Shaligram

Shaligram

Shaligram refers to a fossilized shells used in South Asia as an aniconic symbol and reminder of god Vishnu as the Universal Principle by some Hindus.Shaligram is usually collected from river beds or banks. It is considered easy to carry and popular in certain traditions of Vaishnavism, as an aniconic representation of the divine. It is typically in the form of a spherical, usually black-colouredAmmonoid fossil.
Shiva worshipers use nearly round or oval shaped Shaligrams to worship as Shiva Linga.[citation needed] They are sometimes referred to as Shilas, with Shila being the shortened version.

A Shaligrama – which has the marks of a shankha, Chakra, gada and padma arranged in a particular order – is worshiped as Keshava. With the change in the order of the four symbols, the name of the Shaligrama stone is also different and the images of such deities also have similar setting of the four symbols. The various orders and names are given for the twenty four permutations. These are well known names, which are the different names by which Lord Vishnu is known in the Hindu pantheon.
The various versions of the SaligramaShilas or stones are
 
1.Shanka, chakra, gada and padma - Keshava
2.Padma, gada, chakra, shanka - Narayana
3.Chakra, shanka, padma and gada - Madhava
4.Gada, padma, shanka and chakra - Govinda
5.Padma, shanka, chakra and gada – Vishnu
6.Shanka, padma, gada, chakra – Madusudhana
7.Gada, chakra, shanka and padma – Trivikrama
8.Chakra, gada, padma, shanka - Vamana
9.Chakra, padma, shanka, gada - Shridhara
10.Padma, gada, shanka, charka - Hrishikesh
11.Padma, chakra,gada, shanka - Padmanabha
12.Shanka, chakra, gada, padma - Damodara
13.Chakra, shanka, gada, padma - Sankarshana
14.Shanka, chakra, padma, gada - Pradyumna
15.Gada, shanka, padma, charka - Aniruddha
16.Padma, shanka, gada, chakra - Purushottama
17.Gadha, shanka, chakra, padma - Adokshaja
18.Padma, gada, shanka, chakra - Narasimha
19.Padma, chakra, shanka, gada – Achyuta
20.Shanka, chakra, padma, gada - Janardana
21.Gada, padma, shanka, chakra - Upendra
22.Chakra, padma, gada and shanka – Hari
23.Gada, padma, chakra and shanka - Krishna
24.Shanka, chakra, padma, gada – Vasudeva

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