VaikunthaÂ (theÂ Place of Non-Hindrance), Paramapadam, VishnupadaÂ (Vishnu’s feet), orÂ Param PadamÂ (theÂ Supreme Abode) is the celestial home of Vishnu. In most of the Puranas, andÂ in the majority of VaishnavaÂ traditions, Vaikuntha is located in the direction of theÂ Makara Rashi, a celestial formation which roughly coincides with the constellation of Capricorn. Vishnu’s eye is then said to be located at the South Celestial Pole.
Vaikuntha Shaligrams are rare in practice. Oftentimes, the Vishnu Padam Shaligram (See Mahavishnu â€“ Dasavatara Shaligram) takes its place or is identified itself as â€œVaikuntha.â€ In other Shaligram traditions, however, the Vaikuntha Shaligram is identified by its distinctive â€œtwo-tieredâ€ structure, where a small, central, spiral can be seen beneath the edge of a larger outer spiral or sunken down beneath the edge of the central shape nodule.
Vaikuntha is also â€œthe one who prevents men from straying down the wrong pathâ€ (Vikunthah) and the Shaligram itself is often described as a â€œseat of Vishnu.â€ For this reason, veneration of this Shaligram is said to bestow blessings of a strong 6th sense, to ensure moksha (liberation) for the devotee, and to protect the devotee from false information, poor teachings, or disreputable gurus. This Shaligram is also said to be especially partial to requests for guidance or safety and, due to its association with the dwelling places of Vishnu, is often taken on pilgrimages or other religious journeys undertaken by the devotee.
References: Garuda Purana (Panchanan Tarkaratna, Part 1, Ch. 45), Agni Purana; Bengavasi ed., Panchanan Tarkaratna, Saka 1812, Ch. 46
Blue color, lotus mark, a circular mark, glittering like a gem (G).
The formation of a Vaikuntha Shaligram typically comes about when the entire or nearly the entire ammonite mold has worn out of the shale nodule, leaving a clear chakra-spiral visible on the internal portion of the stone with an overhanging section still partially covering it. It is also not uncommon for the central portions of these Shaligrams to contain significant iron pyrite deposits, lending the entire spiral a gold coloration.