According to my parents, Shalagrama worship is forbidden to non-Brahmins. Is this true? There is also a possibility that people who are not initiated with the Yajnopavita are forbidden to worship Shalagrama since only Brahmins in Bengal initiate.

  • 4
    Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are supposed to be initiated with the Yajnopavita. The fact that many aren't is another sign that we're living in the Kali Yuga. Nov 10, 2017 at 21:46
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Yes, and as a result, some of them have lost their varna to become vratyas.
    – user9969
    Nov 11, 2017 at 12:57
  • 1
    Since Eka-Vratya applies to Rudra-Siva and maybe Prajapati (according to RC Hazra) - its not such a bad thing to be a Vratya.
    – S K
    Jan 24, 2019 at 14:16

4 Answers 4


No. It is not forbidden.

The importance of Gandaki river is explained in chapter 20 of Patala Khanda of Padma Purana. In that chapter, the importance of śālagrāma is also said.

  1. The disc born (i.e. found) in Dvaravati and the stone born (i.e. found) in Gandaki, destroy in a moment men's sins earned during a hundred existences. Even if a man would have committed a thousand sins, he would be purified by drinking the water of (i.e. flowing from) a śālagrāma.

  2. ब्राह्मणः क्षत्रियो वैश्यः शूद्रो वेदपतिस्तथा
    शालग्रामं पूजयित्वा गृहस्थो मोक्षमाप्नुयात् ॥

    A brahmana, ksatriya, vaiśya or śudra householder, who is on the path of the Vedas (i.e. behaves according to the Vedic injunctions), would obtain salvation on worshipping a śālagrāma.

However, the worship of śālagrāma is mostly done by those who have a tradition of worship among them. We should be of good conduct and very pious while worshipping a śālagrāma because it is considered form of Lord Viṣṇu.

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    Vishnu has many forms. Shalagrama is also one of the forms. So, you will get the same result if we worship a Salagrama also. It is said that one who worships Salagrama with good conduct will get Moksha. Nov 10, 2017 at 5:43
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    @Rishabh Shaligrama stones are swayambhu manifestations of Lord Vishnu. You don't need to invoke Prana (Lord Vishnu) into them. You get more benefits by worshiping Shalagrama murtis or stones found on banks of Gandaki river in Nepal than other murtis.
    – The Destroyer
    Nov 10, 2017 at 5:49
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    No only brahmin males can touch and worship Saligrama.Maddhwacharya has explicit instructions and there is a site of followers of Sri Maddhwa who discuss about this.Even the direct disciples of Sri Chaitanya didnt accept padma purana ad per late dr mahanamvrata brahmachari
    – user17294
    Jan 24, 2019 at 12:21
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    @ParthaBanerjee You are talking as if whole Padma Purana is a later text is not considered as an inauthentic text. The worship of salagrama of course have restrictions and rules. When they do, there are many restrictions to be followed. Salagrama shilas are worshipped as a tradition. So, it is not eeryone should worship. Many continue only as a tradition. There will be Salagrama worship rules in Paancharatra agamas also. Puranas have statements which are already present in vedas and agamas. Jan 24, 2019 at 16:36
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    @ParthaBanerjee Jiva Goswami and many others quoted from Padma Purana as an authority. So, they believe in Padma Purana. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his disciples believed that Non Brahmins can also worship Salagrama if knowledgeable and devoted. Sanatana Goswami also says it is okay. I know about chanting om and vedas by non Brahmins. Strictly speaking not all Brahmins by birth are eligible. There are even restrictions and way of life to be lead to learn and chant Vedas. The rules for Salagrama will be in Paancharatra agamas also. Not all Tantras are Shiva Vakyas. There are other agamas too. Jan 24, 2019 at 17:50

Anyone can worship Salagrama.

Anyone who has attained mantra diksa initiation properly and is worshiping Salagram Sila, whatever he offers to Salagram Sila, he achieves the abode of Lord Visnu. Of this, there is no doubt. I personally say this. (Hari Bhakta Vilasa 5.374 from Padma Purana)

Those people who are the lowest of mankind and who are controlled by lust, anger and greed can be elevated to the abode of Lord Hari by worshiping Salagram Sila.(Hari Bhakta Vilasa 5.370 from Padma Purana)

Worship of Salagram Sila can be done by women, shudras, brahmanas, ksatriyas , etc and they can all achieve the eternal abode of Lord Krsna perfectly. (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 5.452, from Skanda Purana, conversation between Lord Brahma and Narada Muni)

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    Nice find besides the already good accepted answer. Only humans could have devised such dicriminatory ways to forbid the worship of a personal form of deity by people of "certain gender and creed", and the two other answers given are a testimony to that (even if supported by scriptures). However, it's quite clear that those are "evil-interpolations" by Kaliyugi men of limited caliber. The Lord, who's himself the karuṇāsāgar, cannot and have not forbidden anyone of worshipping any of his forms, by whatever method his devotee chooses "personally".
    – Vivikta
    Jun 10, 2021 at 13:57
  • Very well put @Vivikta Jun 10, 2021 at 14:16

Yes, it is forbidden to Shudras according to Varaha Purana.

Varaha Purana in Chapter 186 says that Shudras cannot worship the Salagrama directly by themselves.

  1. All deities can be worshiped in idols by people of all castes. Crystal lingas can also be done similarly.

  2. But a Salagrama should not be touched by men of inferior caste or by women and Sudras.

  3. If a woman or Sudra touches it even out of curiosity, the result will be torment in hell till deluge.

  4. But if a woman or Sudra has devotion (for me through the Salagrama), then worship may be got performed by others without oneself touching it. The drinking of that water (used for worship) removes all sins.

It says if a Shudra or woman (including Brahmin woman) has devotion to worship Varaha (indirectly refers to Vishnu here) through Salagrama, the worship needs to be performed by others (Others may denote men from upper castes) without touching it.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Pandya
    Jan 24, 2019 at 16:38

Yes, its forbidden. Because

  1. Shaligrama has to be bathed by the Purusha Sukta mantra : Sahasrasirshaah purusah etc which is a veda mantra. So it is restricted to the brahmins only (as nonbrahmins do not get upanayana these days).

  2. As per Tantra, By Chanting OM, performing homa, saligrama worship, and having sex with a brahmin female, a sudra becomes a chandala.

  3. The mantra of offering tulasi to Shalgram is: Idang sachandana-tulasipatrang namaste vahuroopaya vishnave paramatmane swaha-- Swaha can be uttered only by the trivarnas as sudras are not allowed to do homa.

  4. As shown already in another post, the Varaha Purana is also of the same opinion that its meant only for the brahmin males (who perform sandhyavandana regularly).

    1. The sloka quoted in another answer from the Padma Purana lacks clarity. Our smritis dont give the sudras any authority to do any pujas.They are to serve the three varnas alone and are not required or authorised to follow any vedic rituals. So what is meant by a Vedapati Sudra? To me the word has no meaning. And 'Pujayitwa' means just worshipping.Worshipping can be done from a distance also without touching the sila at all. But for Salgram, regular bathing wiping and tulasi giving on both sides are essential.

    Its said that even if Lord Brahma says something illogical, that has to be discarded. So unless we throw away the Varnashrama system upheld by the smritis, we cant say that Saligram can be touched by all.

I do admit that those who have obtained real love of God are not bound by any scriptural orders. Some women saints worshipped Salgram.Exceptions prove the rule.

Some Vaishnava Babajis convert nonbrahmins to brahmins by initiation, mala and tilaka and call them daikshya brahmins.These babajis have the rules and regulations of their own sect. Smarta pundits do not give recogntion to these rules and do not accept these daikshya brahmins. But they as a sect has every right to follow their own rules. There is evidence that Sri Krishna Himself did recognise birth based varna system though.

So, my answer should be stated as; yes, non-brahmins and non-babajis are forbidden.

(References:1. Ma-kar baba, Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath,Omkarnath Rachanavali, vol 7, 3rd ed, page 94 2. Vishddha Nityakarma Paddhati)

  • You must be meaning non-dvijas instead of non-brahmins? Btw in Bengal the tradition followed is only Brahmins are allowed to worship Shaligrama.. some Prayoga book I hv states that and it quotes from Varaha Purana..
    – Rickross
    Jan 24, 2019 at 13:41
  • @Rickross yes..
    – user17294
    Jan 24, 2019 at 13:43

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