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Shaligrama vs Sudarshana

Sudarshana is a type of shaligrama like other types rAma, narasimha etc.  Within Sudarshana there are few more sub types. Generally, sudarshana shaligrama’s characteristic is a single chakra. Based on this classification, other types of shaligramas which are broken are cut and shaped with a single intact, left over portion and soled as Sudarshanas.  They are still worship worthy.

Such type of Sudarshanas are set in a ring or pendant and worn by some. People may avoid this to restrict taking shaligramas to all places along with us (read, toilet, wearing shoes, etc). These are not meant to be ornaments but to worship and kept in highest regard.

Two is company and three is a crowd

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One do get a joy of worshiping many shaligramas and many of us want ‘many’ of them in our altar. From personal experience, beyond a certain point it becomes a collectible rather than a holy possession. When you have a very few rare ones in hand the bhakti bhava is different and gradually reduces as you keep buying more and eventually you want to have all varieties and no limit to collection. Having said this, still I do not want to part away with any of my cherished collections. I have got many from many sources and I am thankful to them for the rest of my life for providing me this opportunity in this life.

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Shastras prohibit buying shaligrama to discourage selling. Selling one for money is a greater sin. Without buyers there are no sellers. That’s the logic. I believe, buying for personal worship and not for reselling is a pardonable sin, perhaps.

In this age of kaliyuga, we do not have tapasya in us to get them with out paying a price.  Sellers do make a living out of that and they are not to be blamed as well.  Both should do prayaschitta and offer sincere prayers to god to pardon us.

Regular worship

The shaligramas are living beings appearing as non living objects. We do not fail to water and feed holy beings in our premises like tulasi, cow and brahmana. We do realize they have to be fed every day.  God does not depend or require our offering but we should treat Him above the others and worship every single day.  The mundane life and short of time is not an excuse and the least one can do is to offer sandalwood paste,  tulasi leaf, lighting lamp, water naivedya and a mangalarathi after sandhyavandane. If none of this is possible on a specific day for things out of our control please read the shloka composed by our own shree bheemasena devaru called mAnasa puja

The oil we use for lighting should be a pure gingelly (til) oil. Please do not use the mixed oil named like ‘lamp oil’. They are mixture of rice bran and such cheaper oils with little bit of til oil.

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Offering ghee lamp is much more beneficial. However use only the ones that are sold as ‘pure cow ghee’. We can not verify their claim but prefer claimed one rather than an unclaimed one.

Our Lord is the master of this universe, cosmos. He is a master of even Shri Lakshmi deviyavaru. He does not require our (well, every thing is already His though) offers. But to show our gratitude and gain His grace we have to please Him through vedic worship. They instruct golden objects (ornaments and puja vessels)  for Lord’s worship and silver ones for forefather (pitru shrarda etc) oblation.  We are required to satisfy our own day to day needs first before investing in more money for prayer things. That’s understandable  but offer minimum (even 1/2 gram of it) one gold offering. If we are reading this in a computer or a smartphone we can certainly afford silver puja vessels.

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