The marks made by the shell of the ammonite give a Shaligram its characteristic appearance,
with the pattern often resembling and representing the 'Sudarshan Chakra' or
the discus with a sharp-toothed edge which rests on the index finger of Lord Vishnu.
Shaligram stones come in dfferent colors such as red, blue, yellow, green and black.
Of these, the yellow, blue and black varieties are considered more sacred.
The yellow and golden-colored Shaligrams are considered most auspicious
and are believed to bestow great wealth and prosperity on its worshippers.
Some benefits of Shaligram Shila's are given below:
1. Worship Shree Shaligram for six values of life: Righteous living, Wealth, Protection, good health, pleasures and Spiritual .
2. The Shaligram is the most sacred stone worshipped by the Vaishnavas and is used to worship
Vishnu in an abstract form i.e., God without form as a 'Saligrama'. The use of the Shaligram is
similar to the use of 'Lingam' as abstract symbol of Lord Shiva.The Shaligram is found in
river Gandaki near Muktinath in Nepal.
3. There are numerous popular beliefs concerning salagrama. Salagrama alongside Tulasi
leaves and conch (samkha), placed in one plate is regarded as most meritorious.
4. Any religious observance, gift, consecration, obsequies, and worship should preferably
be done in association with a salagrama.
5. Regarding the obsequies or the last rites (sraddha), it is usual to conduct such
ceremonies in front of a salagrama. For that would ensure the departed spirit
reaching Vishnu’s abode directly: and subsequent death ceremonies would become unnecessary.
6. When the dying person is made to sip a little of the water in which the salagrama-stone
is bathed, he will be freed from all sins, and will reach the heavenly abode of Vishnu.
And death itself when it occurs in the presence of a salagrama-stone
will pave the way for Vishnu’s realm, for Vishnu is present in that stone.
7. The rites of expiation of sins (prayaschitta) becomes effective more by
drinking the water in which these stones are washed than by gifts or fasting or by observances of various kinds.
8. In times of solar or lunar eclipse, whatever ritual is undertaken becomes all the more
effective when done in front of a salagrama-stone so says Hemadri.
9. It was practice in the olden days to ask the witness to hold a salagrama in hand while
testifying in a court of law; if he uttered utter falsehood, he was believed to suffer immensely and long as a punishment.
10. Merely looking at a salagrama stone would wash away the sins of the beholder, even as
the mere sight of a lion would make the antelopes run for their lives in the forest.