SALIGRAM, s. Skt. Salagrama (this word seems to be properly the name of a place, ‘Village of the Saltree’—a real or imaginary tirtha or place of sacred pilgrimage, mentioned in the Mahabharata). [Other and less probable explanations are given by Oppert, Anc. Inhabitants, 337.] A pebble having mystic virtues, found in certain rivers, e.g. Gandak, Son, &c. Such stones are usually marked by containing a fossil ammonite. The salagrama is often adopted as the representative of some god, and the worship of any god may be performed before it.1 It is daily worshipped by the Brahmans; but it is especially connected with Vaishnava doctrine. In May 1883 a salagrama was the ostensible cause of great popular excitement among the Hindus of Calcutta. During the proceedings in a family suit before the High Court, a question arose regarding the identity of a salagrama, regarded as a household god. Counsel on both sides suggested that the thing should be brought into court. Mr. Justice Norris hesitated to give this order till he had taken advice. The attorneys on both sides, Hindus, said there could be no objection; the Court interpreter, a high-caste Brahman, said it could not be brought into Court, because of the coir-matting, but it might with perfect propriety be brought into the corridor for inspection; which was done. This took place during the excitement about the “Ilbert Bill,” giving natives magisterial authority in the provinces over Europeans; and there followed most violent and offensive articles in several native newspapers reviling Mr. Justice Norris, who was believed to be hostile to the Bill. The editor of the Bengallee newspaper, an educated man, and formerly a member of the covenanted Civil Service, the author of one of the most unscrupulous and violent articles, was summoned for contempt of court. He made an apology and complete retractation, but was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment.

c. 1590.—“Salgram is a black stone which the Hindoos hold sacred. … They are found in the river Sown, at the distance of 40 cose from the mouth.”—Ayeen, Gladwin’s E.T. 1800, ii. 25; [ed. Jarrett, ii. 150].

1782.—“Avant de finir l’histoire de Vichenou, je ne puis me dispenser de parler de la pierre de Salagraman. Elle n’est autre chose qu’une coquille petrifiée du genre des cornes d’Ammon: les Indiens prétendent qu’elle represente Vichenou, parcequ’ils en ont découvert de neuf nuances différentes, ce qu’ils rapportent aux neuf incarnations de ce Dieu. … Cette pierre est aux sectateurs de Vichenou ce que le Lingam est à ceux de Chiven.”—Sonnerat, i. 307.

[1822.—“In the Nerbuddah are found those types of Shiva, called Solgrammas, which are sacred pebbles held in great estimation all over India.”—Wallace, Fifteen Years in India, 296.]

1824.—“The shalgramu is black, hollow, and nearly round; it is found in the Gunduk River, and is considered a representation of Vishnoo. … The Shalgramu is the only stone that is naturally divine; all the other stones are rendered sacred by incantations.”—Wanderings of a Pilgrim, i. 43.

1885.—“My father had one (a Salagram). It was a round, rather flat, jet black, small, shining stone. He paid it the greatest reverence possible, and allowed no one to touch it, but worshipped it with his own hands. When he became ill, and as he would not allow a woman to touch it, he made it over to a Brahman ascetic with a money present.”—Sundrábái, in Punjab Notes and Queries, ii. 109. The Salagrama is in fact a Hindu fetish.

SALLABAD, s. This word, now quite obsolete, occurs frequently in the early records of English settlements in India, for the customary or prescriptive exactions of the native Governments, and for native prescriptive claims in general. It is a word of Mahratti development, salabad, ‘perennial,’ applied to permanent collections or charges; apparently a factitious word from Pers. sal, ‘year,’ and Ar. abad, ‘ages.’

[1680.—“Salabad.” See under ROOCKA.]

1703.—“…although these are hardships, yet by length of time become Sallabad (as we esteem them), there is no great demur made now, and are not recited here as grievances.”—In Wheeler, ii. 19.

1716.—“The Board upon reading them came to the following resolutions:— That for anything which has yet appeared the Comatees (Comaty) may cry out their Pennagundoo Nagarum … at their houses, feasts, and weddings, &c., according to Salabad but not before the Pagoda of Chindy Pillary. …”—Ibid. 234.

1788.—“Sallabaud. (Usual Custom). A word used by the Moors Government to enforce their demand of a present.”—Indian Vocabulary (Stockdale).

SALOOTREE, SALUSTREE, s. Hind. Salotar, Salotri. A native farrier or horse-doctor. This class is now almost always Mahommedan. But the word is taken from the Skt. name Salihotra, the original owner of which is supposed to have written in that language a treatise on the Veterinary Art, which still exists in a form more or less modified and imperfect. “A knowledge of Sanskrit must have prevailed

  By PanEris using Melati.

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