neela color and possessing three lines is a bestower of all friuts.


Of a long mouth, light red (kapila) in color, an elongated chakra with a large torso (mid portion); this murthy has to be worshipped by sanyasis.

Laxmi Narasimhan

Sporting a chakra on the left side or with two chakras, black in color, smeared with dots : this murthy bestows material gains and Shri Vaikuntam. There may be a big chakra with a small chakra at the centre, in the mouth of the murthy.

Mahajwaala Narasimhan

Huge murthy with wide open mouth, of blue or light red color : this murthy has to be worshipped by sanyasis only.


Of the color of Indra-neela gem, small in size, with bright rays of Vanamaala and lotus , this murthy is round shaped.
If the same murthy is long and beautiful, with lines of vanamaala, lotus, shankha, chakra and gadhai, then it is called thrivikrama.

Shri raama

This is thick and long, with lines indicating bow and arrow; sports dots on the surface, chakra at the centre; having many openings of black or orange color; may sport lines of lotus.

Sita Raama

Egg shaped, with an opening on the lower surface, kundala lines and two chakras present in the mouth, lines indicating kalpa-vruksha, a chakra on the left side of thehead portion.

Shri Krishna

Possessing lines that represent the five Ayudhas viz. Shankha, chakra, gadhai, Sharngam(bow) and nandakam(knife). Having lines of vanamaala and lotus and sporting small chakras.

Shri gopaala murthy

Having the lines of PanchaAyudha as in the Shri Krishna murthy, with no openings and with lines of vanamaala. The mid portion is thick with lines indicating a flute.
The same murthy with one half being red and the other being black and sporting a long mouth, is called Madhana  gopaala.

Santhaana gopaala

On both sides of the murthy lines indicative of a cane(stick used for driving the cattle) and horns of cows are seen. Lines indicating a flute, vanamaala, chakras of the shape of a spear, dharma chakras can also be seen in the mouth. Worshippers of this murthy
are bestowed with a long progeny. The murthy is long and blue in color.

Hayagriva murthy

Face of the shape of the spear, elongated body with dots on the surface.
Looks very much like a ripe jamun fruit.

Lakshmi Narayana

Has a valley like formation, chakras on the top portion, well rounded shape. Four chakras are seen in two openings on the left side of the murthy. Chakras of the shape of shrivatsa and conch are seen.
If lines indicative of a flying garuda are seen in the mouth, the worshiper is bestowed with bounty. If lines indicative of Adhisesha encircling the murthy are seen, then it is a Narayana murthy. If two chakras are found in the upper and lower surfaces of the mouth, then it is called Laxmi narayana murthy.

Govinda murthy

Of bluish black color, vanamaala lines, of ten mouth lines with one chakra each on the upper and lower surface. Worshippers are bestowed with whatever they desire.


Round or egg shaped murthy, with dots all over the body. One chakra in the mouth.

Sep 2001

Hiranya garbham

Generally, murthies that do not have any openings are called Hiranya garbhams. Inside some of these murthies a reddish golden glow can be seen when the murthy is held against the light.
The other lakshanas are:- it is round shape like the moon and the surface is very smooth. Big in size and black in color, the top portion is elevated and chakras can be seen near the mouth.
Worshippers of these will have a very bright future. Worshipping this murthy yields the fruits of worshipping a thousand saaligrama murthies. This murthy yields the fruits of worshipping a thousand saaligraama murthies. This murthy bestows a lot of material happiness. On placing near the ear, a distinct sound can be heard.

Shudhdha sudharshana murthy

One chakra in the head portion and beside the chakra, symbols of conch etc. are seen. This murthy bestows all the desires of the worshipper. Black in color, speckled with dots it bestows happiness in this world. Of very bright lustre, this murthy has signs of gadhai and chakra on the left side and lines on the right. Of the shape of chakra, it has many lines. If this murthy has golden lines, it bestows happiness here and in the other world.

Ubhaya sudharshana murthy

One chakra each at the top and rear ends. Black in color, it is of a very small size. Bestower of all desires this murthy is difficult to obtain.

Murthies that should not be worshipped

Murthies that do not have a regular shape should not be worshipped. Murthy that has a burn mark or is hot to feel or with lines of confluence and that which has no chakras and is rough, those with irregular shaped mouths , with a crack ,those with crooked chakras,chakras at the bottom, countless number of chakras or many bow-like lines , indistinct chakras, those of the color of bright green, red as fire, scary to look at,triangle shaped , those with too many holes or too many lines , should not be worshipped.

Donating saaligraamams

A saaligraama murthy is said to contain the fourteen worlds. Hence, Lord Shriman Narayana is pleased by the act of donating a saaligraama. Only a murthy that has been worshipped, is worthy of donation. One should accept only such murthies. Both the giver and receiver of a murthy will accumulate lots of punyas. One who sells or buys a saaligraama murthy will attain hell.

However a murthy may be, be it broken, damaged, cracked etc. it sanctifies the place of its residence. If one is unable to obtain a blemishless murthy, even a faulty one can be worshipped, provided it has chakras. Saaligraama worship bestows all auspiciousness.
Bramhachari and sanyasi can worship murthies with blemishes.

One murthy or even no. of murthies except two, can be worshipped. Odd no. of murthies except one, should not worshipped.


Oct 2001

Colors of Saaligramam and their associated benefits

Saalagraama Of the color Kapila (light brick red) if worshipped will result in loss of wife.
Hence, this has to be worshipped by bramhachari or sanyasi.

Those of blue color bestow aIshwaryam and lakshmi.

Those of black color bestow strength , fame and success.

White colored ones bestow moksham.

Yellow ones bestow wealth.

Red one bestows on the worshipper kingdom.

Those that are very red result in death of the worshipper.

Those of ash color result in sadness and poverty.

Deciding the murthy based on the color

Red color                              Narasimhan
Kayam flower color                     Vaamanan
White                                  Vaasudevan
REd                                    Sankarshanan
Blue                                   Damodaran, Aniruddan
Black                                  Narayan, Vishnu
All colors                             Ananthan
Yellow                                 Shridaran
Off white                              Vaasudevan
Pure white                             Adhokshajan
Honey color                            Bramha

This table can be found in the Shri tatwa nidhi.

Deciding the murthy based on the chakra

If one chakra is present, then the murthy could be any of the following :-

One chakra (mudra)

Pundarikan, vaikuntan, madhusudanan, raaman, balaraaman, sudharshanan, veer narayanan, ksheerabdhi shaayi, matsya murhty, parameshti, vishwarupam etc.
This is is a brief of what is told in the puraanas.

If two chakras are present, then the murthy could be any of the following :-

Two chakras
Matsya, kurmam,varaahan, swaetha varaahan, vaamanan, lakshmi varaahan,garudan, bhu varaahan, narasimhan parushuraaman, veera raaman, keshavan, lakshmi  narasimhan, seshan, upendran,dadhi vaamanan, vishnu, daasharathi raaman, balaraaman, kodhanda ramaan, thrivikraman, krishnan, govarhanan, kalki,padmanabhan hari, pradyumnan, anirudhdhan, lakshmi gopaalan, santhaan gopaalan, madana gopaalan, bal krishnan, hayagrivan, maaya narayanan, garudadhwajan, narayanan  Pundarikakshan, yagyan, shridharan, gadaadharan, lakshmi pathi, vaasudevan, maadhavan, seshasaayi vidhaarana narasimhan, vidhyunjihva narasimhan, gora narasimhan, kukshi narasimhan, vibhishana narasimhan, mahahaara narasimhan, kali naashaka ramaana nara narayanan, shankara narayanan, rupa narayanan,  laskshmi damodaran, damodaran, shankarshanan, adhokshajan, dattareyan, chaturbhujan, mohan krishanan, sowbhagya varadan, rukmini vijayan, choodamani krishanan, dhanjaya krishanan, parijaata hara krishnan, shyamanthakan, hara krishanan, kaliya mardhana krishanan, chanur mardhana krishnan, sudharshanan, murari, vanamaali, amrutaharanan, shri vatsa laanchnan, darnidharan, devadevan, swayambhu kapilar, dharmaraajar, hiranya garbar, paramhamsan.

Narayana Narayana

Nov 2001

Murthies with three chakras

Narayanan, laxmi narayanan, daasarathi raaman, shaantha vaasudevan, narasimhan,
koormam, achyuthan, keshavan, adho mukha narasimhan, simshumaaran,
matsyan, sudharshan, purushottaman.

Murthies with four chakras

sita raman, janaardhanan, thrivikraman, hamsamardhi, laxmi narayanan,
shri raman, budhdha chatur bhujan, govardhanan,

Murthies with five chakras
sita raman, shri hayaananan

Murthies with six chakras
shri murthy, taraka bramha, thrimurthy

Murthies with seven chakras
ananthan, sarvothomukha narasimhan

Murthies with eight chakras
mahaa narayanan, chakra paani, pithaamahan, ananthan

Murthies with nine chakras
vishwaksenar, achyuthan, ananthar

Murthies with ten chakras

hrushikeshan, govindan, ananthan, vishwarupakan, maha vishnu, paatala
narasimhan, purushottaman, satyaveerashravan

Murthies with eleven chakras
sudhdha ananthar, rudra shankar, rudra naathar,

Murthies with twelve chakras
mukundan, sooryan

Murthies with thirteen / fourteen chakras, upto twenty five chakras and with chakras more than twenty five also exist. But, they are not popular.

Murthy without chakras could also be a shaiva murthy.

Dashaavataara murthies

Matsya murthy
elongated, smooth , two chakras on the vadanam, one chakra on the tail, fish shaped, lines on the left side - this murthy bestows all auspiciousness.
Black in color, face like a fish, with dots and vanamaala - these are lakshanas of a matsya murthy. It could be multi colored, have three dots and be of the shape of a conch also.

Koorma murthy

Of the shape of a tortoise, with chakras, with an elevated rear, beautiful round body in the shape of a whirlpool, of green color with the symbol of kaustuba mani.

Some koorma murthies are of the color of indra-neela gem, with the three significant lines and of a big size.

Round or tortoise shaped, with lines of vanamaala and two chakras, of black color, with golden dots is also a koorma murthy.

Four more types of koorma murthies can also be seen.


Four types of varaaha murthies exist. Viz:-

1. shudhdha varaahan
2. bhu varaahan
3. laxmi varaahan
4. swaetha varaahan

Shudhdha varaahan

Of a big size, of the color of indra-neela gem, with three significant lines.

Laxmi varaahan

Of the shape of varaahan, with chakras, with lines on the rear side, long, with an elevated rear, with two chakras on the left side and kaustubha lines on the bottom.

Bhu varaahan

Elongated face, of black color, with separate ring-like structures, chakra in the mouth portion.

With a bent face, elevated rear, spear-shaped face is also a bhu varaahan.

Laxmi varaahan

Chakras on the left side and lines of vanamaala are seen.

Swaetha varaahan

Long nose, a molar tooth, glowing, white as cow's milk, with lines of vanamaala and a beautiful appearance.


Dec 2001
Narasimha Avataram

"Elongated, with a mane, chakras in the mouth and a possessing wide mouth, right side being raised up, with an uplifted head , two teeth of the jaw being visible, such a murthy is called vidaarana narasimhan "- says the bramhanda puranam. This murthy may be worshipped only by bramhacharis and sanyasis.

Of the color of light red, with a knotted garland like structure, of red spots, of long mane and chakras on the left side, of a wide mouth is another kind of avidaarana narasimhan.

Of many mouths and open mouths and of gold color is the Raksha-shaantha narasimhan.

In this manner there exist seventeen types of narasimha murthies.

Vaamana avataram

two types of vaamana exists viz. pure vaamana murthy and dadhivaamana .

Shudhdha vaamana

"Small in size, short and very bright, chakras on the top and mouth on the rear side" - these are the lakshanas of a pure vaamana murthy says the Padma puraanam.
"Of the color of kaayam flower and with beautiful dots and round in shape and very small" - describes the bramhaanda puranam.
Some of them possess five lines also. "Of the color of indira - neela with vanamaala and lotus and very bright and round and small" these are the lakshanas of sudhdha vaamana says the varaha puraanam.

"Round and smooth and with clear chakras and elongated mouth and clear lines and an uplifted navel, on either side of the chakra a flower like formation and a garuda like formation near the chakra , with lots of hair - this vaamana murthy bestows goodness,
auspiciousness and good relationships on householders who worship", says the bramhaanda puraanam.

dadhi vaamanan
With mahalakshmi on the lap, Purnakumbham in the right hand and bhiksha paatram in the left hand and a crown on the head, of the shape of a crescent moon - this is the dadhi vaamana murthy.

Parushuraama avataram

Two types exist - ugra murthy and shaantha murthy.

"Ugra Parashuraaman has a white and black body, elongated and big mouth and chakras on the right side and the left side, dots on the chakra and lines resembling the axe; on the rear side lines of the form of teeth " - this is in brief what the puraanas have to say.

Murthy with bow and arrow formations, of fair complexion, and a seated posture, bestow moksham . Being an amsha of Vishnu and axe like lines , of the color of grass and a raised navel with brigt chakras is the ugra Parsshuraama say some puranaas.

Shaantha PArashuraama

Axe like lines on the rear side is the shaantha murthy.

Daasarathi raaman

Of twelve types.
3.Sita raaman
4.Daasarathi raaman
5.Dashakandakulaanthasu raaman
8.Hrushta raaman
9.Kodhandha raaman
10. Kali naashaka raaaman
11. Shri raaman
12. Pattabhi raaman


"Of the color of grass, with a beautiful chakra, with dandam(stick) on the rear side, two lines on the sides", says the bramha puraanam.
With bow and arrow, with padma-rekha, egg-shaped and with lines of the karpgam-tree; black colored rear", say the other puranaas.

This murthy has not been found in all the three worlds.

With bow and arrow , elongated, of a big size, with dots, chakra on the navel.
With plenty of openings, of black color, is also a raman murthy.


On the rear side are found five lines; bow and arrow on the sides ; two chakras
"Those who worship Him will be bestowed with sons", says the bramhaanda puraanam.

Sita Raama

Of only one opening with four chakras, of the color of the dark blue cloud, with bow and arrow, spear, umbrella, flag, lines of chaamara and vanamala. Bestows victory and sowbhagyam to the worshipper.

Two openings  with four chakras; one chakra on the left side, bow and arrow, quiver, vanamala". says the bramhaanda puraanam.

Egg shaped with opening on the bottom, kundalam in the opening, two chakras on the sides. Kalpa vruksha lines on the top and chakra on the left side.
Adorned With beautiful lines . Bestows all material benefits on the worshipper - so says the Paadma puraanam.

Taaraka bramha sita raaman (with six chakras)

With bow and having the clefts of a cow - these are the lakshanas of this murthy.
Three openings and six chakras, of black color, uplifted and slopy rear side, of the shape of a big jamun fruit - this is the taaraka seet raaman.

Dasakantakulaanthaka raaman

With kodandam, egg shaped, big and having two lines on either sides of a dent, of black color, a bow on the right rear side.

Veera Raaghavan

With bow and arrow and quiver, with kundalam, with vanamala, with small garlands, with two chakras - this is the veera raaman murthy.

Vijaya Raaman

With bow and arrow, quiver, of a fearful contour, two dotted chakras, with garlands - this is the vijaya raama murthy.

Hrushta raaman

Garland on the top side, bow and arrow, lines on the sides, two chakras - He bestows joy and moksham.

Kali naashaka raaman

Of the look of jamun fruit, of black color, opening on the rear side, opening with two chakras, makara kundalam, golden mark on the forehead, with bow and dots - bestows sarvaabheeshta sidhdhi.

Narayana Narayana


Jan 2002

The last session on saaligraamams
Round saaligramams have one flat surface. Elongated saaligrammas have a long flat surface. These saaligrmamas have to be placed during worship, on their flat surfaces.

When the length of the vadanam of the saaligrammam is one eightth the perimeter of the murthy, then it is a superior murthy, if it is one fourth it is tolerable ; but if the length of the vadanam is more than one fourth the perimeter, the murthy is not worthy of worship.

Bramhins have to worship the Vaasudeva murthy, amongst the three murhties.
Kshathriyas have to worship the Sankarshana murthy, vaishyas have to worship the Pradyumna murthy and the sudras Anirudhdha.

Bramhins can worship many number of murthies. Kshatriyas should not worship more than three, vaishyas not more than two and sudras should not worship more than one murthy.

Those who worship Saaligramams with Chakras three times a day will most certainly become muktas.

Twelve shilas together is called a kshetram. A vaishanavan who worships these will be bestowed with limitless punyams. Saaligramams with chakras and dwaraka shilas when worshipped daily will bestow moksham. Saaligramama with chakra when donated is tantamount to bhu-daanam, donation of large areas of lands including mountains and forests.

Wherever the dwaraka shila, saaligramam shila, tulasi leaf and shankha are together worshipped and whoever partakes of that theertam is bound to get moksham.
Those who instead of partaking the saaligramam thirumanjanam theertam, use it for prokshanam of the self, are sinners tantamount to performers of bramhahatti dosham. That is why perumal theeratam has to be partaken first and then prokshanam done with some more theertam taken again.

Saaligramam of the size of a gooseberry fruit and with a sumukha face, when worshipped bestows all the wishes of the the worshipper and moksha too. Those with no bhakthi but only a kaama purusha - full of desires, when he worships a saaligramam will be protected by the Lord undoubtedly. Even one look of the saaligrama murthy will drive away all sins just as the animals take to their heels on the sight of the lion. Even when one merely desires to perform Saaligrama aaradhana, all sins will fly away as the darkness is destroyed by the sun's rays.
Even an impure person is rendered pure by the mere touch of the Saaligrama murthy; one who bears the saaligramam on his shoulders will be akin to one who bears the burden of the whole world.
The worshipper of one hundred saaligramams, will be bestowed with goodness that is indescribable. Since, in the Saaligram murthy the Lord resides permanently, no aavahana is required; yet the agni puranam talks of performing visarjanam for purification.

Let us all uplift our lives by performing saaligraama aaradhana in a befitting manner !

Narayana Narayana

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