Museum of Natural Wonders
Sri Shalagram Shila
|Deity: Sri Vishnu • Unmounted • Origin: Nepal • Value: Priceless • Vidhi: Daily Puja Pictured above is an exceptionally perfect and very rare “Vamana” Salagrama Sila adorned with the sacred Chakra of Lord Sri Visnu. This Salagrama is also known as Vasudev. Origin: The Krishna-Gandaki River in Nepal. According to the Gautamiya Tantra, “a stone from any place other than the Gandaki River in Nepal can never be a Salagrama Sila. In Sri Hari-bhakti-vilas it is stated, “merely by touching a genuine Salagram Sila one becomes free from the sins of millions of births, so what to speak of worshiping Him. By puja of Salagrama Sila one gains the direct association of Lord Hari.” The Skanda Purana states that, “a genuine Salagram Sila is directly a manifestation of the Supreme Lord Visnu and does not require any installation.”
|Sri Shalagram Sila is manifest externally as a water-tumbled stone; therefore Shalagram Silas may be said to be gems. The word ‘gem’ is used for any fine quality stone, pearl or coral that is rare, attractive, portable, durable, valuable, and powerful; in the case of Shalagram Sila the ruling Deity is Lord Hari, also known as Sri Narayana Bhagavan. Because a Shalagram Sila is ruled by Bhagavan, Who is greater than the sum total of all the universes (mahat-tattva), therefore the ‘material’ worth of a real Shalagram Sila is beyond calculation and impossible to measure. Buying/selling a Shalagram Sila is considered a sinful offense; receiving a gift of a genuine Shalagram Shila from a qualified Hari-bhakta is the only way to properly obtain such a priceless and spiritual (and material) treasure. A normal fine quality planetary gem, like a ruby or pearl, needs only an initial invocation to begin ownership; but a Sri Shalagram Sila is always directly Lord Hari, and must be worshiped daily with certain paraphernalia such as Tulasi leaves, Ganga-jala, fruit and water, etc. Puja is offered to Shalagram Sila according to the desire of Paramatma within the heart of the devotee. Sri Shalagram Sila always controls his Own worship from within the heart of His sevak
|Sri Govardhan Shila Deity: Sri Krishna, Origin: Govardhan Mountain in Vraja dham, North India, Value: Priceless, Vidhi: daily puja, NOTE: This stone was worshipped over 500 years ago by Hari Uttama bhakta, Paramahansa Srila Radhunatha Das Goswami. Origin of Govardhan: In the western coast of India, in the island of Salmali, lived Dronachala, the king of the mountains. Once a sage by the name of Pulastya Muni, came to him to take his son Giriraja with him to Kashi (Varanasi). After offering some initial resistance, Giriraja, somehow agreed to go with him only on condition that he should not put him down on the earth in between. If he does so, he would stay there forever. When they were flying over the Vraja bhumi, Giriraja increased his weight to the extent that Pulastya had no option but to put him down. Pulastya understood the mischief of Giriraja. He became furious and cursed him that he would decrease by a grain everyday. But then repenting on the curse he gave to Giriraja, he assured him that he would be blessed in the Dvapara Yuga and everybody would start worshipping him since then. This happened in the Satya yuga. Brahmaji wished to create the Dvapara Yuga but because of the portentous phenomenon of Ravana, he had to create the Treta Yuga. In this yuga, Hanumanaji on the instructions of Lord Rama, came to take Giriraja for the cause of constructing a pull on the ocean.Giriraja at once agreed to go for the service of Lord Rama. But before they reached, the pull was ready and there was no need of additional stones. Giriraja was very dissappointed on not having the darshana of Lord Rama. On knowing the sorrow of Giriraja, Lord Rama sent a message saying that, “…by the end of the Dvapara Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna will Himself appear and play on you and will also worship you. In the kaliyuga, the devotees shall attain numerous divine supernatural powers by worshipping you.” In Sarasvata Kalpa, i.e. the end of the Dvapara Yuga, Bhagavan Sri Krishna stopped the worship of Indra and started the Govardhana Puja by doing it Himself. It was a wonderful sight. Being worshipped by Sri Krishna, Giriraja himself became like Sri Krishna. It was like He (Sri Krishna) worshipping Himself. Since then all the six seasons resided permanently on Giriraja. Besides this, the eight gates of the Asta Sakha’s from where they entered the nitya lila, are also on the Govardhan hill. The Asta Sakha’s, who reside on the Govardhan hill are in differrent places, each of which were passionately attached to their respsctive Deities of those places.
Sri Dvaraka ShilaThe Varaha Purana says that whoever touches a shila with the mark of a Vishnu-cakra will become free of all sins. The Garuda Purana declares that simply the darshana of Sudarshana and other dvaraka-shila fulfils all desires. The Skanda Purana declares that without a doubt if a very sinful man worships a dvaraka-shila with devotion, or even without devotion, he becomes free from all sinful reactions. According to the Dvaraka Mahatmya, a shila marked with cakras coming from Dvaraka is also called cakra-tirtha. Even if this shila is worshipped by a sinful person from a degraded country, the worships still becomes liberated.
Sri Kailash ShilaOm namah shivaya! Om namah shivaya! Om namah shivaya! This is the Sanskrit mantra (invocation) chanted by pilgrims and devotees of Lord Shiva as they walk (clock wise) around the great, unscaled, sacred Himalayan peak, Mount Kailasa. This chant means, “Om, I bow to Lord Shiva.” And this act of great austerity is considered by both Hindus & Buddhists alike as a very pious and difficult sacrifice leading to good fortune and ultimate beautitude. In the Sanskrit-English dictonary of Prof. V.S. Apte, “Kailasa” is defined as, Name of a mountain, a peak of the Himalayas and residence of Shiva. In the same dictonary, Shiva is defined as, Auspicious, propitious, lucky, in good health or condition, happy, prosperious, fortunate, God bless!, name of the third God of the sacred Hindu Trinity (Tri-guna-avatara’s), who is entrusted with the work of universal destruction, as Brahma and Visnu are with the creation and preservation of the (material) world(s) respectively. Shiva also has many other meanings listed such as, Final beatitude, the male organ (lingam), the Vedas (ancient Sanskrit scriptures), and the husband of Goddess Durga (Maya-devi), who is also known as Sati, Uma, and Parvati; and she is Shiva’s shakti (material energy). Together Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga reside on Mount Kailasa for the duration of the cosmic manifestation or the life-span of the temporary material universe. Stones (rocks) from Mount Kailasa are brought back by the stalwart devotees who take the one-two month trip to walk around the base of the sacred Mount. These stones or bits of Mount Kailasa are considered to be non-different from Lord Shiva, who is greater than the sum total of the entire universe; therefore it is considered an offence to buy or sell a Sri Kailasa-sila (stone). It is impossible to place a material value on a Sri Kailasa-mani. Deity: Sri Shankar – Time of invocation: Daily at Sunrise – Mantra of Invocation: Om namah shivaya! -108 times