Interesting Anecdote about Shaalagraama (Fossil) Marriage (Post No.4292)

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date:11 October 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 16-26

 

 

Post No. 4292

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

Interesting Anecdote about Shaalagraama (Fossil) Marriage (Post No.4292)

What is a Shalagrama?

Hindus worship fossils with several designs made by the impressions of dead animals. Such stones are millions of years or thousands of years old. Devotees of Lord Vishnu regard them as a most sacred objects. They see the symbols of Lord Vishnu (Chakra=wheel, Shank= Conch) in it. Normally other stone images of Gods must be consecrated in a special ceremony by a priest before they can be used; but with Shalagrama (Fossil stone) you can worship straight away. This stone is inherently sacred and is worshipped as a part of deity himself. It is a round black ammonite and is found in River Gandaki in Nepal. They are valued according to their size, hollowness, and inside colouring and impression. For rarer kind big amount of money is given.

 

Hindus believe that whoever keeps this celebrated stone in the house can never become poor; they never want to part with it. It is passed from one generation to another generation for Puja/worship.

Bhagavata Purana has a story about Shalagrama:

Vishnu created nine planets (celestial objects) to preside over the fates of men. Sani/Saturn commenced his reign by requesting Brahma to become subject to him for 12 years. Brahma referred him to Vishnu, who asked him to call on him next day. When he called, he found that the god, dreading the influence of the inauspicious planet, had transformed himself into a mountain. Sani them became a worm, and ate into the vitals of the mountain for twelve years. At the expiration of that time Vishnu resumed his proper shape, and ordered henceforth the stones of this mountain Gandaki should be worshipped as the representatives of himself.

 

Hindus worship this form of Vishnu in homes. They first bathe or wash the stone, reciting the mantras and then offer flowers, incense, light sweetmeats and water, repeating the mantras. After the worship the offerings ae eaten by the family.

 

In the hot months, to cool the sacred stone,  a vessel is suspended over it, as in the case of the Linga/ Shiva, and a small hole is bored into the bottom of the vessel. The water poured into the vessel drips over the Shalagrama stone/s. The water is collected and used as holy water. The marks of the stone are shown to dying men, in the belief that the concentration of the mind on this object will ensure the soul a safe passage to Vaikund, Vishnu’s abode.

A separate room or a particular spot in the Hindu houses is kept for the worship of the gods.

 

Shalagrama – Tulsi Plant Wedding

 

There is a very interesting account of a marriage of Shalagrama with Tulsi (Holy Basil) plant in a 100 year old book:

 

“The king of Orrcha in Central India, used to spend three lakhs of rupees (100 years ago) on this marriage. The officiating priests get good fees. A procession of 8 elephants, 1200 camels and 6000 horses, all mounted and elephants caparisoned. On the leading elephant of this cortege was carried the Pebble God (shalagrama/ fossil). He was carried to pay his bridal visit to the little shrub goddess/Tulsi.

 

All the ceremonies of a regular marriage were gone through, and when completed the bride and bridegroom were left to repose together in the temple of Ludhaura till the next year. Over one lakh people were present, and they were feasted at the king’s expenses”.

 

In addition to the black ammonites (shalagrama), white agates, typifying Shiva in his linga form and red stones, as symbolising Ganesa with certain forms of coral, are also worshipped.

 

Shashthi, protectress of married women and of children has no temples or idols, but her proper representation is  a rough stone, smeared with red paint and set up at the foot of a banyan tree. Lord Shiva is worshipped by the well known Linga (formless) stone.

Source: The Gods of India by Rev Osborne Martin, 1914

 

–SHUBAM–

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