In the Padma Purana Lord Siva declares the greatness of Saligrama Shila as follows:
Mallinga Kotibhi Drsthi Yad Phalam Pujiti
Saligrama Sila Yamtu Ekasyam Iva Tad Bhaved
The merit obtained by seeing and worshipping hundreds of thousands of
My Lingams, is equivalent to that obtained by worshipping one single
Salagram shila (stones).
This stone is worshipped as an iconic
representation Lord Vishnu, just as Lingam is worshipped as
an iconic Lord Shiva. The marks on the Shaligram are natural
with the pattern often representing that of Sudarshan Chakra,
the Discus of Lord Vishnu.
Shaligram is also Known as Shaligram shila . 'Shila' is usually spoken
by Vaisnava devotee.'Shila' refers to Form and Murti of God in
sanskrit. Shaligram Shila is only One Scared murti of god vishnu in
Universe which is worshipped in every home and temple to please god
vishnu from ancient Puranic Period.Shaligram is one of the name and
incarnation of god vishnu himself for welfare of human.
If this is what Lord Shiva says, lets know where the Saligrama are
found, what they are, their legend, types, Pooja and benefits etc.
Many types of Saligramas:
Saligrams are classified on the basis of its size shape, color,
openings, chakras (natural carving), lines, weight etc. those popular
types are as follows.
A. Lakshminarayana Saligram: Little dark in color, one mouth, four chakras and in one line.
B. Praddhyumna Saligram: Very little, one chakra on the top, and with crooked mouth.
C.Aniruddah Saligrama: Like a round ball, slightly yellow color, smooth
and soft glasslike. It is believed it will brings peace and happiness.
D.Vasudeva Saligrama: It is equivalent to worshipping Krishna himself.
It is rounding, shiny, with one opening mouth. It is surrounded by two
chakras. It fulfills devotees’ wishes.
5. Sankarshana Saligrama: Two chakras facing each other. Narrow in the
frontand wider at the back. For Brahmacharis, it brings knowledge.
6. Narasimha Saligrama: Worshipped with great devotion. Contains two
chakrasand shape is varied. The devotee of this Saligrama becomes a
sarva sangatyagi (renunciate) and a jitendria.
7. Lakshmi Narasimha Saligrama: Not a sugra as the Narasimha Saligrama.
This Saligrama is thus an embodiment of pleasantness. This has a wide
opening, has two chakra an also has a garland type of line .This brings
to the devotees peace and solace.
8. Hayagriva Saligrama: Horse faced with two chakras. Not so appealing in appearance. Especially for gnanam (education).
9. Sudarshana Saligrama: Has an ordinary form with one Chakra.
10. Gadadhara Saligrama: Very ordinary with one chakra.
11. Madhusudana Saligrama: Dark cloud color and wheel shape. Has the sign similar to foot print of a calf. Very Holy.
12. Lakshminarayana Saligrama: One opening with a garland like line.
color of dark clouds, four chakras. Very rare and special. Fulfils all
desires of Bhaktas.
13. Lakshmijanardhana Saligrama: Same as above (12) but without garland shapeline.
14. Vamana Saligrama: Small in size, lighter shade of black colour, two chakras with no opening.
15. Sridhara Saligrama: Same as above(14) but with a garland like line.Brings good luck and progress to the devotees.
16. Raghunatha Saligrama: Two openings, four chakras and a sign similar tofoot print of a calf.
17. Damodara Saligrama: Huge, found commonly in temples. Has two chakras.
18. RaNa Rama Saligrama: Round, moderate size, with two chakras, baby feet sign, bow and arrow signs.
19. Rajarajeshwara Saligrama: Same shape as above (17), but with seven
chakras and the sign of an umbrella(Chatri). Brings Raja Yoga and
RajaSanmanam to the devotees.
20. Anantha Saligrama: Pitch black with 14 chakras. Holiest of the Saligramas. Very rare.