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Worship of Shaligram

In Sanatan Dharma, worshiping Shaligram at home or temples is considered highly meritorious and beneficial. Shaligrams are manifestation of Lord Vishnu Himself. It is said that in a house where a Shaligram is worshiped with full devotion, there never be scarcity of wealth. Maa Laxmi Herself resides where Shaligram along with Tulsi are worshipped. Shaligram are found in Gandaki River in Nepal, the Gandaki River is considered as manifestation of Tulsi. Thus, Tulsi is widely used during the Puja of Shaligrams. During the worship of Shaligram special care is taken about purity and cleanliness both that of self, surroundings and also thoughts. It must be kept in mind that Shaligram is considered a symbol of sattvikta.

Just as Lord Shiva is worshiped in the form of Shivling, similarly Lord Vishnu is worshiped in the form of Shaligram. As per scriptures it is better and more beneficial to worship Shaligram than the idol of Lord Vishnu. Worship of Shaligram on special days such as on Ekadashi, Tulsi Vivah and during the Kartik month is considered most auspicious and meritorious. To gain maximum benefits from the worship of Shaligram, a devotee should use the Puja methodology given in the scriptures as below.

How to Worship Shaligram Step by Step (Long Procedure)

Puja Samagri Required for Shaligram Puja: Lord Shaligram, Tulsi Leaves, Tulsi Mala, Ganga Jal, Gandaki River Water, Kusha Grass, Panchgavya (mixture of Cowdung, Gaumutra, Milk, Ghee and Curd), Panchamrit (mixture of milk, curd, water, honey and ghee), pipal leaves, Dhoop, Incense Sticks, Fresh Flowers, Fruits, Camphor, Sandalwood paste, Oil Lamp, Janeu, Conch, Sweets for Bhog, piece of clean cloth, Copper Plate

  • Firstly both the house and the Puja altar on which the Shaligram has been installed should be clean and pure. The surroundings should be as Sattvik as possible so pets, non-vegetarian food, alcohol should be avoided.
  • Before the worship of Shaligram devotees should always take a bath and wear clean clothes. Not only this, the mind should also be clean at the time of worship and worship should not be done keeping any bad or negative thoughts in mind.
  • Regular worship of the Shaligram by the head of the house is highly recommended, but in his absence, women can also worship Lord Shaligram.
  • It is recommended that only one Shaligram be kept at the Puja altar. One may keep more than one Shaligram but odd number of Shaligrams are not kept together and worshipped.
  • In case if one wants to keep more than one Shaligram then only even numbers of Shaligram Shilas other than one Shaligram is kept which is considered best. As per scriptures worshipping of 12 Shaligram Shilas together at any home makes the place as ‘Divya Desham’ meaning a Divine land where Lord Vishnu resides in the form of a stone.
  • Sprinkle gangajal on oneself and surrounding to purify it
  • Sit on an asana facing East or North East direction and take Sankalp after which the follow the below steps.

Dhyānam & Āvāhanam: Focus on the Shaligram and Lord Vishnu, Pay reverence to the Lord and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana āvāhanam samarpayāmi
Āsanam: Prepare an asana for Lord Shaligram on the copper plate by placing red or white clean cloth on the plate and pipal leaves and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana āsanam samarpayāmi
Pādyam, Ārghyam & Āchamanyam: Wash the Shaligram with Gangajal and/or Gandaki river water and offer water to the Lord and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana pādyam ārghyam āchamaniyam samarpayāmi
Madhuparkam: Offer panchamrit made with milk, curd, water, honey and ghee to the Lord and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana madhuparkam samarpayāmi
Snānam: Bath the Shaligram with Panchgavya mixture and again bath the Shaligram with Gandaki river water and/or Gangajal using a conch and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana snānam samarpayāmi
Vastram: Dry the Shaligram using a clean cloth and offer Janeu and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana vastram samarpayāmi
Yagnoveetam: Offer one more Janeu and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana yagnopaveetam samarpayāmi
Ābhāranam: Offer Tulsi leaves (Basil) and put a Tulsi Mala across the Shaligram and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana ābhāranam samarpayāmi
Gandham: Apply sandalwood paste tilak, offer attar, offer some turmeric powder, offer some vibhuti and chant the following MantraOm sri Vishnu Narayana chandanam samarpayāmi, Om sri Vishnu Narayana sindoor tilakam samarpayāmi, Om sri Vishnu
Narayana haldiyam samarpayāmi, Om sri Vishnu Narayana vibhooti samarpayāmi
Pushpam: Offer flowers to the Lord and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana pushpam samarpayāmi
Dhoopam: Offer dhoop and incense to Lord Shaligram and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana dhoopam samarpayāmi
Deepam: Offer Oil lamp to Lord Shaligram and chant the following Mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana deepam samarpayāmi
Naivedyam: Offer bhog to Lord Shaligram. In Bhog, offer Satvik food especially laddus or any sweets (you can offer fruits also) and chant the following mantra.
Om sri Vishnu Narayana naivedyam samarpayāmi
After Puja distribute this bhog among family, friends and relatives as prasadam.
Tambulam: Offer Paan and Supari to Lord Shaligram and chant the following mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana tambulam samarpayāmi
Karpoora Niranjanam: Offer camphor lamp and chant the following mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana karpoora samarpayāmi
Pradakshina & Namaskāram: Offer Sashtang Namaskar to the Lord and chant the following mantra
Om sri Vishnu Narayana pradakshina samarpayāmi; Om sri Vishnu Narayana namaskāram samarpayāmi
Mantra Chanting: Finally focus and chant the below mantras 108 times with utmost devotion:
Om Narayanaya Vidmahe, Vasudevaya Dhimahi, Tanno Vishnu Prachodayat.
Or
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Conclusion Mantra: This mantra can chanted at the end after all rituals are over
kāyena vācā manase indriyairvā buddhy ātmanā vā prakrteh svabhāvāt |
karOmi yad yat sakalam parasmai nārāyanāyeti samarpayāmi ||

Daily Shaligram Puja (Short Method)

Shaligram is the formless Swaroop of Lord Vishnu. It holds the Divine energies of Lord Vishnu so, regular puja of the Salagrama is highly recommended. As Shaligram is ‘Jagrut’ in nature (awakened), one need not perform the rituals of invocation or Pran Prathistha. Regular Puja also helps the Shaligram to remain energized and provide maximum benefits. If one is unable to perform the above elaborate Puja then he or she may keep the Salagram on copper plate, wash it with water, apply a sandalwood tilak, offer a fresh Tulsi leaf and incense stick, offer obeisance and chant Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya eight times.

Regular worship of Shaligram is highly recommended but many times due to a devotee’s hectic lifestyle and travel it may not be possible. In such a scenario a devotee can merely bath the Shaligram in gangajal, apply sandalwood paste tilak, bow one’s head with hands in “Namaste” and chant Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya once.

During travel a devotee should leave the Shaligram in a copper plate immersed in Gangajal or Gandaki Water.

Benefits of Shaligram Puja:

Shaligram cleanses the surroundings of all negativities and rectifies all Vastu Doshas
It is believed that the worship of Shaligram is not complete without Tulsi and wherever Shaligram is worshipped with Tulsi all sins, sorrows and diseases are removed from that home
According to the Puranas, all the pleasures are attained by daily worship of Shaligram, all the wishes of a devotee are fulfilled and he is blessed with immense wealth and prosperity
In Skanda Purana Lord Shiva has stated that a devotee is blessed by Him whoever worships Lord Shaligram in the month of Kartik
It is mentioned in the Prakritikhand chapter of Brahmavaivarta Purana that wherever Shaligram is worshipped and especially on all Ekadashis, there resides Lord Vishnu along with Goddess Lakshmi.
As per Vedic scriptures worship of Shaligram gives merit which is equivalent to all the yagyas and all the pilgrimages
By drinking water in which a Shaligram has been soaked helps devotee get rid of all sins and diseases

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