Shalagrama, Śālagrāma, Sālagrāma, Salagrama, Shala-grama: 14 definitions
Shalagrama means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
The Sanskrit term Śālagrāma can be transliterated into English as Salagrama or Shalagrama, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Shilpashastra (iconography)Source: archive.org: Pratima Kosa Encyclopedia of Indian Iconography - Vol 6
Śālagrāma (शालग्राम) refers to “ammonite fossil stones”.—Śālagrāma stones are very ancient geological specimens, rendered rounded and smooth by water-currents in a great length of time. They are distinguished by the ammonite (śālā, described as “vajra-kīṭa”, “adamantine worms”) which having entered into them for residence, are fossilized in course of time, leaving discus-like marks inside the stone. Such marks alone make the stone eligible to be called a śālagrāma and worshipped. Legends describe that Viṣṇu himself enters into these stones in the form of śāla creatures and makes his presence felt by the discus-marks. Thus a śālagrāma is verily the image of Viṣṇu.
Śālagrāmas (ammonite fossil stones), recovered from the Gaṇḍaki river-bed in Nepāl, are regarded as exceedingly precious and sacred. Viṣṇnu is believed to be present in them, and these stones require neither consecration nor any ritual in fusion of divinity in them; they are worship-worthy as they are.
The śālagrāma to become one must not only have one or more discus-like marks (cakras) near an opening in the stone (called ‘vadana’, “mouth” or ‘śīla-dvāra’, “the gate by which the śāla had entered”), but also lines, scratches or holes on the surface suggesting several emblems of Viṣṇu, like vana-mālā (garland), padma (lotus), gadā (mace), kaustubha (chest-ornament) and so on. Perfectly smooth (snigdha) and blue-black (mecaka) Śālagrāmas are regarded as best if the colour is like washed coal or bluish, the śālagrāma stone is of midling merit If the colour is tawny (piṅgala), yellowish (pīta), ash-grey (dhūmābha) or red (rakta-varṇa) the stone is to be avoided.
Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia
Sālagrāma (सालग्राम) refers to a place at the origin of river Gaṇḍakī. There are various kinds of stone figures which are called Sālagrāmas. These Sālagrāmas themselves have orginated from portions of Viṣṇu. That is why those stones are used for making images of Viṣṇu.
1) Sālagrāma is the kind of ammonite, used for making the image of Viṣṇu.
2) Mahāviṣṇu is known by the name Sālagrāma also.
3) Sālagrāma is the name of the place from where the river Gaṇḍakī, which flows through Nepal, starts. This Sālagrāma is considered to be a holy place. Mahāviṣṇu and other gods always dwell in this place. Sālagrāma is the name of Viṣṇu who dwells in Sālagrāma.
Different classes of sālagrāmas:
1) Śālagrāma (शालग्राम).—The place where Pulastya and Pulaha had their hermitages. Sages of this locality visited Dvārakā;1 fit for śrāddha performance;2 sacred to Mahādevī and the Pitṛs;3 the Nāgarāṭ tīrtha at.4
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 8. 30; X. 90. 28 .
- 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 13. 89; 25. 66;
- 3) Matsya-purāṇa 13. 33; 22. 62.
- 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 77. 88-89.
Salagrama refers to one of the 108 divyadesas according to Priyavaccan Pillai’s compendium of the Ramayana based on the Nalayirativviyappirapantam.—Salagrama is in Nepal. Salagrama is a sacred stone that is available in the River Khandaki. It is about 275 kms from Kathmandu (called Janakapuri), capital of Nepal.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)Source: Acta Orientalia vol. 74 (2013): Historical sequence of the Vaiṣṇava Divyadeśas
Śālagrāma (or Muktinātha in Nepal) refers to Cāḷakkirāmam, one of the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desam (divyadeśas or divyasthalas), located in the topographical division of Vaṭanāṭu (“North India”), according to the 9th century Nālāyirativviyappirapantam (shortly Nālāyiram).—Tradition would record the Vaiṣṇava divyadeśas or divyasthalas are 108. The divyadeśa is a base of the cult of Viṣṇu in Viṣṇuism [Vaiṣṇavism] tradition. The list of 108 [viz., Śālagrāma] seems to have reached maturation by about the early 9th century CE as all the deśas are extolled in the hymns of the twelve Āḻvārs.
Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).
General definition (in Hinduism)Source: salagram.net: Salagram kosha
The Shalagram-stones that are worshipped are only those which are picked up from the Himalayan stream Gandaki. The Shalagram stones are generally associated with Vishnu and are regarded as representations (pratika) of Vishnu; but there are also Shalagram stones representing some forms of Shiva, some forms of Shakti, Surya, and Ganesh. The entire panchayatana worship, an account of which has been given, could be carried out by having the Shalagram stones signifying the five deities.
etymology: The expression Shalagrama, which is of the Puranic celebrity, refers to a particular site in the course of this stream, where the sacred stones were found in profusion. The site was once a village, which was distinguished by the Shala-trees, or by the one grand specimen of the species (as the story told hereafter suggests); hence the name 'Shala-grama'. The word 'Saala' is derived from the root 'shala gatau' (meaning "to move") (anikriti shaalas siddhyati'), and signifies any tree (which is moved by wind 'shalati vayunaa chalatiiti'), but refers principally to the tree mentioned above (cf. the lexicon Visva, which says 'shaalo haale nripa matsya-prabhede sarja-paadape'). Ancient and medieval treatises on Indian medicinal plants give the name of a group of large trees as 'shaladi-varga' (dipterocarpeae), which includes not only the Shala-trees (Shorea robusta), but also Sarja (Vateria indica, Garjana (Dipterocarpus alatus) and Bhimasena-karpura (Dryobalanops aromatica or what is commonly called Sumatra camphor). The Shala-trees grow in the Himalayan foothills, and prevail from Kangra valley to Assam.
Languages of India and abroad
Marathi-English dictionarySource: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
śālagrāma (शालग्राम).—m (Properly śāligrāma) The stone sacred to Vishn̤u.
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śāḷagrāma (शाळग्राम).—& śāḷigrāma m Corrupted from śāligrāma.
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Śālagrāma (शालग्राम).—a kind of sacred stone said to be typical of Viṣṇu, as the Phallus is of Śiva. °गिरि (giri) Name of a mountain. °शिला (śilā) the Śālagrāma stone.
Derivable forms: śālagrāmaḥ (शालग्रामः).
Śālagrāma is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms śāla and grāma (ग्राम).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
(-maḥ) A particular sacred stone typical of Vishnu.
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(-maṃ) A stone, a species of ammonite common in the Gandaka river, and worshipped by the Vaishnavas, as a type of Vishnu. E. sa with, ara a ring, grāma multitude.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Sālagrāma (सालग्राम).—m. a stone, a species of ammonite worshipped by the Vaiṣṇavas.
Sālagrāma is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms sāla and grāma (ग्राम).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Śālagrāma (शालग्राम).—[masculine] [Name] of a sacred village.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Śālagrāma (शालग्राम):—[=śāla-grāma] [from śāla] a m. Name of a village situated on the river Gaṇḍakī and regarded as sacred by the Vaiṣṇavas (its name comes from the Śāl trees growing near it), [Prabodha-candrodaya; Purāṇa]
2) [v.s. ...] Name of Viṣṇu as worshipped at Śāla-grāma or as identified with the Śālgrām stone, [Mahābhārata]
3) [v.s. ...] mn. a sacred stone worshipped by the Vaiṣṇavas and supposed to be pervaded by the presence of Viṣṇu (it is a black stone which contains a fossil ammonite and is chiefly found near the above village in the Gaṇḍakī), [Religious Thought and Life in India 69, 1412]
4) [=śāla-grāma] b etc. See 1. śāla, [column]1.
5) Sālagrāma (सालग्राम):—[=sāla-grāma] sālaṅka etc. See śāl, p.1067, [columns] 1 and 3.
[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch
1) m. a) Nomen proprium eines bei den Vaiṣṇava für heilig gehaltenen, an der Gaṇḍakī gelegenen Dorfes, so genannt nach einem darin wachsenden Śāla-Baume (Comm. zu [Bhāgavatapurāṇa 5, 8, 29]); von daher kommen die heilig verehrten Ammoniten (śilā), die oft schlechtweg śālagrāma n. (s. u. gaṇḍakī
2) genannt werden. [Colebrooke 1, 156.] yathā hi viṣṇoḥ śālagrāmaḥ  zu [Chāndogyopaniṣad] [?S. 530. Viṣṇupurāṇa 2, 1, 24. 13, 4. 7. Bhāgavatapurāṇa 5, 8, 29.] śālagrāmābhidhāne bhagavataḥ kṣetre (= cakratīrthe Comm.) [Prabodhacandrodaja 83, 6. 7.] [Oxforder Handschriften 21], a, [14. 22], b, [27. 29. fg. 39], b, [6. 60], b, [2. 3. 73], b, [35. 145], a,  (sāla). tīrtha 67, a, 25. kṣetra (sāla) [Weber’s Indische Studien 1, 262.] giri [VĀMANA][?-Pāṇini’s acht Bücher im Śabdakalpadruma u. d. W.] śilā [Weber’s Verzeichniss 117] [?(LXXIII). Oxforder Handschriften 20,b,26. 28.] śilācakra [22,b,31.] [PAÑCAR.1,2,24.] śālagrāmaśca (Ammonit) yantrāṇām [1,76.3,13,26.] [Oxforder Handschriften 24,a,23. 25. 85,b,7.] stotra [Bibliothecae sanskritae 583. 599.] — b) der in Śālagrama verehrte Viṣṇu [Mahābhārata 3, 8102.] —
2) f. ī ein Name der Gaṇḍakī [Lassen’s Indische Alterthumskunde 1, 57.]
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
See also (Relevant definitions)
Starts with: Shalagrama-kosha, Shalagrama-shila, Shalagramadanakalpa, Shalagramadanavidhi, Shalagramagiri, Shalagramakalpa, Shalagramakshetra, Shalagramalakshana, Shalagramalinga, Shalagramamahatmya, Shalagramanirnaya, Shalagramapariksha, Shalagramashiladanapaddhati, Shalagramashilamahatmya, Shalagramashilapariksha, Shalagramastotra, Shalagramatirtha.
Full-text (+54): Shalagrama-shila, Shalagramalakshana, Shalagramanirnaya, Shalagramapariksha, Shalagramadanakalpa, Shalagramastotra, Shalagramatirtha, Shalagramakalpa, Shalagramamahatmya, Narayanashila, Shalagramakshetra, Shalagramagiri, Shalagrama-kosha, Svarnanabha, Shalagrami, Narasimha Shalagrama, Lakshminrisimha, Vishnushila, Purusha-sukta, Lakshminarayana.
Search found 26 books and stories containing Shalagrama, Śāla-grāma, Sala-grama, Sāla-grāma, Śālagrāma, Sālagrāma, Salagrama, Śāḷagrāma, Shala-grama; (plurals include: Shalagramas, grāmas, gramas, Śālagrāmas, Sālagrāmas, Salagramas, Śāḷagrāmas). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Garuda Purana (by Manmatha Nath Dutt)
Chapter LXVI - Description of the specific marks of Salagrama < [Agastya Samhita]
Chapter XLV - Characteristic marks of Shalagrama Stones (Shaligram) < [Agastya Samhita]
The Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)
Chapter 24 - On the glory of Tulasī < [Book 9]
The Vishnu Purana (by Horace Hayman Wilson)
The Skanda Purana (by G. V. Tagare)
Chapter 255 - Greatness of Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa < [Section 1 - Tīrtha-māhātmya]
Chapter 188 - The Greatness of Śālagrāma Tīrtha < [Section 3 - Revā-khaṇḍa]
Chapter 2 - Rites to Be Observed in Kārttika < [Section 4 - Kārttikamāsa-māhātmya]
The Padma Purana (by N.A. Deshpande)
Chapter 120 - The Greatness of Śālagrāma < [Section 6 - Uttara-Khaṇḍa (Concluding Section)]
Chapter 20 - The Importance of Gaṇḍakī < [Section 5 - Pātāla-Khaṇḍa (Section on the Nether World)]
Chapter 79 - Do’s and Don’t’s for a Devotee of Viṣṇu < [Section 5 - Pātāla-Khaṇḍa (Section on the Nether World)]