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–

MONKEY WEDDING 100 YEARS AGO! (Post No.4093)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 18 July 2017


Time uploaded in London-16-23


Post No. 4093


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

 

 

There are some interesting stories about Hanuman in 100 year old books written by foreigners!

 

For anyone familiar with the adventures of Hanuman, comic books such as Superman, Spiderman, Phantom are all just imitations. The adventures of hanuman are true stories. Hindus call him the Great Hero – Mahaa Veer! Hanuman was called the Monkey God by foreigners; but for Hindus he is a god like any other god. Westerners could only look at his face and tail whereas Hindus can look at his great qualities! Foreigners couldn’t understand Hinduism even today because they look at it superficially.

 

Hanuman is described in the Ramayana as a man possessed of great learning. He was a master of grammar. he had the gift of the gab. he was a great orator. “The chief of the monkeys is perfect; no one equals him in the sastras, in learning and in ascertaining the sense of the scriptures. In all sciences, in the rules of austerity, he rivals the preceptor of the Gods.

In North India he is a village god. His image smeared with oil and vermillion, meets one’s gaze in many villages. He is often the guardian deity, and is considered the embodiment of virile strength, the conqueror of evil spirits, while women implore his aid as the giver of off spring.

 

Hanuman does not often rise to the dignity of a separate temple devoted to his honour (100 years ago), but in Rama’s birth place Ayodhya, the greatest temple is the Hanumangarhi. It is a fortress temple rising solidly from the surrounding plain, and is provided with a regular priesthood f ascetics.

 

One of the main reasons why this god is so widely worshipped over a large part of India is that he is regarded as the type and model of faithful, unselfish and devoted service.

At the Dasara, one of the most popular Hindu festivals, Hanuman, clothed in gorgeous attire, marches along the stage at the head of his army of monkeys and bears and plays his part valiantly in the assault of Lanka.

 

Living monkeys too are honoured and worshipped as Hanuman’s representatives, and the feeding of monkeys is part of the regular ritual at some temples, notably at the Durga temple in Varanasi, often called for this reason ‘the Monkey Temple’. There is a king of monkeys there who is treated with much respect. It is remarkable with what impunity monkeys are allowed to steal grain and fruits and sweets from shops on the main roads. Very little resentment is shown, and as for killing them would be a sacrilege, no matter how great the mischief and harm caused.

In fact, General Sleeman tells a story of a Muhammedan Nawab of Oudh (Ayodhya) who died of fever, the result, it was said, of his father killing a monky. “Mumtaz ud daula might have been King of Oudh, said his informant, had his father not shot that monkey” (Ref. Sleeman’s book Journey through Oudh)

Monkey Wedding

W.Ward ( in his book Hindoos) tells a remarkable story of the Raja of Nadiya who spent a lac of rupees (10,000 pounds in those days) in marrying two monkeys. There was a magnificent parade. In the procession were seen elephants, camels, horses, all richly caparisoned; palanquins carried the guests whose path was lit by torches and fairy lamps. The male monkey was fastened in his palanquin with a silver chain. he wore a golden crown on his head and servants stood o either side to fan him with punkahs (fans). There followed numbers of dancing girls in carriages. Every kind of musical instrument was pressed into use to celebrate the occasion, and at the time of marriage no less than twelve learned Brahmins were employed to read the Sastras.

–Subham–