Restrictions in worship

All shaligramas have  inherent powers. They will bless the worshipers with benefits only when worshiped according to the prescribed form by the atikAri or qualified.  The ancient texts puts restrictions of worship based on the types of shaligramas. Most of the narasimha shaligramas (except lakShmI narasimha, bAla/hAra narasimha and yoga narasimha ) are required to be worshiped with celibacy. If done otherwise, rest assured to give difficulties in the path of life of the worshiper.

Other than narasimhas few more listed here have such restrictions and/or have bad effects.

Subcategory lakShaNa shloka Description
acyuta: acyutO madhuvarNAbhO bhAsvancakrO atishobhana:| pArshve bindusamAyuktO naiShTikair arcitO bhavediti|| honey color; clear chakra; beautiful; dots on the sides; require celebacy
adhokShaja: pArshve cakradvayam sUkShmamadhO vadanasamyuta:| adhokShajastu vigyeyo yatibhi: pUjita: sadA|| two chakras on side (s); small face with opening (below – per tradition);require celebacy
puna: caturvaktro harihara: dvaitadApyada:| vinashyati gruhasthAnAm dhanam kShetram kulam kramAt|| 4 vadana – 8 chakras; shivanabhi rekha; very bad effect losing wealth, house and sons in the order
kruShNo ya: pArijAtADyam pArijAtahara: smruta: | brahmacaryavratasthena pUjanIya: prayatna: black color; parijata signs;;1v-2c; yati only;require celebacy
mAdhava: madhuvarNo madhyacakro snigdha: sUkShma tanustathA|| mAdhava: sa tu vigyeyo yatInAm mokShadAyaka:|| honey color;chakra at the center; smooth; small body; only for sanyasis;require celebacy
padmalAnchita: kamalAkShO harirnityam du:khada: pUjitO nruNAm| brown black color; unhappiness
padmanAbha: bahubhishcivahnitashcakrai: shuklavarNAdisamyuta:| daityAri: kamalAkShashca gadApANiradhokShaja:| padmanAbhashca deva: syAt pratyaham dukhadAyaka:|| tasmAnna mAnavai: pUjyo bahucakra: prajApate|| many chakras;white color mix; unhappiness;
pArijAta: aNDopari dvicakrADya: pArijAta: para: smruta:| brahmacaryavratasthena pUjanIya: prayatnata:|| egg shaped two chakras;only yatis ;require celebacy
ekacakrastuvadane raktavarNa samanvita:| pralambhagna itikhyAta: pUjitO mrutyu dAyaka:|| 1v-1c; red color; gives death when worshipped
nrusimhasudarshana: kapilo nArasimhashca pruShTe vA sthUlacakriNam| vanamAlAsuniShpannam pruthucakram sudarshanam| brahmacaryeNa sampUjyam bhuktimutiphalapradam|| big chakra at the bottom/back;vanamala; tawny colored; yatis only;require celebacy
yatisudarshana: padmAkAro bruhadvaktro nimnAbhi: sudarshana:| yatibhi: sevanIyashca ekacakra: surAntaka: lotus shaped; big vadana; depression;single chakra;require celebacy
mOkshavarAha ghoNarUpI varAhAkhyA caturlAncana samyutA | sA dadyAt mOkshasidyartham brahmacAribhir arcitA || long boar like face; four dots;;1v-2c; yati only;require celebacy
viShvaksena: bahuvarNashcaikacakrO viShvaksena iti smruta:| karOti pUjitO nruNA maTanam tu na samshaya:|| mixed color; single chakra

Availability of Shaligramas

Shaligramas were once difficult to obtain but now with ease of transportation, communication and connectivity they are available in many places. Check out for them in famous pilgrimage centers like Haridwar, Pashupatinath temple, Kathmandu [many shops near this temple] and other vaishnavite dominant holy places. In Indian metros like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad etc, , some puja bandars near shrI Raghavendra Swami mutts do have them. Many websites do sell them but tread with caution as most of them [but not all], sell fakes and/or broken joints.

Selection method

Shaligrama of size and shape of amla (gooseberry) or jamun (blackberry) are the best for the householder’s worship. The black or blue-black colored ones are preferred. The surface should be smooth. It should have a stable seat (asana). When placed on a plate it should sit firmly.

The best varieties opening should be 1/8 the size of the circumference of the stone. 1/4 for the middling variety and 1/3 and above are of inferior variety. (ie, the smaller the opening compared to the circumference of the stone, the better). The more markings on the stone may indicate a higher position within the sub type.  However, all the above rules may not apply when the characteristic of the sub type itself does not fall in the above rules.  (ie), narasimha’s opening will be wide and hence a 1/8th may not be appropriate for it. Similarly, sankarshana will be reddish and the black color rule may not apply here.

The size wise, 2″ (inches) will be a perfect size. Less than that is fine too if you are having more in numbers. One may avoid anything above 2.5″; Another way of seeing size acceptability is to see if it fits within the closed fist. Anything above 8 finger breadth of the worshiper is considered big for his worship and may not be suitable for him.

Any number of shaligramas in even number (except two) can be worshiped. No odd number of shaligramas (except one) should be worshiped. If you happen to have just two of them, place them in two different plates and can be worshiped. The more number of shaligramas worshiped the greater are the merits. The recommended numbers are in the order of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 24 (ashvameda phala), 32, 40, 64, 88 (vishnu lokha) and 108.

Rewards or benefits 

As stated before, each shaligrama has its own ability to give specific benefit. However, whether one obtains the benefit by its worship, depends upon the sincerity, knowledge, purity (internal, external) and past deeds of the worshiper. Even the kamadenu, kalpavruksha and chintamani will not shower boons when worshiped by one who is not fit to worship it. The result of worship does not affect the ability of the shaligrama. Like, the same medicine does not react or benefit same way to all. One should worship without expecting gains but only to please the Lord. If it is worshiped without expectation, one will get many rewards and liberation at the end as well. With this in mind, no specific benefits are mentioned for the shaligramas listed in this website. However, few ones, which should not be worshiped under normal circumstances have been mentioned to caution the reader.