The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes worship of the shalagrama stone which is chapter 131 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the one hundred thirty-first chapter of the Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 131 - Worship of the Śālagrāma Stone

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pārvatī said:

1-2. There are the pure images of the Śālagrāma stone on the earth. In how many ways is the worship of those image said to be done? Tell (me), O lord of gods, how many (images) are to be worshipped by brāhmaṇas? (How many) by kṣatriyas? How are they to be worshipped by vaiśyas, śūdras and women?

Mahādeva said:

3-18. The Śālagrama stone is auspicious, pure and leads to religious merit; even by seeing it a man, (even if he is a) killer of a brāhmaṇa, is purified. That house where this auspicious image of the Śālagrāma stone exists, is said to be the best of all by all holy texts. Brāhmaṇas should worship five, kṣatriyas four, similarly vaiśyas should worship three, or one with care. A śūdra would obtain salvation just by seeing it. O goddess, those men who worship the (Śālagrāma) according to this rite, enjoy all pleasures and go to the eternal (position) of Viṣṇu. This is the great image which always removes sins. For, O goddess, the fruit beginning with Kailāsa is produced by worshipping (it). Gaṅgā, Yamunā, Godāvarī, Sarasvatī are there where the stone is. There is no doubt about this. O beautiful lady, what is the use of repeatedly saying much? Men, desiring salvation, should properly worship it. A man is purified by seeing them who, O chief goddess, worship Viṣṇu devoutly. O chief goddess, Brahmā and others are not aware of the religious merit of the śūdras who as their servants, worship them well. Twenty-one (generations of) the family of those brāhmaṇas who devoutly worship Viṣṇu are emancipated in those existences. The brāhmaṇa having marks of a conch and a disc (on his person), who would worship (Viṣṇu), has, by means of having worshipped Viṣṇu, worshipped the entire world. The dead ancestors speak with one another: ‘Viṣṇu’s devotees are born in our family. Till the final deluge they have emancipated that family. They will, after emancipating us, take us to Viṣṇu’s abode. That day alone is lucky. The mother is blessed. The relatives are blessed. So also his father is blessed, and his relatives also.’ All intent upon Viṣṇu’s devotion should be known to be most lucky. Merely by seeing them one gets freed from a major sin. By seeing Viṣṇu’s devotees, all minor sins, so also all major sins perish.

19-29. Those men who are Viṣṇu’s devotees, shine on the earth like fires and are freed from all sins like the moon from clouds. All the sins, deliberate, non-deliberate, small, big, committed through speech, mind, (physical) act, perish on seeing Viṣṇu’s devotees. On seeing a devotee of Viṣṇu all the sin due to having done harm (to others) knowingly or unknowingly, perishes. On just seeing the good the sinless go to heaven; the most sinful become purified. I have told you the truth. A devotee of Viṣṇu, skilled in washing the smearing of the mud of the mundane existence, is undoubtedly the purifier of the purifiers. Those devotees of Viṣṇu who everyday remember Viṣṇu, should be known to be full of Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu is undoubtedly there (i.e. in them). Those brāhmaṇas who meditate upon Viṣṇu as dark like a fresh cloud, having long(i.e. big) lotus-like eyes, holding a conch, a disc, a mace, a lotus, covered with a yellow garment, shining with the Kaustubha, wearing a garland of wood-flowers, with the lustre of his ear-ring being brightened up by the grace of the face, adorned with a crown and bracelets, armlets and anklets, with his lotus-like face pleased, endowed with the grace of four arms (i.e. with four graceful arms), are of the form of Viṣṇu. There is no doubt about it, O Pārvatī. One certainly obtains Vaikuṇṭha by just seeing them, being devoted to them, feeding them or honouring them, O chief goddess.

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